Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yin and Yang of the Seasons

As we end the Yin (Feminine) seasons of fall and winter, and move into the Yang (Masculine) seasons of spring and summer, it seems like a good time to reflect on the traits and symbols associated with Yin and Yang, Feminine and Masculine. Here are some of them:

Yin - Feminine            Yang - Masculine
Rest                               Work
Cold                              Hot
Wet                                Dry
Dark                              Light
Spontaneous                 Disciplined
Passive                           Aggressive
Receiving                      Giving
Restoring                       Depleting
Night                             Day
Lunar                             Solar
Inner life                        Outer life
Intuition                         Analysis
Curved                           Linear
Water                             Stone
Cooperative                   Competitive
Body                               Mind
Beautiful                         Functional
Sperm                             Egg (yes, really!)
Slow food                       Fast food
Creativity                        Productivity
Natural world                 Built world (civilization)
Nurturing                        Protective

I am endlessly fascinated by the way each of us, regardless of gender, embodies these traits, at different times and in different circumstances. This movement from yin to yang and back again is where life happens. It is irresistible, insistent, and never still. It is in the motion of the tides and the cycles of the seasons. It is in the peaks and valleys of a sine wave. It is in the ones and zeroes that make up the alphabet of the machine language that runs our digital devices. It is in the exuberant embrace of new experience at the beginning of the day and in the peaceful slumber at the end of it. It is the "hum" in human. And in everything else.

So here we are - at that time of the year when we move from the quiet, gestational Feminine into the active, outwardly focused Masculine. It is a good time to pause, take a deep breath, and look forward. As we prepare to turn our clocks ahead tonight, and "spring forward" into yang-time, I leave you with this unusual, and delightful, perspective on the change of seasons from Vivian Swift: 
"There is a long standing rumor that spring is the time of renewal, but that's only if you ignore the depressing clutter and din of the season. All that flowering and budding and birthing - the messy youthfulness of Spring actually verges on SQUALOR. Spring is too busy, too full of itself, too much like a 20-year-old to be the best time for reflection, re-grouping, and starting fresh. For that, you need December."