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 begins to warm us and 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.
For thousands of years prognostication from the I Ching have provided guidance for our health, relationships, finances, work, and play. I Ching predictions follow the lunar year, the seasons, and are based on the cycles of heaven and earth. The Five Elements, Yin and Yang, and a variety of stems, branches, directions, and phases also have their say, all creating a trail of portents, possibilities, and probabilities.
Mother’s Day is celebrated this month in nearly every country on earth. In China, cities often 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 a child’s responsibility to be a good student as well as 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 8th, Armed Forces Day on the 21st; then Memorial Day will bring the month to a close on the 30th. May also features some silly celebrations like Say No Day and National Hugging day, along with recognition of some serious medical conditions like Melanoma Monday on May 2. Skin cancer is yet another reminder that even though the Fire Element and the sun can be warming and nurturing, they 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, it is also the time 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 and 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, so have a look at what’s in store for you in the merry month of May.
It’s not enough to carry around a water bottle in a rising Fire month like May … you’ve got to actually drink it! The universe doesn’t give us points for our good intentions, we only get them for our actions so as the weather starts to heat up, you need to remember to drink up in order to support your very important water-loving Water Element organs: the kidneys, adrenals, bladder, and reproductive system.
Do you get discouraged when your mind starts wandering when you try to meditate? If so, that is an unrealistic expectation. Try this instead: sit comfortably in a quiet room and slow down your breathing. Inhale through your nose and say or think a chosen word as you exhale through your mouth. If your mind wanders, and undoubtedly it will, gently bring your thoughts back around to your breath. Repeat.
Are you having a hard time with your mom? It may be time for you to change your perception. Even though you may think the only way to improve the relationship is for her to change, you are the only one who you can actually change. Resolve conflicts now so you don’t have to carry them into the future. Remember too that some of the things that bother you are trivial, and really don’t need to be resolved.
Summertime is vacation time for many of us, but if you shake the piggy bank and there’s no money in it, consider a staycation instead. After all, taking a vacation is really a matter of attitude; hang out at the beach, the lake, or the river instead. Dig your toes in the sand. Swim. Snooze. Contemplate your belly button because doing a whole lot of nothing is actually very good for a Water person’s soul. Enjoy!
Not sure what kind of work would honor your vision and dreams? Invite some buddies over for dinner and throw out some of the ideas you have been considering. Allow your friends to tell you what they think would be suitable for you, because after all … they know you the best! Not sure you want to invest a lot of time in a professional career? In far less time you could become an assistant in that very same field.
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