NEW YEAR – THE ESSENCE OF CHANGE
As our Gregorian year comes to its end, we collectively wish ourselves the coming of happier, healthier, better days, giving into the societal urge to spark and spread a joyful and lifeful spirit to all our loved ones, yet, although the calendar year is spent, the work and school years still go on, as if nothing had happened. One suddenly realises a certain paradox, that we should all mark the beginning of something new through rituals and festivities without acknowledging the change in our everyday life leading to an obvious question: has anything really changed?
Can anything, truly, change without preparation?
One only needs take a look around to realise that whenever a new life comes to be, nature prepares itself to welcome it. Whether it be through the slow return of heat and light before spring or the nine months of pregnancy leading up to our births, life always springs in an environment where it will thrive and bear fruit. And so does change.
Chinese tradition believes that the New Year starts in Spring, when the lifeforce of the Earth returns to our world. As such, the year commences when the first snows melt, when the first blossoms appear and the first flowers start to grow, when birds return from their southern journey – when life is ready for a another cycle to begin. However, like we read in our last newsletter, this energy starts to flow from the Winter Solstice onwards, building up to the grand release of Spring.
Change does not suddenly jolt from the depths of the Earth like a geyser. Such change is bound to be as fleeting as it will be grandiose to behold, loudly announced, it amazes all and swiftly retracts, and its surroundings are ever the same. Nature and the Elements teach us that meaningful change is a long and slow process, akin to raindrops trickling down a mountaintop before collecting into a river and running down towards the sea, irrigating and nourishing all lands on its path.
The reason why so many among us may feel disoriented around New Year is precisely because we would want a meaningful change to occur and bear fruit in the midst of winter on an unprepared soil, because we rush head-on into a new paradigm without having let go of the previous one, because we await for a change that nature is not yet ready for, and because, in the span of a week, we go from the excess of Christmas celebrations to the excess of no celebrating at all.
What, then, can we do this month to better live through the turmoil of the new year?
We can think of trees.
And we can wear Wood.
We can think of trees because they are already exchanging information beneath our feet. Though all seems still outside, life flows from one to another and in-between them, deep below where all is quiet and warm. They gather their strength so as to be ready when the tide is high and the time is ripe. And so we must also do. Winter is, by excellence, a time when we should help each other out, seek each other’s company and fight the innate desire to be alone, even more so that the current climate calls for distancing.
We need to listen to ourselves, restore our proper balance and gather our energies looking forward to next year, not the one that started on January 1st, but the one that will commence in the coming Spring. Indeed, this month is ruled by the exact same element and sign as the past year, meaning that we will keep riding the energy of 2021 till February – a way for the cosmos to tell us that we have yet another month to prepare, yet another month to sort out what we must and tend to the soil of our inner garden so that the seeds we plant next month may grow.
This is where wearing Wood can be of help.
Wood is traditionally seen as the energy of growth, change and creativity, it is the life that flows through all trees and leaves, the energy of everything new and newborn. More than any element, it is associated with creativity and stability – the wider and deeper the roots will burrow, the higher the tree will grow. Bringing more Wood energy into our lives thus means bringing more Yang and a more outward take on life, leading to a mind open to wider prospects.
Our Wood fragrance was specifically created to bring a balanced dose of Wood into your life.
The sparkling burst of Grapefruit and Bergamot reflects the uplifting energy of Wood, strengthened by a touch of Cedarwood to aid one’s focus and to gather this Heaven energy towards the Human notes where a dry Iris and beautifully green Marigold were used for their soothing yet reaffirming scent, at once controlling your Qi and reviving it to boost your creativity. One is then left with a bed of Palo Santo to open your mind and Guaiacwood, both extremely gentle and slightly lactonic, the smokiness of Guaiacwood pairing with that of a dark Patchouli while the fresher and most fleeting parts of Palo Santo link with a touch of Geranium.
Altogether, Wood appears as the friend to have at hand, a gesture to meditate with and think with when this whirlwind of a new year becomes too much to handle. More than a fragrance to ground you to the reality that is, wearing Wood is about drawing new windows of opportunity and preparing to open them when Spring will come.
Our fragrances are not only meant to be worn.
They are meant to be lived with.
Like in the Western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac attributes a set of power days each month, depending not on the signs themselves but on the elements ruling each day.
For January 2022, these power days will be:
January 12 – an ideal day to finalise a project or sign a contract.
January 13 – an ideal day to resolve any familial dispute.
January 22, 27, 29 – ideal days to build on your creativity and initiate new endeavours.