Wu Xing and the five phases describe the interrelationships of the cosmic cycles as well as the interrelationship of the organ systems in the human body. Wu Xing, or the five-phase system, describes seasonal cycles of interaction between Yin and Yang, the dualistic components of Universal Qi. Originally, the term Yin referred to the shady side of the hill, and Yang to the sunlit portion—so it’s clear to see that Yin and Yang were understood pragmatically, in terms of observation. We can say the same about the developments of astronomy—born of observation, tracking, and measurement.
Chinese astrology the Wooden Horse
In both astrological traditions, Western and Chinese astrology, there’s attention to how the movements “in the celestial sphere” affect our daily lives. Farmers and avid growers of the plant and vegetable kingdom have often utilized the knowledge of the cycles of the moon and the seasons (of the Sun) in order to determine the best and most productive time to plant. It may be obvious to mention that both traditions come from astronomy originally, but it was the Western world that officially divided from astrology during the 17th century, during the “Age of Reason.” (Perhaps, I should mention here that one of my favorite idioms is “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.”)
Nevertheless, there are obvious differences in the Eastern and Western traditions of astrology. In fact, each can be understood best in their own context, as they evolved in different geographic regions. That said, there IS a correspondence between the Chinese 12-animal astrological system, and the approximate movements of Jupiter through the Western Zodiacal signs. Jupiter changes approximately one Western zodiacal sign per year. It should be noted that though this relationship is not exact—Jupiter’s movements and the Chinese zodiacal movements—it certainly is open to further inquiry.
The phase of Wood
Wood/Spring: a period of growth, which generates abundant wood and vitality. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the generative interaction of wood is that it feeds fire. This relates to the liver and the gall bladder, areas were energy in the form of anger can stagnate or go rancid. Wood supporting Fire has capacity to generate in the tongue and blood vessels (we can see how this may correspond to outbursts of anger). Nevertheless, the interest for the fire element is Joy—and we can learn from laughing and alleviating in this way.
I particularly enjoy reflecting on the poem below, and respectfully thank the author, Beth Johnston, for all the following information:
The horse is the seventh sign of the lunar calendar.
Cheerful, popular and quick-witted, although can be hot-tempered and headstrong at times
I am the Kaleidoscope of the mind. I impart light, color and perpetual motion. I think, I see, I am moved by electric fluidity. Constant only in my inconstancy, I am unshackled by mundane holds, unchecked by sturdy, binding goals. I run unimpeded through virgin paths. My spirit unconquered, my soul forever free.
I wanted to share this video with you because the music is really invigorating, just like the horse 🙂