Five Elements

From Altopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Disclaimer

As always, seek professional advice before using any of the methods listed.

Info

The Five Elements aka Wu Xing (Chinese: 五行; pinyin: Wǔ Xíng), aka the Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, Five Processes, and the Five Steps/Stages, is a fivefold conceptual scheme that many traditional Chinese fields used to explain a wide array of phenomena, from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs, and from the succession of political regimes to the properties of medicinal drugs. The "Five Phases/Elements" are;-

  • Wood (木 mù)
  • Fire (火 huǒ)
  • Earth (土 tǔ)
  • Metal (金 jīn)
  • Water (水 shuǐ)
Five-elements-WU-XING.jpg

This order of presentation is known as the "mutual generation" (相生 xiāngshēng) sequence. In the order of "mutual overcoming" (相克 xiāngkè), they are Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal.

The system of five phases was used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena. After it came to maturity in the second/first century BCE during the Han dynasty, this device was employed in many fields of early Chinese thought, including seemingly disparate fields such as geomancy or Feng shui, astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, music, military strategy and martial arts. The system is still used as a reference in some forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and martial arts.