Wood, The Season of Spring

Reaching out and upward and down and inward simultaneously, the cycle of the growth of the tree marks out the Seasons. Rooted to the earth and growing toward heaven, the tree is a composite of both forces. The description of the tree is the description of a person. As we learn on Tu b'Shevat, man is a tree of the field.
Spring is the Season of Wood, a time of growth and change. Wood is the pioneer. The organs associated with it are the liver and the gall bladder. The liver has the function of a military leader who excels in his strategic planning, the initiator of all our actions. This official is responsible for giving us a sense of direction, a purpose. The gall bladder rules our decision making and judgement. Herein lies our personal courage.
The liver is also said to be the center of the Soul and the spiritual faculties, our strength of vision and faith in the future. We are guided in our development and granted the ability to mature. In spring distinctions become clear. We can assert who we are in the world. The eyes too are ruled by Wood. When we see we take in information, integrating the inside and the outside. East is Wood's symbolic direction.
The emotion most closely associated with Wood is anger. When we sense we are loosing our way, when we feel stuck or on edge, frustrated or resentful, we are in the liver's territory. Anger is an attempt to change a situation. Failure to assert our need leads to resignation, depression and bitterness. The trick is "to be angry with the right person to the right extent ... at the right time... with the right object and in the right way." (1) The power granted by wood is the power for control.
The sound associated with Wood is shouting, green is the color, wheat is the grain, peach the fruit. The meat is chicken. The taste is sour.
Spring is the time for clearing and cleaning. Clear out the clutter. This is a time to redefine your use of space, both physically and mentally. Be flexible and adaptive. The power of Wood comes from the ability to retreat and yield as well as to surge forward undaunted.(2) Seek a new challenge, be curious. Breath deeply while you chart a new course for your life.

Photo by Susan Griggs from "Awakening the Spine" Vanda Scaravelli p75
"Acupuncture, Energy Balancing for Body, Mind and Spirit" Peter Mole p67 (1)
"Traditional Acupuncture, the Law of the Five Elements" Dianne M Connelly
"Feng Shui for Modern Living" March 2000
"Chinese Medicine, Five Archetypes" Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold (2)
"Meridians" Traditional Acupuncture Institute Magazine 1999 Special Issue