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 …
September is the eighth lunar month in a soft yin Metal phase called yǒu. It is characterized by a time of transformation; of letting go, cutting back, and simplifying in preparation for the winter and subsequent rebirth and renewal of the spring. As temperatures gradually fall, farmers harvest their crops, and deciduous trees drop their leaves, we too can use this phase as an opportunity for letting go, cutting back, and simplifying.
Now’s the perfect time to weed through our closets and donate outgrown, unloved, or unworn summer clothing and to shed belongings that are no longer useful. We can examine our behavior and discard unhealthy habits and attitudes so that when winter comes, we can rest and regroup, attend to our lifestyle choices, focus on our health, and take advantage of natural healing practices like meditation, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, and chi gong.
September ushers in the full Harvest Moon and the autumnal equinox. In Asia, this month’s full moon marks the beginning of the mid-autumn Moon Festival, when friends and families gather in the evening to view the moon, a symbol of femininity, unity, and harmony. According to Chinese tradition, the sun is male, and the same was true in ancient Greece; where Apollo ruled the sun, and his sister Artemis was the goddess of the moon.
In the United States, the Apollo space mission was named after the Greek god. It ran from 1961 to 1972 and during that time 12 men walked on the moon. In the new upcoming program that that is slated to begin in 2024, there will be an interesting twist… NASA has chosen to name this program Artemis, in honor of the Greek goddess and this program, both male and female astronauts will be walking on the surface of the moon. Hooray!
With autumn upon us, we’ll bet you would love to know the I Ching’s predictions for your Element in the soft Metal phase of yǒu; Read on...
Both ancient and modern cultures think of the earth as being feminine; and that is why she is called, “Mother Earth.” The Earth Element is represented in our bodies by digestion and our stomach. Between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 a.m., Mother Nature gives stomach energy an extra jolt of energy, so this is the optimal time for Earth people like you to take in nourishment. Breakfast, for you, the most important meal of your day.
Consider these everyday expressions that indicate distress: “I just can’t stomach it …I can’t digest the news … let’s get down to earth … learn to stand on your own two feet.” The emotion that is most closely associated with your Element is sympathy. It is an important emotion when it is expressed in appropriate circumstances, but to be emotionally healthy, Earth people need to figure out how to allow themselves to accept sympathy in return.
Your colors are earth tones but in the bedroom, the room might feel a little flat so add some zing with touches of buttercup yellow or citrus green. Your Element is centered and stable, and it is smack-dab in the center of all the others. Yes, the earth is round, but the Earth Element’s shape is a square so incorporate some square or rectangular shapes like picture frames or bedside tables and put a square of chocolate on your pillow. Yum!
Harvesting the abundance that Mother Earth provides for us, is an important part of our wealth. Although most of us no longer grow our own food, the food we consume is nevertheless, a gift from the earth. Despite the abuse it has to endure, the earth continues to try to feed and provide for us so do your best to help take care of her: recycle and reuse, support local farmers, walk, ride your bike, turn off lights … you know the drill!
When we get overly-involved and hover over the work of a colleague, we are actually stunting their capacity to learn from their own experience. Rather than expressing their real needs, they may develop ways of ways to try and get you to help, like exaggerating or whining in order to attract your attention and sympathy. Back off and maintain a healthy distance from manipulators; it is not your job to change or save them … it’s theirs!