Inter-relationship and interaction between the elements The elements – Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth – are an integral part of the Chinese Zodiac which define a universal balance. All things arise from and return to the earth – when we study the Zodiac, it’s important for us to bear the elements in mind, as every one of us are made up of these elements and are deeply connected to them.
Since the 5 elements are components of the Earth, they are all interdependent. Each element is controlled by another, while at the same time, each element brings about another. This indicates that each element has its own equal strength and weakness, and they have equal influence over each other.
The Generating Cycle: How One Element Creates Another
From Metal we get Water, from Water we get Wood, from Wood we get Fire, from Fire we get Earth and from Earth we get Metal:
Metal (in the form of a container) holds Water
Water (as a nourishing element), helps to grows Wood
Wood is burnt to create Fire
Fire burns every other element down into Earth
Metal is extracted from the Earth
The Controlling Cycle: How One Element Controls Another
Fire controls Metal, Water controls Fire, Earth controls Water, Wood controls Earth and Metal controls Wood:
Fire melts Metal into liquid
Water extinguishes a Fire
Earth absorbs and directs the flow of Water
Wood (as roots of a tree) holds the Earth together or breaks it apart
Metal, as axes, cuts down trees into Wood.