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Cosmic Reboot: Spring and the Wood Element

Part I: The Essence of Wood Energy

There’s a special, sensual delight when the first signs of Spring appear. Light returns and life awakens. The darkness and dormancy of Winter departs. Trees bud out. Seeds burst from their pods. Birds return. Young creatures are born.

The transition from Winter to Spring – from Water to Wood – is perhaps the most palpable shift of phase in the cosmic cycle of the Five Elements. While the cycle is continuous, we mark Spring as the beginning, when nature renews itself. In traditional Chinese culture, the Lunar New Year, called “Spring Festival” in Chinese, is the most important holiday of the year.

The ancient Chinese looked deeply at nature, and understood that the forces at work in the cosmos are also at work in human life. The Five Elements give expression to this ancient wisdom and the seasonal cycles of nature. By understanding the qualities of each season and Element, we can align our energies with the rhythm of the cosmos, and lead a more balanced, harmonious and healthy life.

Hope From Despair

The essence of Spring is visible in plant life, the Wood element. It seems like a miracle when barren branches put forth buds, and the caress of light and warmth awakens seeds and bulbs hidden beneath the soil. The Wood Element has the power to bring hope, and to pull us out of despair.

The Inner Blueprint

Growth in Spring is intense but orderly. Each plant develops according to a genetic blueprint, its inner plan. The growth of every living thing has an intrinsic purpose and direction. The acorn becomes an oak, or nothing. Humans, too, have an inner blueprint. When we understand our intrinsic nature, the Wood Element within us, it gives life a sense of purpose, destiny and larger vision.


Be the soil rich or poor, each seed follows its inner blueprint. At the same time, plants have the ability to adapt to circumstances. Flexibility and adaptability are qualities of a healthy Wood Element.

A healthy Wood Element gives us:

  • a sense of hope and vision for the future
  • a sense of purpose and direction in life
  • the flexibility, adaptability and vigor to carry out plans

Part II:  Wood Energy in the Body/Mind/Spirit will discuss what happens when the Wood Element within us is out of balance.

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