One Fast Car, Five Cool Elements

Dear Five Faces: This isn’t really a relationship question, but I’m new to the elements and am having a hard time understanding the difference between them and how they act. A friend told me they heard you teach the topic once and you described the elements like a sports car. How does that work? Signed, Newbie

 Dear Newbie: Your friend has a good memory – I have described the energetic dynamics and phases of the elements using a sports car many times. Here’s how it works.

We teach that the Five Elements represent the phases inherent in moving through the whole of any cycle. We often use the different seasons of one year to illustrate this. Water is winter, Wood is spring, Fire is summer, Metal is autumn, and Earth represents the balance point between each season (the solstices and equinoxes) and also the season called Indian summer.

But the Five Elements aren’t just about the passage of time or seasons. They represent the expansion and contraction phases, the dynamic interaction between yin and yang, that anything moves through in the course of a complete cycle. Take a look:

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