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The Cornerstone of Chinese Astrology Compatibility Theory - Five Elements

Chinese Astrology compatibility analysis method is based on one important theory -- the Five Elements Theory. The Five Elements (called "Wu-xing" in Chinese) are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Soil.

A Scientific Explication of the Chinese Five Elements Theory

Speaking in the language of modern science, the Five Elements refer to five types of basic particles of matter.

In modern science, we know that matters are made of molecules, molecules are made of atoms, and atoms are made of nuclei and electrons and so on. The particles of the Five Elements should be more microcosmic than atoms because the number of types of atoms is much more than five while there are more than a hundred kinds of atoms.

There is a fundamental difference between the ancient Chinese science and modern science. Ancient Chinese science regards everything in the universe as a living intelligent being and include human life as a major topic of its research, while modern science regards things in the universe as dead so-called "objects" and exclude human life from its research topics.

In modern science, people's knowledge about basic particles that are more microcosmic than molecules is actually very limited. Scientists can only calculate their number of Electric Charge and mass through their orbiting path in a magnetic field. In comparison, Chinese astrology's understanding about the Five Elements are even deeper. The Theory of Five Elements describes the Five Elements' personal characters and the principles how they interact with each other.

Characters and Interactions of the Five Elements

The personal characters of the Five Elements are as follows:

Woodtend to scatter towards four directions, has the force to grow, be prosperous and go outwards;
Metaltend to conglomerate, has the force to astringe, cut, and be sharp;
Watertend to flow downwards, has the force to flow, be free and go downward;
Soiltend to move left and right, has the force of being thick and heavy, going inward.
Firetend to rise and expand upwards, has the force of being hot, giving light, inflating and going upward.

Additionally, among the Five Elements there are two types of interactions: creation and inhibition:

  • Metal creates Water, Water creates Wood, Wood creates Fire, Fire creates Soil, Soil creates Metal.
  • Metal inhibits Wood, Wood inhibits Soil, Soil inhibits Water, Water inhibits Fire, Fire inhibits Metal.

Expansion of Theory of Five Elements

At the root of the Theory of Five Elements, it is simple. However, when it expands, you will find it is an immense system of theory.

For example, there are six types of Metal:

  1. Strong Metal: When Metal meets its favourable time, or there are many items of Metal, it is Strong Metal.
  2. Weak Metal: When Metal meets unfavourable time or there are too few items of Metal, it is Weak Metal.
  3. Buried Metal: When there are too much Soil, Metal is buried.
  4. Sinking Metal: When there are too much Water, Metal sinks.
  5. Breached Metal: When there are too much Wood, Metal is breached.
  6. Melting Metal: When there are too much Fire, Metal tends to be melted.

The original Creation/Inhibition principles are general principles. However, it varies when the circumstances changes.

For example, the general principles are Fire inhibits Metal and Soil creates Metal. So, normally Metal likes Soil and dislikes Fire. However, for Strong Metal, Fire tempers it and makes it more solid. So Strong Metal likes Fire but dislikes Soil, which makes it too heavy.

The like/dislike principles of the six types of Metal are as follows:

  1. Strong Metal likes Wood to distract its force, likes Fire to temper it, likes Water to let it shine. Strong Metal dislikes Soil, because Soil will create Metal and make it too heavy.
  2. Weak Metal likes Soil, which creates Metal, and likes Metal, which assists side by side. Weak Metal dislikes Water, which distracts its force, and dislikes Fire, which inhibits Metal.
  3. Buried Metal likes Wood, which will inhibit Soil. Buried Metal dislikes Fire, which assists Soil.
  4. Sinking Metal likes Soil, which will inhibit Water, and also likes Water. Sink Metal dislikes Metal, which creates more Water and makes Water overwhelm
  5. Melting Metal likes Water, which will inhibit Fire, and also likes Soil, which distracts Fire and creates Metal. Melting Metal dislikes Wood, which assists Fire and makes it more blazing.

The variations of the creation/inhibition principles regarding the other elements are similar to the above. Such variations make the Five Elements Theory expanded to a very versatile and big system.

Indirect Interactions between the Five Elements

Besides the interactions between the Five Elements mentioned above, there are indirect interactions between the Five Elements.

One indirect interaction can be observed as follows. Metal creates Water and Water creates Wood. However, Metal inhibits Wood, which shows that each element inhibits its own grand-son element. This makes the Five Element system a self-restrictive and balanced system instead of an unrestrictive, unbalanced and explosive system.

There is another indirect interaction. Metal inhibits Wood, Wood creates Fire while Fire inhibits Metal. It shows that an Element I being inhibited by Element II can, through its son Element III, have reverse inhibition on Element I. This kind of indirect interaction also makes the Five Element system balanced, otherwise one type of element may just get vanished if having no way to reverse the inhibition.

These principles of Indirect Interactions between the Five Element manifests the balanced nature of the universe. These principles also need to be considered when practicing fortune-telling.

Mapping Five Elements to real things

Now with the cornerstone set, we are still in lack of something before we can start a Chinese Astrology compatibility analysis. That is, we must connect the five elements to real life.

The Theory of Five Elements also provides mapping of the Five Elements to all beings and things in the world.Because everything is constituted by the Five Elements, they can be mapped to anything: fruits, livestock, musical tones, organs of human body, family members, the human society, planets etc.

The most profound and critical point of the Theory of Five Elements is that They are the basic particles that constitutes not only objects and beings that we can see, but also the time and space.

So the Five Elements are also mapped to seasons, hours of the day etc.

Mapping of Five Elements to Beings in the Universe
Element Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Color Green Red Yellow White Black
Direction east south middle west north
Planet Jupiter Mars Saturn Venus >Mercury
Organ Liver Heart Spleen Lung Kidney
Season Spring Summer Change of seasons
(Every third month)
Autumn Winter
Grain wheat beans rice hemp millet

This mapping process can be done the other round. For example, we can extract and deduct the full information about a person's composition of Five Elements from the year, month, date and time of his or her birth. And then from this information, we can tell about the person's fate. This is what the Chinese fortune-telling method "Four Pillars of Destiny" is based upon.

Because the principles of Five Elements and their mutual creation/inhibition penetrates everything, a well-achieved fortune teller can initiate a prediction for you in many different ways, which can either be from a Chinese character you write, or from a note you pick out of the fortune-teller's cylinder that contains many notes, or simply from the time and direction you come.

After grasping the basic principles of Chinese Astrology compatibility theory, even you yourself can make some general analysis of your fate. Of course, each person's life has a lot of variations. The more well-achieved fortune tellers, the more concrete conclusions they can draw.

The Five Elements theory is also what the Chinese traditional medicine and acupunture is based upon.

One's fate cannot be changed

When you really understand the Chinese traditional astrology, you will realize that one's fate is all predestined and programmed at the moment of birth. It includes your appearance, your personal character, your health, your family situation, your ability, how big fortune you can make, at what stage of your life will be smooth and at what stage your life will be tough etc. Well-achieved fortune tellers can predict all these main tendencies of your life.

Since everyone's fate, ability, character is predestined, there is no point to worry, be anxious, feel unfair, jealous, or fight. For a human being, the best way of living a life is to take loss and gain lightly, naturally and keep a peaceful heart.

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