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.
May’s rising Fire may overstimulate your already abundant forward-moving energy. If you are exercising heavily or running around more than usual, be certain to carry a bottle of drinking water and remind yourself to set aside time to drink it. Add a little lemon to your water; it will help keep your Liver energy network functioning well, and by all means, avoid plastic water bottles because toxins are especially harmful to Woodies like you.
Rising Fire can make you more prone to emotional upset. Your energy is naturally forward-moving and you can become tense or feel frustrated if someone or something gets in your way. Slow down, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw. Mowing the lawn could help you burn off some steam, but so could vacuuming or running up and downstairs. It’s your choice… just pick something to do, and then do it!
Practice loving-kindness to counteract fire’s tendency to push you into conflict. Acknowledge others, listen rather than talk, and share a kind word with others as you go about your day. A smile makes everyone happy, including you, but if you are wearing a mask an eye-smile will have to do… at least for now. Let’s hope that by next May, Covid will be a thing of the past and you will be able to smile at people to your heart’s content.
As well as playing havoc with your emotions, rising Fire could push you to do something rash when it comes to your financial health. Your driving energy is both a bane and a blessing; it can cause you to make rash decisions but it also means that you are decisive! Stop and consider your choices because a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. It is sometimes better to hold onto something than to risk losing it by trying to get something better.
May is the right month for you to begin shining brightly. Use the impetus of Fire to give extra oomph to your natural charisma and apply energy to working toward fulfilling your life’s purpose. Some people love and admire your drive but others may feel threatened by it, so don’t be surprised if you get some pushback from people who are afraid to venture forth and try something new and different.
Discover More from Infinichi to Support Your Element