Chinese zodiac astrology has twelve Zodiac signs. Unlike Western astrology, this has nothing to do with planets or stars. The Chinese astrologers work based on 3 philosophical principles: the Chinese calendar (lunar years), Yin Yang, and the Five Elements.

The five Chinese zodiac elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The aspect that belongs to your Zodiac sign also influences your life. The philosophy and meaning of the Chinese 5 Elements are discussed in this article.

Chinese calendar: lunar years

The Chinese New Year does not start as we do in the West on January 1, but somewhere in the period between the end of January and mid-February. Lunar years are calculated in the Chinese calendar. This is the reason why the various zodiac signs can rule from about 15 February to 2 February of the following year. Chinese astrology has a cycle of twelve years, starting with the year of the Rat and ending with the year of the Pig.

Chinese astrology

In Chinese astrology, there are twelve different zodiac signs and five elements. Unlike Western astrology, these have nothing to do with the planets or stars. The word astrology is not entirely appropriate for this reason. In Chinese astrology, you can speak of a real zodiac, which is less the case with Western astrology.

The Chinese astrologers work based on 3 philosophical principles:

  • Chinese calendar (the 12 animal signs)
  • Five elements
  • Yin yang

Wind directions and seasons are also taken into account.

Five elements

In Western astrology, the interpretation uses the 4 elements: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. The 12 Chinese zodiac signs are combined with five elements, namely:

  • Element Wood
  • Element Fire
  • Element Earth
  • Element Metal
  • Element Water

The element that belongs to your moon sign also influences your life.

The Chinese use the five elements to explain the origin of movement and change. Change occurs because one of these five elements influences the fundamental balance between Yin and Yang. Each of the 12 animal signs consists of most of one of the elements. Both an ox and a hare are a wood animal. There are no earth animals.

The elements are based on the wind direction and correspond to the seasons. The years also have their own natural elements. This has the consequence that some years concerning the associated element cooperate with the natural element of the animal of that year. But others work against it. However: the annual element is always dominant and the most decisive in the interpretation. There may be a:

  • Collaboration cycle – the element of the year matches the element of the relevant animal of that year
  • Counter work cycle – the opposite case

For example, 2001 was a Metal Year and also the year of the Snake. In the animal sign Slang itself, the element of fire dominates again.

Change is, therefore, caused by the influence of the five main elements. Each of these five can counteract one of the other elements and produce or interact with one of them. Each element ‘lasts’ two years and occurs two years in succession (a Yang year, followed by a Yin year) and only then comes back 10 years later. The animal signs change in a twelve-year cycle and the elements in a five-year cycle.

The 5 elements are responsible for all harmony and disharmony, according to Chinese astrology. The elements are described below, with the positive and negative sides of the element always being mentioned. This has nothing to do with good or bad but more with aspects that you can take into account or that you can compensate for or change.

Chinese Element Wood

The element Wood (green) stands for spring. Wood needs water to grow. The wood element indicates someone who wants the best for everyone, but who does not always succeed in doing what he/she has intended.

Wood produces fire.

Features Houtmens

Expansive, friendly, social, sensual, fruitful, has imagination, is creative, idealistic, compassionate.

Positive sides:

  • Relaxation
  • Compassion
  • Benevolence

Negative sides:

  • Anger
  • Quickly lose heart in case of a setback

Chinese Element Fire

The element Fire (red) stands for summer, drought, and dust.

Fire produces earth.

Features Fireman

Passionate, passionate, sparkling, dynamic, vital, leadership characteristics, and aggressive. This element is a fiery type. Someone who pursues his / her goal without taking others into account.

Positive sides:

  • Passion
  • Lighting
  • Wisdom
  • Joy

Negative sides:

  • Tendency to arrogance
  • Self-centered

Chinese Element Earth

The element Earth (yellow) represents the equality between beginning and end. Take care and suffocate.

Earth produces metal.

Characteristics of Earthman

Honest, diligent, hard at work, stable, practical, reliable, careful, worried. An earth type has high ideals; he / she is self-aware and generally very reasonable, but can sometimes also be very stubborn.

Positive sides:

  • Self-awareness
  • Caution
  • Trust

Negative sides:

  • Stubbornness
  • Rigidity

Chinese Element Metal

The Metal (white) element represents autumn.

Metal produces water.

Features Metal person

Communication, melancholy, nostalgia, concentration, willpower. This element represents a certain hardness and the tendency to take risks. A metal type wants the best and often stands up for people who are less fortunate or less fortunate.

Positive sides:

  • Energetic
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Strive for the best
  • Empathy

Negative sides:

  • Tendency to hardness
  • Tendency to sadness

Chinese Element Water

The element Water (blue) always brings things into motion, constantly changing.

Water produces Earth

Features Watermens

Takes everything in, very sensitive, irritable, friendly, sympathetic, reflective, persuasive. The element of water creates ideals and dreams, but can also cause too many illusions and too little realism.

Positive sides:

  • Ideals
  • To dream
  • Calmness
  • Respectable

Negative sides:

  • You lose in illusions
  • Don’t be real
  • Fears

Elements collaboration cycle

  • The Earth cooperates with metal by creating metal in its depths
  • Metalworks together with water through metal buckets for transporting water
  • Waterworks with wood by preserving/preserving trees with rain.
  • Wood cooperates with fire by providing the raw material for the flames
  • Light works with Earth by turning wood into ash, which again becomes Earth.

Element counter-work cycle

  • Woodworks against soil because tree roots break open ground
  • Metalworks against wood because axes fell trees
  • Fireworks against metal by melting it
  • Waterworks against fire by extinguishing it
  • Earthworks against water by turning it into the mud

Yin Yang and year of birth

The Yin and Yang principle also plays a vital role in Chinese astrology. Both in the one-year cycle and your personal Zodiac sign.

Editor in Chief

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