Humboldt Acupuncture

Happy New Year of the Green Wood Dragon 2024!!!

We welcome the Dragon, the only celestial mythical animal of the Chinese zodiac, magnificently magical, magnanimous and mysterious! An auspicious time, this year ruled by the lucky and powerful Dragon is generally a good time for beginning projects and creative endeavors, moving home or jobs, getting married, travel, and pursuing ambitious goals.

This is a Yang Wood Dragon, arriving with the power of the fresh growth of spring, like a seed sprouting or a baby Dragon hatching from the confines of its shell! We shall analyze the energetics of the noble and dynamic Wood Dragon, but first let us look back at the preceding year of the Yin Water Rabbit, for it is the Yin Water which gives birth to the Yang Wood. As we recall, the Black Water Rabbit finds security, happiness and purpose in establishing a safe and comfortable home, a burrow, for the survival of their family. Rabbits are alert to danger, preyed upon by many animals, and the Water Rabbit can be the most fearful of Rabbits. Into this relative safety of our homes, our burrows, enters the omnipresent internet, the news cycle and fearful commentary, providing us one of the defining terms of last year: Doomscrolling. We learn of Ukrainians surviving in underground bomb shelters, like burrows, during Russian missile attacks. We are bombarded with disagreeable fear-mongering from vindictive politicians. Certainly the defining event of last year, repercussions of which shall continue: Hamas emerging from their burrow-like tunnels to surprise attack a broad swath of Israeli civilians. And Israel’s response, and subsequent repercussions, etc., etc.

Into this apparent morass of humanity’s doing now enters, or bursts, the heavenly Dragon with its vivacious energy and lofty perspective! The Wood Dragon exemplifies the power of Spring, the fresh growth, new movement, and hopeful optimism! We have adequately protected ourselves from fears that may paralyze, and now is the time for action! And our action moves on our path of enthusiasm, the path of our Heart, activity that brings us joy! According to Chinese medicine, our spirit, Shen, resides in our heart, the Emperor/Empress of organs. The nature of our spirit is light, unencumbered and free to guide us enthusiastically, wholeheartedly on our unique path. And the ancient wisdom of the Chinese medical system provides security for the spirit, as there is an entire organ system we call the Heart Protector. We were like the Black Rabbit, deep within our dark shelter, cultivating a peaceful heart while the information and disinformation comes and goes. And now, the cycle continues, and we evolve into the Green Dragon, with inspiration like a flash of lightning in the dark, bursting like a springtime bud, unconstrained by the past, and developing new perspectives and solutions to old problems. This is a time of rebirth, refreshed, of reinvention and renewal!

Dragon is associated with nature, as it is said that the breath of Dragons are the clouds that give life producing rain, lightning, mist. The sound of thunder is the enlightened speech of Dragons. Dragons are the only astrological animal that flies- even without wings, bringing a fresh perspective. In the ancient relationship of Heaven-Human-Earth, Heaven represents the heavenly bodies, the stars, planets, sun and moon, moving regularly to create seasons and cycles on Earth. With awareness of the cycles, Humans can live harmoniously, balancing Heaven and Earth. The celestial Dragon, now brings us its Heavenly perspective, enabling us to live in harmony with nature, and providing an expansive awareness of reality.

The Dragon is also associated with the Chinese Emperor, known as the Son of Heaven, who sat on the Dragon Throne. The emperor, or empress, the enlightened ruler embodying the wisdom of the sages, made decisions for all citizens, in harmony with the cycles of nature. The beneficial Wood Dragon provides us with a perspective that sees both sides of conflicts, all the prolonged suffering created by humans, and new ideas for fresh action to ease the misery. Dragon brings us enlightened speech, the compassionate sound of truth, which awakens.

The Yang Wood Dragon! We transition from the most Yin Water Rabbit, deep inward cultivation, to the most Yang Wood Dragon, powerful bright expression. The nature of the Yang Wood is the mighty force of Spring, the reawakening from the slumber of Winter, a rebirth! This is a refresh, restart, rejuvenation in harmony with the cycles and seasons. Activate!

The energy of Wood is spreading, rising toward heaven, and also spreading roots. The Wood element is associated with the Liver organ system, which according to Chinese medical theory, spreads and courses all Qi and substances in the body, ensuring physical flourishing. Take care of your Liver this year. The Liver is also in charge of tendons. Tendons connect muscle to bones, facilitating smooth and continuous movement. The Liver is in charge of planning strategy to implement the direction of the Heart Shen/Spirit. Our Spirit needs to spread through the world, and the Liver facilitates this free and easy wandering. If and when obstacles block our path, if we get stuck, there may be an inclination to become angry. Please be aware of this tendency as anger may create more problems. Stay hydrated, as well-hydrated Wood can be flexible to move creatively around obstacles. Another factor associated with Wood is Wind- the Wind will blow this year, forcefully at times. The Wood element needs to be adequately hydrated in order to bend in the breeze, with healthy roots with which to be grounded. Drink water.

