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 lunar calendar, May is positioned right between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It is the time of soft yin as the Fire Element warms us and begins to exert its energy on our lives. May is further represented by the Chinese character Sze 巳 which translates to “preparation for ripeness,” an indication that emerging possibilities are beginning to come our way.
Mother’s Day is celebrated in nearly every country on earth. In China, many cities present a series of Mother’s Day activities that feature the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water; group dances; tree planting; a delicate feast and ceremony called Thanksgiving Mother that lays out children’s responsibility to be good students who are kind and able to live in peace and harmony with others.
In the US, we’ve got Cinco de Mayo on the 5th, Mother’s Day on the 9th, Armed Forces Day on the 15th, and Memorial Day brings the month to a close on the 31st. May also features some silly celebrations like Lost Sock Day followed by Lost Sock Memorial Day and health-related events like Melanoma Monday on May 3. Skin cancer is a reminder that even though Fire and the sun can be warming and nurturing, it can also be dangerous and destructive.
May is named after the Greek goddess Maia, the daughter of Atlas, the lover of Zeus, and the mother of Hermes. Maia was a nurturer; her name is an honorific term for older women, mothers, and midwives. As Fire energy begins to warm the earth, we need to refresh our stash of sunscreen and dig out our sunglasses and summer hats.
The Fire Element is spunky—it is both creative and destructive—it can nurture us with its warmth or burn our forests and our skin with its heat. The wisdom of the I Ching can help us know what to expect in this phase of rising Fire and have a look at what’s in store for you in the merry month of May.
Earth people are homebodies who like to lounge and relax and are not very excited about exercise. Fire energy actually creates Earth Element energy, so use this month’s Fire to get yourself outside and exercise. This doesn’t infer that you need to go out on a run… exercise for you might mean planting flowers or veggies, walking, hiking… something outdoors that connects you with Mother Earth.
Fire is a darting energy that can make you start to flit from one worry to another. Worry is overwhelming and it can tire you out. Nurture yourself by returning to your wellspring—to Mother Earth—and allow her to soothe your soul. Listen to birds, watch buds burst into leaves, take a long stroll, and tire yourself out so that you sleep well which can tone down some of the chatter in your busy monkey mind.
Hold back on giving to allow for receiving. Be vulnerable and allow people in, allowing them to love you the way you take care of and love others. It’s much harder for you to receive than to give, you aren’t willing to reveal your human wants and needs. When you take care of people, you keep them at a distance. Closeness requires revealing oneself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
The Fire months of May and June may very well present you with some new ways to accumulate and receive love, wealth, and health. If too many financial options present themselves, you will probably feel overwhelmed and unable to make any decisions at all. It is never wrong to avoid financial risk and since you have already laid out financial principles for yourself if you are in doubt… stay the course!
How are things going for you? Are you happy, do you feel fulfilled, do you think you are serving your life’s purpose? Covid brought mankind some horrific problems, but along with the problems came some opportunities that you might want to explore. You are a friendly sort, and you like being amused; is your current career affording you with the opportunity for fun and happiness, and serving your life’s purpose?