Feng Shui Information
The Five Elements
“Each of the five elements depends upon the others, and life itself depends
upon their intricate balance and interdependence.” - Jason Elias & Katherine
The concept of the five elements -- wood, fire, earth, metal and water -- is an
integral component of Chinese philosophy. These elements are the building blocks
of the universe. Although each element can be defined by specific
characteristics, it is crucial that they not be seen as fixed or separate from
each other. These elements interact with each other; how they are combined
explains why a space feels inviting or forbidding.
Everything in existence, living or inanimate, can be categorized according to
one of the five elements. As you learn about these powerful five, keep in mind
that no one element is better than any other element; each should be appreciated
for the assets and influence it imparts. For this reason, all five elements
should be represented within a space.
Although we explain the elements in tangible terms such as color, shape and
materials, they have intangible effects on the mood, conversation and even the
behavior of occupants.
The Elements: It’s All About Change
Nature is always changing, following a certain order or cycle that explains
all life processes. That life cycle is made up of a beginning or emergence; a
zenith or most active phase; a waning or slowing down period; and an end or
period of dormancy. Each of these phases corresponds to one of the five
elements. This change process passes from beginning to end only to start over
To help you understand the process, let’s take a look at the life cycle of a
perennial flower, the day lily as told through the five elements. Here’s how the
- The Wood Stage - In spring the day lily pushes upward through the
dirt and sprouts baby leaf stalks. At this point, the day lily is like a baby or
toddler, full of energy, bending this way and that way, eager to grow. Learn
from wood’s new beginnings: be eager to pursue new endeavors, take a few risks
and be flexible.
- The Fire Stage - It is now summer and this beautiful flower is
growing, blooming ever more colorful. The day lily is at this point, like a
teenager or young adult, full of life and growing. Learn from fire’s peak
performance: stay active, motivated and inspired.
- The Earth Stage - The day lily has reaches a mid-point, where for a
short while, it’s the best that it can be. As part of the life cycle, it is a
time of transition and a time for pause. Just as wood is associated with spring
and fire is associated with summer, earth’s season is Indian summer; not too hot
or too cold. Learn from earth’s stability and equilibrium: stay grounded,
centered and balanced.
- The Metal Stage - Now the day lily wanes, relaxes and starts to loose
its color and shape. As fall approaches, cooler weather forces the flower’s
roots to contract and prepare for winter. Learn from metal’s preparation,
concentration, and order: be focused and let go of what is no longer useful.
- The Water Stage - With winter coming, the day lily has retreated into
the ground where it lies dormant, in a deep slumber. Not to be mistaken for
death, this stage of the life cycle is crucial as it allows the day lily the
needed nutrients and rest that is needed before emerging again in the spring.
Learn from water’s introspection, acceptance and stillness: honor what lies
within, meditate and remain still.
After winter passes, spring arrives again and the life cycle repeats itself
not once but again and again. Learn to appreciate the process, trusting that
change brings about what is needed to survive and thrive. Nature is a wise
teacher. Just as the flower moves gently through the change process without
resistance, we too need to embrace the inevitable flow of life. We are not meant
to remain the same; if we do, we become stagnant, inflexible and unhealthy.
Getting Down to the Facts
The five elements are important feng shui tools used to create desirable
living and work spaces. For this reason, you need to know more about them. The
more familiar you are about the elements, the more likely you can create a warm
and friendly family room, a soothing and calm bedroom or an inviting and
Each element can be described in terms of color, season, direction, shape,
objects, movement patterns, influence exerted and the list goes on. Below are
characteristics that further define the five elements. We also include a way to
use each element or what we call a remedy along with a word of caution for each.
In this way, you grasp the meaning and essence behind the facts. It’s like
learning the definition of a new word. Although you can look it up in the
dictionary, it’s not until you hear it used in a sentence that you fully
understand how to use it properly.
How do we start our feng shui partnership? Learn more about our feng shui services.
"I never mentioned the Space Clearing to anyone: I wanted proof that it brought results. What a surprise. My clients asked me what I had done. The general consensus was that it felt more positive and comforting; believe me that’s what a therapist wants to hear. What I wasn’t prepared for was the resignation of a problem employee the day after the Space Clearing. Now I know what you mean about the positive pushing out the negative." Tom B.
"Thanks Sylvia! You have had a tremendous positive impact on my life and I'm so grateful!! Before you came into my life, I felt stuck with no sense of direction. Now, I just keep going and going like an energizer bunny Boy you weren't kidding about being in my "fire stage"-.LOL. It has been a whirlwind but wonderful....so many changes and things headed towards the right direction...living and loving life. You helped me create a wonderful energy throughout my home. I get compliments from everyone who visits." Marie B.