Showing posts with label shamanic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shamanic. Show all posts

Shamanic Taoism's Elemental Correspondences

The life-force energy of chi is thought to flow through the human body through a system of channels or meridians in traditional Chinese medicine.

The elements are linked to specific meridians, which are named after the internal organs as defined in traditional Chinese medicine, in addition to their seasonal correspondences. 

There are fourteen meridians in all, which together form a cycle through which chi circulates for twenty-four hours. Each meridian has a two-hour “period” during the day where the most energy is passing through it.

Each organ meridian has a yin or yang designation. The words yin and yang are commonly used to explain how objects interact. 

For eg, men are more yang and women are more yin, but there are others that are more yin or yang in addition to those of the same gender in both men and women. While fire is more yang than water and water is more yin than a tear drop, a candle is more yin than the sun and a wave is more yang than a tear drop. 

Yin meridians refer to the deeper organs of the body, including the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney. The yang channels attach the hollow organs, such as the intestines, uterus, and gallbladder, to the outer aspects. The yin meridians correspond to the more inner, mental, and metaphysical facets of life, while the yang meridians correspond to the more physical and mundane aspects.

A direction, a sense and sense organ, a color, a guardian animal, and positive and negative emotions are all correlated with each unit.

Fire in the South

Fire moves, it warms, it fires, it makes, and it kills. The sun rises, and fire nourishes the world, which is nourished by wood, which is regulated by metal, which is controlled by water.

  • In its positive nature, love is the virtue of fire force, while impatience is the negative emotion.
  • The sense of taste is the fire element's sense, and the tongue is the feature.
  • The Firebird or Red Pheasant is the guardian animal of fire. Its color is red, its season is summer, and its guardian animal is the Firebird or Red Pheasant.
  • The fire factor has four meridian systems: the Heart, Small Intestine, Triple Heater, and Heart Protector, or Pericardium, each of which serves a distinct function in the realm of the living.

Metal in the West

Metal is the factor of mystery, found in swords and shields, coins, bottles, and silver-backed mirrors. It represents and inspires, cuts and contains. Alchemists of ancient times attempted to transform base metal into gold.

  • Iron, which is formed in the depths of the planet, nourishes water. As in a blacksmith's forge, the sharp edge controls wood and is powered by flames.
  • Metal's positive emotion is bravery, while its negative emotion is misery, with associations of solitude, alienation, despair, and depression, especially the sadness of loss or unrequited love.
  • Smell is the sense of the metal element, so the nose is a characteristic of metal.
  • The metal is white, the season is autumn, and the White Tiger is the guardian bear.
  • Metal's yin meridian is Lung, and its yang meridian is Large Intestine.


The energy of birth, regeneration, and renewal, the unstoppability of creation, the bursting of bud through bough, is represented by the wood aspect. Wood energy is strong, dynamic, and competitive (to the point of aggression). Trees uproot the pavements of city streets, and small plants flourish in the brick walls of houses.

  • Wood (tree, plant life) is a fluid element with roots that reach deep into the soil, a trunk that grows upright toward the heavens, and branches that extend outward.
  • Trees fight for sun above ground to provide shelter for the ground below. They are alive because water nourishes them, and their roots keep the soil in balance. They are sliced by metal and serve as a source of firewood.
  • Wood turns water's conception energy into a desire for life: survival, sexual desire, or the continuity of the species, as well as the need to evolve or develop.
  • In its positive side, the virtue of wood energy is kindness, while the negative emotion is indignation.
  • The sense of sight is the wood element's sense, and it is probably our most strong sense: our eyes receive 90% of our sensory feedback.
  • Green is the color of the wood, spring is the season, and the Dragon is the guardian animal.
  • Liver is the yin meridian for Wood, and Gall Bladder is the yang meridian.

Earth's center or southwest

The planet remains motionless. Earth is our Mother, and she takes care of all of our needs. Anything we use is made on Earth, and it just takes a little effort to transform it into anything from a spacecraft to a wheelbarrow.

  • Metal is born deep inside the world. As the sun shines on the world, bringing light and life, the earth supports water, is kept in place by wood, and nourished by fire.
  • The optimistic side of earth energy is calmness, while the negative emotion is worry.
  • The sense of touch is the earth element's sense, and the mouth is its attribute.
  • The earth's color is yellow, the harvest season is when the fields are yellow and gold, and the Golden Phoenix is the guardian animal.
  • Stomach, yang, and Spleen, yin, are earth aspect meridians.

Water in the North

Is it true that creation began when a bolt of lightning hit the sea? If water has the ability to sustain life, it also has the ability to destroy it. Noah's planet was destroyed by a tsunami.

  • Water is the shape-shifter of nature, frozen solid as liquid, boiling into steam, and streaming as a teardrop or a tidal wave. When left to its own devices, pure water adapts to any form, fits in any bottle, and still flows down to the lowest level—a good thing to consider when “going with the flow.”
  • Rivers drain into the ocean, where they evaporate into clouds, and then fall down on the planet, replenishing the rivers. 
  • Water nourishes plant life, such as wood, and is nourished by the minerals through which it is derived, such as metal. Planet keeps riverbanks and seas in place. Water still regulates flames, which you might be aware from the barbecue and the fire department.
  • Water has the virtues of gentleness and wisdom, as well as the feeling of terror.
  • The sense of hearing is associated with the water element: the ears are a part of water.
  • The color of water is blue, and the season is winter, which is the time of death and childbirth. Turtles and deer are the guardians of the water.
  • Kidney, yin, and Bladder, yang, are the water element's meridian.

Each living being, in the eyes of the shaman, is a microcosm of these elemental powers, representing the cosmos and its interacting powers. The interplay between them determines one's health and well-being. 

  • Rage, frustration, anxiety, impatience, and worry are all emotions that arise from interactions between entities. 
  • Kindness, compassion, calm, bravery, and gentleness are all positive emotions that feed each other and help to control negative emotions. 
  • Acting in a way that is counter to our own nature can cause imbalances in our elemental relationships, which can result in a "state" of dis-ease within an individual. 

When such imbalances occur, the shaman will tell which element is threatening the others or which element is too powerless to stand up for itself. Within elements, organs, meridians, and points, the shaman tries to harmonize yin and yang.

You may also want to read more about Shamanism here.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.

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.

Also, be sure to check out our section on Religion.