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Spring and the Wood Element: Vision and Expansion

Spring energy is here! Spring resonates with the Wood Element – the birth of yang energy – which rises up, bursting forth and breaking through obstacles. Like a seedling pushing through hard ground to survive, this warm, expansive energy moves upward and outward. The color associated with the Wood Element is green like the new growth of Spring. Spring is the season of (re)birth with trees and plants and all of nature coming to life and the temperature slowly getting warmer. It is the time for new beginnings, creation and expansion!


The archetype associated with the Wood Element is the Visionary. The Visionary has a clear vision of where they want to be in the future and how to get there using their creativity to guide their own destiny. Sometimes, we have to fight to be ourselves, claim our space, overcome injustice or to survive. So, the Wood element is also associated with the Warrior archetype, including the spiritual warrior who fights to overcome inner obstacles to growth and expansion.


The organs associated with the Wood Element are the liver and the gallbladder. On the energetic level, the liver smooths the flow of Qi (life force energy), blood and emotions. The liver is related to the capacity to find our direction in life; to have clear vision, goals and a plan. The gallbladder is involved in the decision-making necessary to carry out our vision.


When things do not go according to plan, the natural response is anger which is the emotion associated with the liver and the Wood Element. Anger can make us hard and unbendable. The alchemy of Wood is developing the flexibility to flow around obstacles and transforming anger and frustration through cultivating patience and forgiveness.


“A tree that is unbending is easily broken.”—Lao Tzu


Liver and gallbladder are most effected by seasonal change in the Spring. Exercise and gentle movement, such as Qi Gong, yoga and Tai Qi, support the liver because it encourages Qi and blood to circulate. Eating lots of fresh bitter greens such as dandelion, arugula, mustard greens and spinach also support healthy liver Qi function. If you ingest alcohol, over the counter drugs, toxins and other unhealthy substances, or are chronically stressed, anxious and angry, the liver has to work harder and liver Qi can become stagnant.


How can you find harmony with the rhythm of Spring? Begin new things. Plan. Strategize. Take action. Grow something. Plant seeds. Water them consistently. Exercise. Stretch. Move your body daily. The Wood energy’s nature is to move freely. Find an outlet for your creativity. Release emotion. Eat seasonally. Avoid alcohol and fatty foods. Happy Spring!






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