五行 Wu Xing - The Five Phases
What is Wǔ-Xìng (五行)?
五行/ 五星 Wǔ-Xìng the five stars/ planets or movement of it are the fundamental parts of (八字 BāZì) the eight character system as 命理 Mìng Lǐ
, the knowledge of life
, or 命术 Mìng Shù
, the technique of life
. 五行 Wǔ-Xìng
not to be mixed with (无形 wú xíng - invisible or 悟性 wù xìng – comprehension which sounds simmilar) is often translated as Five Elements
or interchangeable as Five Planets/Stars and are labeled as Wood for Jupiter
, Fire for Mars
, Earth for Saturn
, Metal for Venus
and Water for Mercury
therefore a planet tracing system is assumed however not the planets/stars/sun/moon but their movement (in their phases) in our solar system are 五行 Wǔ-Xìng
which would be best described as the transitional changes of phases, in short the five phases
. Big-Dipper the cosmic 24-hour clock
The asterism Big Dipper as a cosmic clock circles about the pole once every twenty-four hours. We may consider an imagery line between the pointer star of the big dipper and Polaris as the hour hand of the a clock. Nighttime can be estimated by the position of the hour hand; a 24-direction compass (式盤 Shì pán) was used as night clock. To estimate the daytime, the sun's shadow (sundale) is used as a day clock. What are the five phases of the day?
A day is divided into five uneven phases
, namely dawn, noon, afternoon, dusk
, and night
The length of the days and its five phases varies every month; therefore, to address the temporal time issue twice a year at the equinoxes, when the day and night are almost equal in length, these five phases, which divide the sky into five sectors (360°/5) are aligned to specific asterisms (star clusters) along the ecliptic as a basline. These five phases are also known as the five agents or, more often, the five elements. What are the five phases of the year?
As for the days, the big dipper/pole stare is also used as a cosmic calendar. However, in this case, the four moon phases were taken to divide the sky into four sectors; these sectors are known as the four images (四象Sì Xiàng)
and can be used as the starting point of phases for the year.
The four seasons' winter, spring, summer
, and autumn
are commonly referred to as the cold, dry, hot, and wet seasons. Colors and attributes are associated with each season: black
for dry/spring, red
for hot/summer, and grey/white
for wet/autumn. Because the central star apparently does not move but is fixed to the earth, brown, ochre
, or yellow earth colors are associated with the central star. Nowadays, the Confucian rather than astronomical (climatic) perspective is used, which defines the five phases as water
(水 shui), fire
(火 huo), wood
(木 mu), metal
(金 jin), and earth
(土 tu) as an abstraction layer.
A day moves a bit more around one degree each 24 hours. A solar year is completed in around 366 days. The divisions
of 366 days, or 360° in five,
are the five phases of the year
. When the five phases are further divided into two, each sector roughly covers the ten heavenly stems for the year.
and the hour
(double hours) actually do not have
any (五行 Wǔ-Xìng) five phases
; however, an artificial construct is used to get the months phases from the year stem and the hours phases from the day.
Specific attributes are associated with each of the five phases; the characteristics and interactions of these phases/ elements can be used to grasp the momentum and flow of natural forces. Properly utilized, one can take advantage of these phases/ elements to improve circumstances.
The table below shows what the five elements generally represent:
行星 xing xing
青龍 qīng lóng
| Red Bird
朱雀 zhū què
黃龍 huáng lóng
白虎 bái hǔ
玄武 xuán wǔ
有风 yǒu fēng
颜色 yan Se
黑蓝 hei Lan
五常 wŭ cháng
解剖学 Jiěpōu xué
小肠 Xiǎo Cháng
大肠 Dà Cháng