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Chinese Astrology: The Elements


By LeeAnn Neal - 5/27/2013

Chinese balls for relaxation
  Photo Credit: Vladyslav Danilin / Shutterstock.com

While Western astrology incorporates four elements, Chinese astrology recognizes five.

The five Chinese elements are fire, wood, water, earth and metal. Western astrology adds air, but does not include wood or metal.

In Chinese astrology, each element is associated with a planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. Fire relates to Mars, Wood to Jupiter, Water to Mercury, earth to Saturn and Metal to Venus.

Each of the five elements generates another: water generates wood, wood generates fire, fire generates earth, earth generates metal and metal generates water.

Conversely, each element destroys another: water douses fire, fire melts metal, metal cuts wood, wood breaks earth and earth swallows water.

Chinese astrology also recognizes hostile relationships among the elements: water hates fire, fire hates metal, metal hates wood, wood hates earth and earth hates water.

As each of the elements passes through the 12 animal signs, it changes the respective sign, altering its characteristics accordingly, and resulting in 60 combinations in the Chinese zodiac.

The concept of Yin and Yang affects the five elements, so that there is a yin version of each element and a yang version of each element. In the Chinese zodiac, yin falls in odd-numbered years and yang in even-numbered years.

Generally speaking, each element imbues those born into it with certain characteristics. They are as follows:

Earth - People born in the earth element are steadfast and longsuffering. They support their loved ones without hesitation, follow their intuition, are ethical and disciplined. Earth people are ambitious and skilled at using the resources they have at hand. They are excellent planners, good with money and capable of great restraint. They tend to appear reserved emotionally, and are usually well respected.

Fire - Fire people are adventurous and dynamic. Their restlessness keeps them on the move. They do not like to be alone, preferring to socialize and spend time with loved ones, with whom they share close relationships. Confident and curious, fire people love to explore. They aggressively pursue the things they want. Their cleverness and penchant for public speaking is attractive to many others. They are happiest when they can learn to be patient, which does not come to them naturally.

Metal - Those born into the metal element like balance and order. Typically reserved, they can become rigid when pushed. Metal people are independent, confident and determined. They pursue their goals free of distraction, refusing to be discouraged by setbacks or challenges. They set high standards for themselves and others. They enjoy life's luxuries, money itself and power. They can be stubborn at times.

Wood - People born into the wood element balance a desire to explore with a commitment to their responsibilities. They are confident, grateful for what they have, never jealous or envious and always loyal. Wood people make great team players. However, they are prone to taking on more than they can handle. They are also frugal, compassionate and industrious.

Water - Those born into the element of water are flexible, sensitive and compassionate. However, they are also intellectually powerful, making wonderful philosophers. Water people are excellent communicators and diplomats, and often find themselves working in professions that require these skills. They are imaginative, creative and prefer working independently. While water people can be persuasive, they can also be deceitful.


 








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