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!
Counteract Metal’s disruptive energy by gently stretching before and after you exercise. For optimal muscle health, consume foods high in vitamin C, fish oil, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamins D and E. Consume lots of bright, colorful fruits in this sunny month. Lean in on veggies, fatty fish, dairy, spinach, nuts, legumes, whole grains, eggs, and lean meats, and you will be fit as a fiddle.
When your energy is robust and balanced, you can listen and learn from others, arrive at a carefully considered point of view, and push forward with your remarkably creative, forward-moving energy. You will know that Metal has gotten you in its grip if you start feeling impatient or irritated by people around you. Although it is not in your nature to smile and chill, this would be the perfect time to practice.
Woodies are known for speaking their minds, and sometimes their directness can hurt other people’s feelings. It is OK to have strong reactions and opinions as long as you remain objective and avoid judging others. In many situations, there really isn’t any right or wrong, good or bad, so do your best to maintain a neutral approach to difficult situations; your attitude can inspire others and bring peace and tranquility.
That naughty Metal energy may try to unsettle your financial planning in August, so slow down, deliberate, and make careful, considered decisions. With a solid financial foundation and a well-thought-out plan, you can bring your creative, forceful Wood Element energy into play to help you offset Metal’s influence and create a solid financial future for you, the issues you support, and the people you love.
First impressions can get a person in the door of a new venture, but your vital Wood energy, enthusiasm, and inner character give you the staying power you will need to succeed. Take your time, be patient and wait for the right opportunities. Enlist mentors and allies so that when the time comes to act, they will be in place to help support you as you deliver your plan and explain your long-range vision.
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