The Five Elements (Wu Xing)

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What Are The Five Elements (Wu Xing)?

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 Usually known as the Five Elements,Wu Xing is also named the Five Movements, Five Phrases or Five Steps. The five elements are jin (metal), mu (wood), shui (water), huo (fire), tu (earth).
The Five Elements
The Five Element Interaction

The five elements in daily life were regarded as the foundation of everything in the universe and natural phenomena. They have their own characters and they can generate or destroy one other.

Generating Interaction (also begetting, engendering or mothering)
Metal generates water; water nourishes wood; wood feeds fire; fire creates earth/ash; earth bears metal.
Overcoming Interaction (also destruction)
Fire melts metal; metal chops wood; wood break up earth; earth absorbs water; water quenches fire.

In ancient China, newborn babies usually got their name from the ‘eight characters of birth time’ consisting of year, month, day and hour which is represented by two characters each, one character from the Heavenly Stems and one from the Earthly Branches. The four pairs of the birth time reveal the elements in one’s life. Then the parents will give the baby a name containing the element, as compensation, which doesn’t exit in the baby’s eight characters. The tradition is still followed by some people nowadays.

Characteristics of the Five Elements

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Wood – Benevolence
The wood pronounces the fate, lowliness or nobleness, representing extractive, luxuriant, brilliant, blooming, flourishing etc.

Fire – Propriety
The fire pronounces the feature, strength or softness, representing power, influence, bravery and intense.

Metal – Righteousness
The metal pronounces the life span, longevity or abortion, foretelling any penalties, dangers, difficulties and dead end.

Water – Wisdom

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The water pronounces the talent, sage or fool, representing aptitude, brightness, agile mind and accuracy.

Earth – Fidelity/Honesty
The earth pronounces the status, rich or poor, representing the birth and growth of everything.

The Five Elements Grid

Elements

Metal

Wood

Water

Zodiac signs (yang)

Monkey

Tiger

Rat

Zodiac signs (yin)

Rooster

Rabbit

Pig

Colours

White

Green

Black

Seasons

Autumn

Spring

Winter

Hours

15-19

03-07

21/01/16

Directions

West

East

North

Organs (Yin)

Lung

Liver

Kidney

Organs (Yang)

Large Intestine

Gall Bladder

Bladder

Sensory Organs

Nose

Eyes

Ears

Diseases

Dry

Wind

Cold

Tastes

Spicy

Sour

Salty

Planets

Venus

Jupiter

Mercury

Heavenly Creatures

White Tiger

Green Dragon

Black Tortoise

Heavenly Stems

Gen Xin

Jia Yi

Ren Gui

Year Ends with

0,1

4,5

2,3

Elements

Fire

Earth

Zodiac signs (yang)

Horse

Dragon/Dog

Zodiac signs (yin)

Snake

Ox/Sheep

Colours

Red

Brown

Seasons

Summer

Intermediate

Hours

09:00-13:00

01:00-03:00, 07:00-09:00,

13:00-15:00, 19:00-21:00

Directions

South

Central

Organs (Yin)

Heart

Spleen

Organs (Yang)

Small Intestine

Stomach

Sensory Organs

Tongue

Mouth

Diseases

Hot

Wet

Tastes

Bitter

Sweet

Planets

Mars

Saturn

Heavenly Creatures

Vermillion Bird

Yellow Dragon

Heavenly Stems

Bing Ding

Wu Ji

Year Ends with

6,7

8,9

6-Rod Mystic Knot Windchimes

As mentioned in the grid, the five elements can be regarded as the symbols of the five planets,

Metal, Wood, Water, Fire Earth

corresponding to

Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn.

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They are thought to be the ruling planets or elements affecting the compatibility between two astrological Chinese zodiac signs.

 

 

 

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