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.
Metal nourishes the Water Element, indicating that in September, Metal’s ability to reap will nourish the Water Element’s ability to store. In other words, Water Element people who normally are cautious might very well be inspired by Metal energy to take on an interesting risk.
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 Water Element is connected to kidney function, the urinary bladder, and the adrenals. Our adrenal glands are small organs that sit above our kidneys; they respond to stress by releasing hormones like cortisol that can cause adrenal fatigue to set in and our immune system to slow down. From a Chinese medicine perspective, adrenal deficiency indicates that our energy is getting out of balance and that it is time to dial things back, retreat, and rest.
Metal energy can be a bit stressful for some Water people, so you may wake up some mornings feeling as tired as you were when you went to bed. When you are not well rested, you lose resilience and your ability to deal with difficult people, so let go of the problem and take a breather. Eat good food. Take time to dream. Nourish your inner life so you can unleash your power and devise effective ways to deal with contentious people. You can do it…for sure!
Water people can be a bit introverted and reserved, which is absolutely fine. Suppose you feel as if you are afraid to move toward relationships that could bring you great joy. Examine your attitude and the amount of energy you might need to move forward. If you need a little extra push, make sure that you have a place of repose—a sanctuary—and then take baby steps toward letting down your guard while allowing yourself to retreat when needed.
Water people aren’t usually too keen about figuring out ways to grow their resources; they are nearly always concerned about social and environmental issues. Narrow your choices by looking for investments with high ESG ratings based on a firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance policies. While ESG investing has become more popular over the last twenty years, the millennial generation has become a requirement. Go millennials!
Spirituality is important to Water Element people—is your life’s work in alignment with your moral compass? Does it honor your desire to use your power to bring good to the world? Are you proud of the sort of work you are involved in? Do your business or the firm you work for have guidelines for reporting misconduct or measuring and managing environmental impact? What is their reputation; what is yours? It all matters … especially to Water people like you.
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