five elements

The teachings of the five elements and the five phases of transformation (wǔxíng) is a Daoist theory for describing nature. It searches for regularities according to which dynamic transformation processes take place within the realm of the living. The five elements Wood, Earth, Water, Fire and Metal are derived from nature and stand for abstract properties.

How the trigrams of the I Ching are assigned to the five phases of transformation in the present interpretation model is explained in more detail here: Trigrams, Elements, Functional Circuits


Good fortune. Central notion of the traditional interpretation of the I Ching. Meaning: positive outcome, because all action happens in accordance with the Dao.

functional circuit

Meridian, pathway or channel through which, according to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the life energy (Qi) flows.

There are twelve main channels, each of which is assigned to one organ system. On the meridians themselves, there are special points where – e.g. through needles (acupuncture) or finger pressure (acupressure) – the energy balance can be influenced.

ElementFunctional CircuitTimeQualityEmotionSense
MetalLung (LU)03-05YinSorrowNose
MetalLarge Intestine (LI)05-07YangSorrowNose
EarthStomach (ST)07-09YangWorryLips
EarthSpleen (SP)09-11YinWorryLips
FireHeart (HT)11-13YinJoyTongue
FireSmall Intestine (SI)13-15YangJoyTongue
WaterBladder (BL)15-17YangFearEar
WaterKidney (KI)17-19YinFearEar
FirePericardium (PE)19-21YinJoyTongue
FireTriple Warmer (Sanjiao, SJ)21-23YangJoyTongue
WoodGallbladder (GB)23-01YangAngerEye
WoodLiver (LIV)01-03YinAngerAuge

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Central notion of the traditional interpretation of the I Ching. Meaning: good for everybody/everything.