The Elements

In your elements.
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).

The law of averages.
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 the space.

Making the pre-determined less [or more] so.
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 doors).

The Feng Shui Fab Five: The Elements.

  • 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 here 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.

The final word on elements.
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 here 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.