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The Five Elements: Wood


Spring has sprung! The vibration is in the air. A warm breeze is encouraging the seed to burst forth and make its way to the light. From the dormancy of Winter, the movement of Spring takes us up and out! We have entered Spring, the season of WOOD.

Wood ’s color is green, its sound is shouting, the odor is rancid, and its emotion is anger. What does this all mean? Again, like in our reading on Metal and Water, it is a resonance. The color green represents the budding leaf. It is the color that reflects off of one’s skin who has a constitution heavily influenced by the Wood element. It is usually seen around the temples or sides of the mouth. It is the color reflected, not absorbed. A Wood person’s voice will have a shouting quality independent of the content of the words. "Hey! You! Let's Go!" The sounds have a pointed direction. The odor of Wood is rancid. Not in a bad smelling way, (again so much is lost in translation) but in the way the smell of fresh cut grass directs its way to the back of your nose.

There is an up and out to Wood Spring. Spring is our time to move from the dormancy of Winter and burst forth with change. Wood is a living element that of change and creativity. How do we embrace the change of Spring? We have our clarity from Autumn in what we truly value. We have conserved our energy during Winter. Spring is our time to charge forward and use the resonance of the season to evoke movement forward, towards the light. Confucius speaks of the transformation of virtues for each element. Wood is the transformation from anger into benevolence. Anger being the acute awareness of injustice. "This isn't right and it's pissing me off!" The virtue in that fervor transforms through change. The energy of Wood is the superhero who says, "This isn't right and I'm going to do something about it." The benevolence comes from that act of change, which not only helps the person doing the changing, but when brought with Heart, benefits the whole community.

Physically, when we don't change (e.g., change our amount of sleep, of exercise, our diet, etc.), the lack of needed change can cause stagnation. This stagnation can manifest as headaches, sciatic pain, insomnia, frustration, etc. Luckily, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can effectively treat these and many other conditions. An exercise for strengthening our Wood in spring. I encourage you to experience change in ways we can embrace. Try re-arranging your furniture. Explore a new route to work or school. How can we be flexible with change? With a new arrangement or route, we are opening our eyes to see the same things differently. This in the comfort of our own home, our own car. This conscious and welcome change opens us to seeing the newness and possibilities of some perhaps unwanted change.


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