Working with the Wood Archetype

The element of Spring is Wood and it is a beautiful Archetype. Here are some suggestions to work with this energy.

“Wood is as forceful and determined as the wind, as supple as a spreading aspen stretching into a bright, cloudless sky. Spring, a time of rebirth, sudden growth, and rapid expansion, marks the ascendance of this power. Movement suggest to the surface, bursting through the confinement of winter. A crescendo of excitement builds as the life process reawakens.” – Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine

The element of Spring is Wood and it’s an upward movement that is powerful in breaking new ground. We see this physically as young plants push through the dark soil to the surface. It is also metaphysical for our personal journey in life. We continuously shift from yin to yang energy, from death to rebirth. The stuckness we feel may be felt as anger, from being restricted and confined. The Wood element reminds us that, when we stay rooted, we can move with life with resilience.

If Women Rose Rooted, Sharon Blackie

In Chinese Medicine, Liver is the energy that’s leading the movement in Spring and “arouses the mind by allowing tension and pressure to build.” (Beinfield & Korngold, 1991, p161). We refer to the Liver as the “Commanding General”, governing the flow of Qi as well as storing Blood. As a filter, the Liver is a primary organ of detoxification.

The Liver is important and supporting its well-being is often a focus in Chinese Medicine. Liver imbalance can show up as a variety of conditions, from menstrual pain, eyesight issues, irritability, poor sleep quality, and muscle spasms.

In Between Heaven and Earth, the authors share the Archetype of Wood as the Pioneer, whose organizing principle is metamorphosis.

“Driven by the adventure of penetrating the unknown, she contends with fate, deliberately battling adversity to tame the wilderness. Adaptive, cunning, and fiercely independent, she strikes out on her own, striving constantly to surpass her limits. Carving a broad expanse in which movement and vision are free and unfettered takes a multiplicity of forms. Inexorably drawn to travel roads not yet mapped, she treks wild mountain ridges, explores star-clustered heavens in an astronaut’s suit, launches a business from scratch, or embarks upon research in yet unrecognized fields. Infatuated with what is new, curious about what is untried, she is eager to innovate, reform, and revolutionize.” (Beinfield & Korngold, 1991, p161)

The challenges this Archetype include being intolerant, impatient, extreme, impulsive, self-indulgent, over disciplined, and volatile emotionally. With this powerful energy, a person can feel trapped, under stimulated, etc, when their energy feels contained. People with the Wood Archetype can learn how to correctly direct their life force, which aligns them with their line of destiny in life. They also may have been punished for what is natural as a child and have become overly self-regulated and self-punishing over time as a protection mechanism.

As a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, I also work with the elements and organ function energies. The Liver Function Energy Adjustment Flow is one I give myself, especially for my menses. The simplest Self-Help is holding our middle finger. What I also use to support my Liver and overall well-being is Magnesium. I use Earthley’s unscented Good Night Lotion, which is also very nourishing for the skin. Other options include oils and in powder form you put into a drink. The Blood Cleanse from Now Alchemy also has great testimonials.

If you catch yourself feeling out of bounds, observe what is occurring and what is triggering these emotions. Are you feeling irritated because you did not get sufficient sleep? Transits can affect our dreamscape.

As someone with an undefined Solar Plexus, I naturally take in and amplify emotional wave energy. Am I feeling a certain way because I’m simply in aura? Or is someone with a defined Solar Plexus releasing their energy as a way to relieve pressure on themselves? People with this energy centre defined have a different biochemistry and make decisions over time, as clarity emerges. The timeframe for this process is not the same each time and the mind is likely frustrated by it. The emotional waves they feel can also be powerful and for some people, they can be unconscious and so surprising.

Each of the nine energy centres has a theme of operating in an unhealthy way. When these centres are not consistently receiving energy, we do not have a consistent way of dealing with this energy and we develop strategies from a young age. These approaches are so deeply unconscious that they feed the mind in ways we take for granted and as natural, even when they have outlived their usefulness. Having this information for ourselves provides us with another layer of self-understanding, compassion, and self-love.

Spring is a fantastic time to support our Liver energy and health. I invite you to follow your inner compass and reclaim your personal authority in your well-being.

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