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 calendar, January is the twelfth and final month of the lunar year. It is in a phase called Chui (丑); a time of soft Earth energy that nourishes unseen growth. Think of a seed waiting quietly in the soil, absorbing nourishment for creating the sprout that will emerge in the spring. This month, we too are incubating concepts, inspiration, and perceptions that will become evident to us later, when the time is ripe.
A new Chinese Metal Year of the Rat will begin on the 25th. Rats are the first of twelve animals that cycle through the Chinese horoscope, and while they are despised in the west, rats are respected in the east for their intelligence, resourcefulness, and courage. People who are born in a Year of the Rat are said to be good leaders who handle responsibility well. Prince Harry is one famous example, and Rosa Parks is another.
People born in Metal Rat Years like 1948, 1960, or 2020, are said to be especially intense, with lively minds and fertile imaginations. Because rats are the first animal in the Chinese horoscope, it is said that being first instills rats with a pioneering spirit, but it also fuels their need to win. Rats are romantic, fall in love easily, and enjoy intimacy―they have a gift for seizing opportunities―as a famous Chinese proverb notes, “There are very few poor Rats!”
In the cycle of passing months, soft yin Earth energy characterizes January, while February ushers in the powerful, thrusting yang Wood Element. Yin is soft and gentle, while yang is active and formidable, but now it’s time to catch a peek at what’s in store for your element in this, the final month of the lunar year.
Water people are predisposed to kidney problems and caffeinated beverages temporarily increase urine output. The bad news is that caffeine also temporarily increases blood pressure, and because high blood pressure is a common cause of kidney disease it would be a good idea to explore some healthier, non-caffeinated alternatives.
Water is the most feminine of the five elements that is why Water is considered to be very yin. In Taoist cosmology, femininity is not considered weak; on the contrary, Water is the most powerful element of them all… it can move around any obstacle in its way without losing its essential nature, and with time it can dissolve the highest mountains.
Water qualities are creativity, sensitivity, reflection, persuasion, effectiveness, and a desire for life and sex. Your energy is receptive, which means that people are naturally drawn to you and you don’t have to work very hard at pursuing friendships. Water people value their families, and they enjoy social contacts … aren’t you the lucky one!
Farmers know that water must be conserved and stored during the rainy season for irrigating, drinking, and cleansing. Likewise, without a financial reserve, there won’t be enough money in the bank to draw on when you need it, so cultivate your spirit in order to overcome your fear of making financial decisions; you are far wiser than you realize.
Allow yourself to be still and quiet, and to exist within the aura of Water Element energy. We live in a rushing, competitive society, but Mother Nature has another idea … to her, everything has its season. Nature already has all the answers; you just have to be still and quiet enough to hear them, and receptive enough to receive them. Shhh.
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