In Chinese philosophy, water (Chinese: ; pinyin: shuǐ) is the low point of matter. It is considered matter's dying or hiding stage.[1] Water is the fifth of the five elements of wuxing.

Among the five elements, water is the most yin in character. Its motion is downward and inward, and its energy is stillness and conserving.

Water is associated with the color black, the planet Mercury, the moon (which was believed to cause the dew to fall at night), night, the north, winter or cold weather, and the Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) in the Four Symbols of Chinese constellations.

Attributes edit

In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness, and pliancy; however, an overabundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land. In Chinese medicine, water is believed to govern the kidney, the urinary bladder and jing. It is associated with the ears and bones. The negative emotions associated with water are fear and anxiety, and the positive emotions are fortitude and the virtue of wisdom;[2] the "soul" associated with water is zhi (志).

Cycle of wuxing edit

  • In the regenerative cycle of the wuxing, metal engenders water, as it traps falling water from a source, and water begets wood as "rain or dew makes plant life flourish".[citation needed]
  • In the conquest cycle, water overcomes fire, as "nothing will put out a fire as quickly as water". Earth overcomes water as earth-built canals direct the flow, and soil absorbs water.[3]

References edit

  1. ^ 千古中医之张仲景. Lecture Room. CCTV-10.
  2. ^ Hicks, Angela; Hicks, John; Mole, Peter (2010). Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9780702044489.
  3. ^ Lau, Theodora (2005). The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes. London: Souvenir Press. pp. xxix–xxx.