You’ll discover as you begin to use feng shui in your daily life (and trust me, as you’re drawn toward this art form, you soon will see just about everything in your daily activities as some form of this art!) the significance of five vital facets of this practice.
The symbols have been borrowed from the building blocks of the world around us – just another reminder human’s unity with all the universe. These five “ingredients” of feng shui become the basis (at least that’s what this ancient art says!) of whether your fortunes rise of fall in your various life areas.
They’re called the Five Elements of Feng Shui. In reality, though, they’re really the five essential qualities of qi – that invisible energy. Don’t think of the following information just being limited to feng shui of the home – look to surround yourself in all ways with the strongest qi you can. Use these elements every day – in every single way you can imagine. Then you can see for yourself how the energies of the universe can work for you – and not against you.
The first element is metal. The word conjures up strength. And in many ways it’s true. But in feng shui it represents more the qualities of sharpness and focus.
Using this element strengthens your concentration as well as provides the momentum to complete projects. Think metal when you need to re-focus your thought processes, clear your head, so to speak as well, as when your searching for the strength to wade through tedious details.
When this element is too dominating though you’ll see the results of negative balance here. Too much metal can make you judgmental, critical and in general “sharp-tongued.”
Keep both the constructive and destructive side of this element in mind before you run out to remodel your house in all metal accessories.
This element is essential in making connections. It possesses the quality of flowing and constant movement. With this in mind you could see how water could help you “network” in various areas of your life. It can connect you with just the proper people at just the right moment.
This is a perfect element to use when you feel as if you have been idle too long. Visualize a large chunk of ice. Imagine how heavy it is. Then in your eye’s mind watch it melt and how quickly, swiftly and easily it moves.
Speaking of flowing, you can use this in your business when you want to improve the cash flow of your enterprise.
This element is also one to surround yourself with when you feel as if you need to improve your lines of communications.
But too much water can result in indecisiveness. It can make you “wishy-washy.” A fine balance of water throughout your house can provide the connections you need for your career and your relationships without the hesitancy or uncertainty that an excess of water would create.
This element is best described as being one that symbolizes easy, effortless growth and progress. It lines up nicely with the idea of the Eastern spiritual idea of the Law of least effort. This theory holds that if you’re aligned with the Spirit, one with your idea of the Universal Being, then good things will effortlessly be attracted into your life.
The wood element is also associated with the ideas of new beginnings. This element, when used properly, helps to ensure smooth progress in the projects you undertake.
If you have an excess of wood, though, surrounding you, it can reflect in your daily activities through feelings of impatience, anxiety and even aggressiveness.
It’s hard to look at fire and not be filled with some type of excitement. And that’s exactly what this element symbolizes. Not only that, but the element of fire is also closely related to the idea of swiftness — rapidity. And that’s hardly surprising when you consider how quickly a fire can spread. Expansion is another word used to describe the symbolism behind this element. Again, hardly surprising, now is it?
Fire creates heat. Heat indicates action. And this is exactly what happens when you use this element to your advantage.
Ah! Here, then is the element you want when you desire to create flaring passions and you need to kick up the intensity in your life. And while your first thought may be romantic here, it isn’t necessarily so. Think passion and intensity for any project and all areas of your life. Passionate about a new business enterprise? Add some fire to it.
Surround yourself with too much fire, though, and it can result in leaving you stressed out – dare we say even “burned out” – as well as overly anxious.
The earth element is most associated with the quality of being receptive and with “settling down”. Think of the earth element and you think of acceptance – it provides you almost a calming feeling.
But, you can get too much of this good thing, just like the other four elements. Too much earth can make you feel as if you’re stuck in the mud as it were, struggling to get out of a rut. And this translates physically many times into feelings of depression. Perhaps this is where we get the saying “He looks as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.”
Each of these elements singly can play a vital role in creating a powerful, positive force in your home, home office, relationships and other areas of your life. But more than that, the more you begin to understand the interdependence of these five elements you’ll discover that when combined they create a synergistic response in your life.
Use these in combination to see some stunning and striking results in specific areas of your life, whether it be family, career, finances and wealth or health. You can even use the synergistic effects of these elements to help you on your own spiritual journey.
