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February 2024 Flying Needle News

Daffodils arrive

Glorious harbingers of

Spring - The Green Dragon   

Hello Friends of Flying Needle!

Happy Beginning of Spring!

Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!

Hail Green Dragon of the East!

- totemic guardian of the season -

Seasonal Musings & Reflections

The three months of spring one calls “issuing and laying out”.

Together Heaven and Earth give life,

The myriad creatures thereby blossom.

Sleep at night and rise early,

Stroll at ease around the yard,

Loose the hair and relax the body,

Allow intent to come to life.

- from Suwen Chapter 2

Our days continue to lengthen. Here in Chapel Hill, daffodils are beginning to bloom. If you live in the North Carolina Piedmont, you may have heard Chorus frogs singing on warmer rainy days, or the first songs of bluebirds. The twig ends of red maples and box elder are beginning to color, red and green respectively. Piedmont Almanac author, Dave Cook, reminds us that now is the time to look for paired wrens, and mourning doves, and to forage Creasy greens. In classic North Carolina fashion we have some of our coldest days intermingled with balmy warmth, sometimes oscillating between the two on the same day. This dance will likely continue as we see and hear the signs of the arrival of Spring.

Spring is resonant with East, beginnings, birth, movement, wind, the Wood phase, the liver and the gallbladder, sinews, and the color green amongst many others processes and dynamics. Yang's expansive expression is unfurling as the Sun (Taiyang : Great Yang) shines for more of each passing day.

One of my first teachers of Chinese medicine, Brian Moran, used to say the liver (in this case meaning Wood Phase as expressed in and through the human body) loves inspiration and perspiration. This was his pithy way of reminding us that movement and creative expression support free flowing and coherent circulation through the body. 

As we read in the quote from the Suwen above:

Stroll at ease around the yard,

Loose the hair and relax the body,

Allow intent to come to life.

A simple way for us to harmonize with the new season is to move with as much ease as we can while we seek to relax the body and be loose and fluid. If we have creative interests, or practices that have been dormant through the Winter months, now is an ideal time to reconnect with them.

If we don't have a creative practice, how might we "allow [creative] intent to come to life," within our day to day rhythms?

What would it be like to experience our life as art, as creative play?

- photographer unknown -

The Chinese calendar has both solar and lunar aspects. While the seasonal musings and reflections of this newsletter are primarily oriented to the solar aspects, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that February 10th will be the Chinese lunar New Year. The new year begins on the first new moon following the beginning of Spring (which was 2/3 this year).

Happy Yang Wood Dragon!

As I have said in years past, this is not my area of expertise, but I will share a few observations based in what I have heard and read from folks more knowledgeable than myself. 

Each of the 12 animals of the zodiac have a native phase, and a phase that changes depending on the year. 5 phases and 12 animals gives us a 60 year cycle of combinations. The Dragon's native (inherent) phase is Earth. The Dragon of this year is Yang Wood. This particular Dragon is Yang, Earth, and Wood.

Dragon is the only mythical animal of the Chinese zodiac. Historically, in Chinese culture, dragons were considered all-knowing beings who could grant favor and rewards. The dragon was associated with power, transformation, the emperor and pearls. There is a myth that the people of the China are descended from two dragons with human heads, one of whom was the creator of the hexagrams of the Yijing.

A Yang Wood Dragon year has the potential to be a time of vibrant generative and transformative creativity (Yang and Wood aspects) stabilized by the and grounded on the Earth. 

This is deeply resonant with the energy of Spring. We all have the opportunity to harmonize ourselves with what this season and year are offering.

May your Spring days be filled with beauty, mystery, and friendship! 

May you and your kin feel both rooted and free!

May we walk in gratitude with our Ancestors!

May all being and becoming receive nourishment!

Dragon swims between

Heaven and Earth breathing the

Gifts of Mystery 

Into expression

It is my sincere hope that you have found something of use in these words.

If you know folks who you feel would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it their way! Thank you!

Wishing you and all your relations wellbeing and good medicine!

With gratitude,


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