Feng shui is all about balance, harmony and energy. How do we achieve balance in feng shui? One of the ways is through the use of five element theory. In this two part article I will offer a short description of each element; wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
The elements represent the different qualities of energy present in our environment. The elements are not necessarily the actual article but a form of energy and have additional aspects to those described here. Each element has its own characteristics and relates to the other elements in particular ways. The elements can enhance each other or they can work against each other in two different ways-controlling or reducing.
These elements are used to remedy any qi imbalance that may be present in your home and are also used to enhance positive energy aspects. When something is missing in an environment we can add the appropriate element. When something is weak we can strengthen it. When there is too much of something we can reduce its effects.
Wood is the originating point of the five element theory. It represents spring and the beginnings of new life. Living plants are used as wood remedies and not the dead wood of furniture. A dead or dying plant holds no Qi and is actually a negative influence, but a bushy shrub or healthy growing plant is a fine example of wood element Qi. Plants enhance our surroundings with their beauty and filter the air, creating a more healthful environment.
Wood is represented by the color green. Color is a less effective remedy and when possible living wood should be used. The element of hard wood resides in the East (the Zhen trigram 3) and soft wood in the Southeast (the Xun trigram 4).
Fire is next in the productive cycle. It is the most active or yang element. The heat of high summer illustrates fire accurately. Because it is so active this is the one place where color is effective. Actual fire can be dangerous to use, so red objects such as a lamp with a red shade or red night light are suggested. The heat from the lamp enhances the effect. Electricity is also considered fire in the form of computers, television and other appliances.
Use red, orange, purple and their shades for fire. The colors of red are actually very strong, use them with caution. Fire resides in the South (the Li trigram 9)