For thousands of years the I Ching has provided guidance for decisions about our health, relationships, finances, work, and play. Predictions from the I Ching follow the lunar year and are based on multiple, overlapping cycles that govern the heavens and earth. A variety of stems, branches, directions, and phases also have their say, each creating a trail of portents, probabilities, and possibilities, so let us begin …
In the Chinese horoscope, August is the seventh lunar month in a phase called Shén 申, whose character usually refers to “spirit” but can also represent spirituality, God, deity, consciousness, or awareness. Shen resides in our hearts—it is a channel for spiritual transformation that connects us to magic, inspiration, intuition, joy, love, and compassion.
August is a powerful Metal Element month during which the intensity of high summer starts to subside as we begin the slow march toward fall. In August, our energy begins to decrease and contract, which signals that it is time to let go of ideas, attitudes, feelings, and objects that are no longer useful to us. It is also time for us to reflect upon that which we have sown and how it might influence our goals for the future.
In the Chinese lunar calendar, the year’s seasons revolve earlier than they do in the west. In the lunar calendar, for example, a new season begins when the first faint whisperings of change appear in the natural world. Hence spring starts in early February, summer arrives in May, autumn begins in August, and winter arrives in November.
The Chinese image for August is of “full ripeness.” In the west, we think of August as a summer month, but in traditional agrarian cultures, farmers are acutely aware that the summer solstice is long past and that daylight hours are becoming noticeably shorter. August also reminds us that Labor Day will be here almost before we know it!
August’s Metal energy compels us to look back and reflect but also drives us toward spiritual pursuits and personal transformation. You must be curious to know what else the I Ching reveals about your own unique element this month … so check it out!
Maintaining a healthy Earth Element/stomach energy network involves something that most of us love to do: eating! Proper nourishment is particularly important for your element, so work on establishing healthy eating habits such as dining while seated rather than standing, turning off the news, savoring rather than gulping, and chewing because digestion of our food begins in our mouth.
One of the Earth Element’s wonderful natural traits is faithfulness, but the influence of this month’s critical Metal energy could challenge your natural faith and make you suspicious or doubtful of the intentions of others. Cultivate the gift of constancy to release you from any needless disbelief or misgivings that Metal energy may have provoked. The meaning of constancy is enduring, unchanging, and dependable.
You are easygoing and can have wonderful relationships with all the other elemental types of people. Continue to offer your usual support and encouragement to others in August but make sure not to smother-love the people that you support because, in the end, they will need to be able to stand on their own two feet. Yes, you enjoy feeling needed, but co-dependency is not good for either of you.
Make your money work for you because you worked hard for it. Generally, buy fruits and veggies when they are in season since that’s when they are the least expensive. Buy grains and nuts in bulk, so you only have to pay for as much as you need. “Shop” your pantry and use up existing supplies. Ground chicken and turkey, frozen chicken breasts, and tilapia are among the least-costly choices for meat eaters.
An occasional day off to refresh and recharge is good for your psyche and is essential for maintaining a healthy life/work balance. We need to allow ourselves a little me-time for renewal and refreshment. Do something this summer as a special treat: get a massage, go to a ball game or a movie. Take yourself on a bit of adventure, and if you could talk some buddies into going with you…it might be even more fun!