Nature is truly remarkable. It’s true to say, when we stop and consider the amazing world we live in, it can make us feel in awe of all that it provides for the human race. In fact we couldn’t live without nature, but it sure could exist without us. A sobering thought indeed.
According to Chinese philosophy the 5 elements of nature are water, earth, air, fire, and space and they all work in harmony with each other to complete a full cycle. It’s these elements that lead to all natural phenomena we see in the world.
It is thought that any problem we face whether physical, emotional, spiritual or mental is due to an imbalance in these elements. Let’s take a closer look at all 5 of these elements.
In Chinese Philosophy, the earth represents solidity. It exists as a secure and heavy element. As humans, we are connected to the earth through our physical being. Our very bodies are made up of minerals and bones that exist in the earth’s structure. The earth is our foundation and is vital for our very survival. No earth, no us!
The earth also represents energy. In the natural world, living things such as trees need solid roots that stretch deep down in the soil to become healthy and grow. The same can be said of humans. By absorbing earth’s energy we become grounded, feel a sense of safety and are strong and self-assured.
Gravity rules earth and as such we are pulled downwards. In addition, this pull draws us into the very core of the earth. To fully benefit from the stable and secure feelings that exist when you are one with mother earth, try grounding techniques.
Grounding involves connecting with the earth through walking barefoot, touching the ground and really feeling that you are at one with the earth. These practices help you go inward and develop a strong sense of self through awareness and attachment to this place we call home.
A popular way to connect with mother earth is through the practice of yoga. By fully concentrating on the breath, Yoga allows you to come out of your mind and focus on the inner self. It has a wealth of benefits for the body and mind and is simple to master.
It is an act of self-love that increases happiness and promotes well-being.
The space element represents openness but also in contrast emptiness. All the other elements exist within space, so it is integral to survival. The energy that exists within space is all-inclusive and completely surrounds us in whatever is occurring in any given moment.
Space can also refer to the notion of non-resistance. Space should exist within the body for full health, such as between the joints and even within our thoughts. Space is needed to be fully functional, even within our relationships to others.
Meditation and yoga allows you to build awareness of the space around you and explore it. These practices help you take your mind off your own physicality and explore the surrounding space and your place within it.
It gives your mind a much-needed break from its constant chatter and any turmoil you may be experiencing.
The element of air represents the very essence of life. Without air, there would be no life. It also encompasses intelligence, freshness, communication, and movement. Although invisible, air and wind is felt and to connect fully to its properties you should breathe deeply and inhale its energy.
Air is perfectly balanced and fills all the empty space around us. The air presses us down and because it is also inside us, it balances out the pressure on the outside.
Air also denotes ideas of imagination and intellect, Ideas, wishes, and dreams. It is an active masculine element that’s in motion as opposed to the solidity of the earth. As something that can only be felt, air is the most subtle element.
If there is a disruption in the air element, stability is compromised and can create insecure relationships and a turbulent mindset. A low amount of wind can cause ideas to cease, depressive moods and a drop in productivity.
Fire is a very powerful element. It represents maturity and transformation. It changes things, it can change liquid to solid and vice versa. If fire is balanced, then it can achieve great things. It can melt tumors, and fix broken bodies.
Too much fire is associated with negativity, physical ailments such as burning, indigestion and kidney problems. Emotionally, it links to anger and aggression.
Too little fire can lead to relationship problems, creativity issues and a lack of warmth in human connection. Without fire, there would be no warmth from the sun as well as no light. Everything would be shrouded in darkness, causing a cessation of life. Fire is the source of all energy, with the sun at the core.
Water is another vital element. It is thought that Venus and the moon control water, and all liquid on the earth comes under the water umbrella. Water is essential to the survival of all living things. However, it also represents coldness and flexibility.
Water is fluid and too much can cause health problems such as swelling.
When there is enough water, life pops up around it. The human body is made up of water and flows through the body, providing minerals and nutrients to sustain life. It is able to dissolve all sorts of things such as acids, salt, sugar and organic gases.
It takes a huge amount of energy to change the temperature of water, which is essential for the survival of the planet.
The heat index of water is the perfect temperature for putting out fires and cooling surfaces. It limits the oxygen needed to keep the fires burning. In that way, not only does water sustain life, it can also save it.
It’s fascinating to study the elements and how they all work together in nature to provide everything needed to keep life going and the planet sustained.