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!
The Wood Element’s flavor is sour, so refreshing lemonade, limeade, citrus-infused water, hibiscus or rosehip tea, kombucha, and yogurt drinks… even beer, are right up your alley. Just like your symbol, the tree, Woodies need plenty of space, sunshine, and water. You are sensitive to heat and dehydration is hard for your body to tolerate, so pucker up and suck down lots of these delicious fluids to carry you through these final hot days of summer.
Woodies are control freaks, and this month’s Metal energy is going to make things even worse. Elaborate plans and over-scheduling will make your level of stress soar, so let go of your tight grip on the reins of your life and share the load. Keep things simple, and do your best to go with the flow. If the emotional challenges of your complicated life get to be too much, give long walks, meditation, yoga, qi gong… or even prayer a try. It’s time to back off, calm down, and chill.
You are an intense person and you like getting in the last word, so commit to listening and acknowledging the feelings of others. Try to understand where other people are coming from and what they want or need. Criticize with class. If you have to correct someone, don’t make a big deal out of it and keep it private between just the two of you. Listening and kindness are like handing out candy bars to trick-or-treaters… you’ll be the most popular person on the block.
Yes, you need to drink plenty of fluids and make certain you are well-hydrated, but you can save money and protect the earth at the same time by filtering your own water at home and carrying your liquids with you in a safe, reusable water bottle. Who knows exactly how many plastic bottles of water were sold last year… some estimates are that the number is over 50 billion bottles. That 50,000,000,000 bottles sold worldwide, and you know where most of them end up. Yup!
As a Woodie, you are likely to think that you know more than your superiors so here’s how to criticize your boss without getting yourself fired: pick your moment, ask permission, keep it light, back up your ideas with facts, and avoid the words “you always,” and “you never.” Plan ahead and think it through. Say what you have to say as quickly and tactfully as you can… and then just stop. then stand back, and listen. Your ideas are great, but it’s how you deliver them that counts.
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