The Five Elements
Wood and Water,
Fire, Metal and Earth;
These are the Five Elements,
From which all is birthed.
At least that what the Ancient Chinese claimed:
All reality is but a play of these;
And in flow with Nature’s rhyme and reason,
they manifest accord to certain keys.
Wood is that which is nourish by water,
a plant skeleton strong and flexible.
It stores the sap that feeds the limbs,
and can be cut down by the force of metal.
In the body it is gallbladder and liver,
storing blood for the fuel of our flesh;
Cleanser of this supreme elixir,
the bath in which our cells refresh.
The season of spring manifests the Wood,
Seeds sprout forth to plants and trees;
Sour tastes fertilize the Wood,
and it moves us from the east.
When out of balance, wood starts to crack,
manifesting stuckness, stress and anger;
When in balance, wood bends with strength,
Flexible and calm even in danger.
Wood fuels the Fire, to burn bright and hot;
Promoter of heat and light and power;
Fire turns Wood into Earth,
and manifest strongest in the summer.
Fire comes from the south like the Sun,
Governor of light and father of days.
Burning hot ‘til quenched by water.
Pungent and acrid to the taste.
In the body, the Fire’s the heart,
and allows the Small Intestine to digest;
The Spirit manifests from the spark of Fire,
Governor of all, the almighty Empress.
Upright Fire brightens up the Spirit,
Full of meaning, bliss and joy;
When diminished we get sad and depressed,
or anxious, unsettled, annoyed.
Like the volcanoes which spew forth an island,
Fire is mother to Earth.
Earth forms the ground beneath our feet,
From whom precious metals are given forth.
Transforming and Transporting like the Earth,
The “Spleen” and Stomach separate out impurity.
Sending the impure down and out of us,
Extracting what is worthy.
Sweetness can nourish the Earth,
Like glucose does our cells.
Wood holds back Earth from Erosion.
Protecting the Earth from the tides and swells.
From the Earth we get stability,
a ground center beneath our feet;
Deficient Earth makes us obsessive,
Overly pensive and worried, deplete.
All minerals and Metal come from the Earth,
And Metal is forged by the Fire.
Disciplined into size and shape
Metal becomes a sword or wire.
As the Conductor of electricity,
Metal receives and sends forth energy.
So likewise does the lungs and colon,
breath in and disperse the Qi.
The harvest takes place in the season of Fall,
Transition form summer to winter.
Metal reaps the fruits of the autumn,
and is engendered by the bitter.
Strong Metal keeps us inspired,
Full of vigor, energy and zest;
Weakened Metal can come from grief,
Like the sun setting in the west.
Mother of the fluid way,
Metal liquefies to give forth Water.
Water is cold and damp,
Like the north, the night and Winter.
The Kidneys and Bladder are Masters of Water,
Transforming salt and liquid to urine;
The Earth can hold and contain Water,
Which is needed to transform it.
Paranoia and fear disturbs the Water;
As does fright and indiscretion;
Courage, strong will and security,
Flow from Water’s true intention.
As the winter gives way to spring,
and the wet nourishes plants to grow;
Water gives way to the Wood.
And so on and on it goes…
The seasons they go round and round,
All things come and go;
The elements transfigure us,
as Nature ebbs and flows.