The five manifestations of Chi here on earth are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. These five energies interact with one another, sometimes working together, other times opposing one another. Each element has a season, direction, color, number, and a trigram. The earth is placed at the center (late summer, northeast, southwest, wet, brown, yellow, 2,5,8), fire is at the south (summer, heat, red, purple, 9), west is metal (autumn, west, northwest, dry, white, silver, gold, 6,7), north is water (winter, cold, black, blue, 1), and wood is east (spring, east, southeast, wind, green, 3,4). Fire is the mother of ashes (earth), earth is the mother of metal, metal is the mother of water, and water is the mother of wood or trees. As the wood dries, it becomes the mother to fire. In Feng Shui, elements battle other element: thus, according to Feng Shui, fire battles with metal and thus transforms metal, metal transforms trees, it cuts them down, trees controls the earth, the earth controls the water, and water battles with fire. Now the wheel goes the opposite direction. Fire burns wood. Wood absorbs water. Water corrodes metal. Metal moves earth. Earth reduces fire. This is called the weakening cycle. All of this emphasis on controlling and weakening and so forth is to create balance.
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