Seasonal Adjustment ~ The Wood Element

Posted by Emma Leafe on

 The Wood Element

This is written as we move closer to the Spring Equinox on March 20th- in the Northern hemisphere where I am. We have entered the Wood Element phase of Oriental Medicine’s 5-element cycle. Wood signifies new life, growth and development. Heavenly energy, transformed into earthly form

Notice how the tree is a mirror image of itself. Having equal parts above and below ground. It’s roots spread deep and wide into the earth, absorbing the grounding power in the deepest depths  - unafraid of this underworld darkness, instead harnessing the stabilising energy for the trunk and branches above ground, that extend up and draw in energy from the heavens

In this 5-element art, I am learning with each turn of the wheel. The book 'wood becomes water' by Gail Reichstein, has long been a bible for digesting concepts of Chinese medicine for everyday life. I recommend it if you are interested in delving deeper 


Trees are the link between sky and ground, the upper world and lower world. The tree of life an ancient world wide symbol of knowledge and wisdom

Trees capture the energy stored in sunlight and transform this energy into matter - a process called photo synthesis. It seems so magical to think of such a concept, yet here it happens through nature in front of our eyes



The climate is also associated with this Wood phase. Wind being the expression of woods energy here. Observing wind, we can see the tension between firmness and flexibility. The power of movement and direction, as wind heralds change - which is the cosmic equivalent of flexibility

The winds of change are unpredictable, this unknowable force requires us to alter our vision. For wind can be harnessed to power the sails of a windmill, or sailing boat to direct our vision. Yet it can equally wreak havoc in the form of hurricanes which unleashed cause chaotic destruction

In Chinese medicine wind also carries colds and microbes, penetrating the skin, back of the head and neck. Affecting those with weak defences. Wind also relates to emotional states in both environmental and physical health. Wearing a simple scarf around the neck at all times, is a surprisingly powerful  natural defence in transitional seasons 

Wind is said to be weak if we abandon our plans too easily. Yet if we cling on too tightly, we lack flexibility, showing the wood element is overly ridged

Woods emotion flares when there is no channel to direct this powerful force. It sends us raging akin to a directionless wind. We loose our power and can’t put our plans into action. Confronted by change we don’t want to make, we can hold onto anger, rather than giving in, to the flow of life

With these ancient observations in mind, we have created our  Wood Element Set


Here is description of how each natural incense fragrance relates to the Wood Element:

Point Lobos (pure cypress) Natural Incense Sticks 

The freshness of a forest, an abundant quality in the scent of cypress trees. Breathe in this naturally purifying scent, which inspires new life. The forest: there is something very ancient about this smell. It unlocks doors, ancestral pathways through eternity. Carrying the seed of awakening, through veins of lifetimes upon lifetimes, to this very moment of aliveness. Your life

Ostara (sandalwood, magnolia) Natural Incense Sticks 

Goddess of Spring, heralding in change with her power of transforming heavenly energy into the fragrant beauty of blossom, bud and shoot. In this beautiful yin incense is Magnolia, the dried and ground petals and bark, she exudes elegance. Soft floral incense juxtaposed with grounding sandalwood. Make your offering to Spring with this naturally fragrant masterpiece, to once again welcome the light as we unfurl after Winter

Onsen (hiba, hinoki, yuzu) Pure infusion of sacred aromatic oils  

Forest bathing, onsen bathing. Anoint yourself after bath time with this unusual woodsy naturally scented oil. In Japan bathtubs are made from hiba or hinoki wood, as well as incense and a whole host of atmosphere mists - hiba and hinoki are synonymous with natural hot springs. Known for antibacterial properties, once again trees come to our aid with their medicine artisan distilled from these fragrant woods. You may detect a little Japanese citrus note, high high on the breeze, just enough to entice your longing into its juicy satiation

Black Porcelain, Tiger Eye Incense Dish

The coolness of porcelain, glazed with an unpredictable tiger eye glaze. This unique, Japanese inspired incense bowl catches the ash of your natural incense sticks. Holding the precious marker of time spent in meditation, captured in its bowl. Until you can offer this sacred ash, back to Nature in gratitude

Calligraphy - Wood Element Card - Hand Drawn by Erica Zen 

Place this card on your seasonal alter to remind you of alignment practices this season 

wood element set

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