Living the Elements: Wood – Spring

emerging fern

Spring Seasonal Resources

Last spring, after my Wood music, arts, and culture blog, people wrote in with some fabulous Wood suggestions.  I discovered some new music that still carries me forward.  I’m grateful, and I’m looking forward to what folks have to suggest this year.  Meanwhile, I’m sharing the tunes, the art, and the poetry that have been on my mind so far this spring.

I’d love to hear from you: Are you listening to, looking at, or reading anything that moves and heals and awakens your Wood element this spring? Please share in the comments section below. I’m always up for more healthy Five Element nourishment through the arts. Meanwhile here are some of my favorites, just to get you started.

Song: Pete Seeger – Which Side Are You On?

Polarity is an attribute of the Wood element, and in health it allows us to create a dialectical tension that gives rise to new perspective.  However, when the polarity ceases to engage for new vision, it leads to physically one-sided symptoms in the body, and civil war in the nation. 

I’ve been listening to this song and admitting to myself how much I love the moral simplicity of this kind of stance.  I’m not at all sure, though, that we need more of this energetic these days…   So I am actively considering points like GB 24 Sun and Moon, and Liver 2 Walk Between, in order to learn how to live social conflict in a vital and healthy way. 

(For more about GB 24 and Liver 2, see the Five Element Archive collection, or self-study CEUs Gall Bladder 21-24: The Unity of Light & Dark CEU and Liver 2-3-4: Foundations of Progress CEU.)

Song: The Beatles – We Can Work It Out

A genuine capacity to “see it both ways” so that we can, in fact, work it out, requires a very sophisticated level of cognition.  The metabolism of multiple viewpoints happens in stages and layers and requires a degree of development that is perfectly illustrated by the triple arcs of the Gall Bladder meridian.  Sometimes our thought process can get stuck along the way…  Try dancing to this song, with lots of hollering and jerky, stomping movements to free up body, before trying to “work it out” in the mind. 

(For more about the GB points on the head and cognition, see the Five Element Archive collection, or self-study CEU GB Points on the Head.)

Song: Jim Pepper – Witchitai-to

This is one of my favorite “spring, at last!” songs—when the ground is exhaling sweet fragrances, and the peepers are peeping, and the leaves are coming in as red tips becoming green…. and my body, at last, believes that winter is truly over.  As the song says, it makes me feel glad that I’m not dead.  I feel the spirit of the hun begin to soar again, in the magic of this saxophone solo.  Hope is real—and it’s good to be alive.

(For more about the re-awakening to life in spring, see the Five Element Archive collection, or self-study CEU Liver 1: Rising Again.) 

Art: Banksy

Banksy art

I think of Banksy as a Wood artist—brash, bold, and out to change our perspective.

Funny how different that bandana on her face looks these days…

(For more about the freedom to evolve beyond the constraints of the time and place that we are living in, see the Five Element Archive collection, or self-study CEU Liver 13-14: Finding Freedom.)

Poetry: T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

Lines from T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land

hard freeze on new leaves


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us…

What are the roots that clutch, what
branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?…

That corpse you
planted last year in
your garden,
Has it begun to
sprout? Will it bloom
this year?
Or has the sudden
frost disturbed its

(For more about the “cruelty” of injury and the recovery process, see the Five Element Archive collection, or self-study CEU Wood: Healing from Trauma.)

Do you have songs, poems, or images that really exemplify spring or the Wood Element for you? Let us know in the comments!

Join the conversation on the Perennial Medicine Listserv.

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