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 transformation; letting go, cutting back, and simplifying in preparation for dormancy and subsequent rebirth and renewal of the spring. As temperatures gradually fall, harvest begins and deciduous trees begin dropping their leaves—we too can utilize this phase as an opportunity for letting go, cutting back, and simplifying.
When we are willing to let go of the past, we can move forward into a new, brighter future. For the ten days following the beginning of their New Year on September 6, observant Jews reflect upon the past, ending in a day spent in prayer for their mistakes, and begin the New Year afresh. No matter what our faith, all of us can use this example to inspire us to reflect and look back, then assume new healthier habits or ways of thinking so that we can all move forward in a new happier tomorrow.
Fall is the perfect time for us to weed out our closets and to donate outgrown, unloved, or unworn summer clothing. When we shed belongings that are no longer useful, we can use the quiet of wintertime to rest, relax, and regroup; attend to making better lifestyle choices; focus on our health; and recommit ourselves to setting aside time for natural healing practices like meditation, tai chi, or chi gong.
As summer draws to a close, we imagine that you can barely wait to hear what the I Ching has in store for your personal element in this soft Metal phase of Yǒu… so keep on reading!
Earth people like you are at their best when they keep to a regular schedule and strike a healthy balance between work and play. September is the perfect time to let go of unhealthy behaviors, so now’s the time to take a hard look at your habits and recognize that your time away from your work is as important as your time at work. It is difficult to separate work and play, especially if you are working from home, but it is important to leave your work where it belongs … at work!
Use September’s Metal influence to allow yourself to stand back from distressing energy-draining topics of conversation and needy people who sap your strength. Make certain that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep and that you are physically and emotionally nourished so that you don’t get sucked into situations that leave you feeling frustrated, sad, and unhappy. It is hard for you to set limits but you’ve got to be willing to protect yourself from untenable situations.
You are a giver, not a taker which makes you vulnerable to people who take but don’t give back. Takers are not necessarily bad people but they are focused on their own needs and they are not thinking about yours. Explore the reason that you need to give, are you using it as a way to derive self-worth, or as a strategy to avoid your own problems? Self-care is essential for well-being, and setting boundaries is an act of compassion for yourself, as well as for others.
You may never be able to stop giving because it is a part of your nature, but before you give time, money, or energy, ask yourself, “Is this person worth it? Factor in how many times you have helped them, and whether they have ever reciprocated or repaid you. Givers have to learn to get their finances in order and put their oxygen masks on first to conserve that they have so that when the time comes, they have the resources to fund the causes they care about.
You may never be able to stop giving because it is a part of your nature, but before you give time, money, or energy, ask yourself, “Is this person worth it? Factor in how many times you have helped them, and whether they have ever reciprocated or repaid you. Givers have to learn to get their finances in order and put their oxygen masks on first to conserve that they have so that when the time comes, they have the resources to fund the causes they care about!