Water (Wu Xing)
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Water is the most yin in character of the Five elements. Its motion is downward and inward and its energy is stillness and conserving.
It is also associated with the moon, which was believed to cause the dew to fall at night.
In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness, and pliancy; however, an over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land. Water governs the Kidney and Urinary bladder and is associated with the ears and bones. The negative emotion associated with water is fear/anxiety, while the positive emotion is calmness.
Black, Grey and Blue colours also represent Water.
In Chinese astrology, water is included in the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin and yang forms), which combine with the 12 Earthly Branches (or Chinese signs of the zodiac), to form the 60 year cycle.
Yang water years end in 2 (e.g. 1992).
Yin water years end in 3 (e.g. 1993).
Cycle of Wu Xing
Water begets Wood as "rain or dew makes plant life flourish".
In the conquest cycle, Water overcomes Fire, as "nothing will put out a fire as quickly as water";
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- Theodora Lau, The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, pxxix-xxx, Souvenir Press, London, 2005