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, July is the sixth lunar month in a phase called wèi 未. We have left June’s strong Fire influence behind and are entering a period of sweet, soft, yin Earth energy. The season is calm and stable; it is a mellow phase, and our opportunities are maturing just like the crops are quietly ripening in the summer sun.
In Chinese medicine, Earth Element energy is firm, but not rigid. It is reliable, dependable, and unmoving, but it is not stagnant. Earth—the soil that feeds us and the ground that locates us in time and space—imparts stability. In TCM theory, Earth Element energy is transformational—it transforms energy from our food to nourish the body just as the earth nurtures living things.
July 7th marks Xiao Shu, or lesser heat, when summer traditionally begins in China. A few weeks later, Xiao Shu slides into Da Shu, which means greater heat. Da Shu is the time when the sun shines the most, the average temperature is highest, rainfall is the greatest, and thunderstorms are most frequent, particularly in northern China.
This Fourth of July will be the 304th anniversary of the publication of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Along with the fun of eating your share of barbecued delights, you probably want to know what sort of luck and happiness is headed your way. We hope you will enjoy these hints about what your personal element can expect to encounter in July.
Human beings benefit from exercise, but did you know that some sorts of exercise are a natural fit for the Metal Element? Most of the activities that are appropriate for you requires attention to detail and form, as well as structure. Examples include long-distance running, racquetball, power walking, core training, rollerblading, parkour, barre, and interval training. Does this sound like you?
One of the key characteristics of the Metal Element is loyalty. Metal people are always there for friends, especially friendships that were developed in childhood. You don’t like revealing your emotions, but that’s just you. If someone hurts you, the cut goes very deep and you can’t easily forget. You hate injustice, and that’s a positive quality because injustice hurts everyone, especially you.
Pride is a Metal person’s weakest point and it can be an obstacle in working out problems in relationships. Your pride gets in the way of admitting that you were wrong, or that you were at least only partly right, but what’s the point of needing to be right? Sometimes we’ve got to bend a little to get along with the people we love. It's okay to admit being less than perfect—isn’t it?
Clarity, focus, and strategy are the most important virtues of the Metal Element. Pride has its place as well, when you make financial decisions you like to make certain that your image remains intact. You like to win—not lose. Your confidence is related to winning, but then … you are a winner, and winning builds confidence, so continue making wise decisions and keep on winning.
Metal people are one of the few elements that actually enjoy pressure and challenges—it makes them more refined and stronger … and better. Can you see how those qualities relate to the sorts of exercise that are most appropriate for your energy? Through hard training, pressure, and work you will have an extremely successful career, so give your energy free rein, and soar!
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