Updated: Nov 13
Earthworms tunneling. Water
Turtles sun on logs.
Hello Friends of Flying Needle!
Happy Waking of Insects!
- third vernal solar node -
Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!
Seasonal Musings & Reflections
Spring is within the Wood phase. Wood is resonant with east, beginnings, growth, movement, wind, thunder, liver, gallbladder, green, and creativity. This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully gives a sense of some of the connections amongst the forces and dynamics in the external and internal environments that are flourishing during this time.
There is an inherent quality of disruption to springtime, and Wood. In the internal martial art Xingyiquan (Form-Intention Boxing), the fist (a pattern of phasic expression that emanates from the body rather than what most of us think of as a 'fist') associated with Wood is called the bursting fist. Life bursts forth in the Spring. Yang's exuberance is so potent that it cannot be contained. It expresses itself through a beautiful and riotous opening, awakening, singing and flowering forth!
Hooray for Spring!
While I love training outside in different ways during all four seasons here in the North Carolina Piedmont, Spring and Autumn are favorites because of their blend of milder temperatures, and visual beauty. While movement is always necessary medicine, it is even more important in the springtime as it helps us to harmonize with the movements in the external environment.
That being said, since temperatures and winds can still fluctuate quite widely and rapidly during this time of year, make sure to have layers nearby when training, or otherwise enjoying time outside. Strong winds blowing on a sweaty body are ill advised from a Chinese medicine perspective. The open pores that allow for water to leave the body in the form of perspiration can also let strong environmental forces, like a robust wind, in. We don't want or need external winds coming inside the body! A hoodie is a great layer option since it can cover your neck and head if needed.
If you live in the Piedmont, you will have noticed that the Yellowening has begun. Spring is pollen season, and this can be challenging for many of us. If you neti, or have another mode of rinsing the nasal sinuses, now is a good time to be diligent with this practice. If you don't, and the pollen affects you, it's worth experimenting with!
Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng) can also be helpful to address common allergy symptoms. If you have a complex health context, or are taking other Chinese herbs, or pharmaceuticals the best move would be to consult a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine. If you need a referral, please reach out!
While folks in Ukraine are certainly in continued need of support, you will notice that I have changed the donation link at the bottom of the newsletter to the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation. The reasoning behind this is based on a long term study I have been making of how to be in harmonious relationship with land and seasonal rhythms. This newsletter is, in many ways an expression of, and deepening into that study. One of the dynamics that I have found myself challenged by during this inquiry is how to respectfully and practically acknowledge and do my part to repair relationship with the people who lived on and with this land long before my ancestors arrived. This is a deep and broad subject, and I don't make any claims to have answers. One of the understandings that I have come to, is that part of that process needs to be a material offering that benefits the descendants of people native to this region who are currently living here. The most direct way that I can to do that at present is to donate monthly to the Occaneechi since I am living on their ancestral land. If that resonates with you, and you're local, the link will help you do that. If you're not in the Piedmont, here's a link to help you discover the Native land you are living on. If you have thoughts to share, would like someone to inquire with, or otherwise feel a need for dialog around this, please don't hesitate to reach out if that would be of use.
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!
Spring is glorious
In its flourishing. Yang bursts
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!