The Wood Element is associated with the season of Spring. Spring lends itself to the bursting forth of new life. The force comes from the survival of the Winter which calls upon us to go down to one’s essence. We can liken wood to the blooms of Spring. With too much force, comes hostility. With too little, the bud fails to open. Each Spring is a new birth or rebirth. Wood brings the sense of flexibility, like the trunk of a tree - a healthy tree is strong and upright, but bends to accommodate the winds without breaking. Thus, Wood is connected to our ligaments and tendons.
Wood is associated with the color green, as everything "greens up” in Spring. It is associated with the sound of shouting, likened in nature to the awakening, exuberant sounds as Spring pushes in. The emotion of Wood is anger; vigorous, noisy and forceful. Repressed anger leads to frustration which is also an emotion of the Wood Element. The spiritual emotion of the Wood Element is the promise of fruition. JR describes the Wood Element to be associated with activity - referring to movement which has purpose, especially the upward and forward movement of new and vital growth which goes beyond existing boundaries.
The yin organ associated with the Wood Element is the Liver, which serves as the planner. The yang organ associated with the Wood Element is the architect of the plan, or the Official of Decision and Judgement. The Liver plans and the Gall Bladder carries out those plans. The Chinese believed that bile was the purest substance, which of course is stored by the Gall Bladder. One must be pure to make good decisions. The smell is rancid, as when the Liver and Gall Bladder aren’t working properly, bile becomes impure as oils do no digest correctly.
These to officials support having a good vision when in balance, physically, mentally and spiritually. The eyes are controlled by Wood. The Spirit Eye serves our hopes and dreams, seeing the potential before carrying out. The eyes are a special window into our being as the eyes are the only living tissue we can see on another human.
Wood also governs the reproductive organs and the menstruation cycle, hence “hope for the future”. The Liver encourages the smooth flow of Qi. When Qi is not smooth, blood flow is not smooth as Qi follows blood and the Liver houses the blood. This can present as irregular, inconsistent menstruation and difficulty with conception. The nails show the state of the Liver. The climate associated with the Wood Element is wind - powerful, renewing, and cleansing. The direction of the Wood Element is East, where the sun rises, signifying a new beginning in each day.
Signs of the Wood Element being out of balance include: self-judgment, things having to be just right, can’t see where one’s going, poor decision making, sore or dry or painful eyes, energy not rising from the Liver to the eyes, headaches - too much Liver fire rising, darkness and despair, anger - stemming from not being able to assert oneself, excess or devoid of anger, great doers - too prolific and diffuse, pushing others out of the way, growing out of control in excess like an invasive species and no growth - stagnation and restriction, like a rooted potted plant. While these traits are not diagnostic, they may be present in someone with a Wood imbalance. Diagnostics are always based on the color, sound, odor and emotion.