A beginners’ guide to the Chinese Five Elements of Change
5. FIRE- Pure Heart Pure Mind
Focus mind and heart
This is the fifth and last article in a series of five giving an insight into the Five Elements of Change. See previous issues for Earth, Metal, Water and Wood articles.
As we write this article it is one week away from Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the time of Fire. This is a time when we look back over the last year before moving on into the next one. It is a turning point for us, in the southern hemisphere, as the sun begins to turn away and the days become longer again.
This time of year is a very social time, everything becomes busier as we move towards Christmas and New Year. On Waiheke Island the water warms up, the roads are busier, the beaches fill with visitors, the garden dries up in the heat, cicadas go wild and from our house above the beach we can hear the laughter and joyful shouts of people below us as they play on the beach.
This is FIRE at work: joyful, playful, warm, sociable. But watch you don’t get too much or you will get burnt or be burnt out! Too much sun (Fire) kills plants and burns skin, too much partying can leave you feeling depleted. By the time the summer holidays are over everyone is well and truly ready to get back into their Earthy grounded routines, children are wanting to get back to school and we return to our working lives to begin the year all over again. The elements work in our lives in a never ending cycle of change and movement. Always shifting and aiming to reach harmony with each other. Fire is the beginning and the end.
In our first article in the November issue of Healthy Options “Earth- Heartbeat of the Mother” we spoke of the ancient texts which describe how in the beginning a great ball of Fire eventually cooled down to become the Earth, full of Metal and minerals from which comes Water to feed and nourish the plants (Wood) which feeds Fire and so on and on and on and on, into infinity. This is the nourishing cycle-the way in which the elements feed and nourish each other.
In the Four Element Theory that we are more used to in the west, the Sun is Fire and relates to the masculine principal; outward, active. In Five Element Theory, Fire is the same; it is an active yang element, wonderfully motivating and warm, joyful, social and attractive.
We have also spoken of the controlling cycle, this is the way in which the elements control each other to ensure that no one element becomes over dominant. For example if Fire becomes dominant then it can rage out of control consuming and burning everything up in its path. In the controlling cycle Water puts out Fire which melts Metal which cuts down Wood. Wood holds Earth together which controls Water by containing it.
So, if the natural order of things is harmony and balance, why do we become out of balance? Surely as we are simply a part of the universal whole and also made up of the Five Elements then isn’t balance our natural state? Why would illness and disease persist and why do we continually choose to do things which are not good for our health or the health of the planet?
Because human beings do not have a natural control cycle, we feed on the nourishing cycle and have no sense of when to stop or change unless a controlling factor or a discipline is brought in. The controlling cycle is a tool for understanding, developing and encouraging harmony between the elements and thus in the body, mind and spirit of the patient.
FIRE is seen symbolically as a red crow. The red symbolizes transcendence, passion and the heart, the crow protection and guardianship.
Colour – red
Dynamic energy- psychic
Emotion- joy, mania
Nature –flare up expands
Psychic- spirit (shen)
Senses- tongue, taste
Sound- Laughing, rapid speech
Symptoms – complexion
Tissues –blood vessels
Yin organ- Heart/Pericardium, 11am-1pm/7pm-9pm
Yang organ – Small Intestine/Triple Heater, 1pm-3pm/9pm-11pm
THE BALANCED ENERGY
Happy, lively, passionate and compassionate the balanced fire type has an open heart, a desire for union and a capacity for intimacy. Attractive and warm, intuitive and empathic this type has an abundant, spirited enthusiasm for life. Able to focus and achieve much they have a clear mind and are able to peacefully meditate even when seemingly very active.
Excitable, hypersensitive and manic this type will go to extremes to get attention which leads to restlessness and manic behaviour. They jump from one thing to another unable to focus on details and finish tasks. Energy burns out and depression ensues. They have difficulty in relationships as others find their intensity overwhelming. Inappropriate, loud and annoying laughter is a key symptom as well as irrational and confused behaviour.
Selfish, cold, and forgetful the deficient Fire type is unable to generate warmth and affection since their Fire has literally “gone out”. A monotonous voice and lack of humour with feelings of melancholy and depression are characteristic of this. They create fantasies with unrealistic hopes for the future and can easily become obsessed by external pleasures.
The Balanced Energy vibrational essence blend Pure Heart Pure Mind assists one in being able to burn away old stuck mental patterns and open up the heart to compassion bringing in warmth, joy and calming anger. It helps one to focus mind and heart in all aspects of life.
The organs associated with Fire are the Heart and Small Intestine
The Heart powers the river of life force (that is our bloodstream) which contains all the cells need around the body.
The Heart is also referred to as a Liquid Oscillator. There are seven muscles that make up the heart which form a tetrahedral (equilateral triangle) pyramid. When light enters the iris and retina this affects the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands which produce the hormones essential to the function of the body. (In Chinese medicine this is called the Crystal Palace). The light frequencies then move through the thyroid directly into the heart which vibrates and splits them into 7 rays, much like a prism does.
Cells, to complete any function, need the correct amount and frequency of light and natural nighttime darkness. The fluid in the cells also needs to be charged electrically to work the processes that happen within the interstitial fluid. It is the Heart which generates the electrical impulse and is responsible for sending impulses and voltage around the body as it pumps the blood (life force).
The heart relates, on a general level, to our ability to be able to make sure that everything in our lives receives whatever it needs for its growth and development. It is the organ related to the emotion of compassion which is an attribute of Fire.
The small intestine begins with the duodenum located directly after the stomach. This is where the bile from the gallbladder and the pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas begin to open up the nutrients in our food. Then the next sections of the small intestines, the jejunum and the ileum, allow the useful items in the food to be absorbed through the intestines into the blood where they are distributed around the body to assist with growth, function and development. The Small Intestine relates to being in the place we need to be in order to see what life has to offer us (duodenum), creating the situations we need to be able to look into what life has to offer and locating the valuable items needed and then the ability to bring into life whatever it is we need for our development and growth. (ileum and jejunum)
Too much Fire can cause excessive perspiration or tendency to overheat, flushed complexion, skin eruptions or irritations, sores on mouth, tongue and lips, eczema, psoriasis, lack of appetite, irregular or rapid heartbeat with palpitations or angina. (Seek medical assistance immediately if this occurs)
Chronic fatigue, loss of vitality, loss of appetite, digestive problems (indigestion, flatulence, heartburn) heart irregularities and palpitations, hypertension, cardiac insufficiency, congestive heart failure.
Fire also has two other organs related to it by Traditional Chinese Medicine; The Triple Heater and the Pericardium. These organs do not exist on a physical level, they are purely energetic. However they play a most important role in the physical health and well being of the body according to Five Element Theory.
Unfortunately we do not have space in this article to talk about these, they are an article in themselves! Many books have been wriiten upon the subject of Five Element Theory and it is a very hard task to condense such a huge body of knowledge into a series of small articles. We hope that our brief descriptions of the qualities of each element have inspired you to search for more knowledge on this subject or possibly given you something you had not previously known or understood.
If you are interested in learning more about vibrational medicine, having a private session or obtaining one of our products we would love to hear from you.
Catherine Opie and Henri Venturini are Master practitioners, teachers and producers of vibrational medicines, energy healing and martial arts. They live on Whangaparaoa Peninsula in New Zealand where they run their Auckland based natural health and healing company Balanced Energy™. They also facilitate a Diploma of Vibrational Medicine course for practitioners wishing to train in these modalities. Copyright Balanced Energy 2007