Concept

Wuxing (Chinese philosophy)

Summary
(), usually translated as Five Phases or Five Agents, is a fivefold conceptual scheme used in many traditional Chinese fields of study to explain a wide array of phenomena, including cosmic cycles, the interactions between internal organs, the succession of political regimes, and the properties of herbal medicines. The agents are Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, and Earth. The wuxing system has been in use since it was formulated in the second or first century BCE during the Han dynasty. It appears in many seemingly disparate fields of early Chinese thought, including music, feng shui, alchemy, astrology, martial arts, military strategy, I Ching divination, and traditional medicine, serving as a metaphysics based on cosmic analogy. Etymology Wuxing originally referred to the five major planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Venus), which were conceived as creating five forces of earthly life. This is why the word is composed of Chinese characters meaning "five" () and "m
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