The Colors and Shapes of the Elements
The practice of feng shui also assigns colors to these essential elements. This means that instead of actually placing a waterfall in the wealth area of your home to improve your cash flow, you can add a color here associated with the element to gain the same effect.
But this ancient Chinese art doesn’t end with just the element itself and its color representation. Every element also has a specific and unique shape that is symbolic of it. And these shapes, too, can be as powerful as the actual element itself in focusing, gathering, accumulating and maintaining good energy in your home when used correctly.
There are few surprises in the colors of the elements, as you’ll soon see. But you may be surprised by a few of the shapes that are associated with the five essential elements of feng shui.
The essential element metal is most associated with the colors of white, silver, grey and gold. The shapes that symbolize this element are round and oval shapes, and arches (some of you were probably expecting squares or some type of figure with sharp edges!) These colors and shapes should be used in the appropriate life sectors of your home or office to provide enhancement, encouragement and advancement of these areas.
The colors associated with this element are black and dark blues. To The shapes that are the most representative of this element are wavelike (no surprise here!) as well as curvy and generally irregular and twisting. You’ll want to keep this in mind if you want to encourage a positive cash flow in your business or household finances.
Hope you haven’t gone out and bought brown accessories as part of your desire to increase the wood element in your life. Actually the colors that signify this element are the greens and light blues. And the shapes that imply the presence of this element are tall narrow shapes.
It’s hard to go wrong here with the colors associated with the element of fire. Reds. Bright orange. But, even purple is intimately tied to the element of fire to some degree. Think of a flame on a stove powered by natural gas. Truly hot flames are blue.
Surrounding yourself with shapes that invoke the theme of fire not only include the logical flame shape figures, as well as other pointed or angular shapes, but triangles as well.
Yes, earth colors include the various shades of browns. But when choosing colors for this element you’ll also want to consider yellows, as well as muted and cool shades of orange. Surprisingly, though, the shape that most goes with this element is the square. The earth element is also expressed through structures that lie low and are flat. Here you can imagine short-legged, flat square coffee tables.
Now, what are you going to do? With this new knowledge?
These are the basics to get your mind working in that feng shui way. Armed with this knowledge you can start at any time re-creating the energy flow of any room in your home. Want to spice up a loving, but sluggish personal relationship? Well, just add a little more fire to the room through lighting or candles.
You may be able to re-ignite that relationship through the judicious use of colors in that room as well. Think reds, pinks, and purples. And don’t forget that the triangle is another shape. If you already own something triangular run – don’t walk! – and place it in your bedroom now!
Similarly, if you’re trying to re-power a struggling career, just look to the water element. If it’s impossible for you to utilize a water fountain – of any size – in your home or home office, then just using images of water . . . of oceans . . . rivers . . . well, you get the idea. Posters and photographs work just as well as the real thing!
Or just select home accessories that have a curvy flare to them or that are wavelike in shape. It would be perfect to find these shapes in colors that are black or blue as well.
I’m sure you get the idea. All you may need to do to get started now is look around your home. Now that you now what shapes mean what, what colors will attract what type of positive energy, you can use this to your advantage to enhance these areas of your life.
Here are some obvious – and maybe not so obvious – ideas to help you kick start your qi energy. A brass clock, for example, is a great way to decorate utilizing the energy inherent in the metal element.
If you want to increase the element of water in your home, buy an aquarium. Think houseplants and flowers to help elicit more of the wood element in your home.
And a safe, easy way to increase the fire element is through electric lighting of all kinds.
Stuck for something that might represent the earth (other than the mud your children just tracked in?), try bringing out that pottery bowl you received as a wedding present and stuck in the back of the closet. This symbolism works perfectly.
Some objects that can easily be misinterpreted
Look at the mahogany table. You might be tempted to think that it’s the ultimate representation of the wood element. Wrong! Look at the color; take a good look at the shape. It’s flat and brown. Yes, I know it’s made of wood, but really has more earth energy stashed inside of it than wood energy.
Why? Well, partly just because of the shape and the color. But it’s also more earth, because it’s not a living, growing organism any more. Not like you would expect with the growing wood that is on a tree.
That’s why flowers are “woodsier,” as it were, than the table. Even though they may not actually possess any wood of their own, or even display the color brown which you naturally think of when you think wood, their shapes and colors are those that are best described as belonging to the wood element.