Five element personality, what type are you?
If you are anything like me, you love personality tests. Over the years, I have done many, some for jobs, others for courses and some out of curiosity. One that I particularly like is the five element personality test in Between Heaven and Earth written by Harriet Beinfield & Efrem Korngold. The book was written for acupuncturists and contains a questionnaire which is a diagnostic tool for therapists to get an understanding of a person’s five element energy and personality type. The test is easy although rather long, the book, however, makes it easy to understand your type. Like any test (and I’ll repeat this later) it will be influenced by how you are feeling in the moment. I find a better way is to read the types and then decide for myself.
To every person is a season
Just as in nature, there are seasons; these seasons exist in us too. There will be one season or element that we strongly identify with. By looking at what is going on in your life in association with your element and those that are out of balance at this present moment, you can then take action to bring your element into balance. Every day we grow and change as the seasons flow through the year and us.
This questionnaire is based on the five elements (fire, water, metal, water and wood) as they relate to physical and psychological health. Today I dug out an old questionnaire and retested myself (you can do a similar test online here http://longevity-center.com/five-element-personality-questionnaire/). I am still wood, although I always wanted to be fire. Wood is associated with anger and I did not want to be Mrs Angry. Rather silly really when you consider that when you know what your main lesson is you can deal with it. Also when you acknowledge that there are both gifts and challenges, you can use your gifts (and challenges) to grow.
Let’s explore Fire – The Wizard
Every type has gifts and challenges.
While you may currently not understand what your type means, by reading further (http://chinesemedicineworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/five_types.pdf) you will gain a different insight into who you are. This is a great document if you don’t own the book.
Each of the elements has an archetype Pioneer, Wizard, Peacemaker, Alchemist, and Philosopher. The idea of archetypes is taken from Jung and makes it easier (according to the authors) to understand. Like Jung, the authors use a language to make it easier for the reader to understand what each type means. When you identify with an archetype it provides a foundation from which you can explore.
Our primary element or archetype does not change, rather the way that it balances with the other elements. Additionally, each of the elements exists within us. When you are at odds with your world, you will find that your primary element will be out of balance. By consulting the five element chart or wheel and understand, even at a basic level, what each presents to you, you will find clues that can help you regain balance.
I am wood and was earlier in the year massively out of balance, which (naturally) knocked ‘out’ my other elements. One of the ways that I could easily tell that was that the colour of my clothes during this period were predominately black and grey. These colours are associated with water. When I started to take more control of my life, my greens (wood), reds and oranges (fire) found their way out of my cupboard, and subsequently I found I could not wear the dark colours. In this example, water restrains fire, and it certainly has.
Colour is only one of many signs that you are not in balance. There are other signs, such as your emotions, when you wake up, when your energy dips, what you are eating, organs that are stressed and so much more.
Once you get your scores, you can map them against the element diagram (below) and check to see if elements are supporting each other or opposing each other. A note on your score (again). Like any test it will be influenced by how you are currently feeling and you may find yourself confused by the result. A far better way is to read the PDF or the book and you decide which element you most identify with.
When you then analyse your results you will see where you are strong but also where potential disharmony occurs. You can do this by looking at the elements either side as supportive and the ones opposite as potentially antagonistic. After which, you can decide what kind of action you can take to bring balance and harmony to your life.
When you work to bring this harmony into your life, there is little room for dis-ease to manifest. Like anything in life, the more awareness you bring to it, the better equipped you are to manage it.
Exercise to try
Look at your psyche type (in the PDF) and the four columns presented for it. E.g.
- Scan through the columns and pick words that resonate with you
- Are you in tune with the undistorted you?
- What of the other aspects in the other columns and what do they mean to you?
- What action can you take to bring harmony back to your element?
This is a fabulous journaling exercise to do. Pick one word a day and explore it.
This forms part of the journal coaching (writing for the soul) that I offer to enable you to regain balance and begin to find your way back to you.
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