For thousands of years, the I Ching has provided guidance for decisions about our health, relationships, financial matters, 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, December is the eleventh lunar month, in a heavenly stem phase called Tze. It is a time of very strong yang Water Element energy. In Chinese tradition, yang Water epitomizes spirituality, transformation, and self-awakening. Water energy is a large, moving force like the ocean or a mighty river; it is deep and powerful, and cannot be ignored.
December’s Water energy will bring us a flood of activities and festivities that can either stimulate and elevate our mood or completely overwhelm our senses. Water also represents nature and nurture, so if we do our best to go with the flow, and remain alert to possibilities, we will see that Water also channels its powerful energy into seeds, new ideas, and new opportunities.
In the west, Advent begins on the 1st, and Hanukkah begins on the 22nd. In the northern hemisphere winter officially begins on the 21st, and Christmas and Kwanzaa follow soon after. New Year’s Eve closes out the month and the year in the western calendar, but the seven-day Chinese New festival will begin on January 25th and the beginning of a year of the rat!
December’s energy is all about Jing―our essence―our very being. In Chinese medicine theory, we are born with a fixed quantity of Jing that is consumed by the simple act of living. Stress, illness, substance abuse, or bad relationships rapidly deplete our supply of Jing; but we can replenish it with nourishing food, meditation, exercise, recreation, giving, and serving others.
The holidays are the perfect time to consider that our energy is precious and that our lifetime allotment of it is limited. Be mindful of your Jing when you are tempted by overladen buffet tables and be careful with intoxicants. Modulate stress and manage inflammation because even a small hangnail can drain Jing, but by becoming a source of light and joy, your reward will be a long happy life.
Want to know more about what the I Ching reveals about your health, relationships, emotions, finances, and career this month? Check it out!
In Chinese medicine, stress creates inflammation or “false fire” that makes us leak life force, our Jing. When we leak energy over a long period of time, our battery becomes weak and we age prematurely, but when we retreat and enjoy some quiet time, we are restoring energy to our battery. December is a very busy month, so give yourself permission to withdraw and recharge your Jing.
We are often surrounded by family during holiday time, and sometimes we can’t help but take things a little personally. The truth is that whatever people say is not about us—it is about them and their own reality. We gain freedom when we can separate our world from theirs, so keep this thought in mind—what people do and say about us is because of who they are and not who we are.
If you decide to confront a difficult person, be direct and true to yourself. Stick to the facts and use “I” statements like “I feel_____ when you _____.” They may try to confuse you, go on the offensive, or assume the role of the victim but don’t let anyone bully you. Stay calm and polite, but firm. Your goal is to make it obvious that there are certain behaviors that you will not accept or tolerate. So there!
In many ways, you are very fortunate that Water’s restraining energy is at its peak at exactly the same time you may be tempted to spend more than you should. Extravagance can make you feel great in the short term, but in the long run, it can come back to bite you, especially when the bills for your purchases roll in. Yes, of course, spend what you can afford…but not one penny more than that.
Your enthusiasm for parties is contagious, and your colleagues love you for it. There’s no need for you to attract attention by proverbially dancing on tabletops; you are charismatic and people are drawn to you so don’t need to be the life of the party in order to be noticed. When you walk into a room, everyone is aware that you have arrived. Party hearty, but party wisely.
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