This year is the Wood Dragon, though generally the Dragon is connected with the element Earth. As Wood breaks up Earth with its roots, the controlling relationship weakens the Earth element. Earth is associated with digestion, so be kind to yourself by eating foods that agree with you, and consider Chinese herbal formulas which help course the Qi and resolve damp stagnation. Earth also is associated with the thought process, and a weakened Earth can potentially contribute to mental imbalance and anxiety. In this system, thoughts are considered as food. We cannot cease our thinking, as meditation is often the observation of thoughts, they keep coming. With food, when healthy, our digestive system is said to separate the pure from the turbid, we utilize the nutrition and transform it into useful energy to accomplish our ambitions, and we get rid of the waste product. With our mental process, we take the thoughts that serve us in a positive way, as inspiration for constructive action, and we let go of the negative thoughts, anxiety, angst. Let it go.

This Wood Dragon, however, is unconcerned about a slightly weakened Earth element- this Dragon is pure Yang energy, spontaneously acting on impulse and not overthinking. (Perhaps your personal astrology in relation to the Wood Dragon gives you some consternation, and if so, may the above image of thoughts as food ease your mind.) This year will be wild and unpredictable, as the mighty Dragon comfortably puts instinct and inspiration into dynamic action. The Hour of the Dragon is 7-9AM, start of the new day, bright Yang time of new beginnings. The Month of the Dragon is April, equating with Aries, springtime of fresh starts and new growth. When calculating one’s Chinese astrology, one takes into account the Four Pillars: the hour, day, month and year of birth. It may helpful to have a little Dragon in one’s chart this year, in order to harmonize the wildly creative energy and enjoy the roller coaster. Spontaneity, music, dance, launching new ventures, travel, laughter- bring your dreams, like seeds, out of the darkness to grow in the bright clear light of Springtime.

The power of the Wood Dragon may likely get out of control this year, unrestrained Yang. Wood has a relationship with Wind. The Wind will blow with the power of the Dragon. Maybe this is the year when hurricane Category 6 is created. Also, the given the relationship of Wood and Earth, earthquakes are somewhat expected. And volcanic activity.

We study history, and we learn from patterns. In Chinese astrology, the 12 animals and 5 elements combine to generate the 60 Year Cycle. This Wood Dragon is Chinese year 4722. The previous Wood Dragon year was 1964. There was a 9.2 earthquake on March 27, 1964 in Alaska, which caused a tsunami. Also there was the Great Flood of ’64, severely affecting towns along rivers of Northern CA and Oregon. Big, powerful and unconstrained is the Dragon- expect the unexpected.

Also during Wood Dragon 1964, the US sent 5000 more advisors to Vietnam, increasing that conflict, as the peace demonstrations increased at home. We also saw the Berkeley Free Speech movement, as the Dragon freely speaks truth. In 1964, Nelson Mandela gave his speech, “I am prepared to die”, in the South African anti-apartheid struggle. And Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for leading non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in the US.

The Dragon offers fresh, unconventional and innovative solutions to old problems, of which we are profoundly in need. A lofty noble view is crucial to clearly see our global situation of climate change caused by unbridled greed and ignorance. A fresh perspective is necessary to consider novel approaches to resolving ancient conflicts, cousins attacking cousins in Ukraine, battling brutally in Gaza, threatening in Taiwan, vindictive in the USA. How will the celestial Dragon unite the disparate players on this beautiful and miraculous planet?? Maybe a divine invasion of beneficial extraterrestrial UFO’s??? How about a comet?? On April 8, 2024, during the Dragon month, there will be a total solar eclipse, and the path of totality cuts through the center of the United States. Will this cosmic event, what I consider to be evidence of Heavenly Harmony, bring about unity in the United States? We shall see. And this is an election year! Will the Supreme Court grant the unconstrained power of the Emperor to the next president?? Expect the unexpected.

And so, HAPPY NEW YEAR OF THE YANG WOOD DRAGON! Hang on and enjoy the wild ride! May you prosper joyfully! Follow your path of enthusiasm, directed by the Heart. It is a vibrant time that encourages new beginnings. Plant trees and gardens. Walk amongst the tall trees. Detach from social media to cultivate imagination and create your own art. Take a break from the news cycle to preserve your sanity and relax your mind. Practice Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, stretching muscles to be flexible. Be flexible in considering a viewpoint, as everyone may become a stubborn authority on everything. Look for Dragons in the clouds, mountains and mists. Exert considerable effort to create an exciting and harmonious world, and also get ample rest, rejuvenation, sleep and sustenance. Eat your greens. Experience acupuncture. Play music loudly. Dance spontaneously. Speak the truth. Cultivate generosity. What a remarkable time to be alive on this very special planet, evolving with the assistance the Wood Dragon, to perceive a dimension of Heavenly reality as through the Dragon’s eyes! May Peace and Harmony prevail, and may all beings be free of suffering!

Losar Tashi Delek!
Gong Ci Fa Cai!
Peace and Love,
Jeffrey Haloff LAc.
Humboldt Acupuncture