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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Lee

Guardians & the 13th Solar Term

Good news on the Oracle front! The cards have arrived! They can be ordered here. If you pre-ordered,

you should have received your deck. If not, please email me. I have the tracking numbers!

Today's card, no. XVII, is the celestial guardians, also known as the 4 Auspicious Beasts. They are: the Azure Dragon 青龍 of the East, the Vermilion Bird 朱雀 of the South, the White Tiger 白虎 of the West, and the Black Tortoise 玄武 of the North. Qilin 麒麟, whose direction is center, assists the Emperor on Earth. These 5 animals and their 5 directions also correspond to the 5 elements, the 5 season and the 5 colors. They are surrounded by the 28 Mansions, which are Chinese constellations. Each of the 4 Guardians rules over 7 celestial mansions. Their strength is the cardinal directions. 4 pillars. 4 corners. Stars provide guidance in the darkness. They are bright points of light always helpful in navigating and coming home. In the traditional Tarot, this card correspond to The Star in the Major Arcana.

Tomorrow is Liqui (立秋), Autumn Begins, the 13th Solar Term. The sun will be at the celestial

longitude of 135 degrees to 150 degrees during this time. We are still in warmer days for the early part of this season. From a Chinese Medicine point of view, we are in the Season of Earth, which does not have a Celestial longitude. But ultimately, the wind will pick up and the weather will grow cold. For this reason, Autumn is also known as the season of the White Tiger, or Autumn Tiger, as seen in the card above.

Fruits of the season are peaches, longans, and red beans. With the change of season, susceptibility to cold is prevalent. TMC (Traditional Chinese Medicine) recommends eating pears, tremella, grapes, pomegranate and mango, to strengthen the lungs (which are the organ of Autumn) and the spleen (which is the organ of Earth). The earth "season", from a TCM perspective, overlaps with late summer and early autumn.

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