Wood element – Part 1

(Series Five elements – 10)

Wood element is the only living element that is found in the nature. Others (Earth, Metal, Water and Fire) are seemingly dead or seemingly abstract. It is this element that has the most of the life force, hence it feeds Fire element, which is represented by the Heart, a place where the Emperor lives, or Heart personifies. But before the fire can burn Wood must grow, and we know that big trees make big fire. 🙂

Regenerative capability of Wood

Wood element is because of its properties also a very regenerative element. Think for example of a Liver as the organ that represents Wood in the body and its capability to regenerate and re-grow. You might get an idea of what I am thinking of.

Moodiness of Wood

Wood is an amazing element that can wake you up in the middle of the night, when you should be in the deepest sleep, in the regeneration phase, within theta waves. But it wakes you up and don’t let you go back to sleep. It usually happens somewhere between 1 and 3 a.m. This situation indicates that there is some problem with both of the organs associated with Wood element, with Liver and Gallbladder. What we do then, or at least we used to do, now we are much more wiser, we went and sat and watched TV/movie on a computer or on similar device. But what would be appropriate for this situation is some breathing meditation or some relaxation like Sung breathing.

How did I help myself

When I used to have such problems, on few occasions, what helped me was breathing through Yongquan points (or Ki-1 points) on the soles of the feet. This led the fire energy out and away from my Kidneys, my Heart and eventually from Liver. This led me to sleep in no more than fifteen minutes, but usually less. I also had my attention on lower Dantien while I was breathing through Yongquans. Holding attention on a lower Dantien is done very simply – you just put your hands on your lower abdomen and breathe, by using your lower abdominal muscles. With abdominal breathing and attention on lower Dantien you also relax your Vagus nerve and this automatically balances your autonomic nervous system and relaxes you. But about this I will write on some other occasion.

Wood needs Space

Wood needs space to grow and express itself. It is the element that is intimately connected with space. It needs space and lots of it. It needs to feels its infinity and openness, but not before it has grown enough, otherwise it might get scared and stop developing. This is the one of the most courageous elements and that is why usually the animal that represents this element is a Dragon (limitless, airy, flying…) and sometimes a Tiger (sinewy, tenacious, impulsive).

Growing force of the Wood element

Remember the plant that comes from a seed, when it starts to grow. Did you happen to see pictures of plants lifting up concrete or asphalt on the streets, while they were popping up and growing from underneath… well this is the strength and the impulse of the Wood. Wood is also a grass that you will walk over and it will bent today, but tomorrow when you are back it will be back in the standing position…and by the way, it is not a European mean and angry Dragon.

This Chinese Dragon is Happy and playful, it represents Joy in its purest and innocent form. Sometimes it reminds me of our Baby Christ, but this is only my observation with all do respect.

Some characteristics of Wood Element

Wood element’s colour is green. Sound that stimulates and helps balance Wood element is SHU (Xu). Do it silently :). Sinews, tendons and fingernails are the tissues associated with the Wood. Liver opens into the eyes, that is why late watching of TV or even reading under a certain types of artificial light (newest are the most harmful) can be harmful for this element.

Two things that benefit your Wood

Very beneficial for Wood is a walk in the real forest, not some city park. A tonic that I found really beneficial for Liver is Dandelion – it is easy to find, prepare and is overall eatable with the side effects of becoming healthier than ever. You can use a whole plant: leaves for eating and when they are too hard you can steam or stew them and eat them with rice or potatoes; roots are dried and eaten as raw powder or cooked into a tea; flowers can be soaked into a honey and made into syrup. Stems of flowers have this white milk that can be put on warts and they dry up… And a Dandelion clock you can blow and make a wish :). 

Emotionality of Wood element

I know I said the Dragon was happy, but the truth is that when we are angry (we become those bad angry dragons, with fire coming out of our mouths) we hurt not only those around us but also ourselves on the inside. We hurt our livers and with strong outbursts also our hearts. It was measured that, all of this anger that we hold or express can be seen as scars on the organs, as micro scars that we once made by our own doing. So, now we know it’s nobody’s fault, but our own. But there is a cure for this positive emotion of Patience and some inner work on our inner mind clearance. With this process is beneficial to do Qigong and Meditation, but also some reading of philosophical texts such as Dao De Jing might help.

Other negative emotions are rage and aggressiveness. And other positive emotions are kindness, fantasy, determination and openness.

Climate that harms Wood is Wind. Time of the year when the element is strongest is Spring. It is the time when everything bursts of life and starts to bloom and grow. The vocal expression of this element is Shouting. Taste is sour, which usually helps regenerate and feed this element. In a taoist practice with Wood element is associated Hun or ethereal soul. Flexibility.

To be continued…

May the Qi be with you!


Photo: Pixabay

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  1. This was a great article! … and very timely. My partner and I were just discussing the Liver/Wood element based on a dream we had last night, and walking in the woods and dandelion root powder!. Best to you and S. 🙂

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