According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the entire universe can be observed and experienced through the five elements as found in nature; Wood, Water, Fire, Earth and Metal.
In humankind we can observe these elements manifesting in many different ways: for example - five pairings of organs, five distinct emotions, sounds, smells and colours. Each organ of the body corresponds to one of the elements, which in turn corresponds to one of the seasons of the year. The elements they are the five distinct phases through which all things pass from their beginning to their end.
Wood represents our capacity to be born and grow and is associated with the season of spring; it rises up with vision and determination to realise the plan of growth and renewal. Wood gives us the structure and flexibility to create our lives with hope and optimism, overcoming obstacles and creating our path.
Fire gives us the capacity to warm and open and is associated with the season of summer. It gives us warmth, the capacity to love and to be loved. It enables us to mature and blossom and its function is to help us relate. Here we find our passion, our ability to feel joy in all our endeavours. Feeling emotionally protected by love we communicate with openness and honesty.
Earth gives us the capacity to receive and be satisfied and is associated with the season of late summer and a time of harvesting. This element gives us the ability to nurture ourselves and others. By feeling centred and grounded it enables us to understand ourselves and sympathise with others without losing our sense of self.
Metal gives us the capacity to see the quality and value of life and is associated with the season of autumn. It gives us our sense of self worth and a capacity to look at what lies beyond ourselves and the power to let go.
Water gives the capacity to find our inner power and deepest sense of self. It is associated with the season of winter, pausing in time to regenerate and gather strength. Water gives us the power to adapt and the will and drive to fulfil the potential given to us at birth.