Dear Vicki: I read your recent post about how our secondary elements affect who we are and found it very interesting. It made me wonder if some primary elements work better with their secondaries than others. For example, I’m a primary Wood and don’t think I’m “softened” much by any secondary. I’m pretty much a Wood’s Wood. Do we even need a secondary? If it helps, I work as a marketing manager for a cyber security firm. Signed: Pure Wood
Dear Pure Wood: You are not alone in wondering about the impact of your secondary element. Quite a few people wrote in requesting information about how their specific primary element might be affected by each of the possible secondaries.
First, let’s be clear that a specific secondary element will impact us differently depending on our primary element. For example, Water as a secondary will always bring some degree of creativity and a “go with the flow” energy to an individual. But what that looks like will depend pretty strongly on which primary element Water is “flavoring.”
In your case, Wood’s tendency for individualization will definitely affect the relationship between your primary and secondary elements. It’s not surprising that, as a Wood, you don’t think your secondary matters. Woods are decisive, accomplished individuals who make things happen, fight for a cause, and enjoy leading others forward. Left to their own devices, Woods usually only focus on what Woods find important, which means you might not even see your secondary as part of you.
But it is part of you, I promise. It’s very unlikely that our secondary elements have no impact on our personalities. They’re part of our energetic make up and a living filter through which we interact with the world. That said, there is one possible reason that a secondary might not have a significant impact on the expression of our primary element, and that’s if it has had its own expression conditioned out of us by an aspect of life.
The inability for an element to express itself is called a “lacking” condition. We’ve discussed lacking in this blog before, but usually as it relates to the expression of a primary element. Lacking can affect our secondaries, too. For example, let’s say your secondary at birth was Earth. Your father, who was also a Wood, was worried you would grow up to be a sissy, so conditioned out of you any ability for that Earth to bring caring and compassionate to how you expressed yourself. You would be a Wood/Earth, but the Earth part would be lacking, so would not impact and “season” your primary Wood the way it was meant to. At some level this is a rather esoteric discussion because we don’t usually focus that much on secondary elements, but it was worth mentioning. And I don’t think it relates to you anyway because I believe you have an excellent secondary, one that makes it easier for you to do your job.
Your position as a marketing manager is a good fit for a primary Wood. It allows you to lead people, envision and plan programs, and deliver proven successes that will reflect back on you. However, to do this for a cyber security firm means that you must wrap your mind around the details and minutia of digital technology. Very few Woods have the patience for that. However, a Wood with a secondary Metal would be the perfect person to fill your job because Metals love detail and technology. Metals are also very structured, as are Woods, so you might not see the Metal in you as being that much different from your Wood.
But in case I’ve missed the mark here, let’s do what we did with the previous blog on secondaries and take a Wood stereotype and look at how that person might be altered if they had each of the other four elements as a secondary. Perhaps you will see an aspect of yourself in this list.
To explore the possibilities, let’s use the fun Wood stereotype of the forceful politician loudly demanding progress and change at a packed rally. Here’s how the different secondaries might refine that Wood stereotype:
- Woods with Water secondaries will be slightly less decisive and more willing to discuss options with others. Woods with Water secondaries will also be more interested in leading others forward for philosophic reasons instead of individual accomplishment. The stereotype for a Wood with a Water secondary could be: The forceful politician loudly demanding progress and change at a rally because she sees the possibility for a better world.
- Woods with Fire secondaries will be more interested in engaging in the social scene, whether they have a role to play or not. Woods with Fire secondaries will also be more charismatic and have more people around them than the average Wood. The stereotype for a Wood with a Fire secondary could be: The forceful politician loudly demanding progress and change at a packed rally because his constituents can’t get enough of him.
- Woods with Earth secondaries will make sure they have time for their family and friends. Woods with Earth secondaries will also champion causes that improve the lot of the less fortunate and downtrodden. The stereotype for a Wood with an Earth secondary could be: The forceful politician loudly demanding progress and change at a rally because there are people in desperate need.
- Woods with Metal secondaries will base their programs on the lessons from history. Woods with Metal secondaries will also have specific, highly detailed plans for all they do. The stereotype for a Wood with a Metal secondary could be: The forceful politician loudly demanding progress and change at a rally because she has a detailed report showing the wisdom of her proposed changes.
I hope this helps illustrate the point that our secondaries add a richness and depth to our being and make a very important contribution to who we are. Even wonderfully strong Woods need their secondaries. Blessings to you!