Why Are the Tiger and the Dragon Enemies in Chinese Astrology?

If you have a keen interest in Chinese astrology or if you were born in the year of the dragon or the tiger, then you should be aware that these zodiac signs are not very compatible with each other, as they are considered to be fierce enemies.

But what is the root of the conflict? After all, they are both powerful, courageous and charismatic, right? Well, the answer lies in their ancient rivalry that dates back to the mythical times when the gods ruled the world.

This article will explore the origins, meanings and implications of compatibility in this ancient conflict between Dragon and Tiger, which becomes all the more important in 2024 as the Year of the Wood Dragon begins on 10 February.

dragon and tiger compatibility

Mythological Symbolism

According to Chinese mythology, tigers and dragons represent the opposing forces of yin and yang, the feminine and masculine principles that balance the universe. 

Tigers are associated with the earth, mountains, forests, and fields, while dragons are linked to the sky, clouds, rivers, and seas. Tigers symbolize courage, strength, loyalty, and independence, while dragons embody wisdom, creativity, authority, and charisma. Both animals are revered and respected in Chinese culture, but they also tend to clash with each other due to their different natures and goals.

 Legendary Rivalry: How Friendship Turned to Enmity

According to legend, the tiger and the dragon were once allies who fought together against the evil forces that threatened the harmony of the universe. However, their friendship turned sour when they both fell in love with the same goddess, the beautiful and wise Nuwa. 

Nuwa was the creator of humans and animals, and she had a special bond with both the tiger and the dragon. She could not choose between them, so she let fate decide. She told them whoever could reach her palace first would win her heart. 

The tiger and the dragon agreed to the challenge and embarked on their journey. The tiger ran across the land, using his speed and strength to overcome any obstacle. The dragon flew through the sky, using his magic and cunning to avoid any danger. They both arrived simultaneously, but there was a problem: Nuwa’s palace was located on a high mountain surrounded by a thick cloud. 

The tiger could not see anything and had to rely on his sense of smell to find his way. The dragon could see clearly, but he had to face a fierce wind that blew him away from his destination. They both struggled to reach the top, but neither of them could get there first. They blamed each other for their failure, and they started to fight. Their fight was so fierce that it shook the heavens and the earth. 

Nuwa heard their roar and saw their clash. She was saddened by their hatred and decided to end their conflict. She used her power to separate them forever: she made the tiger rule over the land and the dragon rule over the water. She also made them incompatible in the zodiac cycle, so that they would never meet again. That is why tigers and dragons are enemies in Chinese astrology, and why people born under these signs often have trouble getting along.

Enemies From Birth?

Another legend says that the tiger and the dragon were enemies from birth, as they were born from the same mother but different fathers. The mother was a powerful goddess who had an affair with a mortal man, and she gave birth to a son with the head of a tiger and the body of a human.

The father was a mighty god who had an affair with a mortal woman, and he fathered a son with a dragon’s head and a human’s body. The two half-brothers grew up to be rivals for their mother’s affection and their father’s inheritance, and they fought each other for supremacy over the land and the sky.

Chinese Astrology Trines and Conflicts

In Chinese astrology, tigers and dragons belong to different trines or groups of signs that share similar characteristics. Tigers, horses, and dogs are part of the third trine, who are adventurous, optimistic, humanitarian, and loyal. 

Dragons, along with rats and monkeys, are part of the first trine, and are intelligent, innovative, ambitious, and charismatic. These two trines have very different personalities and values, and they often have conflicts or misunderstandings with each other.

Just How Incompatible are Tigers and Dragons?

However, this does not mean that tigers and dragons cannot get along or have a harmonious relationship. 

In fact, some Chinese astrology experts say these two signs can be very compatible if they learn to appreciate their differences and complement each other’s strengths. 

Tigers can admire dragons for their creativity and charisma, while dragons can respect tigers for their courage and independence. Tigers can help dragons to be more grounded and realistic, while dragons can inspire tigers to be more visionary and expressive. Together, they can form a dynamic duo that can achieve great things.

Find out how the incompatibility of the two zodiac signs influences the Tiger’s horoscope for 2024!


So, why are tigers and dragons enemies? The answer is not so simple or clear-cut. They are enemies because they are opposites, but they are also opposites because they are enemies. They have a history of rivalry and competition, but they also have a potential for cooperation and harmony. They are both powerful and majestic animals that deserve respect and admiration, but they also need to learn to respect and admire each other.