The Five Elements (Wu Xing)

The Five Elements
Five Element Interaction
Usually known as the Five Elements,Wu Xing is also named the Five Movements, Five Phrases or Five Steps. The five elements are jin (metal), mu (wood), shui (water), huo (fire), tu (earth). The five elements in daily life were regarded as the foundation of everything in the universe and natural phenomena. They have their own characters and they can generate or destroy one other.

Generating Interaction (also begetting, engendering or mothering)
Metal generates water; water nourishes wood; wood feeds fire; fire creates earth/ash; earth bears metal.
Overcoming Interaction (also destruction)
Fire melts metal; metal chops wood; wood break up earth; earth absorbs water; water quenches fire.

In ancient China, newborn babies usually got their name from the 'eight characters of birth time' consisting of year, month, day and hour which is represented by two characters each, one character from the Heavenly Stems and one from the Earthly Branches. The four pairs of the birth time reveal the elements in one's life. Then the parents will give the baby a name containing the element, as compensation, which doesn't exit in the baby's eight characters. The tradition is still followed by some people nowadays.

Characteristics of the Five Elements

Wood – Benevolence
The wood pronounces the fate, lowliness or nobleness, representing extractive, luxuriant, brilliant, blooming, flourishing etc.
Fire – Propriety
The fire pronounces the feature, strength or softness, representing power, influence, bravery and intense.
Metal – Righteousness
The metal pronounces the life span, longevity or abortion, foretelling any penalties, dangers, difficulties and dead end.
Water – Wisdom
The water pronounces the talent, sage or fool, representing aptitude, brightness, agile mind and accuracy,
Earth – Fidelity/Honesty
The earth pronounces the status, rich or poor, representing the birth and growth of everything.

The Five Elements Grid

Elements Metal Wood Water Fire Earth
Zodiac signs (yang) Monkey Tiger Rat Horse Dragon/Dog
Zodiac signs (yin) Rooster Rabbit Pig Snake Ox/Sheep
Colors White Green Black Red Brown
Seasons Autumn Spring Winter Summer Intermediate
Hours 15-19 3-7 21-01 9-13 1-3,7-9,13-15,19-21
Directions West East North South Central
Organs (Yin) Lung Liver Kidney Heart Spleen
Organs (Yang) Large Intestine Gall Bladder Urinary Bladder Small Intestine Stomach
Sensory Organs Nose Eyes Ears Tongue Mouth
Diseases Dry Wind Cold Hot Wet
Tastes Spicy Sour Salty Bitter Sweet
Planets Venus Jupiter Mercury Mars Saturn
Heavenly Creatures White Tiger Green Dragon Black Tortoise Vermilion Bird Yellow Dragon
Heavenly Stems Geng Xin Jia Yi Ren Gui Bing Ding Wu Ji
Year Ends with 0, 1 4, 5 2, 3 6, 7 8, 9

As mentioned in the grid, the five elements can be regarded as the symbols of the five planets, Metal, Wood, Water, Fire Earth corresponding to Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn. They are thought to be the ruling planets or elements affecting the compatibility between two astrological Chinese zodiac signs.

- Last modified on Feb. 18, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on The Five Elements (Wu Xing)
Asked by Steven from SINGAPORE | Feb. 17, 2019 19:28Reply
My birthday is Nov 14, 1989 and my girlfriend-to-be is Feb 12, 1993. Are we compatible?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 18, 2019 21:37
00Reply


Yes, you are super match and it is possible for you to become a good couple. Maintain your relationship carefully and to be more patient when facing conflicts. Good luck!
Asked by Cynthia from ZAQ-QANTAOH | Feb. 11, 2019 22:58Reply
I am born 4/2/63 and my partner is 9/11/58 are we compitable? ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lily from NEW ZEALAND | Feb. 13, 2019 01:47
00Reply


Yes, your compatibility is good and you can work it out. Best wishes!
Asked by Susanne Fyffe from UNITED STATES | Feb. 11, 2019 19:09Reply
My birthday is May 30, 1960.....Will i be inspirational in designing a wellness and Harmony garden?
Answers (1)
Answered by Marie from NEW ZEALAND | Feb. 13, 2019 01:44
00Reply


Maybe, you can do some excursions to seek inspiration. Good luck to you!
Asked by My from USA | Feb. 05, 2019 22:17Reply
My boyfriend is born a wood rat and I’m a wood ox.
Are we compatible and do we have good luck this year?

Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Julie from FRANCE | Feb. 11, 2019 00:25
00Reply


Yes, you are perfect match and it is easy for you to keep a steady love life. Best wishes.
Asked by Jigs from PHILIPPINES | Feb. 05, 2019 07:36Reply
Are we compatible in terms of love life wealth and happiness?
I was born an earth sheep(1979) and my partner was born wooden ox(1985).
Answers (1)
Answered by Jessica from AUSTRALIA | Feb. 11, 2019 00:22
00Reply


Hi, you may have a poor match in zodiac compatibility. However, it can be improved in your daily life. Spend more time together and try to understand each other when you meet conflicts.
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