Behind the scenesEdit
Wood (or "Tree") is one of five classical elements in Chinese Wu Xing. Tree (Chinese: 木; pinyin: mù), traditionally translated as Wood, is the growing of the matter, or the matter's growing stage. Tree is the first stage of Wu Xing. Tree is yang in character. It stands for springtime, the east, the planet Jupiter, the color green, wind, and Qing Long in Four Symbols. The Wu Xing are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device for systems with 5 stages; hence the preferred translation of "tree" over "wood".
In Chinese thought, Wood attributes are considered to be strength and flexibility, as with bamboo. It is also associated with qualities of warmth, generosity, co-operation and idealism. The Wood person will be expansive, outgoing and socially conscious. The wood element is one that seeks always to grow and expand. Wood heralds the beginning of life, springtime and buds, sensuality and fecundity. Wood needs moisture to thrive.
In Chinese medicine, wood is associated with negative feelings of anger, and positive feelings of patience and altruism. Organs associated with this element are the liver (yin) and the gall bladder (yang), the eyes and the tendons.
In Chinese astrology wood is included in the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin and yang forms), which combine with the 12 earthly branches (or Chinese signs of the zodiac), to form the 60 year cycle. Yang wood years end in 4 (eg 1974), while Yin years end in 5 (eg 1975). Wood governs the Chinese zodiac signs Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon.
In the regenerative cycle of the Wu Xing, Water engenders Wood, as rain or dew makes plant life flourish; and Wood begets Fire as fire is generated by rubbing together two pieces of wood. In the conquest cycle, Wood overcomes Earth by binding it together with the roots of trees; and Metal overcomes Wood, as the metal axe can make even the largest trees fall.