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The 5 Element Cycle
The Five Elements Theory has been used in China since the Song Dynasty, dating back 1500 years, and has been widely used in Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui, and Astrology.
The Five Elements were initially born out of an obvious and simple overview of time – in terms of the passing of a day and the seasons – as well as how structures or even symptoms begin to manifest.
The Five Elements & I Ching Astrology
Each of the 9 Stars in I Ching Astrology is associated with one of these Five Elements. The connections are as follows:
9 – Fire
2, 5, 8 – Earth
6, 7 – Metal
1 – Water
3, 4 – Wood
By looking at the table below it is possible to see how both the Five Elements and indeed the 9 different Stars can interact.
The Same Element
As far as relationships are concerned in I Ching Astrology, if two individuals share the same element (e.g. Metal) then they will generally get on well together and the relationship can be considered as one of a more brotherly/sisterly nature. They simply get on well together without too much clash.
The Mother Child Cycle
Each element ‘supports’ or ‘mothers’ the next element within the cycle. Earth supports Metal, Metal supports Water, Water supports Wood, Wood supports Fire, and Fire supports Earth.
The element that is giving the support is known as the Mother and the element receiving the support is known as the Child.
Therefore in a Mother/Child relationship there is a giver and a receiver. For the giver it is often tiring and sometimes draining – a little bit like having children! Similarly, by being the Child and receiving support from the Mother, this can be pleasant, beneficial and easy!
The Controlling Element
Each of the Five Elements, and then indeed each of the 9 Stars, has an element opposite them within the Five Elements system that keeps them in check. The literal translation is control. I prefer to see it as a more positive trait – namely, that of protection, nurturing and making sure they do not get out of order. In a relationship the element that does the ‘controlling’, keeps a check on the other. However, on the receiving end it does feel from time to time as if the ‘controller’ is being a bit too full-on! Finding the right balance is the solution!
Here are these different relationships:
9 Fire Star controls the 6 Heaven & 7 Lake Stars
2 Earth, 5 T’ai Chi & 8 Mountain Stars all control 1 Water Star
6 Heaven & 7 Lake Stars both control the 3 Thunder & 4 Wind Stars
1 Water Star controls the 9 Fire Star
3 Thunder & 4 Wood Stars control the 2 Earth, 5 T’ai Chi & 8 Mountain Stars
When Metal (6 & 7) gets too cold, brittle or inflexible, a little bit of Fire makes them more malleable.
When Water – as in a river or a lake – runs wildly out of control, it actually needs the Earth to form riverbanks and boundaries for the Water.
When Fire gets out of control, then Water is helpful in dampening it down.
When plants (from the Wood element of Thunder and Wind) get out of control, they need a little bit of Metal to trim them to keep them in shape (6 & 7 Metal Stars).
The Earth itself – represented by 2, 5 & 8 Stars – will simply become denuded or turn to dust if it doesn’t have the roots of plant life to hold it together (3 & 4 Wood Stars).
I Ching Astrology Profiles
A deeper cut into the I Ching Astrology system reveals that all of us have three different Stars within our makeup. It then becomes fascinating when we look at how this Birth Star, Inner Star & Outer Star (and their allotted Five Elements) interact with another profile – a family member, a lover, or a work colleague. The permutations are endless, fascinating and profoundly insightful.
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