The most human of the elements. It is
the element of spring; the creative urge to achieve
- which can turn to anger when frustrated. It is
associated with the capacity to look forward, plan
and make decisions.
Wood energy is rising, expanding, and is the force
of growth and flexibility.
This element represents all the activities of the
body that are self regulating and/or function without
conscious thought; i.e. digestion, respiration,
heart beat and basic metabolism.
The liver (which converts food into fuel which is
then supplied to the muscles, tendons and ligaments)
is associated to the Wood element.
The element of heat,
summer and enthusiasm; nature at its peak of growth,
and warmth in human relationships. Its motion is
Fire is the symbolic of combustion and this represents
the functions of the body that have reached that
fleeting moment of maximum activity; indicating
that decline is then inevitable.
The element is associated with the heart and related
to the tongue.
The element of harvest time, abundance,
nourishment, fertility, and the mother to child
relationship. This element is also regarded as central
to balance and the place where energy becomes downward
in movement. It is the symbol of stability and being
Earth is associated to the spleen and related to
the sense of taste.
Includes the Western
idea of the air element. It is the force of gravity,
the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the
heavenly bodies and the powers of electrical conductivity
and magnetism. Metal has structure, but it can also
accept a new form when molten.
Metal energy is consolidating and with inward movement,
like a flower closing its petals.
The symbol of metal is one of a cutting and reforming
action, but it is also regarded as a solidifying
The element is associated with the lungs and related
to the nose.
source of life on this planet. Likewise it is the
fluids (the main component of the body) which nourish
and maintain the health of every cell. Water corresponds
to the vital fluids, i.e. blood, lymph, mucus, semen
The kidney is especially linked to this element.
Its motion is downward.
Water has the capacity to flow, infinitely yielding
yet infinitely powerful, ever changing and often
dangerous with the capacity also to nourish and
Water is the ultimate yin; quiet, cold; representing
the resting time of winter. It has a waiting, silent,
still quality that can be described as "stored potential".
It has flexibility (think of water filling up any
shape of vessel), yet it has great power (think
of the devastation caused by floods).
In human psychology the element governs the balance
between fear or being exploited and the desire to