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.
The Water Element is cool and Fire is hot, which means that May’s rising Fire can be uncomfortable for you. Keep well hydrated to counteract rising temperatures, and choose refreshing cooling drinks that are perfectly suited for your element. Here are some ideas: blueberry lavender lemonade, strawberry lemonade, grape juice, raspberry limeade, mint tea, watermelon juice, tangerine juice, coconut water.
Shower or bathe with the lights turned low… or with the lights turned off which will force you to move very slowly and fully experience the sound and sensation of water on your skin. We don’t want you to slop or fall, so you might want to open the bathroom door a crack to let in a little light. Water people are soothed by sensation, dim light, and warm water so it could be interesting and fun to give this idea a try.
Many Water people prefer having other people reach out to them so for a change try reaching out to someone else. May is Mother’s Day so call your mom. Call your dad or any other family member that you care about just to say, “Hi.” Smile at a stranger, put money in someone else’s parking meter, send a care package to someone you love… then prepare yourself for some wonderful surprises in return.
Our body is part of our wealth. When we treasure and take care of our body we are also taking care of the life we were given. To be healthy, Water people need a regular schedule for eating and sleeping and they need a healthy balance between work and play. Lifeforce and willpower reside in your element, and when you are properly rested and nourished, you will be able to enjoy the gifts you have been given.
Your energy contains an inexhaustible supply of vision, which is why wonderful ideas and creativity are your thing. Protect your gift by letting go of any issues that are unimportant so that you can concentrate on what you do best. Delegate action to the doers and shakers; you are the thinker and dreamer. Avoid getting caught up in specifics, details, and minutiae because big picture planning is what you do best.
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