Wu Xing: Five Movements 五行 · 오행

This is a crash course on the Wu Xing 五行, Five Dynamic Movements, though you’ll often see it called the Five Elements of East Asian metaphysics.

1/30/2023 Erratum Update: A few of the correspondence rows in the Metal and Earth columns got flip-flopped in the subsequent reference chart. If you downloaded the table before 1/30/2023, please delete it and re-download the rectified version. ❤

I say “East Asian” here because it’s not limited to any one culture, ethnic group, or nationality, not to mention the concept itself is much older than modern-day borders.

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Asian Wheel of the Year: Lunisolar Astrology

Is there an Asian “Wheel of the Year”?

Maybe. Sorta.

Consider these eight solar terms, their dates based on solar longitude (the path of the sun) and how they compare to close equivalents in the pagan Wheel of the Year:

The Four Beginnings  四立
1. 立春 Start of Spring Feb. 3–5
2. 立夏 Start of Summer May 5–7
3. 立秋 Start of Autumn Aug. 7–9
4. 立冬 Start of Winter Nov. 7–8

Equinoxes & Solstices  分/至
5. 春分 Vernal Equinox Mar. 20–22
6. 秋分 Autumnal Equinox Sep. 22–24
7. 夏至 Summer Solstice Jun. 21–22
8. 冬至 Winter Solstice Dec. 21–23

I apologize in advance if my mode of presentation here is going to be a bit overwhelming. In retrospect, I should have taken more time thinking on pedagogy and how best to organize this material so it’s less everything-all-at-once. =)

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Ancestor Veneration When It Isn’t Your Father’s Wish

I received a question by letter, which I wanted to answer privately, but didn’t have an e-mail address or even mailing address. So here’s to hoping this post is seen by who it’s intended for. ❤

The question presented:

Dear Benebell,

I am a Taoist witch, but my religious family thinks I am a Baptist Christian and therefore against non-Baptist religious practices.

Last night my dad and I were watching a Taiwanese movie and an ancestor veneration scene came up. My dad began a conversation about Taoist traditions and said, “When I die, please don’t venerate me like a Catholic or Taoist would.”

I am a strong believer in ancestor veneration and plan to venerate both of my parents when they pass away.

I do not want to go against my father’s personal wishes as I love and respect him, but I also do not want his spirit to go un-venerated because I love him dearly.

What, in your opinion, is the best way to go about this?

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Morning Calm Oracle by Seo Keller

A treasure of a divination system in a box that you’ll cherish, Morning Calm Oracle by trained shaman Seo Kelleher invites you to engage with a world of spirits, divinities, and nature magic from the Land of the Morning Calm, a name of endearment given to Korea.

The box design, sigils, and the tactile experience of handling the cards are an exemplary representation of East Asian magic. Those who are sensitive to energy will even feel the difference in the vibrations of this deck in hand compared to other decks you might have in your collection.

I am enchanted by the effortless beauty and the beneficence of this deck. The artwork is done by Alodia Yap, whose artwork is moving and melodic. Yap’s art style here is impressionistic. It works in perfect harmony with what Kelleher set out to achieve.

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Lunar Year of the Metal Rat & Navigating Natal Years

The Rat is the start of the zodiac cycle, much like Aries in the Western zodiac. Thus, any year of the Rat is going to be prognosticated as a year of beginnings, of starting over, and new opportunities that come your way.

The Rat is considered to be business-savvy and entrepreneurial, so sole proprietorships are going to be more prosperous than usual. It’s a lucky year for small businesses or new startup ventures.

With 2020 being the year of the Metal Rat, we’re going to see a global focus on technology.

Metal years, no matter what the animal sign, are also more prone to social conflicts, so we may see more of that across the world stage. This is a year of nations and leaders trying to show off their power.

On the other hand, in terms of culture and humanities, it should be a great year for music.

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Cultivate Qi and How to Strengthen Your Life Force: Essential Guide to All Metaphysicians

This is the supplemental post for Bell Chimes In #39, which you’ll find on my YouTube channel. Check out all previous Bell Chimes In episodes here.

