5 Element pathological principles are clearcut. They are the opposite of the healthy relationships.
The clockwise sequence on the circle represents the Shen cycle. The Shen cycle is often called the nourishing cycle or the mother-son cycle. Each element is mother to the next element. Water nourishes Wood, Wood fuels Fire, Fire makes Earth (ashes), Earth yields Metal, Metal produces Water (e.g. condensation).Pathology manifests in two ways.
The clockwise sequence depicted by the pentagon represents the regulating or destructive cycle. Water can extinguish Fire, Fire can melt Metal, Metal can cut Wood, Wood can contain Earth and Earth can absorb Water. The Ko cycle is often referred to as the grandmother-son cycle. There are two types of pathology in this situation.