The leaf represents power. Growing up and reaching out into the world. This part of the plant (along with phylloids which are stems acting as leaves) photosynthesise. This is a function that evolved some 3500 million years ago. Enter the algae, turning sun rays into plant Qi. They were so busy photosynthesising that 90% of life forms on Earth died to oxygen toxicity.
The leaf overlays with the element of the Wood, ruling the liver, gallbladder and our ability to make big & small decisions respectively. The Wood energy wants to reach out, it is yin (form) expanding into yang (formless). It is a pulse finding rhythm turning into a song that others can hear. It takes up space. The general. It rules over Spring time and correlates with the colour green.
The Wood reaches up and out, yang rising to the heavens from where it came. It comes up with lots of ideas on the way up and this can feel hot & stimulating. Sometimes there isn’t enough water to grow all the thought saplings into trees and depletion & dryness appear as a ‘burning the candle at both ends’ presentation. When too many ideas form at once, this can be followed by a cemetery of unresourced creations, like a swampy land of overgrowth.
Functional Wood must be like hollow bamboo rather than rigid tree trunks that snap in the wind, and that’s because life will have its way with you. Be flexible and clear as you reach towards your goal - the Light. Ensure you are serving a communal purpose - the Forest. A leaf registers the direction of light changing and moves towards its goal with focus.
In the I-Ching, the Wind is the movement of air and comparable to the Wood. It is called the Gentle as it is a great invisible power from above (the mind) that impacts the earth below in a gentle progressive movement.
There is great power here in the land of leaf and Wood. The leadership of a leaf takes risks as it moves into unchartered space, seeking that which it desires to serve the self at large. Remember that growth for the sake of growth, is the mentality of a cancer cell. So align the yearning of the Wood’s expansion to the earth beat.
Herbal medicine is the original medicine :)