The 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.
The Generating Sequence
The Controlling or destructive Sequence
WOOD – the fresh and active energy of spring
FIRE – warmth and energy for an active life
EARTH – be centered with more stability and security
METAL – organized and structured into the autumn of your life
WATER – source of wisdom and mental strength
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.