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  • Arlo Mercia

August 1 Tigers and Monkeys - August is a Tough Month

Even when I was in my teens I noticed that I always found life particularly difficult in August. Something bad would happen, or I would be sick, or depressed, or often all three. By my early twenties I began to dread August - to brace myself to survive it.

Years later I met Vicki, an expert in Chinese Feng Shui, and she told me that the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac not only lend their energies to each year, but also to each month (and day, and hour). I was born in a tiger year and tiger month is February. My opposing sign is Monkey and Monkey month, six months later is ... August. For this reason all tigers find August a challenge, and so my long experience of struggling with it finally made more sense. For me it also gave some credence to Feng Shui as my experience preceded my knowledge. (Vicki's site is

Over the intervening decades, once I knew that there was a reason why I found August energy so challenging, I found that, gradually, I became better at dealing with it. It helped that I now knew it was not something wrong with me, or blind fate beating me up for no apparent reason, or some irrational fear coming into play; it was that the energy of the month clashed with my energy and so brought challenges for me. I have learned to replace dread with a calmer acceptance, even to be interested in what August might bring.

This year it is family members moving interstate, which will be great new beginning for them, and the end of an era for me. Also I am on track to finish 'Lygon Island - The Rift' by the end of the year, which will see the completion of that trilogy. I have reached the tricky part where I have to entwine various plot lines so that the chronology makes sense - and this is proving a challenge, as there are several plot lines and much going on at once.

I'm unusually calm and interested in seeing how I travel this August, as I am really enjoying writing this book, and hope it will sustain me. I'll let you know how well I have managed to survive this dreaded month next month on September 1. In the meantime - are there any times of the year you find challenging? How do you cope when you get there?

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