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 the spring's dormancy and subsequent rebirth and renewal. As temperatures gradually fall, harvest begins, and deciduous trees drop their leaves—we too can use this phase as an opportunity to let go, cut back, and simplify.
Autumn is the appropriate time for your energy to shine, and it will. Keep all that energy in balance because you are organized, inspired, and dependable when Metal energy is abundant. Still, you could tip over into rigidity or despair if it flows too abundantly
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. Regardless of our faith, we can all use this example to inspire us to reflect and look back, then assume healthier habits or ways of thinking so that we can all move forward to a new happier tomorrow.
Fall is the perfect time to weed out our closets and donate outgrown, unloved or unworn summer clothing. When we shed belongings that are no longer useful to us, 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 qi gong.
In the west, we will celebrate the Harvest Moon on September 10th. On the other side of the world, the full moon initiates the Chinese Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival. On this night which celebrates the round, bright, full moon, families gather to enjoy a feast, like families gathering for Thanksgiving in the west. Chinese families hang lighted paper lanterns, go for a moonlit evening stroll, and exchange traditional pastries called—you guessed it, mooncakes!
As summer draws to a close, we can imagine that you are interested in hearing what the I Ching has in store for your personal element in this soft Metal phase called Yǒu … so keep on reading!
The Metal Element is connected with the lungs, respiration, and the skin—all of which participate in protecting your body from external pathogens. When you take care of yourself, your immune function is robust, but if you aren’t in tip-top shape, you are especially vulnerable to respiratory viruses that quickly spread in the fall. How is your diet? When did you last go to the dentist or visit your healthcare provider? Prevention is key, and the time to take care of yourself is now!
This is a good time for you to review your inner voice. As a Metal person, your inner voice can be very harsh, and although you enjoy looking good, your self-talk is inclined to exaggerate your flaws. If you were bullied as a child or were reared by critical parents, your view of yourself is probably way off base. If you are imperfect, then so is everyone else. You are an adult now, and you need to figure out how to appreciate and love yourself just as you are.
Gather your courage, unleash your sword, and cut off unhealthy relationships when the indications of an unhealthy relationship become clear. Yes, you will feel sad when you realize it is time to move on to healthier relationships, but we all deserve to be happy. We may have to unlearn some old behaviors and learn new ones, but above all, we need to recognize the value of friendship. Having one good friend is enough, but having two or more is even better.
Oh sure, everyone appreciates beautiful things, but Metal people are especially vulnerable to the come hither song of luxury goods. It makes you feel good to look good, dress well, and be surrounded by lovely things, but the rub begins when the bill arrives. Even though it’s a new season and the new offerings for autumn will tempt you, consider the stress you will feel when the bill arrives. We all know what stress affects our immune system—not good!
You have earned the right to have your own distinct opinion, but when you listen to and absorb the ideas and points of view of others, you may discover that your sense of right and wrong might need to be a bit more flexible. There are no absolutes regarding religion, culture, politics, sexuality, or whatever—but flexibility and a willingness to listen and learn are key to building respect and teamwork in our complex, modern world.
Discover More from Infinichi to Support Your Element