Happy New Year! The Yang Wood Horse from a Five Element Perspective

by in Acupuncture January 30, 2014

Tomorrow marks the first full day of Lunar New Year and the year of the Yang Wood Horse. While the energies of the cosmos do not seal our fates, it is good to know the astrological “weather” so to speak, to give us an awareness that will help us to take advantage the opportunities that we will likely come as a result of this new lunar cycle and to avoid repeating habits that no longer serve.

From a Five Element perspective, Wood symbolizes vision, new growth, creativity, and benevolence. Wood follows Water (last year was a Yin Snake year) – water represents the seed – potential – and Wood, birth. The tree that is strongly rooted in the ground and sending out branches towards the sun. If you felt like you weren’t making the progress you wanted to in the last year, its because it was a time for interior development and underground stirrings. Now is the time for action and to see some of the results of what was planted.

This year is a good time to develop both inner strength and flexibility. Wood, as a quality, needs to develop both strength and flexibility in order to thrive. Wood with too much water rots, whereas Wood that is too brittle breaks.

How much sustainable growth is possible depends on how deeply you were able to cultivate faith and stillness in the water time – yin and yang are always inter-generative and interdependent! This is a tough one for us who were raised with western ideals. I am certainly not without a tendency to overwork and overthink, but I have learned to love the peacefulness that comes with yin quietude, prayer and reflection. It didn’t come easily, but only after intense frustration with the spinnings of the mind I finally did commit to a practice.

But back to the Yang Wood Horse – you’ll likely have lots of opportunities (if that is what you desire) and you’ll have to maintain clarity and a clear plan to carry them out. Ask yourself what your goals are for this month, this year, and next year, and make a plan to move forward. It will be much easier to do this in the Year of the Yang Wood Horse so take advantage of it.

The Horse symbolizes freedom – freedom of movement and peace of mind. The horse also relates to the p’o in Chinese Medicine. The p’o is our bodily human instincts. This year is an excellent time to pay attention to your body’s physical signs and understand your symptoms as wisdom teachers. If you notice shallow breathing, for example, you may want to shift that and see what areas of your body relaxes. Actively relaxing your shoulders, for example, may allow for deeper breathing. And then you may notice you feel more consistently energized throughout the day. And then you may feel greater love for yourself and others.

I also mentioned benevolence in relationship to the Wood year. Benevolence must be cultivated towards one’s self as well as towards other. Wood type people are wonderful in that they dream big, but they also have a default personality of being headstrong, pushy, and determined. In order to succeed they have to learn to be flexible and want growth for everyone, and not only see their own needs and vision. This year is about a deeper freedom, and growth for the sake of the whole.

Have a wonderful New Year!
Wishing you greater inner freedom, faith, and forward movement.

MaryFatimah Weening, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
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About MaryFatimah Weening, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
MaryFatimah has practiced acupuncture for over 10 years, and is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, and nationally board-certified by the NCCAOM. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, and a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health.