July is the sixth (Water Sheep) month marking the midpoint of the Chinese year which began a new 12-year cycle in February. It goes without saying that the past five months have assigned more weight and meaning to the transformational power of a Yang Metal Rat year and our current location in unchartered territory is a testament to the enormity of its influence.
According to Five Element theory regarding Metal, expectations for 2020 included alchemical shifting away from many of our traditional solutions and outmoded ideas toward more measurable, defined goals. Yang Metal is the element associated with bravery, purity and determination but its energy is equally austere and unyielding. It is the perfectionist in charge of setting standards and upholding principles tasked with creating order out of chaos. This year, Metal chopped away at spring’s Wood energy and clashed summer’s Fire in an aggressive march to its home in autumn. Since Metal gains strength beneath the earth, change comes slowly but steadily in a persistent, unbendable groundswell. We have seen that Metal years (which come along every decade) can either carve out excess with a sword (yang metal) or refine it with a needle (yin metal), but both result in contraction and analysis.
Traditional Chinese Medicine assigns the Metal element to the organ of the lungs and the emotion of grief, both of which feature prominently in the health of the planet and its inhabitants this year. Metal is also linked to the autumn season when nature turns inward to gather and store resources for winter while filtering out that which is unsustainable. This year, the pandemic gave us a stark reminder to be more discerning, simplify our lives and apply those filters. These cyclical element phases describe the synchronicity of events, emotions and organisms that connect us to the natural world and recognizing their purpose helps when we need to correct course or change direction to survive.
Winter’s Water element feeds spring Wood, providing fuel for summer’s Fire whose embers fertilize Earth in order to produce Metal.
Metal energy is smooth, strong, precise, cool – and necessary. It holds structures together, forms vessels for precious liquids and is used to forge beautiful musical instruments. It exists to sharpen our edges and define limitless boundaries. Despite many setbacks this year, we have learned to consolidate and look inward for the answers we seek. We’re halfway there and the next six months will likely provide an opportunity to further refine our hopes and dreams. Hopefully, like metal beneath the earth, we will continue to grow stronger and more valuable for the time spent under pressure.
Wishing you peace, prosperity and good chi,