Showing posts with label Medicine Wheel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medicine Wheel. Show all posts

Five Elements of Shamanic Taoism



The five elements are five fundamental energy transitions that result from yin and yang interactions. The five tendencies of energy in motion are represented by the physical elements contained in nature (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). 

  1. Wood is a symbol of growing and producing electricity. 
  2. Fire is a symbol of expanding and radiating light. 
  3. Earth is a symbol of centering and stabilizing powers.
  4. Metal reflects solidifying and contracting force. 
  5. Water is a type of energy that conserves, gathers, and sinks.

The seasons are linked to the five elements. 

  • The green flowering of new growth in plants and trees that bear fruit in the scorching heat of summer occurs in the spring. 
  • Before the grey autumn sets in, ripe yellow fields lie waiting to be harvested.
  • When the water turns to ice in the winter, life goes indoors to perish after conceiving anew for spring. Under Heaven, the seasons shift. 
  • The elements are the spirits of the seasons, which govern the human landscape as rain does the mundane world.

What does fire feel like? 

What exactly does it do? 

  • Fire warms and comforts, burns and kills, dances like flame, and is difficult to comprehend.
  • Earth, the planet is peaceful, well-balanced, and earthy! We don't hear it hurtling through the sun at thousands of miles per hour when we live with it.
  • Metal is strong, rough, and sharp, and it has the ability to cut, contain, mirror, and inspire. Warmth can also be used to melt and mold metal.



The elements of wood and metal are represented by these trees growing around rocks.

Water may be still or turbulent, aggressive or submissive. Water can transform into ice, steam, tears, or tidal waves in the blink of an eye.

Wood has a distinct emphasis and intent, competes for light, and expands in all directions.

Different facets of the elements have different effects on one another, some of which are nourishing and others which are controlling. 

The “Cycle of Support” describes their nourishing influences, while the “Lines of Control” describes their governing influences.


In a cycle of support, the elements nourish one another.

  1. The light, or fire, bestows blessings on the earth.
  2. Metal is formed deep within the planet.
  3. Water gushes out from the metal rock.
  4. Water nourishes plant life and timber.
  5. And fire is fueled by wood.

Too much heat can scorch the soil, causing the springs to dry up, or too little sun can leave crops unripe.


In the Lines of Control, elements regulate one another.

  1. Metal is melted by fire.
  2. Wood is harmed by metal.
  3. The world is gripped by wood.
  4. Water is guided by the Earth.
  5. Fire is regulated by water.

Metal often refuses to melt, either because it is too strong or because the flame is too weak; wood will blunt the axe; eroded soil is too rough or crumbling for roots to grip; flash floods smash the banks; and too much fire evaporates water.



You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

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