In this blog post I would like to present the Chinese characters used to depict the four seasons.
Let us begin with the Chinese character for spring, being ‘Chun’. ‘Chun’ is drawn with the sun below and ‘seedlings’ bursting forth above. Spring harnesses the dynamic warmth from the sun and allows for the release of new life. Spring highlights a shifting point between ‘absolute yin’ to the ‘rising of yang’ & with it new life & beginnings ensue.
Summer, is seen as ‘utmost yang’ with the character ‘Xia’ depicting the notion of walking at an easy pace under the fullness and abundance of the warm sun. ‘Xia’ represents maturity & ease, the bell in the curve from the dynamic growth of spring to the decline of autumn. There is something free and easy about the character ‘Xia’ reflecting the no-effort nature of summer evenings.
‘Qui’ relates to the season of autumn and it is drawn with the strokes of fire & a plant with a ripe bushel of grain at the top. It is the time of storing up the fruits of the warmer months in preparation for winter. Falling leaves and the waste remnants of plant matter are gathered and burned in autumn & it is for this reason that the character holds ‘fire’ within. ‘Qui’ reflects harvest & storage as well as marking the point at which the ‘growths’ of the soil return to nourish there ‘mother’ in preparation for the not too distant spring.
Winter relates to the character ‘Tung’ which is drawn as a ball of wool with a knot that it is tied at the end. ‘Tung’ represent both winter & ‘the end’. There is also the pictograph depicting a crystal of water as it freezes, which depicts perfectly the climatic conditions of the northern hemisphere at this time. ‘Tung’ is the ‘zenith of yin’ and within lies the seed of Yang ready to burst forth at the right point in time giving rise to spring. Winter is the season of hibernation and introspection, restfulness & peacefulness. Conserve your energies in winter, as if holding on to a warm secret.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini - Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula)