Symbol of the Tao
Health Through the Seasons
by Joseph Odom

When we carefully examine the wheel of the Tai Qi symbol, many things including the seasons of the year are to be found. The darkest time of the year is represented in the most yin place on the symbol. This is the place on the Tai Qi wheel where the maximum black exists. Looking closely at this place, we see a small dot of white. This represents the yang within the yin. In Oriental Medicine there is a saying: "When anything becomes extreme it turns into its opposite."

December to January is this extreme yin time in the northern hemisphere. This is the time of the year when we have access to the deepest places inside ourselves. Now we can identify and begin to face those issues which are affecting us at the deepest level. January specifically is the time when yin starts to become yang. This is the time when we plant the seeds of next summer's harvest. Just what this "harvest" is for us personally, depends on what we choose to face now.

The traditional associations made by Oriental Medicine with winter include such things as the element water, the direction north, the color black, the emotions of fear and fright, and the kidney, which in Oriental Medicine is seen as the deepest center of our power.

After the hectic holidays and before the spring is our time for ourselves, the time for deepest self-examination and reflection. What we examine and face in this dark time is what we give power to. When spring and summer comes it is these things that we can heal and thereby heal ourselves deeply.

Enjoy the reflective dark time and keep in mind it contains the seed of light.

Dr. Joseph Odom, O.M.D., L.Ac., Dip. NCCA has been practicing acupuncture and herbal medicine since 1986.
He can be reached at (415) 258-9551.