Unbalanced Elements: Are Woods the Most Dangerous?

Dear Vicki: I understand that every element has a balanced and unbalanced way of acting. But I believe unbalanced Woods are more dangerous than the other elements. They are the “doers” of the world and can have a huge impact on the state of Peace or not Peace in any given century. This means that the consequences of their unbalanced choices regarding “means” and “ends” and what true success is can be bitter and long lasting. Because of this, I believe Woods should be more self-aware than the other elements because of their impact on the world and people around them. Am I wrong in feeling that the other elements are less harmful to themselves and the world if unaware of their imbalance? I admit that my perspective could be affected by my personal experience with unbalanced, unaware Woods, but I also observe too much of it in the world today. I would love your take on this. Thank you! Signed: Experienced with Woods

Dear Experienced: These are excellent observations on your part. Of course we all want to be, and be with, people who are balanced. And that’s exactly what the brilliant Five Elements model promotes. The core of the model is the ability to maintain balance for the whole based on constant interaction among the Five Elements. If the model is allowed to “do its thing,” there would never be long-term imbalance in Wood, or in Water, Fire, Earth, or Metal. If Wood moves to a deficient state, more energy will flow to it from Water. And if Wood moves to an excess place, Metal energy will prune the Wood back to balance. That’s the way it’s supposed to work in any whole, be it person, organization, or culture.

In a perfect world, we would all be familiar with this model and understand which specific “negative” behaviors indicate we are unbalanced. For Woods, cruelty in the name of success would indicate too much Wood energy, whereas an inability to get anything done would indicate too little. In either case, the path to balance would come from embracing more Metal or Water, depending on the nature of the imbalance. And in this perfect world, when we recognize these signs in ourselves (and others) we would take the appropriate action to bring ourselves (or someone else) back to balance. However, we are not living in that perfect world. Sadly, we are actually living in a time when the values of the developed world hamper the natural outworking of the Five Elements model. Let me explain.

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