The 5-element system of Chinese astrology

The 5-element system of Chinese astrology is based on the five elements or energies of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The 5 elements interact in two ways. They either nurture one another (for example, water nurtures wood, and wood nurtures fire), or they control one another (for example, metal controls wood, and wood controls earth).

The interactions of the 5 astrological elements are circular. In the nurturing cycle, water breeds wood, wood grows fire, fire turns into earth (ashes), earth yields metal, metal turns into water, and the cycle begins again. In the controlling cycle, water puts out fire, fire controls metal, metal cuts wood, wood extracts nutrients from earth, and earth absorbs water, and the cycle begins again.

Each of the five elements or energies has a male (yang) and a female (yin) counterpart. Each element in either the male or the female form is called a star in Chinese astrology, and there are altogether ten stars (five elements, each in the male and the female forms). Your Chinese astrology chart depicts the particular configuration of the ten stars at the time of your birth.

I use the Chinese almanac to convert your birth date and birth hour into a chart consisting of 8 boxes (two boxes each from your birth year, birth month, birth day, and birth hour). Each of the top 4 boxes spells out a particular star. Each of the bottom boxes contains one of the twelve animal signs. You might know the animal sign for the year of your birth, but that represents just one out of 8 boxes in your chart—a very incomplete picture.

In the classical five-element system that I use, each of the animal sign is a shorthand for a string of up to 3 stars. Thus, the tiger is the shorthand for male earth, male wood, and male fire; the rabbit for female wood; the dragon for male earth, female water, and female wood; and so on.

The elements and the animal signs combine and oppose in myriad ways. Combinations take place only between male and female stars, as stars of the same male or female polarity compete.

After I set up your chart, I study the interplay and dynamics of the ten stars in your chart and use tables to draw up the basic blueprint of your life. As each star represents a key relationship or resource in your life, your chart gives me a feel as to how the energetic dynamics of the stars manifest in your life in the major areas of personality, work, money and relationships. Most importantly, I study your chart for key imbalances. Balance is important for the healthy flow of energy and enables us to love ourselves and others, and to relax and enjoy life, and the awareness and acceptance of major imbalances in a chart is the first step towards correcting them rather than being driven by them. I’m passionate about the cultivation of inner health and well-being and have done a lot of in-depth studies on my own in this regard. While Chinese astrology is often used as a fortune-telling tool, to the extent that I focus the reading on detecting major imbalances and on ways to rectify them, I do Chinese astrology as therapy.

 

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