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Healing through the 5 Elements: COVID-19 insights

There are many things being done to combat the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We may not understand them, but they all play an important role in not just physical prevention, but also bringing balance energetically. Why is that? Because everything is energy!


Yesterday I came across a graphic outlining the 5 steps for coronavirus prevention.

  1. Hands: wash them often.

  2. Elbow: cough into it.

  3. Face: don’t touch it.

  4. Space: keep safe distance.

  5. Home: stay if you can.


As I looked at the graphic and studied the words, a spark of divine insight came over me. “These are the Five Elements,” I said to myself. I then began to dig through my books in trying to find the connection and validate my intuition. And as always, I wasn’t disappointed. The steps we are being asked to perform as part of preventing the coronavirus, are rituals to bring balance to the elements. Let me explain.


Originally there were 4 classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Later a fifth element was added called ether. Most cultures have some variation in these elements and used them as a way to explain nature and the complexity of all matter in simpler terms. But more than that, these elements have power in themselves, and bring with them the energies of their nature.


Feng shui is a Chinese art and philosophy that seeks to bring balance to the elements within a space to bring in and attract “good” energies such as: prosperity, health, creativity, etc.


Chinese medicine and acupuncture also utilizes an elemental system when explaining and treating disease.


Although, the Chinese elemental system is slightly different than the classical elemental system, the importance of finding balance between the elements was the central approach to creating health. Determining which elements were deficient and which may be overly abundant was key.


Now it is normal to occasionally have an imbalance in the elements to succeed in certain tasks. It is normal to draw upon more fire to motivate us to take action. But if we draw upon one element too much and create a state of chronic over-stimulation, we will see the negative effects of an imbalance. Just like anxiety. Anxiety can be good at certain times in low doses. It pushes us to move and can be helpful at increasing the vital energy within to accomplish a task. But too much anxiety can wreak havoc on the on the mind and body of a person, and can ultimately lead to physical illness.


Now, when there is an imbalance in the elements of the system, it is the job of the practitioner to balance the elements by decreasing the abundant ones and increasing the deficient ones to bring balance and health to the person. That is exactly what is being outlined in these steps.


  1. “Hands: wash them often.” This brings in the Water element. Water is cleansing and purifying. We increase the water element through this action. We surrender to the creative and nurturing energy of the water element, letting go of what was, and having faith in what will be.

  2. “Elbow: cough into it.” This corresponds to the element of Air. We want to control the air element, because it feeds the Fire element. It can also allow us to become distracted and lose focus by creating a “head in the clouds” mentality.

  3. “Face: don’t touch it.” The face is an undeniable part of our identity. Identity is associated with the solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus chakra is associated with the Fire element. We are a Fire culture. Driven and motivated to consume and create. We have become too focused on our own identity and our own fire that we have lost touch with the planet, our families, and the world around us. For some, this fire has become so all-consuming that they’ve lost touch with the person they truly are.

  4. “Space: keep safe distance.” This brings in and increases the element of Ether. Ether is connected to vision and seeing the bigger picture. It allows us to discern truth, by creating space from the chaos. This element allows us to find our own boundaries as well as our connections. That connection to all that is, by knowing who we are.

  5. “Home: stay if you can.” Finally we bring in and increase the Earth element. We use this to facilitate feelings of security and stability so that we are not overcome by fear. By staying home, we are able to connect more with ourselves and with our families. We are also getting out more and connecting with nature. Gardening, playing in our backyards, and taking walks outside. All activities that bring us back home in the Earth element.


We are transitioning from a time of personal power and will, to a time filled with more compassion, understanding, and harmony. In order to do this, we need to calm the fires that have been so useful for us in getting to this point.


The signs are there. All we have to do is be open to their guidance. Find direction from the water element. The water element has the greatest strength. It is formless, and goes where it is divinely led. Therefore it always travels in the right direction and where it is needed most.

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As a spiritual philosopher and teacher, I often find myself contemplating the issues of the world. Searching for answers to those crucial questions that plague mankind and the human species as a colle