This is a quick course in Wu Xing – Five Dynamic Movements. However, it’s often called the Five Elements East Asian Metaphysics.
A few rows of correspondence in the Metal and Earth columns were flip-flopped in subsequent reference charts. Please delete the table prior to 1/30/2023 and redownload the corrected version.
Because it isn’t limited to one culture, ethnic group or nationality, I use the term “East Asian” here.
Let’s begin with a fun exercise. What is your last numerical digit from your year of birth, and what should it be?
This last digit can tell a lot about the forces at work during your year. It will impact you individually, but it is dependent on your Ba Zi (or natal chart).
For example, if your birth year was 1985, the last digit is 5. For the year 2023, the last digit is 3.
It is easy to see that in the 60-year lunar-solar sexagenary calendar, the last digit corresponds with one the five phases of change in a fixed, formulaic cycle.
While you are at it, take note of the last digit in the current year. What are the expected prevailing forces based on Wu Xing correspondences?
0 or 1 – METAL YEAR. The dominant global forces in Metal years are civil strife and conflict, disruptions, and destruction. So we want to harvest, so it’s using the scythe for cutting the wheat. It is tempting to demolish and rebuild. The sciences are also seeing a lot of progress. A greater emphasis is placed on advocacy and public policy. Education. Scholarship. Metal is used to create the media, declarations, stirring conflicts, social unrest and strife.
Your Zodiac sign of Monkey or Rooster is considered especially auspicious if you were born in a Metal Year that ended 0 or 1. This is for Metal-dominant traits. Bonus points for being born during the autumn season.
2 to 3 – WATER YEAR. International relations and foreign affairs are often stressed by water years. We see more progress in the arts, medicine, and health due to pre-existing forces. There is also a greater collective commitment to religion. The 2 and 3 years of a decade mark a period of significant power shifts, transitions and transformation. It is experiencing an aftermath, and learning so that we can pick up where we left off and begin again.
Your zodiac sign, the Rat or Boar, is likely Water-dominant. This is based on Asian metaphysics. You also get bonus Water points for being born in winter. Water-dominant people are great diplomats and doctors because of their good manners and desire to heal the world.
4 or 5 – A WOOD YEAR. The wood years that end in the digits 4 or 5 are times of growth and where there will be more innovation. These years are also more focused on agriculture and the humanities, writing, publishing, language arts, healthcare, academia and a time when there are rising, developing political power. You will see new faces and new voices soon to take over.
If you are a Tiger or Rabbit in the zodiac, and were born in a Woodyear, bonus points for a spring month, or an empowered Jupiter, then you have a green thumb. Your nature is generous, open-minded and charitable.
6 or 7 – FIRE YEAR. The military’s role in times of fire is highlighted. Fire inspires people to be more ambitious, desire more, and expand their territories. It also supports entertainment and creative businesses. Fire would have a slogan that said “Go higher, Burn brighter”.
Snake and Horse Zodiac signs, especially if born during the summer, are best suited to Fire-related career paths. You can think of leadership positions, entrepreneurship, arts and entertainment, to name just a few.
8 or 9, EARTH YEAR. Domestic affairs are the driving force behind movement in Earth years. What’s happening in the home. What’s going on within the family. Stability in the family. Stability for a nation. This is when the executive leadership is at its strongest. Earth is the alchemical stage that creates law, finance, real estate, and business. It also facilitates fertility.
Four zodiac signs are Earth dominant by nature: Ox, Sheep and Ox on the yin, and Dragon and Dog on the yang. If you are one of these zodiac signs, and were born between 8 and 9, then you will likely have strong Earth-associated traits such as perseverance, diligence, and a confident nature. Also, you should be someone who values stability and family. You are also very lucky with finances.
It is obvious that year analysis alone does not suffice, particularly if there are more prevailing Wu Xing factors in a Ba Zi Chart that outweigh year analysis.
Ba Zi, also known as the Four Pillars of Destiny or personality analysis, is based on Wu Xing metaphysical correspondences. The video will show you the Ba Zi chart.
I hope that I have made it clear in the video course. The Five Movements are five points on a spectrum. Metal is not an isolated, fixed “island state” that is separate from Earth and Water. Metal at the edge of Earth will share some similarities with Earth’s metals, while Metal at the edge of Water will share some common qualities with Water.
Each of the Five is further distinguished by the binary subdivision of “yin” and “yang”, which means there are yin Earth, yang Earth, and yin wood.
The second important takeaway is the two directional cycles in the Wu Xing. This theoretical construct is considered fixed. Fire mustbe “preceded by Wood” because Wood creates Fire. No Fire, No Wood. There is no Fire and there is no Earth. If there is Fire movement, you can predict the next Earth.
Each Movement also “destroys” or subdues it one step. So Wood, skipping Fire, defeats Earth. Earth, skipping Metal, defeats Water. Water, skipping Wood, defeats Fire. The illustrated diagrams below show the Cycle of Creation as well as the Cycle of Destruction.
These diagrams contain the essentials of all you need to know about the interaction of the energy of every thing with the energy from everything else. You only need to know what is “Wood” and what’s “Fire,” etc.
Wood will support, fortify and amplify Fire. However, Wood will subdue and destroy Earth. The Metal will subdue and destroy Wood. As you read the preceding statements, follow the paths of the diagrams.
Next, you need to figure out the correspondences. This is a little more difficult. There are many traditional schools and thought systems. has to contend with.
The correspondence table above will provide you with a good place to begin your studies. With a table of correspondence, you can remember the Hermetic maxim, “As above, so below”; and, “As within, so without.” All things are interconnected, that is along the paths of Creation and Destruction which we discussed earlier in the second key takeaway.
Let’s do something. You can identify one area of concern in your physical health by looking at the rows “Organs” or “Organ Systems or Functions”.
Take note of all correspondences within the same column by scanning the chart up and down. Identify the phase that Wu Xing changes and which weakens , the phase correspondence for your Organ or Organ Function. Move the column upward and downward.
What are the root causes? And what might your lifestyle and mental state be contributing to this situation?
(For Metaphysician’s day planner users, refer to the back of your planner for the “Human Body Clock” reference page. It is important to note which lifestyle changes will improve your condition.
The Wu Xing correspondence column in which you find the troublesome Organ or Organ System will reveal what your weaknesses are and what you can do to balance them out. Proteins are a good place to start if your nutritional focus is on the digestive, lymphatic, or muscular systems. You might be suffering from skin conditions that persist. If so, you should examine your diet and see if there are enough nucleic acid-rich foods.
Which area in your life would you like more luck and good fortune? The table below will help you locate that area.
Which Wu Xing correspondence has been associated with this sector? Which Wu Xing correspondence empowers this sector? Next, return to the previous reference table and note all feng-shui correspondences. Consider color and interior décor in the area of your house and office that corresponds with this area.
This is your quick crash course in Wu Xing Five Movement basics. If you are new to the system and want to learn more, you might watch the video lecture several times and read the companion written material. But, it is best to just start. You can try out the lifestyle alchemy in all avenues, with healthy boundaries, and see what sticks. =)