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 start 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 are able to move forward into a new, brighter future. Selichot is a day in mid-September when observant Jews reflect upon their actions in the past to avoid making the same mistakes in their new year which begins on the 18th. No matter what our faith, all of us can use the inspiration of thinking back, then assuming new healthier habits or ways of thinking so that we can move forward in a new happier tomorrow.
Fall is also a good time to weed out our closets and donate outgrown, unloved or unworn summer clothing, and to shed belongings that are no longer useful so that when winter finally arrives, we can use it as a time to rest and regroup, attend to our lifestyle choices, focus on our health, and engage in natural healing practices like meditation, tai chi, and chi gong.
As summer draws to a close, you can’t wait to know what the I Ching predicts for your Element in this, the soft Metal phase of Yǒu … so keep on reading!
Earth person, this is your season! The sharp, cutting energy of September’s Metal Element will help you harvest what you have sown. If you have generated unhealthy eating habits during the pandemic, it is time to harvest or cut them out and sow some new healthier practices. Earth is led by Stomach energy hence your Element is the one that is most likely to have problems with weight when you go through stressful times, but this is an auspicious time for you to shape up.
We learn to care for and nurture ourselves from our experiences as children. If we missed out on some aspect of nurturing when we were young, we feel may feel deprived and continue to look for it as adults—or deny that we need it at all. The Earth Element emotion is sympathy, so it is possible for under-nurtured Earth people to be insatiable sympathy seekers or to deny their need for nurturing and say exactly the opposite, “I can do it myself."
Helicopter parenting can affect how we feel as adults. If children aren’t allowed to experience failure or learn from their mistakes, they may grow up to be manipulative, whining, exaggerating, over-complaining adults. Alternatively, children who try to avoid upsetting overly attentive parents, learn to swallow their feelings, and keep silent. Interesting that the Earth Element rules the stomach energy network, and that we use the word “swallow” when we speak of repressing feelings.
Happily, this is harvest season and abundance is the name of your game. Abundance is related to September, and the Earth Element. This month you will harvest what you have sown over the past few months, years, or lifetime. A healthy Earth person is amply endowed with the ability to create abundance, so let’s hope that this September, or some September in a year yet to come, will allow you the opportunity to enjoy abundant rewards and financial security.
You are a giver by nature, and in this season of gathering the bounty of nature, give special attention to the needs of others. Your gift does not need to be substantial; it could be a kind word, a courtesy, or doing something thoughtful. The gift can be for someone at home, in your Zoom group, or at your place of work. The best gifts are insubstantial—they demand nothing of us other than speaking out loud what we are thinking to ourselves … something wonderful about someone else.