This year, the month of the Horse is a Metal Horse beginning on June 6. The monthly star is a 7 – young women lead the way. Both the pillar and the star refer to Fire and Metal together. Forging and refinement are most timely.
The Horse is often called the most Yang of the Chinese Zodiac. What can that mean except that it’s so much more easy for her to tip over into Yin? The Horse communicates more through movement than words. Watch the body language if you want to know what’s really going on. Watch the eyes especially.
The Horse is competitive by nature. Often this is mistaken for bravery but it’s really just the Horse’s nature to rush forward. That person who volunteers to go first in giving a presentation in class? Probably a Horse. An athlete pushing him/herself beyond expectations? That’s a Horse thing too. Inside the Horse is just as scared as you would be. They are also exhilarated by new self knowledge.
The Metal Horse, sometimes called the Palace Horse, is close to authority: Fathers, the Father, God, Government, Law, Patriarchy. The Yang metal stem Geng represents a powerful tool or weapon given by fate so to speak, to be forged on earth. Examining and renovating our ideas about our personal agency is favored.
The Yang Metal stem says this Horse wants to be tested. The Metal Horse signs up for the challenge. That’s the message of the Metal Horse month.
It’s not only the Metal Horse that wants to be tested. One thing I’ve learned from reading BaZi is that everyone wants to be tested but most of us don’t volunteer. This month my advice would be to choose the test instead of letting it choose you. We all require challenge in order to reach our full potential. Too much challenge is just as harmful as a lack of it. This is often at the root of our mental health or illness. Not all tests are tangible or visible, but ideally an initiation is simultaneously mental and physical.
In what we call primitive cultures, tests and initiations were built in as rituals meant to instill confidence and self knowledge. Many initiations are related to blood, either that of the initiate or of a sacrifice. Some initiations include physical, psychological or emotional challenge and even pain. Passing through these kinds of experiences with the support of peers and elders is meant to empower us to function at a higher level. Initiations are for finding your current level; your people. Initiations are for getting woke.
Growing up in cultures that no longer routinely provide these rituals, it’s up to each of us to find the experiences that spur our evolution. In my generation many of us used body modification such as tattoos and piercings as initiations. Some of us moved to a place where nobody knew us to start over. Our initiations were in the company of our peers rather than family for the most part. Now I wonder if too much of our initiation was about rejection rather than discovery and insight, but at least we were trying.
There are those of us that decide we have failed the initiation to have a reason for giving up, not realizing that there are unlimited opportunities to grow. Don’t kid yourself, failure does not excuse you. But it is important to find the right test, that is, the one you think you can’t pass that doesn’t kill you. Your perception and interpretation of the test is what makes it relevant or useful. There’s no one size fits all, but here are some guidelines for this Metal Horse month:
Clarify your mission.
Know your purpose: what you are here to do right now.
Make it public.
Prepare to swallow your pride because it could get embarrassing.
Rip off that bandaid.
Speak your truth to power: Fathers, the Father, God, Government, Law, Patriarchy, Authority.
At the very least, try something new.
“Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well I have.”
Jimi Hendrix 1942 Water Horse
The proper initiation teaches us self care. It also teaches others how we want to be cared for and how to care for us. Initiation requires that we have a certain experience but also that we are experienced by others. Don’t leave that part out.