In macrobiotics, health is constantly moving and changing. If we stay stagnant then we are moving towards illness instead of health. At SHI Macrobiotics, a macrobiotic institute, we teach students about the five transformations to help them be able to adjust to the changes of energy in the seasons, environment and balance yin yang. If we keep transforming our habits to follow the natural cycles, like moon cycle, around us then we will continuously be healthy and emotionally strong.

What is the five transformations and moon cycle?

The five transformations is a yin yang model of the relationship between our environment to our organs and emotions. In macrobiotics, the model is divided into five stages of change – tree, soil, water, fire, and metal. Each phase is associated with a moon cycle, an organ pair and positive and negative emotion. We move through all five phases during one moon cycle. When these phases are balanced so is yin yang, which means we are at great health and our organs are working efficiently

Here is an easy chart of the five phases and associated moon phases, organs, and emotions:

Five transformations

Five Transformations and Moon Phases to Diagnose Symptoms

The five transformations gives more understanding to overall health. If we are having physical or emotional symptoms during a certain time in the moon cycle than we know to adjust our eating habits and activity to rebalance. For instance, increased anger or irritability during first quarter can reveal potential problems in the liver or gallbladder. Or tiredness in the last quarter would be a problem of the lungs and large intestine.

Here is a list of symptoms and their remedies:

  • If there are symptoms in the first quarter of the moon cycle than you are eating too much meat and heavy foods and need to focus on leafy greens and lighter, more refreshing dishes.
  • If there are symptoms in the last quarter of the moon cycle than your are eating too many strong sweets or baked foods. (Learn more about good and bad sugar)
  • During a full and new moon avoid both extremes of yin yang. Eat more grain, bean and vegetable dishes. (Check out our vegetable dish recipe for Nishime.)

The moon cycle and five transformations can help anybody to develop a better understanding of their bodies and emotions. At SHI Macrobiotics, we teach the five transformations in our intermediate and advanced macrobiotic courses. If you feel you are not ready for these courses but want to start learning macrobiotics then check out our Introductory Macrobiotics Course.

Want to talk one-one with a macrobiotic counselor about your health? Schedule a macrobiotic consultation with Denny Waxman.

Author: Denny Waxman

Denny Waxman has been a macrobiotic counselor since the 1970s and is one of the founders of American Macrobiotics. He has changed the food narrative away from a diet dependent upon animal & dairy foods. From the Mid-Atlantic Summer Camp, to opening Essene Market, and directing the Kushi Institute, he has been a pioneer of macrobiotics. His notoriety came after Dr. Anthony Sattilaro overcame cancer and credited Denny for saving his life in his book, Recalled by Life. Denny has written several books and teaches globally.