The Embodied Elements: Indulging Our Chlorophyll Reveries [Episode 22]

It’s been an entire turn of the seasonal wheel since the podcast began and I am excited to spiral back to the Embodied Elements Series with you. By embodied elements I am wondering, how is the season and its corresponding change in landscape arising within your inner landscape? What energies are rousing in the land where you live and how are they emerging through your heart and psyche?

Right now we are smack dab in Liver energy/ Wood element/ spring season and our clever body knowing doesn’t need to be an expert in theoretical ideas about the Five Elements because it already knows spring. We know spring's musk of hope, its innovative shades of green, the optimistic potential it brings in every blooming flower. And we feel this in our flesh: a desire to move, to shake off the accumulated heaviness of winter, and to let a vulnerable hope penetrate the spaces between our ribs.

These explorations blend the old knowings of the Five Elements (specifically the Wood element), observations of local vegetative expressions of spring, and honoring the mysteries of our fleshy wilds.

Some of the themes we contemplate are:

  • the bright awakening of our senses. Suddenly our noses and ears work again after the endless low tones of winter.
  • the essential push-pull nature of spring which shows up in the weather but also in the tension between hope and hopelessness, or knowing when to rest and when to risk ourselves.
  • the exuberance of spring as it tries to convince us of a requisite industriousness, but when we move like a sprout, entering the archaic wholeness of life, growth occurs with less efforting, less squeeze, more shiver.
  • the simultaneously longing for the growth, freedom, clear vision, and healthy initiation of spring while also feeling the pressure and fatigue of needing to accomplish another personal re-birth.
  • how our bodies already know bark, sprout, bud, chlorophyll longings and wise rootlings. Bark seems so hard, so permanent, but it is growing, malleable, porous, kind of like our own bones. Both our bones and bark hold scars and memories of a life lived. 

None of these explorations are done in a vacuum by us as single individuals but instead we are enmeshed within a wider community of support. So instead of trying to go it alone, we reach out for help, initiating conversation with the wisest teachers of the Wood element: the Tree families where we live.

My hope is that these inquiries into our inner and outer terrains allow us to feel increasingly woven into the verdant fabric of the living world. 


Tree Books:

Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Conversations with Trees by Stephanie Kaza

The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell

The Songs of Trees by David George Haskell

Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard


Five Element Resources:

In Our Element by Lindsay Fauntleroy

Five Spirits by Lorie Eve Dechar


Liver Element Resources:

Shaking Qi gong

Ho’oponopono (for release and forgiveness)

All kinds of breathing exercises


Wood Spirit Question: How do we grow through our lives and into our soul’s full expression?


"Our bodies are pieces of wild earth that never leave us." Robert Macfarlane