Doyo Blog part 2
Now, let’s talk about why in Taoism there are five seasons. The simple answer: there are Five Elements, so there are Five Seasons. As flippant as that sounds, it’s the simple truth in many ways. All things are associated with the Five Elements, and the Five Elements are associated with all things. Even (especially?) health and medicine and nature.
Suppose you are an acupuncturist or doctor of Chinese Medicine. In that case, you utilize the Five Elements in all of your practice, from diagnoses to treatment and prescriptions. The Five Elements are closely associated with nature. The seasons influence — for better or worse — specific ailments and imbalances and symptoms and behaviors. Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, especially in the Spring and Autumn. Practitioners know that changing seasons frequently bring mood changes, even depressions, associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
In some ways, it’s easier to observe the imbalances and changes that occur during Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. They each are comprised of contiguous days — about 91 days, in fact. They each have distinct climates. Climates affect mind, body, and spirit in distinct and specific ways. Mention Spring and imbalances, and you’re likely to quickly imagine allergies associated with budding plants and trees, conjunctivitis, and outdoor sports injuries. Summer brings to mind overheated and dehydration ailments, insect bites and stings, and water-sports accidents. Autumn has allergies associated with drying plants and soil and gardening and farming accidents. And Winter brings on colds, flu, chill blains, and frostbite, as well as cold weather-related accidents and conditions.
Doyo does not have 72 contiguous days nor just one climate. Doyo is part of each of the other four seasons. Part Spring, part Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Doyo is Earth Element, no matter which season it cohabitates with. And it is significantly influenced by its host season and its Element (of Wood, Fire, Metal, or Water).
Let’s break that down. Doyo is always Earth Element. This fifth season takes on the characteristics of the Earth Element: the center, heavy, earthy, solid, comforting, slow, reliable, warm, steady, stubborn, unmoving, supportive, full, constant, and connected/connecting. When we are in the Doyo season, those qualities are present in our environment, emotions, and relationships. It’s a nurturing, slow-moving, steady period.
Worry is the emotion most associated with the Earth Element, and we need to check our tendencies to over-worry. Excess worry can lead to becoming over-involved in others’ lives and over-extending ourselves to show that we are needed. It’s a time when otherwise healthy needs can turn to neediness.
Earth Element is very food-oriented. Food rules. It’s comforting and distracting. Earth Element people especially love sweets. Often, it’s more of a love-hate relationship. Doyo is a time when most people, not just Earth Element types, are drawn to food in healthy and (too often) unhealthy ways.
Check in next week to see how each of the four common Seasons and their Elements affect each of the Doyo Seasons.