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Feng Shui and Five Elements - The Five Elements and Their Natures

The concept of Five Elements has been used in many traditional Chinese fields, such as astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, music, military strategy and martial arts.  Its meaning actually is Five Movements or Five Phases.

Five movements are: centre (earth), right (metal), left (wood), forward (fire) and backward (water).  Five phases are: sink (metal), wet (water), grow (wood), hold (earth), heat (fire).

In Feng Shui, it also represents the natures of directions and the Flying Stars.





Earth is represented by the shape of Square and colour of Yellow.








Metal is represented by the shape of Sphere and colour of White.










Water is represented by the shape of Waves and colour of Black.










Wood is represented by the shape of Rectangle and colour of Green.










Fire is represented by the shape of Triangle and colour of Red.




Nurturing Cycle                               Controlling Cycle

Fire makes Earth                                Fire melts Metal

Earth produces Metal                       Metal pierces Wood

Metal enriches Water                       Wood burdens Earth

Water feeds Wood                            Earth absorbs Water

Wood fuels Fire                                 Water extinguishes Fire



The relationships among the five elements are very complicated.  The above diagram just shows the simplest cases.  For example, although we always say Wood fuels Fire, there are cases that Wood will extinguish Fire (too much wood).  Similarly, although Metal pierces Wood, we may use Wood to control Metal in some cases, such as using a wooden box to store a knife or when the wood is too hard to be cut, the axe may be chipped.

You cannot be too extreme too. If you need Fire and boost the Fire by adding more and more Wood to it without balancing the others, it will give you other negative results.


If interested, you can have a detailed explanation by consulting an authenticated Feng Shui practitioner.  Good Luck!




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