chapter  XI
The Five Elements
Pages 6

The above curious, and to our minds artificial, correlation of these items is of importance to us, since to some extent it explains the origin of some of the signs of the Five Elements as taught in the Hung Lodge. Thus the Sign of Water consists of placing the hands on either side of the body, thereby drawing attention to the kidneys, which correspond with the element of Water. On the other hand, while the Sign of Earth does to some extent indicate the position of the spleen it more accurately points to the Solar Plexus, which may be regarded as the centre of man’s Body, and so corresponds with the “Cardinal Point” of the centre. Since the world seems to be the centre of the visible universe this is the most probable origin of the sign. But the Sign for Fire in no way indicates the heart, whereas the motion made does suggest flames of fire which leap up and down towards the sky. As fire is also a terrible engine of destruction, this explanation would account for the widespread use of this (fl)See J . J . M. de Groot, The Religious System of China. Part III ., p . 967 and Part IV., pp. 18 sq.