Most Eastern esoteric paths espouse that a practitioner of any esoteric art should proactively cultivate and strengthen the personal Qi, or life force, because when you do any form of intense metaphysical work, you’re drawing from that pool of personal Qi. If you’re not mindful of replenishing that Qi, then the constant weakening of your life force from the occult work that you do (this includes divination) can cause physical and mental health concerns. So to maintain optimal wellbeing–and that’s physical, mental, and psychic-spiritual wellbeing–cultivation practices are necessary.

Image source: pxhere.com

The Metaphysician’s Qi

Divination, ceremonial ritual, mediumship, channeling, pathworking, spell-crafting, astral journeying—these practices are believed to exhaust a lot of your personal life force, and so as a metaphysician, you want to establish a routine practice of cultivating and strengthening your Qi, or life force, to maintain your wellbeing. Otherwise, you can become more susceptible to illness, both of the physical and mental variety.

Taking measures to cultivate and strengthen personal Qi is a practice everyone and anyone can benefit from, much like how everyone and anyone should be mindful of nutrition and physical exercise. However, the nutritional needs of your everyday office worker is very different from the nutritional needs of an Olympic swimmer. So we can make the comparison here of an occultist to the Olympic swimmer, because it’s considered an out-of-the-ordinary lifestyle, and so your nutritional needs– in this case psychic-spiritual nutritional needs– will be different from the average person.

Let’s cover six ways a metaphysician can cultivate Qi:

  1. Qi Gong
  2. Basic Meditation
  3. Diet, Herbology, and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  4. Warding Your Living Space
  5. Ancestor Veneration
  6. Beneficence

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Thunder Rites (雷法) | Tinkering Bell #9

This is a free introductory course into Lei Fa, a classical form of Taoist sorcery. Lei Fa (雷法), translated into English as Thunder Rites or Thunder Magic, is a tradition of ceremonial magic and Chinese occult craft that rose in popularity during the Song Dynasty of China (A.D. 960—1279). In Eastern esoteric traditions, Lei Fa is considered one of the more advanced practices.

Chinese characters for Lei Fa, Thunder Rites. Left: Oracle Bone Script. Right: Traditional Chinese. Click to download.

There are both inner and outer alchemical forms of Thunder Rites. Methodologies are premised on the belief that thunder is the divine command of Heaven and a practitioner can harvest the power of thunder to absorb powers from Heaven and use those powers to both exorcise demons and heal sickness (because, for the most part, historically sickness was attributed to demonic possession).

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Integrating the Culture-Specific Craft I Share into Your Path

I’m writing this post mostly for my own benefit because I get the question asked so often and I’m kind of getting to the point of laziness where I dread typing and rehashing out my answer. Now in the future I can link to this post.

Everything I share….everything…is set with the intention, the hope, and aspiration that if you’ve found it, resonate with it even when it’s not your culture or even anywhere close to what ordinarily enters your personal path and craft, that you will nonetheless feel an untainted, anxiety-free freedom to integrate it into your path.

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Seal of Changes | Tinkering Bell #7

The Seal of Changes is a template for crafting 64 talismanic sigils that harness the 64 powers encoded into the I Ching: Book of Changes. In this practicum video, I’ll share with you my favorite one: the Seal for Raising an Army based on Hexagram 7.

This work is dedicated to the public domain.

Download the blank template for the Seal of Changes:

Seal of Changes (Blank Template)

Digital Design in JPG (Public Domain)

If you want to fully understand how to operate the Seal of Changes for controlling the 64 powers from the I Ching, then you’ll first need to understand the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching and some of their metaphysical and occult correspondences. A great place to attain a solid foundation to that regard is my “I Ching and Practitioner” course, which you can find and order below.

“I Ching and the Practitioner”

Course Description

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Selling Fu Talismans

In this episode, I answer a question that was presented to me: Can a non-Asian craft and sell Fu talismans to the public?

I recorded the video rather on the fly on the same day the question was presented to me, and didn’t fuss over my face before recording, so now in retrospect when I see the video, I cringe. Ugh. This is what happens when you don’t check your hair or makeup (the eyeliner was already smudging after a long working day) before you hit “record.”

The Fu talisman is a form of Chinese sigil magic that dates back to 400 BC and was later integrated into Taoist mystery traditions around 100 AD. If you’re not familiar with what a Fu talisman is, check out the below links:

The book description for The Tao of Craft (linked here) offers some insights into what a Fu talisman is. On the page of Fu talisman instructables (linked here), you’ll also find images and examples what some Fu talismans look like.

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