Keywords; individualistic, growing, changing, competitive, challenging, inspirational, decisive, confident, proud, creative, explorative, experimental, crafty, likes pressure, skillful, active
Wood is an ever-changing process. From the moment a green shoot grows from the surface of the ground, to the time it is a towering tree above the land, wood builds one phase on top of the other, in an effort to become something new. Every day a new leaf sprouts out, every day its shape shifts ever so slightly, and every day it grows a little bit taller, stronger, and more capable.
As the birth phase of the lifecycle process, wood plays an important role in bringing about a fresh sense of newness, and has an interesting way of keeping things interesting with new ideas, angles, and possibilities. With almost child-like curiosity, it loves novelty, favors exploration, and marvels at the undiscovered.
Wood tends to greatly value being autonomous, free, and independent of systems, authority, and common expectation. It prefers to be wanted rather than needed, and for its efforts to be discretionary rather than duty. It thrives best in a environment that celebrates the uniqueness of individuality. Our competitive nature comes from this element, as we naturally are curious about how far we can stretch our abilities, actualize our potential, and change the world for ourselves and others.
While stress and pressure are normally avoided, our wood element seeks out those character building opportunities. Challenges, obstacles, and puzzles are the growing pains that wood thrives on to achieve its worthy, purposeful, and meaningful cause. This element activates decision energy from a custom recipe of emotional energy, in such a way that the two are almost inseparable. It makes decisions based on what it feels is right. Excited by the benefit of tools, instruments, and mediums to create their path, wood sees life for the piece of artwork that it truly is. It reminds us that we are the narrators of our own story, and stories are most interesting when there is exploration, stakes, odds, a twist, and an achievement for our protagonist.
Excessive wood tends to get lost in the excitement of its own thoughts. This tunnel vision results in episodes of reduced awareness, understanding, or low regard for the follow-on impacts of their decisions to themselves and others. Thirst for activity, keeping busy, and succeeding, coupled with their hunger for achieving goals, developing solutions, and maintaining novelty, can often leave them under-resourced, exhausted, and unbalanced. This expenditure of energy, aimless effort, and reduced utility can make wood feel like the meaningless they are trying to escape is catching up to them. Wood is sensitive to underperformance and will exhibit pretentious behavior when it feels an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.
Deficient wood becomes flattened and depressed when purpose, meaning, and significance are absent in life. There is nothing more disturbing, threatening, or boring than monotony, mediocrity, and mainstream approach. Signs of deficient wood are lost sense of direction, doubting of truth, and existential speculation that results in almost total exhaustion. Bored with the mundane, uniform, and fundamental functions of life, a deficient wood feels its roots and branches are compressed , (which can lead to a sense of panic) when there isn't enough room to expand and breathe.
Balance of Water and Metal
The Wood element does not operate in isolation. Its health rests in the balance of relationship that exists between other elements. It needs a healthy dosage of the truth and information found in water, to formulate a purpose, validate a meaning, and generate enough conviction to call itself to action. Wood also needs a healthy dosage of the metal process (planning, processes, and correct tools) to protect itself from becoming distracted, lost, or lazy. It stokes the novelty, change, and excitement energy in fire, and serves as a reminder to earth that while being connected is a good thing, having borders is important. A healthy and balanced wood process keeps adding chapters to a life long story.
Nourished by Water
Water nourishes wood. At the base of all wood-bearing plants, bushes, and trees is a healthy presence of water. Water brings truth in the form of science, research, and information, and wood transforms that scientific information into artistic energy, as it pushes, grows, and expands itself toward new developments.
Even though wood functions on truth and information, too water much can waterlog, drown, and spoil the excitement of a meaningful purpose. Vice versa, the absence of water nourishment can lead wood into a pit of despair, seeking a relevant theme .
Restrained by Metal
Metal prunes wood. Metal is formed and shaped into sharp, rigid, and precision-level tools to prune wood-bearing plants, bushes, and trees. The structure, framework, and alignment of metal, restrains wood from expending excessive energy without direction, production, or refined process. It prevents wood overgrowth, by keeping landscapes nice and trimmed.
Too much pruning however, will result in the chopping down of a tree all together, leaving only a lifeless stump. Likewise, the absence of metal will leave a forest dark, tangled, knotted and overgrown, resulting in lost appeal.
Wood nourishes fire. This process is the healthy reminder to fire, of how exciting it is to be alive, how important it is to find meaning, and how rewarding it is to birth something new. Fire consumes this wood energy with fervor, and is set ablaze in a mesmerizing display of charming, hypnotic, and attractive energy.
Too much wood can generate a fire that is out of control, burning up everything it comes in contact with. This exhaustive level of excitement is perpetual. The absence of wood's individualism, change, and newness starves fire of the energy it needs to fill others.
Trees cover and conceal earth. Without restraint, earth would share all of it's resources without balanced replenishment to sustain itself. Wood shades areas of earth as exclusive, undiscovered, and reserved as it protects a selective portion of earth's resources. It is a friendly reminder that we all need healthy boundaries and respect for one another as individuals on our own journey.
Over-restraint of wood disrupts the connected nature of earth into an almost anarchist state. If the community framework is built around not having any framework at all, then chaos ensues. However, the under-restraint of wood encourages autocratic overreach by earth who is the author of the community's constitution.