The Five Elements, “Wu Xing” in Chinese, is the philosophy of interconnectedness and
dependence for all things in nature. The philosophy was from the second or first century BCE
during the Han dynasty, and was used in many fields of early Chinese thought, including feng
shui, astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, music, military strategy, and martial arts.
According to Wu Xing theory, the structure of the cosmos, planets and solar system mirrors the
five phases. Each phase has a complex series of associations with different aspects of nature,
as can be seen in the following table. Associated with the phases are colors, seasons and
shapes; all of which are interacting with each other.
Sources: Maciocia, G. 2005, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 2nd edn, Elsevier