As spring transitions to summer there is a qualitative change in the way nature looks and feels. The rapid, uprising, often erratic and unpredictable energy of Wood begins to level out. Nature has gone through its most rapid growth from tender sprout to fully grown plant and the speed of growth begins to slow down. Likewise the rapid acceleration in the length of the daylight hours also begins to slow. In ourselves, the sense of strongly uprising Qi may be replaced by a feeling of outward expansiveness.
The sun rises quite early now and tries to coax us out of bed earlier than in spring. The days are much longer and the increasing warmth persuades us to shed layers of clothing, to wear lighter and brighter coloured garments. The temperatures are no longer simply warm but hot. The strength of the sun is noticeably more intense, encouraging us to wear hats and sunscreen. The night comes later, especially if there is daylight saving, encouraging us to stay outdoors and enjoy the lengthening days. Evenings are warm, and there are no longer the cool nights of spring.
In this transition nature offers us an invitation to come out, to be outdoors more, to be more expansive, both physically, and emotionally. This sense of expansiveness leads naturally to a desire to spend more time with others. The start of summer marks the beginning of the barbeque season, street parties, garage sales and get togethers of all kinds. Calendars begin to fill up as invitations to social activities surge.
As the energy of Fire begins to replace that of Wood, we may notice more activity in the heart centre, prompting us to seek more human contact and to have more fun in the process.
After spending the spring months exploring the qualities of the Wood Element within you, you have been developing a healthier Wood, healing the gnarled and creaky places in yourself. A healthy Wood Element gives birth to a healthy Fire Element. The work you have done in the spring season will serve as a platform for continued exploration, growth and healing in the summer. As the season transitions to summer and the Fire phase, you will be much better equipped to move into the expansive, loving, heart oriented Element of Fire.
Moving Between Wood and Fire
The acupoint I have chosen to end this round of Wood points is Xingjian – Moving Between. This is the second point on the Liver meridian, the Fire point on that channel. It is a point that encourages the movement of Qi from Wood to Fire when the Liver Qi is excess. Excess Liver energy tends to rise rapidly and often uncontrollably up the body. At the physical level it can manifest as headaches, dizziness, painful and red eyes, nosebleed, dry throat, pain and itching in the genitals, menstrual pain and irregularity, and abdominal distension. Emotionally it shows up as anger, frustration and irritability. The rapidly rising Liver Qi can produce anger related symptoms such as a rush of blood to the head, seeing red and flying off the handle. Insomnia can result.
Moving Between treats all these conditions, quelling the uncontrolled Liver energy by persuading the pent up energy of Wood to flow smoothly to the Fire Element around the Generation cycle. (See illustration above)
Next time we will begin our exploration of the Fire Element. Throughout the summer you will learn some of the important points of the Fire meridians. Don’t forget to bring your hat!
Location of Liver 2
The point is located just (0.5 cun) above the webbing between the first and second toes. Don’t confuse this with Liver 3 which we learned earlier in the spring and which lies further up the foot in a large hollow between the metatarsals. Apply direct finger pressure for two to three minutes on both sides.
Some of the above material has been taken from John’s book “Seasons of Life – A Guide to Living with the Five Elements” to be published in 2015.