Hi ATS, Happy Saturday!
The ancient Chinese Wuxing
, or 5 element, theory is something that has fascinated me for many years and I thought that I would share a little
about it with you all. Wuxing theory is relatively young considering China's history and is only a little more than 2000 years old. My knowledge of
this stuff comes from my experience with Tzu Ping (Four Pillar) astrology and palm reading. I am going to get in to a little mild Feng Shui, please
realize that although I saw my teacher use the Lo Pan
and the Bagua
, my experience is limited to deriving 'remedies' for Feng Shui and
the birth chart via Tzu Ping astrology and palm reading.
As symbol systems go, this one is very elegant and tiny. It is born of the same Taoist school of thought as Yin Yang
theory, so the two are
meant to dove-tail, one in to the other. That will make it fun and easy for students of symbolism from other systems to adopt the schema rather
quickly so that it can be experimented with. Most folks already know about Yin and Yang, so it is not much of a stretch to have the whole ball of wax
up and running once the attributes of each of the elements and the 'cycles' are digested.This thread is definitely meant for everyone and I think that
anyone that is inclined to tinker with the 5 element system will get some surprising insights. It is also a fun way to get a little peek inside
Chinese culture, the 5 element theory permeates Chinese cultural arts and traditions.
So let's get down to brass tacks and take a look at what are known as the 5 phases
, or Elements. Each phase has many correspondences, some of
which are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (hereafter, TCM),Feng Shui
(geomancy), martial arts and philosophy. I won't be able to list them
all but I will put up some of the more interesting ones. Later, I will give some simplified examples of how to apply the 5 element system to some of
those things. Certain dreams are also associated with each of the elements but that may need its own section.
The Wuxing traditionally begins with the 'element' Wood
and it's simplest symbolic form is the tree. Of the 5 phases, Wood is also the element
that most closely relates to human beings. It's growth cycle, whether or not it is rooted, the habit by which it grows and the way that it seeds its
own future generations, all relate directly to mankind and our lives and health. Wood is durable, flexible, and strong.
TCM Organ: Liver and Gall Bladder
Time of day: Gall Bladder: 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Liver: 1:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m.
Sense Organ: Eyes
Power: "Capacity for Control"
Life Aspect: Spiritual Faculties.
Warmth, light, heat, dynamism and vitality are all related to Fire. It's our metabolism which propels our enthusiasm for life. It is also related to
the domestic life and the hearth. As an aspect of us, it represents our spark for life and the very life-force in us. It is also related to
circulation in the body and sexual energy. It is our propensity to seek out warmth and our capacity for generating and giving heat and warmth to
TCM Organ: Heart and Small Intestine
Time of day: Heart: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. SI: 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Sense Organ: Tongue
Emotion: Joy and Happiness
Power: "Capacity for sadness and Grief"
Life Aspect: 'Spirit'.
The Earth phase represents Earth, and it is considered special because it is considered that all of the other elements experience their life and death
within her. It is the womb and the tomb. It is related to people through the qualities of being rooted, centred, unobsessed and solid. Equanimity,
balance and forthrightness are also qualities related to earth. All cycles and circles are related to Earth, as well as fertility and fecundity. The
cornucopia would be a shared symbol.
Season: Late Summer
TCM Organ: Spleen and Stomach
Time of day: Stomach: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Spleen: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Power: "Capacity for Belching"
Life Aspect: 'Ideas and Opinions'.
The element Metal, is to me the most esoteric of the 5. It's meaning is structure
. Like pure metals whose atoms lie in neat, orderly formula
units, metal represents, structure, and the solidity and networking qualities that structure brings. It's medium allows us to sense very subtle
energies like vibration and pressure. The purity and sentimental quality of gemstones is also related to metal, as well as the qualities of clarity
and endurance. Metal also represents turning inward, concentration intensification and crystallization.
TCM Organ: Lungs and Large Intestine
Time of day: Heart: 3:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. SI: 5:00 a.m.-7:00a.m.
Taste: Pungent, Spicy
Sense Organ: Nose
Power: "Capacity for Coughing"
Spiritual Resource: 'Inferior, Animal Spirit'.
If Wood is considered to most closely represent us, then Water must surely come next. Water is essential for life and, of course, it takes the shape
of whatever container it is placed in; including our people-shaped container. Inside each of us we have oceans, rivers and streams of 'water' that are
our circulatory systems. Along with the blood vessels travel the nerves and, in the case of TCM, vessels full of Qi
energy coursing along with
them. Water is also rhythmic and cyclical, and it is deeply ingrained in the narratives of all cultures. It shares with the west the quality of
representing the deep subconscious.
TCM Organ: Kidneys and Bladder
Time of day: Bladder: 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Kidneys: 5:00 p.m.-7:00p.m.
Sense Organ: Ears
Power: "Capacity to Create Trembling"
Spiritual Resource: 'Will Power and Ambition'.
Next we are going to take a look at the different 'cycles' that the elements can be seen to be subject to. This will allow us to make more interesting
correlations amongst the attributes of each element. This will sort of 'bring them to life' for us, even more.
Traditional Acupuncture: The law of The Five Elements
by Diane M. Connelly, PH.D. 1979.
edit on 15-6-2013 by Bybyots because: .