Now you have the elements in place it is time to learn about their cycles. They have three cycles, 1. Productive cycle. 2. Controlling cycle. 3. Destructive cycle.
1. Keeping S at the top, if you go around your circle in a clockwise direction, keeping in mind that Big and Small Earth belong together even though they are situated opposite each other, you will be following the productive cycle of the elements. Therefore Fire is productive to Earth. Earth is productive to Metal. Metal is productive to Water. (Skip Small Earth) Water is productive to Wood and finally Wood is productive to Fire. To put all this in everyday language - Sun (fire) warms the Earth. Earth produces Metal (iron ore, gold etc). Metal is found in rivers/Water (gold). Water helps plants/Wood grow. Wood fuels Fire.
2. If you go anti-clockwise around your Pa Kua, still with S at the top, you have the controlling cycle. Think of Fire out of control, throw some Earth onto it and you can control it. In Australia Fire was used by aboriginals to control plant growth (Wood) and a lot of our native plants needs fire to activate their seeds. Wood can be used as a dam to control Water. Water can control Metal and Metal can control Earth.
3. Starting again at S and travelling in a clockwise direction, this time taking every other element (in other words miss an element) and you have the destructive cycle. Therefore S/Fire (miss Earth) is destructive to Metal (fire will melt metal). Metal (miss water) is destructive to Wood (an axe chops down trees). Wood (miss Fire) is destructive to Earth (think of too many trees/plants on a small plot of land). Earth (miss metal) is destructive to Water (too much earth in water creates mud and stops the flow and kills life) and Water (miss wood) is destructive to Fire (water extinguishes fire).
It is really important to remember that Fire and Water are the 2 elements that can be completely destroyed, so care must be taken never to take such drastic action as to cause this to happen. All the elements are equally as important and the aim is to create balance and harmony, not destruction.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how the elements interact, lets explore this concept a bit further. Earlier I stated that Fire was destructive to (melts) Metal. But what about a metal saucepan on a gas ring? Couldn't this be seen as Fire and Metal in a productive cycle? Lets think about this carefully. What exactly are we talking about here? A really tiny saucepan on a huge gas ring turned up to high heat would surely be difficult to manage and potentially dangerous while a massive saucepan on a tiny gas ring with a really small flame would be almost useless but a saucepan that fits nicely on a suitable gas ring could easily produce a nutritious, satisfying meal, very productive don't you think? So another important thing to keep in mind is balance. Big Wood into Small Earth maybe destructive but is Small Wood into Big Earth?
Learn the Pa Kua you have created to date.
Learn the cycles, think about them and each element and how they all interact.
Use your own environment as your university of Feng Shui.
Using an accurate compass, match the various areas of your home and garden to those on your Pa Kua. What element works in harmony with that compass sector? Do you have lots of plants in your relatively small Earth sector and always wondered why you felt tired in that area? Is there any area that needs balancing? Are all the elements represented in a balanced harmonious way in your home? What could you use to represent Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, Metal?
Buy Lillian Too's books insert from FSMegaMall. Visit FSMegaMall. and see if you can pick items that represent certain elements. Learn from the Master herself where to place what and why and then refer to your own, personally created Pa Kua and see if you can understand more and more this fascinating subject. Be daring, inventive, really think about it, learn these cycles and how they interact, study your shopping centres, businesses, office, home etc., you will get to understand the complexity and interactions of these gems that are at the core of good Feng Shui practices.
Next month we will continue to build your Pa Kua into a tool full of valuable information and wisdom. Also we will explore further how the elemental interactions can give us insights into our relationships and ourselves.
One final brain teaser - Other than the Southern v Northern hemisphere theory, what could be a reasonable explanation as to why the Chinese place S at the so-called top of the compass while the Western world places it at the so-called bottom? My husband and I have come up with our own theory, which I will share next session. We do not know if it is correct, but given there are no wrong questions, there are also no bad answers so I guess our suggestions are as good as the next until proven otherwise. I love to hear your feedback, suggestions and theories, so please keep emailing them to me?