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Five Element Personality Types: Wood


arrows with the five elements against a white background.
Are you water, wood, fire, earth, or metal?

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re all part of the energy that makes up the cosmos. At a basic level, I think all of us have some understanding of this, or else blog posts like my last one, where I discuss the energy of this wood dragon year, wouldn’t be so popular. Lots of you already know this about me, but for those of you who don’t, I. Love. Five. Element. Theory. It provides a common-sense framework to explain the universe, energy of the seasons, how to diagnose and treat, how to select the right Qigong patterns to practice according to your unique needs, and if you’re secretly nosy like me, how to size up different personality types to better understand them.

 

Which brings me to the deep dive that we’ll be taking over the next several blog posts about how the Five Elements manifest themselves in our personalities and physical characteristics. This happens so much that we can typify people according to the elements. Fire type, water type, etc. While most people will exhibit characteristics of two or three elements, there is always a dominant one which is the main element of a person. When we know what that is, we get a better understanding of people’s behavior, strengths and weakness, what career areas they will excel in, and how to support any constitutional weaknesses they may have by using the Five Elements. So, let’s get rolling!

 

The Wood Type

 

We’ll begin with the wood type as we are in early spring and water energy is flowing into wood energy. Have a look at my previous post on the wood element to help you better understand its basics. According to the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which is the first ever text written on Chinese medicine over 2000 years ago, people who are of the wood type tend to be tall and sinewy, with a straight back, broad shoulders, and a long face. This is very representative of wood energy, growing up and out freely like the trunks and branches of a tree. Take a look at the photo below and see if you recognize yourself or someone you know in it!



A Wood body type, taken from Giovanni Maciocia's 'Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine', 2nd edition

 

The Wood Daymaster

 

Here’s where the fun really begins. The term daymaster comes from classical Bazi, which is a branch of Chinese metaphysics that uses, among other things, the five elements in conjunction with our date and time of birth to create a chart that shows all of the energy that is us throughout our lives. Our daymaster is essentially our self element. It shows us the biggest elemental influence in our lives and it’s different for everybody. Take a moment to head over to Chinese Metasoft, plug in your date and preferably time of birth to see what your daymaster is. Look for the top character in the day column. It will be Yin or Yang water, wood, fire, earth, or metal. Don’t worry, I’m not making any money off of this, and nobody will be collecting your email, you’re just getting a glimpse into what I’ve been obsessing over for the past year.

 

 

Did your results show give you Jia (甲) or Yi (乙)? If so, then you’re a wood daymaster, which means wood is your dominant element. If not, don’t worry, your turn will come.

 

Jia (甲) Yang Wood Daymaster

 

Jia wood takes a big tree, like a California Redwood or an old oak as its image. Tall, sturdy, grounded. Like the trunk of an old tree, Jia wood is solid and inflexible. This personality type at its best is loyal and trustworthy, and like a tree with deep roots, prefers to stay in one place. As growth is the nature of wood, its namesake daymasters are voracious learners and teachers. These people are kind, practical, and determined no matter what. The downside of these solid wood daymaster types is that they can be stubborn and blunt when the wood is not properly balanced.



trees in a row
Jia wood is tall, sturdy, and deeply rooted.

 

Yi (乙) Yin Wood Daymaster

 

Yin wood is more like a plant. Growth-oriented, but with flexible stems that bend in the breeze of change. Yi Yin wood daymasters are highly adaptable, born problem solvers, and generally elegant people. Like Jia wood, Yi wood people are also loyal and kind when at their best, as well as good leaders and educators, but can be manipulative, competitive, and stubborn at their worst. Much like a growing seedling might need to be staked to protect it from blowing over, when a Yi wood person is not in balance, they tend to need more external support and affirmation.



seedlings emerging from the ground
Yi wood is soft, flexible, and highly adaptable.

 

I find it interesting that many of us tend to gravitate towards professions that support our daymasters even without realizing it. Professions that are considered wood in nature within the Five Elements include education, writing, publishing, and (unsurprisingly) industries involving wood. This doesn’t mean other types of daymasters don’t excel in these fields though. By nature, as a way of seeking balance, if we are missing a lot of wood in our constitutions, we tend to seek it out. I write and teach, and yet, constitutionally I am actually very, very low in wood.

 

Wood daymaster types will do best to do things to help them avoid anger. This is applicable to all of us actually as this year is the year of the Wood Dragon, so this energy is already extra strong. The wood desire for up and out growth frequently gets stagnated, as life piles things on us, which can cause outbursts if not careful. As such, wood people will greatly benefit from relaxation, meditation, forest bathing, and foods that are green and sour, the color and flavor associated with the wood element. For Qigong, wood people benefit from patterns that really promote self manifested Qi flow, like Lifting the Sky, Carrying the Moon, and Double Dragons Emerge from the Sea.

 

Yikes, that has to be one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever written and I thank you for reading this far! Next up, we’ll talk about the Fire types. In the meantime, check out the upcoming classes and on demand classes to keep your Wood energy flowing freely!

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