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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.