The Wood ELEMENT
THE SEASON OF CHANGE!
Each of the Five Elements exist within us, and we shift through them all during the days, weeks, months, seasons and years until the end of our lifetime. But, our ‘default setting’ usually falls within one or two phases. The Element, movement or phase within the cycle that we mostly reside in, is coined our Guardian Element; our constitutional Elemental Type.
Our Guardian Element is the fullest part of our individual Five Element Cycle. It’s the Element that protects us and hinders us most. It stands on the front line willingly taking life’s most concentrated challenges. Due to its significance, our Guardian Element encompasses our most prominent strengths and weaknesses.
Below is a snippet into the Wood Element, its characteristics & associations…
SEASON : SPRING
Shoots and leaves, buds and blossom, the Wood Element encompasses the season of Spring. Forceful, powerful, hopeful & beautiful. All of us will experience the energy of Wood within us more during Spring.
LIFE CHAPTER : BIRTH
Wood is the child of the all the Elements. New borns learning & growing relentlessly. Life desperately rearing its head. The birth of ideas & change.
EMOTION : ANGER
Quite literally, the emotion of change. We so often associate anger with destruction and violence, but when channelled appropriately it is ultimately positive & essential in the growth process. Without someone getting angry about something, nothing would change, right?
SOUND : SHOUT
Or rather, an assertive, clipped nature to the voice. Direct and with meaning. When a Wood Type is out of balance, their voice can become dominating or at the other end of the scale, weak and often talked over. This imbalance can also impact the ability to speak up when needed.
In Chinese Medicine diagnosis, colour is observed around the eyes and mouth. This colour can become more intense if the Element is out of balance. For example, when hungover, and our Liver is working harder, we may notice a greener hue in these areas.
ODOUR : RANCID
It’s socially & culturally accepted (& encouraged) to invest in covering up our natural smell. From shampoo to soap, perfume to fabric conditioner its difficult to know someone’s true smell, unless we know them intimately.
A Wood Types smell is Rancid, which doesn’t sound great, does it? But in truth, its more like a ‘little sour’, pine or not so freshly mowed grass.
YIN ORGAN : LIVER
YANG ORGAN: GALL BLADDER
The Decision Maker
TIME OF DAY : 11PM – 3AM
Each Organ (and therefore Element) has a time period when they are strongest & at their most active.
There’s a thing about ideas, creativity, planning and light bulb moments happening during these hours. Or when we need to make a decision about something, we say we’ll ‘sleep on it’. In Chinese Medicine, this is put down to the Liver & Gallbladder’s optimal time period, when our thinking, creative brains are at our strongest. When a little off kilter, Wood Type’s can struggle with waking up throughout the night. When this is the case, it is hiiiiighly recommended to try to actually be asleep before 11pm.
SENSE : SIGHT
With the governing Organs being The Planner and Decision Maker, although often when the Wood Element is out of balance there are symptoms of the eyes such as blurred vision or dryness, more interestingly Wood’s can struggle with visions of the future, and an inability to see the Wood through the trees.
SENSE ORGAN : EYES
Makes sense, right?
TASTE : SOUR
Lemon & Lime
VITAL SUBSTANCE : BLOOD & QI
The Liver is super important in the role of both Blood & Qi. It controls the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body and the natural fluidity of our emotions. The Liver also stores the Blood for menstruation and our muscles so is often included in treatments to aid periods, muscles cramps and injuries.
CLIMATE : WIND
Beautifully embodying change; wind – ever moving and impacting it’s environment. Naturally it’s associated with the Wood Element.
SPIRIT : HUN
Chinese philosophy recognises five different spirits (or souls). They all reside within a substance connected to a particular Organ.
The Hun is translated roughly to the ‘Ethereal Soul’ – outside of us. The Hun lives and moves through the Liver Blood, and can become particularly unsettled with drug/alcohol use. When we have ‘out of body’ experiences, sleepwalk, extremely vivid dreams &/or a feeling of falling before sleep, the Hun spirit needs re-rooting.
Wood Element Examples:
(A perfect example of one being out of balance and another being in balance!)
Last Updated: April 2021