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!
Wood energy is all about muscles and tendons, and you want to keep them healthy, flexible and fit. Gently stretch before and after exercise, and consume plenty of bright, colorful summertime fruits and veggies, fatty fish, dairy, spinach, nuts, legumes, whole grains, eggs, and lean meats. You know the drill as far as healthy eating is concerned: keep it simple, and fresh is best!
You can be a bit restless, so spiritual retreats are probably not your cup of tea but ask yourself what else you could do to bring some peace and quiet into your life. Woodies are fast moving, so might be hard for you to set aside time for reflection, so at the very least, allow yourself to step back from difficult situations to give yourself the opportunity to think before you leap.
You are a kind, steady, and sympathetic but sometimes you unintentionally hurt people’s feeling by being too direct or honest. It’s fine to have strong reactions and opinions but try to remain objective and avoid judgmental words like good or bad, right or wrong. For inspiration, channel the properties of wood … you want to be strong, yet flexible … with the emphasis on flexible!
Woodies are the exuberant movers and shakers of the financial world. Your impulsiveness can help you make it big, or crash and burn on a scale next to none. Take your time and analyze your finances. Be on the lookout for haste. Consider Aesop’s fable about the slow-moving tortoise that creeps steadily forward and arrives at the finish line ahead of the speedy hare.
Do a job that you have been avoiding. You are logical, organized, practical, and innovative so just figure it out, dear Woodie, and get it done! You have the drive to push projects to completion once you get started, but like many of us, getting started is can be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Once you accomplish the task, reward yourself with something you love to do.
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