In the Chinese horoscope, August is the seventh lunar month in a phase called Shén 申. The character usually refers to spirit, but it also represents spirituality, god, deity, consciousness, and awareness. Shen resides in our heart; it is the channel for all spiritual transformation, and it connects us to magic, inspiration, intuition, joy, love, and compassion.
August is a strong transformational Metal Element month during which the heat of summer is transforming, beginning to cool, and contract in preparation for the fall. Metal energy prompts us human beings to begin contracting as well; to start letting go of things, ideas, attitudes, and feelings that are no longer useful or beneficial for us to retain.
August is also the perfect time to reflect on that which we have sown, and to consider our goals for the future. Meditation, journaling, hiking or camping, attending a retreat―even going on a cruise―can provide an opportunity for thinking about our past and figuring out how we can transform ourselves to better fit our current lives.
The Chinese image of August is “full ripeness.” In the west we think of August as still being summer, but in a traditional agrarian culture, farmers are well aware that the solstice is behind us, that days are becoming imperceptibly shorter; we have begun to turn the corner toward autumn.
In the west we define the beginning of a season by the solstices. In the Chinese lunar calendar, the seasons arrive much earlier since in the lunar calendar, the next season begins when the first faint whisperings of change appear: spring begins in early February, summer arrives in the first part of May, autumn begins on August 6, and winter arrives in early November.
August’s Metal energy pushes us to look back and reflect, and at the same time it drives us toward spiritual pursuits, and personal transformation. You must be curious to know what the I Ching reveals about your own personal Element this month … so check it out!
Maintaining healthy Earth/stomach energy involves eating, which is something most of us love to do! Here are some Earth-friendly dining tips: sit down in a chair when you eat, savor each bite rather than gulping it down, pay attention to flavors and textures rather than allowing yourself to become distracted by texts, TV, a magazine … or even the back of a cereal box. Got it?
August’s strong Metal energy may challenge your usual faith in people and make you feel a little suspicious about their intentions. Having a little doubt is healthy but having too much doubt is against your nature. August and September are Metal months, but strong Earth energy will return in October; until then don’t be too surprised if you are feeling a bit more wary than usual.
You are easy to be with, and you have many wonderful, close relationships with others. Earth people nearly always have children but if not, let’s hope you are surrounded by people you adore. You don’t like anyone to feel bad or dislike you, so you are careful not to rock the boat. Deep inside, all of us hope to have people who adore us, but especially you … and why not?
Easy come; easy go―your money can flow in either direction. Earth people are so relaxed and easy going, that sometimes they manage to avoid learning how to handle their finances. Perhaps your transformational goal could be to accumulate sufficient resources to provide for yourself, with some left over to share with your family, and friends. Sounds good, right?
Accumulating goodwill is part of Earth energy. Nevertheless, it would be a good idea for you to take care of your own tasks and responsibilities at work before you say yes to requests for help from others. You like to avoid conflict and you don’t want to offend anyone, but if you give your own responsibilities first priority, you can avoid getting side-tracked by other people’s needs.