The Elements Of The Chinese Zodiac That Most Impact Your Life

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The five elements of the Chinese zodiac can impact your life and destiny in different ways depending on the year of your animal sign. Once you discover your own element you will be able to find out some fascinating information about how your associations and relationships pan out with others.

To figure out your element you only need to look at the last number in your birth year and match it to the associated element listed below.

How do I find my Chinese zodiac element?

The last number in the calendar year of your birth will match with one of the elements of the Chinese zodiac.

  • 0 or 1 = Metal
  • 2 or 3 = Water
  • 4 or 5 = Wood
  • 6 or 7 = Fire
  • 8 or 9 = Earth
The 5 Elements Of The Chinese Zodiac

To somewhat simplify what is an incredibly complex maze of interdependence, I am presenting the Chinese Elemental structure as a series of tables to highlight the various aspects of the of interconnection of all things in Chinese astrology.

What are the 5 Elements of the Chinese Zodiac?

According to the astrologists of ancient China our universe consists of:

Five Basic Elements

  1. Metal
  2. Water
  3. Wood
  4. Fire
  5. Earth

Everything, in the universe must have a relationship with these five elements, (this includes people). In addition to applying to every physical thing in the world, these five elements also apply to: colors, directions, seasons, sounds, years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

When applied to people, these elements are calculated from the time and date of birth. These elements are taken into account to expand on the animal signs and to give an insight into the psyche of the person concerned, their inherent tendencies and their personalities in general.

In traditional Chinese medicine each element has its own use as a basis of diagnosis and treatment. It is vital to understand that in Chinese philosophy - everything is inter-related and interdependent. This is in sharp contrast to "Western" philosophy and methodology where differing fields are considered in isolation.

Associations Between The 5 Elements found in each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs

Affinity Relationships:

Also referred to as: defeating, overcoming, and overwhelming the other elements.

  • Water generates Wood - Water is the mother of Wood
  • Wood generates Fire - Wood is the mother of Fire
  • Fire generates Earth - Fire is the mother of Earth
  • Earth generates Metal - Earth is the mother of Metal
  • Metal generates Water - Metal is the mother of Water

Destructive Relationships:

Also referred to as: defeating, overcoming and overwhelming the other elements.

  • Water extinguishes Fire
  • Wood can break the Earth
  • Fire melts Metal
  • Earth absorbs Water
  • Metal can break Wood

Repulsive Relationships:

Also referred to as: hostile, fighting, resisting, and mutually hurting one another.

  • Water dislikes Fire
  • Wood dislikes Earth
  • Fire dislikes Metal
  • Earth dislikes Water
  • Metal dislikes Wood

Personality Traits In The 5 Elements Of The Chinese Zodiac

Because knowing the characteristics of the Chinese zodiac animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig will only give you an overview of your general outlook, it is important to know your Personality Traits by the Chinese zodiac elements to get a more reliable perspective.

Each element implies one kind of personality. For example, the Metal-type person is righteous, the Water-type person is smart, the Wood-type person is kind, the Fire-type person is polite, and the Earth-type person is trustful.

Earth Element People:

  • Are faithful and loyal
  • Are idealistic and highly ambitious
  • Exhibit a dual character
  • Like to be looked up to
  • Are loving and expect love in return
  • They should avoid and stay away from moisture and marshy lands

Fire Element People:

  • Have a magnetic and charismatic personality
  • They are naturally happy and excited
  • They wish to remain bound in their family group
  • They dislike seclusion
  • They are oversensitive and good messengers
  • They should balance emotions and they prefer a cool climate

Water Element People:

  • Are imaginative, philosophers and thinkers
  • They are clever, scholarly and independent
  • They may make up multiple professions
  • They keep sensitive secrets to themselves
  • They should avoid water-laden places

Metal Element People:

  • They are excellent calculators
  • They prefer to lead an orderly, determined, and principled life
  • They like a well-balanced environment
  • Quality is the creed of their life
  • They should avoid arid places

Wood Element People:

  • They are artists in the broad sense
  • They are diligent in their profession
  • They like to find outlets for their creativity, remain busy, have a good work ethic
  • They can be wasteful with money
  • They should avoid windy places
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Author - Richi Who


The Late: Richi Who

I first met 'Richi Who' (AKA Richard Philippe) in 1986 when I had moved to Magnetic Island in Queensland. Richi was leading a mystical, monkish, life at the time. He was living alone while caretaking the solitary house at Arthur Bay for its owner, the late, Sid Ward.

Richi became an integral part of my own spiritual initiation and was to become my psychic guide. His late-night mystic sessions on Arthur Bay filled my life with wonder while opening doors to other worlds.  

Richi later became the first psychic reader I retained at my Ancient Wisdom Center and we stayed friends ever since.  Sadly Richi Who passed away in 2013 while on holiday in Europe. Happily he has since reconnected and is now one of my highly evidential spirit guides.

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