5 Elements

The Five Elements and Feng Shui

The 5-elements is a model used in Feng Shui and Chinese Medicine to understand and assess how things in nature transform and change. It’s easy to forget sometimes that we are ‘natural’ beings – subject to the same natural laws and forces as everything else living on this planet.

If you go surfing it’s no good trying to surf out to sea, and then paddle back. That’s not how nature works. To surf well you need to understand and harness the flow and force of nature.

The only constant is change
A Balinese sunset showing a harmonious display of fire and water

Fire and Water

From birth to death we’re constantly transforming and changing. The same is true for the environment around us. Change doesn’t just happen randomly, It follows seasons and cycles. Spring comes before summer; Adolescence comes before adulthood. Knowing where you are and what’s likely to happen next helps you go with the natural flow of things.

Fire & Water on the Ganges

The 5 elements ( 5 transformations) are Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire.

Each element is expressed in nature, in humans and in all things around us. These elements interact to support, create and control each other. The ideal is to create a dynamic balance between all elements – giving them all space to express themselves creatively.

Let’s take just 2 elements, Fire and Water. In reality there are always more than 2 elements at play. I’ll use just fire and water to illustrate in a simple way how this works both in nature and in our homes.

Enough is as good as a feast

For example, in nature a good amount of sunshine (FIRE) with a little rain (WATER) makes people smile and helps the plants and flowers grow.

In a bedroom; an image of a red rose (FIRE) can bring warmth and a romantic feel to the space; a dark blue feature wall (WATER) can give the room a sense of stillness and calm.

All fired up and fuming

Too much Sunshine (FIRE) leads to forest/bush fires, crops dying and people starving.

A bedroom with too much FIRE – e.g. scarlet walls, pink bedding, bright orange carpet, large bright lively paintings, red bedside tables and bright lighting is likely to be too vibrant and stimulating for restful sleep. Too much fire could also cause arguments, depending on where the bedroom is in the home.

Floods of tears

Too much Rain (WATER) leads to floods and devastation with whole areas of civilisation being swept away.

A bedroom with too much WATER – e.g. all dark blue/black walls, carpets, blinds and bedding, with a seascape image on the wall and a water fountain in the corner is also unlikely to have you jumping out of bed in the morning feeling rested and ready for the day. The fountain is too lively and active for a sleeping environment and the light absorbing surfaces are too still and dark to support you waking and feeling lively in the mornings. Too much water can also lead to depression or isolation depending on where the room is in the home.

The study and use of the 5 Elements on home Feng shui and business Feng Shui is fascinating and very powerful indeed.

Click on an element to learn more about it…

Earth,   MetalWaterWoodFire

Joy Taylor FSSA