The Five Elements


Classical elements are ancient groupings of elements.

The grouping usually consists of five elements, and mirrors the natural rhythms and cycles of nature and relates them with the temperaments of human beings. The philosophy of the five elements is that everyone travels through these 5 rhythms/elements, just like nature journeys through the changing seasons.

The 5 Classical Elements serve their purpose by being used as a tool to decipher emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, philosophical, and medical states of being. The philosophy has also been incorporated into cooking, Feng Shui, interior design and all aspects of life and creation.

Each element associates with a variety of principles including:

body organs, emotions, seasons, climate, sense organs, flavours, colours, etc.

They are all connected in a cyclical interaction of generation and destruction, which balances life.

In ancient Greece the classical elements are Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ether/Spirit.

This combination of elements form special relationships that are also reflected in Hindu and Buddhism philosophy, with the only exception being the name for Ether is Akasha and so on.

Possessing the same meanings, but labelled with different names, show the same Tibetan and Japanese Classical Elements. The only exception being the name for Ether is Sky/Void /Space/ Heaven, which gives further insight into the meaning of the illusive element Ether.

The Chinese 5 Classical Elements created by Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner’s around 3000 B.C. show a more physical nature consisting of:

Water, Earth, Fire, and replacing Air and Ether are the more tangible material elements Wood and Metal.


This model serves as a diagnostic tool basis for acupuncture, and other medical and energetic foundations.

The Chinese Elements are also known as the five movements, the five phases or the five laws of change.

From my e-book:  Essential Oils and the Five Elements


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