In my blog of 23 October I wrote about the relationships Wood, Fire and Metal like to have with other people. Now it is the turn of Earth and Water.
There is some similarity
between what these two elements want to experience in their encounters with
other people, and in each case they express more of a need than we have seen
with the other three elements. Both of
these elements enjoy being in the midst of a group, Earth liking to be at its
centre with others around it, and Water melding more into the group, each Water
person like a drop of water absorbed into the great oceans of life. Earth will demand more individual attention,
whereas Water is most comfortable with safety in numbers.
This picture of Earth
surrounded by other people, preferably at their centre,
metaphorically echoes the original five element diagram in which the other four
elements circle around Earth in their midst.
With Earth the most
important thing is that those surrounding it face towards it so that they can
take careful note of what it wishes to say.
It is not enough, as it is with Water, for it to disappear into the
group, for then its words will not be heard and understood as they should be,
an understanding which is a necessary part of its need to process its own
thoughts properly. Processing is, after
all, one of Earth’s most important functions.
It takes in, digests and then processes all that comes to it, both
physically in the shape of food and mentally in the shape of thoughts. It then has to pass on what it has processed
as physical food worked on by the stomach, and as mental food in terms of
thoughts and words worked on by its mind, which it then invites others to hear.
I have always found it
interesting to note the somewhat confusing messages Water seems always to be
transmitting. On the one hand, as I have
said, it has a need in some way to be swallowed up in the whole, to merge
itself with those around it, and on the other, it has the quite contrasting,
but less overtly obvious need to rise above the masses around it, and thus to
rise to the top. It is known to be the
element of ambition and will-power, and just as water in nature exerts by far
the strongest force when it is unleashed in storms and tsunamis, so a Water
person will tend to achieve whatever it sets its mind to, often pushing aside those who
stand in its way, as storm waters submerge all in their path. Its relationship to others can therefore
often seem somewhat ambiguous. Appearing
at ease in the company of others, it can then surprise them by pushing them
aside, determinedly and often unobtrusively, in its fight to get to the
top. A Water person might well be the
one in an office who, perhaps to others’ surprise, is offered the promotion
these others had wanted and expected to be theirs.
And yet, despite this focused struggle to succeed in whatever it does, with little concern for how this affects others and often at their expense, it constantly seeks reassurance from those around it to still the fears lurking deep within it, fear being its dominant emotion.