五材 Wu Cai - Five Elements

What is Wu Cai (五材)?

五材 Wǔ-Cái literally means five materials or elements. The difference between (五行 Wǔ-Xìng) five phases/agents and (五材 Wǔ-Cái) is that the latter refers to the materialization of the five phases/agents.

The five phases (五行 WǔXīng) are often mixed with the five planets, which have different sizes, masses, speeds, and electromagnetic fields. They resonate and vibrate at different frequencies. Depending on their position and distance, their gravity and frequencies interact with each other in a producing, weakening, and controlling cycle.

Yet the effects of the interactions are the same for the five phases. The materialization of the five phases effects are the five elements (五材 Wǔ-Cái) or subtle forces perceived as five forces (五德 wude).



The Five Phases Interactions

The different effects (materialization of the forces) of the five phases (cycles) are:
(生 Shēng) generating: one cycle generates or amplifies another cycle’s energy.
(勝 Shèng) weakening: one cycle drains another cycle’s energy.
(克 Kè) overcoming: one cycle absorbs another cycle’s energy.
(制 Zhì) restricting the overcoming cycles impact by the weakening cycle’s energy.
(化 Huà) dissolving the overcoming cycles impact by the generating cycle’s energy.

 
The Five Elements Interactions
The generating cycle The weakening cycle The overcoming cycle
Wood generates fire Wood weakens water Wood overcomes earth
Fire generates earth Fire weakens wood Fire overcomes metal
Earth generates metal Earth weakens fire Earth overcomes water
Metal generates water Metal weakens earth Metal overcomes wood
Water generates wood Water weakens metal Water overcomes fire



Impacts on Overcoming Elements
The overcoming cycle Overcoming is restricted Overcoming is dissolved
Wood overcomes earth Metal restricts wood Fire dissolves wood
Fire overcomes metal Water restricts fire Earth dissolves fire
Earth overcomes water Wood restricts earth Metal dissolves earth
Metal overcomes wood Fire restricts metal Water dissolves metal
Water overcomes fire Earth restricts water Wood dissolves water


The above-mentioned rules reflect only the generic concept of the five-phases/element interactions. Quite often overlooked when solely one element meets another, this does not mean that the producing, weakening, or controlling cycle will be triggered. The when and where define the element strength, which is the key factor to control or trigger a new cycle; therefore, it is at utmost important that one must master the unit before the absolute.




Relationship of the elements based on the 日主 Day Master

The characteristics, state of the elements based on the the 日主 Day Master. The Day Master is the upper character of day pillars which are based on the days 10 Heavenly Stems. 

The element that is overcome by the Day Master is the wealth element.
The element that overcomes the Day Master is the influence element.
The element that the Day Master generates is the output element.
The element that generates the Day Master is the resource element.
The element that is equal to the Day Master is the companion element.