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YinYangBergThe relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and in the valley. Yin (literally the 'shady place' or 'north slope') is the dark area occluded by the mountain's bulk, while yang (literally the 'sunny place' or 'south slope') is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed. 
Yin is usually characterized as slow, soft, insubstantial, diffuse, cold, wet, and tranquil. It is generally associated with the feminine, birth and generation, and with the night. 

Yang, by contrast, is characterized as hard, fast, solid, dry, focused, hot, and aggressive. It is associated with masculinity and daytime 
The principles of yin and yang and the five elements complement each other.  Each element has a yin and a yang character, which makes quite a difference energetically. Generally you can assume, that the element in his yang character is always stronger and more active than the softer yin variation.

The time of origin point of the five elements cannot be exactly dated historically. Nevertheless, recordings prove that their origins probably date back about 2,500 years.

In old China the five elements stood originally for the five planets Jupiter (wood), Mars (fire), Saturn (earth), Venus (metal) and Mercury (water). Then on the basis of astronomical and astrological observations over the centuries not only the seasons, forms and colours, but also every animal and every plant became assigned to an element. Also the human body as a part of the universal creation follows these legitimacies. Our organism with its spiritual, physical and mental functions reflect the order of the nature and is a microcosm of the universe. Thus our internal organs, the senses and our sensations can also be assigned to the five elements and yin and yang. With the help of the 5 elements we can recognise natural laws that we need to follow, if we want to lead a harmonic and healthy life.

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5e-zyklus-produktiv2The Generating Sequence

In the cycle of the seasons, each element generates another, i.e., one element is the "mother" of the next. Hence, wood creates fire, thus wood is the mother of fire. Without wood no fire can burn. From the ashes of the fire we create earth, thus fire is the mother of earth. From the deep of the earth we extract metal, earth is the mother of metal. The metal with its minerals strengthens water, thus metal is the mother of water. And to close the cycle, we need water for the plants (wood) to grow, thus water is the mother of wood.
Naturally, therefore, each element is generated by another: Fire is the child of Wood, Earth is the child of Fire, etc. In nature, we see this in the seasonal changes: Winter transforms into Spring, Spring changes into Summer. 
If you look at the drawing, you can easily understand how too much or too little of one element has an effect on the whole system. If. i.e. fire is missing between wood and earth, this is like a tree taking all the nutrients from the soil. 
A weak water element on the other hand can not give enough strength to the wood, so that it may be cut down by the metal element.
If the elements are not balanced out this nearly always has a physical effect on us. As each element represents certain areas and organs in our body, weakness or an excessive strength can be shown by symptomatic or chronic diseases i.e. 

5e-zyklus-destruktiv2The Controlling or destructive Sequence

Each element is said to control, check or regulate another. If the cycle has an destructive effect, one element is said to "over-control" or "destroy" another, causing the controlled element to become deficient. This happens when balance breaks down so that one element becomes excessive in relationship to another.
  • Wood controls Earth. If fire is missing between these two elements, the effect can be compared to a tree, taking all the strength from the soil without giving back, thus exhausting the earth at longterm.
  • Fire controls Metal. If the fire cannot give its ashes to the earth element, it will melt the metal and destroy its form.
  • Earth controls Water. If metal is missing between earth and water, the earth can build an embankment and thus prevent the water from flowing.
  • Metal controls Wood. If there is no water between metal and wood, the metal ‘axe’ can cut down the wooden trees, so that it stops growing.
  • Water controls Fire. If the water nourishes the wood, its strength is good for the fire element. Without wood in between, water puts out the fire.

Holz-2014WOOD – the fresh and active energy of spring

Wood stands for creativity, independence and a pleasure to play. It not only represents spring time, but our childhood as well. Wood always wants to grow – preferably without limitations -  and if you show him its boundaries it can react  violent-tempered or insulted. Vivid green colours belong to the wood element  as well as long-stretched forms and the sour taste. Physically, liver and gall bladder are the organs of the wood element. Emotions like anger and fury can be accumulated in the liver and cause serious health problems.  

feuer2014FIRE – warmth and energy for an active life

Fire stands for activity and pure life energy, but as well for our mental and intellectual expansion and spirituality. The season of this element is summer of course due to its warm temperatures. In the human life cycle, fire represents the first steps towards self-realization and thus our teenager age. The colour red in all its shades stands for the fire element, as well as triangle and pointed forms and the bitter taste. Heart and small intestine are the fire organs in our body. Heart and circulatory disturbances are typical symptoms of a disturbed fire element. 

Erde2014EARTH  – be centered with more stability and security

Earth stands for stability, security and a strong family connection and often shows with an unflexible and conservative mind. It represents tradition, solidarity and the will to support those who are in need. Earth is a symbol for the center as well and describes the time of maturity in our lifes. All yellows and browns belong to the earth element just as flat and even rectangular forms and the sweet taste. On the physical level stomach and spleen belong to the earth element. The emotions connected with the earth element are sorrows and worries.

Metall2014METAL  – organized and structured into the autumn of your life 

Metal means ambition, determination, progress and persistance. It also stands for strategic thinking and rational dealing with money. Autumn is the season connected with this element. In our life cycle metal means the time, when we stop building and start looking for the essentials and get rid of old habits. White is the colour of the metal, its form is rounded, its taste is spicy. Physically an imbalance of the metal element shows most likely at the lungs or the large intestine.  

Wasser2014WATER – source of wisdom and mental strength 

Water represents the mind and likes to think without limits. Emotions and enthusiasm loose their importance, life takes place more likely on a mental level. In our life cycle as in the seascons this is the time of winter, where we retire to the inside and concentrate on the important things. Black and dark blue are the colours of the water element, its form is irregular and wave-shaped. The salty taste belongs to the water element. Kidneys and bladder are the organs of this element, which can be harmed most likely by negative emotions such as fear and anxiety.
5e-zyklus-produktiv2How wood, fire & Co. work together to ensure a healthier and happier life

More than two-thousand years ago Chinese wise men began to classify everything between earth and heaven according to the principles of Yin and Yang and the five elements wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Movement by the universal energy – Qi – constantly changes the relationship between yin and yang and the five elements. If only one element is out of balance, the whole energy flow of the system will be disturbed.

The philosophy of the five elements is the backbone of all Chinese traditions. Whether that be Chinese medicine, nutrition, Qi Gong or Feng Shui, everything goes back to the five elements and the harmony between yin and yang.

In this section of our Website you'll find some basic information about the five elements.