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 Chinese philosophy, Water is the most yin or feminine of the Five Elements. Its motion is downward and inward, and its energy can be quiet, still, and conserving. Water energy can be fluid and weak, or it can exert great power, as can be seen when water surges, floods, and overwhelms everything surrounding it, so utilize your power wisely.
In the calendar, January is the twelfth and final month of the Chinese 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 to create 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.
Children born in 2023 are arriving in the Chinese year of the Rabbit. Sensitivity is one of the characteristics associated with this sign, which is why Rabbit babies are prone to crying. Perhaps more than babies born under any other sign, children born in a Rabbit year need routine and a stable environment to thrive; at school, they will develop a flare for artistic subjects, and many of them will excel in music.
This year, the Chinese New Year will begin on January 22, on the new moon following the winter solstice. Many people have already begun to travel home to celebrate this important holiday with their families. New Year festivities will come to a close on Sunday, February 5, along with the celebration of Yuao Xiao, the Chinese Lantern Festival.
In China, preparations for the new lunar year include a thorough housecleaning, representing a farewell to the past and a hearty welcome to a year of the Rabbit. We too, can look forward to the inspiration provided by January’s soft yin Earth energy, and we encourage you to sneak a peek at what’s in store for your element in this final month of the lunar year.
Listen to your body and replenish the reserves you need in the spring. Nourish yourself with warm food and plenty of water because dry cold air sucks the moisture out of your body. Prepare energetically warming foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of meat or fish. If you are a vegetarian, eat more beans, nuts, and tempeh.
Fear is the emotion that is associated with the Water Element. Healthy fear is an emotion that keeps us alert to our surroundings and situations. When confronted with danger, constructive fear guides us to be cautious and restrained and fills us with a sense of preparedness, as well as the courage to face whatever situation we may have to face.
January is a time to recharge, so listen—listen to what others have to say and listen to what your heart is telling you. January is a time for receiving, not doing. Be patient. Nurture images of hope and allow relationships to develop quietly and naturally in the deep stillness of winter. Surrender to the powers of the season and learn what it has to offer.
We need to be honest with ourselves about our habits. There is no need to be discouraged if we have some unhealthy ones; they don’t make us a bad person; they simply make it more difficult for us to reach our goals. Do I spend too much trying to make myself happy? Which do I enjoy most…spending money or watching my money grow?
Manifest your destiny and examine the depths of your being. This depth is your core, a place where you might be afraid to journey, so in this season of darkness, fill it with light. Water’s rich inner world can liberate you from stagnation and set you on your life’s path; self-awareness can thaw your fears so you can become unstuck and move forward in a better way.
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