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The mysterious Earth element

 
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jorge



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 124

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: The mysterious Earth element Reply with quote

Something
went wrong with the theory of 5 elements.

We say fire
generates earth, wood controls earth, when in fact wood,fire and water cannot
exist without earth. We say wood uproots earth when in fact it is the tree that
falls when disturbing the earth. We can extinguish fire with water or cut a
plant to pieces with metal, but we cant destroy or enhance earth.

When I look
at my chart I see a ground (earth branches) where fire and metal stand.The fire
isn’t being weakened by earth. The ashes from the fireplace are wood not
earth.The earth remains as it is. It may be wet or warmed but not dead.

I think the
Chinese avoid the uncomfortable topic of earth. It might be easier if earth
branches had a prevailing element,like water in the Ox. But you still have the
problem of earth stems
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Lunlumo



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 245
Location: Münster, Germany

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jorge,
This is a paradox I have often thought about -
without really finding a solution.
Well, paradoxes do not have any solution,
by nature.



The corresponding number of earth is 5 -
and you see its central position when you write the
fundamental cardinal numbers like as follows:


123
456
789

LL
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Non coerceri maximo, contineri minimo divinum est.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1633
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I've never figured out how metal is not earth? I mean really??? not to mention tree or ash into earth, is not actually earth, it is loam, fertilizer, whatever, but not actual earth... yes I did study a little geology... anyway, I think that Chinese astrology is about the place western astrology was in the late 60's early 70's, still attempting to pull up the old texts and revive itself and much in the dark. there are too many obvious holes in its current condition, which will be interesting to see develop over time. I am fairly certain that with time, much will be recovered or rediscovered. I like the underlying principle, like western astrology is to attain balance among the elements. They just go about it differently.

G
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Lunlumo



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 245
Location: Münster, Germany

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could there be some misunderstanding of what is called "elements" - which is actually rather bad translation ? They would more accurately be called "phases of change" or sth like that. One misses a lot when one sees the elements as some sort of a "substance".
I'd be cautious when it comes to characterizing and valuing the present level of Chinese astrology. Only a very small part of the traditional and present texts have been translated. - And, by the way, isn't this a forum that continually emphasizes the importance of tradition?
LL
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Non coerceri maximo, contineri minimo divinum est.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1633
Location: California, USA

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't agree with you more! especially on translation! Also I've seen a lot of mixing of Feng shui with their zodiac, and I think that may lead to some real misunderstanding on the subject as well.

G
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Regulus



Joined: 30 Sep 2011
Posts: 7

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think things like this become subject to too much brain power and overthinking.

Quote:
We say fire generates earth, wood controls earth, when in fact wood,fire and water cannot exist without earth.


This really goes without saying. Taoist elements aren't fixed substances, but they exist on an ever-changing wheel. If something in the wheel goes missing, then we can't really have any of it.

Quote:
We can extinguish fire with water or cut a plant to pieces with metal, but we cant destroy or enhance earth.


I disagree. We can make it lifeless by overplanting. It's the reason why farmers rotate crops in fields. If you use it too much, it loses it's fertility and you have to get in new soil. It's much easier to just grow less demanding crops to give the soil a little break. We can also enhance it with fertilizers of which ash is but one of many.

Quote:
Personally I've never figured out how metal is not earth? I mean really???


I think it mostly has to do with the inability to grow anything in metal, which is really Earth's defining trait
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