I always like looking at the ways the different elements express their emotions, and my last blog (14 August) has made me think about how each element expresses its anger.
When we express emotions other than the one our particular
element imprints us with, these other emotions will always be coloured a little
by the specific emotion which has our guardian element’s stamp upon it. If I take the example of Metal, then Metal’s
expression of anger will always be tinged with Metal’s own emotional needs, one
of which is its demand for others to respect it.
What makes Metal most angry, therefore, are likely to be those things
which impact negatively upon its sense of self-respect, or, by extension, upon
the self-respect of others around it. I
have seen Metal people becoming extremely angry, and to me quite frighteningly
so, when somebody has ridiculed them openly in front of other people.
Earth can show its anger when it feels that somebody is not
paying enough attention to what it wants to say, or interrupts it in
mid-sentence. Its need is not so much a
craving for sympathy, but a craving for understanding in its widest sense. It wants to be given the space and time to
express exactly how it feels, and becomes irritated if it is not allowed to do
this. This is something that I, as a
rather over-hasty Fire person, have sometimes been guilty of doing, at my Earth
I have found Water’s expression of anger to be more hidden,
but like Metal’s it can be quite frightening to witness. It can appear out of the blue (what a
Water-like phrase!), like a tornado erupting suddenly out of a clear sky. Water needs to be constantly on the move, and
its sudden expression of anger can be its response to feeling that something is
blocking its path. Behind this outburst
of anger lies all the power which Water exerts on all it does.
There is then the Wood element’s own expression of anger. This is an element most at ease within a
given structure and with order in its life.
It is when structure and order are under threat that its dominant
emotion of anger will show its stress. It is easy for us to see an exaggerated
example of this in the shouting and fighting to be observed in drunken people
on the streets at night. There is,
however, the flipside to this, which is often forgotten, and which often leads
us to misdiagnose the Wood element. This
is the suppressed expression of this emotion which we call lack of anger. Here the voice can speak in an exaggerated whisper
instead of a shout, and there may be a marked inability to express anger where
anger would be a balanced reaction to some external event.
Lastly, how do I think Fire tends to express its anger? I should know, because I am, after all, Fire,
but there is always the complication with Fire that, unlike any other element,
it has two sides to it, which I have called Inner and Outer Fire. I have always felt that in some ways this
double-sided element could really be described as harbouring two elements,
making a total of six in all. I remember
saying this to JR Worsley one day, and was rather delighted when he
nodded. Of course the two sides share
Fire’s sensory signatures of colour, sound and smell, but their emotional
approach to life is very different. I
can really only speak at first-hand for Inner Fire, although having observed
Outer Fire for many years I have learnt to understand some of its qualities as
I have those of the other elements.
I know what makes me angry, and that is any injustice meted
out to other people, not so much injustice of which I am the object. I like to fight my battles more on behalf of
others than on behalf of myself, and feel deeply, and thus become very angry,
when others are wronged. In my
experience Outer Fire’s anger is more directed at feeling that they have been
the victim of some injustice. Both sides
of Fire, though, will not harbour grudges for long for they tend to feel that
difficulties in any of their relationships with others may somehow be their
fault. Their anger is therefore likely to simmer
down quite quickly, once they acknowledge their own role in whatever initially
These are my thoughts on the different expressions of
anger which each of the five elements may show.