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!
Letting go is an appropriate theme for you to work on this month. Letting go can mean many things: clearing out stacks of old magazines, deleting out-of-focus photos from your smartphone, donating clothing that you are no longer wearing, accomplishing a task that you have been dreading, getting a new hairstyle, making an appointment with your health care provider, getting a massage, going to bed earlier. A healthy body and a healthy mind are two sides of the same coin.
Likewise, it’s time to examine your long-held attitudes and beliefs. Pay attention to your inner voice. If your inner voice is negative and says, “You can’t,” fight back and say, “I can.” If your inner voice doesn’t value, inspire or appreciate you, then figure out a way to change the message. Negative self-talk affects how you feel and how you behave; the conversations that you have with yourself can drain your mental strength and can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s okay to feel a little sad if you need to let go of an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes the indications are clear—abuse, criticism, lying, cheating—all bad, bad, bad! Sometimes nothing is outstanding, but the relationship just doesn’t feel right. If you feel lonely or insecure in a relationship, or there is a lack of intimacy or distance between the two of you it may be time for you to move on. You can’t change people, and waiting around will only going increase your pain.
Metal people love surrounding themselves with beautiful things. You may take great pleasure in the act of searching for items to add to your collections because the sight of them brings you peace and joy. Collecting too many things in order to feel happy, may not be worth the time, effort, or money that is required. Unless you are incredibly wealthy, it may be time to assess your financial condition and to be honest with yourself, and ask if there might be some other way to feel great.
If you are absolutely certain that your attitudes are moral code are “right” or “correct,” then you are a bonafide Metal person. Even though we may very well be right, you may want to try holding back your opinion for a little while and give others a chance to voice their opinions. Who knows, their ideas might be a refreshing rehash of your own ideas, or perhaps their opinions might make you sit back and think a little… you might even learn something new and wonderful!
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