Monday, July 3, 2017

Nature and the Elements

Nature and the Elements





The Five Elements are simply a deeper appreciation of yin and yang. There  are essentially 4 stages of transformation that are occurring within this cycle. There is rising (yin), descending (yang) and the other two phases are the "turning points" of the cycle - indicated at the top and the bottom of this cycle.






This is where energy transforms itself from rising into descending and vice versa. Traditionally, the rising energy on the left hand side of the cycle was given to the energy wood - this represents the dawn and the new energy of spring. The peak and turning point of this rising energy, blossoming into full expression was given the element fire. As energy slows down, calms, settles and consolidates itself on the right hand side of the cycle, this quality was given the element metal. Finally, the contracting, focusing and intense energy reaches its peak and dissolves, melts and was given the element water.

The element earth is seen as both pivotal and central to the theory of the five elements. Originally, its place within this cycle existed between each stage or element as the transformer or buffer between the seasons whereby the fire element would represent the summer, the gathering energy of autumn would be represented by metal, the reflective still period of winter represented by water and finally the rousing energy of spring depicted by the element wood. The earth element is now positioned between fire and metal and represents late summer.

Dynamics of the 5 Elements:

The 5 elements work together in primarily two distinct dynamics; Supportive and Controlling.

The supportive or sheng cycle is a fueling or nourishing quality. Each element is supported by or mothered by the preceding element. The element Water is nourishment and support to Wood - Water is vital for all plant life. The symbolism Wood is an element that can be represented as any kind of plant life from new shoots, bamboo, oak, houseplants and massive pine trees. The element Wood in turn is the mother of Fire. Without the fuel of mature wood, we do not have a fire. The element Fire is represented by candles, flames, hearths and electric lighting. If the fire dies down, it becomes ashes. Fire is the creator of Earth. Earth or soil is stable, nourishing and rich. Given more time and pressure, it will consolidate and settle further from ashes through compost, to soil, to hard rocks and eventually minerals. Earth is the mother of the element Metal. Any mineral that is mined, metallic objects or money can represent the element Metal. At this stage of the 5 Elements cycle, energy is at its most contracted. One of the principles of Yin and Yang is that one transforms into the other at its extreme. This is what occurs at this next stage of the cycle when Metal supports or creates Water/fluid. As pressure or heat or time is brought to bear upon minerals, they will eventually melt. This liquid phase or stage is known as Water. Water can be represented by ponds, waterfalls, fish tanks or water utilities within the home.


The controlling or destructive cycle is where each element has the potential to be overridden or controlled by its opposite. This occurs if one element becomes far too powerful and therefore imbalanced. In reality, it means that the individual element concerned fails to support or mother the next element but rather dashes across the cycle and controls or suppressed the opposite. In the natural world, we can see this so called destructive cycle displayed in the following manner.

Wood Controls Soil
The roots of plants break up soil.
Earth Controls Water
Earth can dam the flow of water. Earth can absorb water.
Water Controls Fire
Water extinguishes Fire.
Fire Controls Metal
Fire melts Metal.
Metal Controls Wood
Metal can cut Wood e.g. an axe or a saw taken to a tree trunk.


The impact and importance of incorporating the 5 elements properly in your environment can have a tremendous impact on how you experience life. For example, let's say the southeast living room in your home has far too much wood in it. Perhaps wooden furnishings, wood flooring, green hue painted walls, tons of plants, etc. Albeit wood is the beneficial element for the southeast direction, in this scenario there is an over abundance of the element. The outcome for the occupants, and especially eldest female, is to constantly working on new ideas and projects but very little in return for all the effort. This room would actually benefit with the child of wood or the element of fire to ease or drain off heavy wood.

Another scenario might be an office with an exceptional amount of metal accents from wrought iron furnishings, to metal color hues and of course office equipment that takes on the metal qualities. The metal element easily controls the element of wood or the ability to be creative and productive. This persona may find it difficult to get motivated and spin new ideas or effective project outcome.

One of the easiest ways to understand the elements is to observe what's happening in nature. Tune in to my video below where I talk about two cycles; one destructive (wood to earth) and one constructive (water to wood).




Follow me on YouTube: Mary Jane Kasliner and find lots of feng shui and yoga informative videos.

Mary Jane Kasliner

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