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 in which the intensity of high summer begins to subside in our slow march toward the fall. In August, our energy begins to decrease and contract as well, which is our cue 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 in the past and how they might influence our goals for the future.
In the Chinese lunar calendar, the seasons of the year 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 begins 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 solstice is long past and that daylight hours are becoming noticeably shorter. August is also a reminder that Labor Day will be here before we know it!
August’s Metal energy compels us to look back and reflect but it also drives us forward toward spiritual pursuits and personal transformation. You must be curious to know what else the I Ching reveals about your own personal element this month… so check it out!
Metal dominates your energy in August, so take time to cool down and stretch to avoid injuries to your muscles and tendons. Keep soft tissue relaxed by consuming magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, brightly-colored fruits, raw nuts, and seeds. Support healthy muscle function with potassium-rich fresh citrus or carrot juice and avoid the dehydrating effects of caffeine and alcohol.
A healthy Wood person resembles bamboo; flexible yet incredibly tough. It is so strong that in many parts of Asia, bamboo is used for scaffolding during the construction of multi-story buildings. Keep bamboo in mind if August’s Metal influence leads you to feeling unusually mad, sad, or out of sorts. Cultivate strength and flexibility in your mind, body, and spirit because a flexible state of being is the key to robust mental health.
Flexibility in relationships is important because it makes our friends, family members, and partners feel listened to and valued. Step back and maintain a broader perspective even in the midst of a difficult situation. Be open to feelings, and accept them no matter how challenging or difficult they may seem. Be willing to let go of thoughts, ideas, or opinions that are not serving you or the people you love.
In August we journey toward cooling and letting go of ideas or things that are no longer serving us. If you have made some unwise financial decisions, let go of feeling bad about poor choices and move forward toward positive change. Keep an open mind to survive tough economic conditions and take advantage of any unexpected investment opportunities that come your way. Plan ahead and take charge.
Flexibility is key to success in the contemporary world. If we are too rigid, we will fail since rapid changes are taking place every day in technology and the economy. If you keep an open mind, you will be able to adapt to changes which will give you a massive advantage over people who are less so. Look for new ways of managing your life’s work that would be better; if something isn’t working quite right, try something new!
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