The five elements—water, wood, metal, fire, earth—bring
differing energies into a room, often altering the existing / inherent
“chi” of a space. Chi, which, in Mandarin Chinese refers to
spirit or energy of life, is the vital
force inherent in all things. The elements are used as remedies in Feng
Shui and depending on the year, certain elements are more powerful than
others (both positively and negatively).
Some spaces have an inherent energy (determined by the compass
direction and “year built” of the building / structure)
that increases the susceptibility of illness, injury, robbery,
arguments, lawsuits, etc, to the inhabitants. In addition to personal
and financial impact, spaces can be less amenable to creativity
(writing, drawing, painting, acting, playing music, etc.) or romance.
In these “below average” spaces, the elements are used to
harmonize and reduce detriments or impediments to occupants. For
“average” spaces, the elements help bring “above
average” outcomes. In “above average” spaces, the
elements can be used to unlock the full force and positive potential of
Ideally, you’re spending the most time in the best locations in
your home. Most people move into a space that is
“pre-determined.” Based on the pre-determined
energy—positive or negative—the Feng Shui elements are used
to optimize the areas where occupants spend most of their time
(bedroom, home office) or where chi comes into a building (entry
- WATER. Water is the “shui” of Feng Shui.
When the water element is recommended to correct an imbalance in your
house, real water must be used. Clean, circulating water is more
effective than still water. Fountains and aquariums are widely
recommended as a practical way to get water into various areas of any
home or building. The water fountain must be mostly metal (no rocks,
ceramic figurines, or ceramic bowl as base). And an abundance of water
is best. Click
for examples of productive water remedies.
- WOOD. The Wood element is often misunderstood. Wood
furniture is mostly dormant, so there is no harm in having wood
furniture just about anywhere, including wood floors. When wood is used
as a remedying element, a live green plant is effective; large displays
of green color, such as wall paint or carpet, can also work.
- FIRE. Fire is an extreme element and placing it
anywhere can be very good or very bad. In Chinese culture, the color
Red symbolizes happiness, fertility, and prosperity. In Western
culture, it’s associated with passion, power, sexuality, and
appetite. In addition, large displays of the color Red vibrate heat,
the Fire element.
The Fire element in the wrong locations can trigger accidents,
miscarriages, divorces, and other undesirable events. As a remedy, the
Fire element can be anything of significant size that is red, maroon,
burgundy, hot pink, or cranberry in color. The Fire element must be
visible to have an impact on the space.
- EARTH. The Earth element is represented by anything
made from soil or stone. Objects of clay, ceramic, brick, concrete, and
marble possess the vibration of Earth. Anything largely yellow, orange,
or brown in color also represents the Earth element. Earth, like Metal,
need not be visibly displayed to have an impact on a space.
- METAL. Anything made of copper, brass, bronze
pewter, steel, silver, or gold is a Metal element. Metallic colors such
as white and gray also enhance an environment in need of metal but real
metal is always best. Metal, like Earth, need not be visibly displayed
to have an impact on a space.
Some additional guidelines on element remedies:
- Larger rooms need larger remedies. The remedy should
be proportional to the space.
- Except for the Fire element, use of the real element
is better than the use of a color associated with that element.
- Moving Metal. In some instances, it is important
that the Moving Metal element be present. This specific remedy is used
in various locations in a home / building to counteract the effects of
the Annual Yellow Lian Zhen Disaster Star (from The Flying Star or
Shyun Kung School). This star brings the potential for delays,
obstacles, fire, lawsuits, sickness, and casualty. Click
for examples of moving metal remedies.
- Feng Shui elements can accommodate any interior
design aesthetic. The best Feng Shui remedies are discreet and subtle.
If a home looks “Feng Shui-ed,” often, the Feng Shui
remedies aren’t being implemented properly. Examples of overly
Feng-Shui-ed remedies: dark blue or red paint; use of bagua (8-sided)
mirrors, wind chimes, bamboo flutes, crystals, etc.