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, and it connects us to magic, inspiration, intuition, joy, love, and compassion.
August is a strong Metal Element month in which the heat of high summer begins to subside and as we journey toward autumn. In August, our energy also begins to decrease or contract which is our cue that it is time to let go of things, ideas, attitudes, and feelings that are no longer of use. It is also time for us to reflect on that which we have sown, and to consider what our goals are for the future.
In the Chinese lunar calendar, seasons change earlier than in the west. In the lunar calendar, for example, the seasons begin when the first faint whisperings of change in the natural world appear, hence spring begins in early February, summer arrives in May, autumn begins in August, and winter arrives in November.
The Chinese image for August is “full ripeness.” In the west, we think of August as still being summer, but in traditional agrarian cultures, farmers are well aware that the solstice is more than a month behind us and that daylight hours are becoming shorter. Before we know it, Labor Day will be here!
August’s Metal energy compels us to look back and reflect, but it drives us forward toward spiritual pursuits and personal transformation. You must be curious to know what else the I Ching reveals about your Element this month… so check it out!
The Fire Element is about peaking—something that is reaching its most active point. Fire is expressed as heat, which in the larger environment is embodied in overcrowding, noise pollution, environmental toxins, and information overload. Imagine yourself actively controlling your energy and working toward keeping it level. Lace-up your sneaks and hit the trails; your health depends upon an occasional retreat for renewal.
Fire is the most transformational of all the Elements, it is capable of transforming pain into growth, envy into joy, and fear into love. Fire is the element of connection, its energy pushes you to find communion with others, to appreciate your sameness with others that unite you in common goals. Fire is affiliated with the Heart organ system, and the more joy your heart finds, the more you can radiate it to others.
Fire corresponds to joy. Joy warms, activates, and invigorates. Joy brings light to the eyes, opens the heart, and inspires people to connect with friends, colleagues, and lovers. Joy spreads—smiles and laughter are contagious and people who are happy enjoy spreading happiness to others. You are a source of joy for both yourself and others. Healthy joy never edges into hysteria or mania; it just feels good.
Wood energy is about birth and becoming, while Fire energy celebrates that which has become. Fire transforms, it alters materials and changes them into something else. To empower your own financial alchemy and transform your ideas into gold, devote yourself to manifesting your objective and apply the Fire of your ambition to bring your financial health into being. Transformation is one of your powers, so get busy!
In the cycle of the seasons, Fire energy is reflected in daylight, and it is during the daytime that you are most productive. This is when you can work the hardest and are best able to channel your energy into intense concentration and creativity. Daytime is when you can get so “fired up” and involved that you completely lose track of the passage of time. No worries, this degree of excitement is true Fire behavior.
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