Mary Bax, certified with the Feng Shui Research Center, Master Joseph Yu
Astrologers are often asked, ‘is this a good relationship for me?’ Most people want to know about relationships almost as much as they want to know about wealth. When two people meet and there is recognition, it is their destiny to understand what it is that resonates in their soul that attracts this person into their life. If the lesson can be unveiled and the two can know themselves more deeply then even if the relationship does not last, it is good. Romance, even if it doesn’t last, provides an invaluable opportunity to know one’s self in order to heal one’s self of the fears and traumas that can hold a person back from becoming a whole and healthy human being.
In Chinese metaphysics, the 12 stages of life also known as the 12 Earthly Branches describe the cycle of life using the 4 seasons of wood (Yin and Mao/February and March), fire (Si and Wu/May and June), metal (Shen and You/August and September) and water (Hai and Zi/November and December), also known as spring, summer, autumn and winter. In between every season, there is an earth branch, Chen/April, Wei/July, Xu/October and Chou/January. As Feng Shui Master Robert Schmitz of Germany explains “The twelve branches show the strength of the elements throughout the year.
There are only four seasons, so earth does not belong to any season. "Earth" is the term used for the mixture of two elements in between two seasons. Some earth is a mixture of fire and metal, some is a mixture of metal and water etc.
Earth takes the place of the dominating element between two seasons because no other element is strong enough to do so”
Let’s look at the stages of romance in these terms beginning with wood.
In branches of Yin and Mao where Yin is yang wood, an unyielding tree, and Mao is yin wood, a beautiful bending vine. We have an image of springtime, when the air is filled with the fragrance of peach blossoms. A vine intertwines around a tree moving upward, reaching for heaven. Man and woman meet and there is a recognition between the two. They feel alive, beautiful and young. There is a sense of connection, of peace that they have found what they have been searching all their life. A magical feeling of wholeness overtakes them. Carl Jung would describe this as meeting of the animus and the anima, the best of oneself is projected on the partner. There is heaven is on earth.
As with every spring, comes thunder. Chen, the earth branch between spring and summer sees the man and woman pondering the bliss they are experiencing and wonder what could possibly go wrong.
As the season of summer begins, Si is yang fire, the sun that never stops giving and Wu is the rebellious yin fire. Dante writes “From a little spark bursts a mighty flame”. In this fire season all hell breaks loose. The shadow comes to light. Old unconscious patterns emerge. The urge to control dominates. The neediness for approval, unmet needs, trust issues, jealousy, rejection, humiliation take center stage. The victim stage begins, ‘how can you do this to me?’ Confidence is lost. The ability to make good decisions is questioned. Past wounds with parents or past lovers begin to ooze and become the focus. The unresolved emotional experiences of the past cause a volcano to erupt. Obnoxious acts arise from the subconscious with the intention to cause the partner to reject the relationship. The karmic lesson that is to be learned begins to reveal itself.
The hot dry earth of summer brings gloominess in the earth branch Wei. The fiery passion begins fade, what enlivened the couple goes into the tomb.
In the season of autumn, the harvest approaches. It is in the season of metal a decision is to be made. What path to take, the path of the ego or the soul? The path of the ego is when man lives without heaven, attaches himself to the things of earth. The path of the soul is when man sees beyond earth, he reaches to the heavens to his highest potential.
If the path of the ego is taken, the characteristic of the metal season will be that of clashing swords. The earth becomes a battleground and the harvest is trampled upon. The war between the sexes continues with each projecting their faults onto the other. Entanglements of power, wealth and possessions ensue. The ‘YOU’ word is used to blame the other person for the pain that the lack of self-love brings. They begin to distance themselves and in the next dry earth branch will terminate this romance, only to repeat this same destructive pattern again with someone else. Or worst, they will stay together in the dry earth where the fruit remains rotten.
If the decision is made to follow the path of the soul, the characteristic of metal will be of transformation. Resentments turn to compassion. A higher conscious decision allows man and woman to take the responsibility to address their shadows and the unconscious patterns they fear to face about themselves.
The earth branch Xu will give them a place to rest their weary souls and guide them to the depths of their soul where wisdom found in water will heal them in the winter season.
In winter, the river of Heaven runs deep in the Hai branch where yang water is vibrant. Hai assists to identify the fears that may have begun before a person could talk or even before the person was born. Zi branch creates a path of wisdom through the earth and gives the realization that the major barrier to a loving relationship is the unloved part of oneself. Man and woman are cleansed of their fears and brought together to become one. The time has come to make plans for a new life.
The trust that is characteristic of earth shows itself in the earth branch of Chou. Trust is the foundation for a healthy relationship. It finds itself grounded between man and woman giving them the courage and confidence to move once again to the season of spring where love can blossom in a new deep mystical way.