The five elements in their yin and yang expressions create 10 types of element qi, or the "10 heavenly stems." The 12 animal signs, alternating between yin and yang, are called the "12 earthly branches."
Each energy interacts in a specific way with the others, just as we do with different people.
Yang Wood Jia is like a tall tree, sturdy and growing upward.
Yin Wood Yi is like a shrub, grass, or graceful plant.
Yang Fire Bing is like a forest fire-hot, raging, and quick.
Yin Fire Ding is like a candle flame, flickering and burning slowly.
Yang Earth Wu is the tallest mountain, crusty soil, and parched desert.
Yin Earth Ji is akin to garden soil, loamy and rich in nutrients.
Yang Metal Geng is like a sharp sword, piercing and strong.
Yin Metal Xin is like intricate jewelry that clasps and creates structure.
Yang Water Ren is like the deep ocean with its tempests and waves.
Yin Water Gui is like a lake or pool, calm on the surface.
Life qi also comes in combinations of the 12 earthly branches or animal signs. The 12 animal branches are: Rat (Zi), Ox (Chou), Tiger (Yin), Rabbit (Mao), Dragon (Chen), Snake (Si,) Horse (Wu), Goat (Wei), Monkey (Shen), Rooster (You), Dog (Xu), and Pig (Hai).