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!