In Chinese medicine theory all things in nature are connected to certain elements, and those 5 elements are connected to each other through various cycles.
Each element corresponds to an organ system, foods, herbs, colors, seasons, emotions, parts of life and pretty much anything that exists in the world. This is called a macro system, meaning that all elements are part of a system that assigns and controls all things. Studying those connections made it possible for the oldest practice of medicine in the world to exist for thousands of years. Once mastered, they can be used in every day life, from the simplest ideas on how to combine ingredients for lunch, to the more complicated ones including our health or our plan on how to proceed in any situation.
The Wood or Tree Element
Tree is considered the first element in the system of five. It is connected to youth, early morning and spring. The tree spreads above and below the earth, it takes up space, it yields fruit and is flexible and resilient. In the body it is connected to liver and gallbladder and to tendons and eyes.
When our blood is not in a good condition or emotions are stirred that block our tree energy, we lose a sense of purpose and direction in life.
Since the tree is connected with our eyes, the saying "Eyes are a mirror of the soul," starts to make a lot of sense. If there is disturbance in our emotions, and especially if we're dealing with anger or suppressed anger, this will show in our eyes. Psychopathic tendencies are very well mirrored in one's glance.
Any blockage of this energy or lack of the energy can cause several symptoms. The symptoms connected to the tree can include: painful and irregular periods, migraines (side pain), moving pain or skin rashes or eczema, eye problems, nerve tension, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, allergies, anger outbursts, tremors, acne, breast cysts or tumors, seizures, lack of coordination etc.
Additionally we can struggle with anger, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, rigidity, suppressed emotions, rage and violence. Depending on the state of this element, the symptoms can be mild or very extreme.
In order to treat our tree element we want a balanced diet and a lot of movement, independence, patience, self exploration and expansion. We want to take up space and speak up.
So what are the aspects of the tree element?
organ: liver & gallbladder
daytime: early morning
smell: sour, rancid
time: awakening, new beginnings, birth
time of the day: 11pm-3am (gallbladder and liver times)
essential oils that help wood element: bergamot, bitter orange, chamomile, grapefruit, lavender, neroli, peppermint
Foods and spices that help the tree element are: all leafy greens, nettle, parsley, sorrel, watercress, sour apples, grapefruit, kiwi, lemon and lime, pickles, pomegranate, strawberries, apple cider vinegar, dandelion, radish, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, alfalfa, barley, wheat, sprouts, sour milk and yogurt, majoram, dill, caraway, chicken, sour cherries etc.
Our Spirit element is a Wandering Soul
According to Chinese scholars, liver contains our ethereal soul (Hun), while the lungs are housing our corporeal or physical soul. The Hun is the soul that leaves the body in order to join the spirits of nature. It is also called a wandering soul and it is the specific part of our being that is responsible for our dreams. This soul is the person dreaming our dreams and also the same part of us that wanders the planes of astral worlds.
It is said that Hun lives thousands of lives, while we imagine, dream or explore the astral.
While making sure that our tree element is healthy and flows naturally, we are making sure that our manifestations will come true. We are able to connect to the spirits and deities. Our ethereal voice is clear and resonant.
When we place an incense stick or a feather or a branch of basil or sage on our altar, it shouldn't be there just to represent that element. We can actively connect to it in order to experience richer visions, as tree gives us a wider insight into the other worlds.
How to use tree element or spirit element in witchcraft?
When making offerings, we can choose the grains from which we bake the bread according to what we seek or which entity we're evoking. We should also choose which spices to add or which fruits and treats to pick for the same reason. When casting a spell or creating a witches bottle or jar, we can play with the ingredients to pinpoint our desires and make them work.
Similar results can be obtained by planning the time for certain spells. We can dedicate times of day or whole seasons to do certain works (like shadow work or devotional creations) so they match the emotions we're dealing with and outcome we want to achieve.
Together with the other four elements, we can use this knowledge to take our place in nature. Learning and using the elementals can improve our practice, no matter which path or tradition we belong to.
And how is your tree doing? Is it dancing with the wind and enjoying the sun, unencumbered and free?
If not, what are your ideas about the cleansing and balancing your own tree?
Next time, we will attempt an elemental astral journey together in order to fully experience and take in the tree element. You can see a little intro to it here.