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 Wood Element governs the Liver organ system, which in turn controls the tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscles. Your element is all about strength and flexibility, so choose activities that will keep you both strong and flexible. For example, gym rats could cross-train ballet, yoga, tai chi, or chi gong. You are the bamboo of the elemental world in which strength combined with flexibility equals a healthy body.
This may sound a little weird, but you can balance Wood Element’s tendency toward assertiveness with a touch of green. Wood is your spiritual material, but green is your energetic color. Exchange metal and plastic in your environment for wood. Wear green socks. Bring home a green houseplant. Walkthrough a botanical garden. Be creative; wood and green can be found in lots of places; get out there and look for it!
Wood is more about the individual than it is about connections or partnering. Wood’s spirit looks for the inner self-truth, so you shape your personal life to reflect that drive. Although you may find yourself inflicting pain on others, you may continue to actively pursue doing things the hard way, even though it flouts domestic harmony. Be careful this month, because Wood in a Metal phase is apt to be overcontrolling.
Wood’s energy is about birth and becoming, which is why it is so likely for Wood people to be the movers and shakers of the financial world. When you make decisions that will determine the future course of your finances, look for a balance between firmness and flexibility. Rather than stubbornly hanging on to unwise plans; try engaging in flexible thinking to help propel you toward meeting your goals.
The Wood Element is aspirational and that is what pushes you to succeed. You can envision your future in the world and inject it with a spirit of hope and excitement. Your energy calls you forward to manifest your highest and best self through hard work and sweat. As you develop and mature in your career, you will learn to recognize your limitations and figure out how best to deal with them.
Discover More from Infinichi to Support Your Element