Chinese 5 elements vs. Elementals (Elementals vs. 5 Element Theory)

I study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the underlying theory of TCM is 5 element theory. There are days when I have a heck of a time remembering the directions for the 5 elements because they are completely different than the elementals and directions that I have learned through energy work and ritual in the past.

South for fire is consistent though. (At least there’s one consistent direction and element that I can grab onto!)

Fire as south has always made a lot of intrinsic sense to me- I imagine it’s because I live north of the equator, and the sun is always so lovely from the south.

This is the skeleton beginnings of a chart to help keep things straight between the 2 theories!

Element Type:


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM HAS NO AIR ELEMENT. (There is wind.)
(The *lungs* are metal in TCM, not air!)

Paracelsus Elements:
Sylph Air Elementals
• Direction – East
• Related to breathing
• Spiritual Journeying
• Communication


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM Fire
• Related to Heart
• Season is Summer / Heat
• Emotion is Joy
• Color is red
• Direction is South

Paracelsus Elements:
Salamander Fire Elementals
• Related to Salamanders
• Direction is South
• Related to Energy
• Tarot Wands

• Fire as south
• Passion
• Impulsivity
• Charisma


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM Water
• Related to Kidney
• Season is Winter / Cold
• Emotion is fear
• Flavour is salty
• Colour is black
• Direction is north

Paracelsus Elements:
Undine Water Elementals
• Related to ocean, waves, water
• Direction is West
• Related to the moon
• Feminine

Water is
• feminine/yin
• related to the moon
• Enigmatic, introspective types


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM Earth Direction is Center
• Related to Spleen
• Season is Late Summer / Samp
• Emotion is over-worry
• Flavour is sweet
• Colour is yellow

Paracelsus Elements:
Gnome Earth Elementals
• Direction is North
• Related to stability
• Rooting
• Mother Nature

Spirit / Aether

TCM 5 elements theory:
Maybe this is like Qi, which is everywhere!

Paracelsus Elements:
Center / Self / Universe


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM Metal
• Direction – West
• Season is Autumn / Dry
• Related to the Lungs
• Colour is white

Paracelsus Elements:
Paracelsus: no metal element,
related to AIR

Air relates to breathing in both.
(of course it does!) I am stretching here 🙂 looking for common ground.


TCM 5 elements theory:
TCM Wood
• Direction – East
• Season is Spring / Wind
• Related to the Liver
• Emotion is Anger
• Colour is Green

Paracelsus Elements:
Paracelsus no wood element

We take it for granted that energy is a wave with a vibration, and that we can put intention and positive thinking out into the universe and that that energy like will attract like frequencies so that we can manifest our destinies. We also know that the the words we choose to use when we are talking with others (and with ourselves!) are important. For centuries spells have been spoken, and tribal petitions to the gods have been chanted… so we know that throughout history, sound has been an important factor in shaping our manifestation.

From the perspective of creating a thought-form and sending it out into the ether of our universe… we tend to focus on intention and energy waves. Your intention – your thought – has a vibration.. and so does your sound. So it’s not only the words you use, it’s also the tones that encapsulate those words that are powerful movers of matter.

Today’s sound healers use tone and vibration to heal the body… and cymatics has the ability to prove that certain frequencies have a certain patterns.

Those chakra drawings, tibetan mandalas and the sacred geometric patterns in DaVinci’s work? They are the blueprint for creation… and all life follows these patterns as it grows and shape and shifts. From atoms to cells to the mathematical ratios that create crystal structures…  life follows these patterns.

And now we can see that sound does too.

So not only are you a creator with your energetic intention and your thoughts.
Not only are you a creator with your powerful mind and your ability to envision the future, create a goal and get there… but you are also a creator because you are a being that can make sound waves.

Sound waves can shape matter and cymatics proves that it does.

So imagine how awe-some you will be when you harness your power to create with intention, with energy, with thought-forms and with tone?

You, beautiful being – are a creator, and like me you are on the cusp of something miraculous.
I thank you for being part of my creator family and I look forward to the sacred shapes of sound and tone that we will make together.

xo Chris-Anne


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