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Understanding The Five Elements Of Feng Shui

Apr 23, 2008
When talking about this ancient art and science, there is usually mention of the five elements of feng shui. Just what are these, and how are they applied? This article will give you a very simple crash course on both these questions.

The Five Elements of Feng Shui Outlined

Fire, earth, metal, water, and wood are the five elements of feng shui. You will notice that these are all natural elements as well. All of these together form a circle of either construction or destruction, as follows:

Construction: Wood creates fire; energy from fire (such as the sun) is needed to feed the earth; metal is borne from the earth; water can be pulled from the elements that make up metal; water feeds the wood.

Destruction: Fire destroys metal; metal (such as an axe blade or other instrument) destroys wood; trees or wood feed from the earth; dirt from the earth absorbs water; of course, water destroys fire.

How the Five Elements of Feng Shui Harmonize

The underlying principle of feng shui is that there needs to be harmony and balance; having too much of any one element in your home or in a particular room is counterproductive and can be overwhelming. Most rooms will have one dominant quality of the five elements of feng shui and need another element to bring in some balance. For example, think of an all-white bathroom. White is clean and pure and represents water. However, when a room, even a bathroom, is completely white, it can feel cold and sterile. By introducing another one of the five elements of feng shui, such as earth, this can tone down that sterile feeling. Towels, artwork, and other items that are a warm brown can do the trick. Or, imagine a living room that is all brown, which is a strong earth tone. You can feel closed in or overwhelmed, as this is a warm color but one that easily smothers you. Another one of the five elements of feng shui, such as fire, can do the trick. Red accents such as pillows or afghans can brighten up the warm brown.

You can apply the principle of balancing the five elements of feng shui in virtually every aspect of your life. For example, maybe your personality is strong and fiery. This can be a good thing, but too much of a strong personality can easily overwhelm people. A campfire is good, but a forest fire is bad. So, consider what you can do to tone down your personality a bit. Think of the earth as being warm and nurturing; your personality can have some warm and nurturing sides to it as well to make you a more balanced and harmonious person.

There are really no right or wrong answers when it comes to applying the five elements of feng shui to any room of your home or part of your life. You simply need to remember how these elements are meant to harmonize and balance one another, and try to imitate those fine qualities as much as possible.
About the Author
Tom owns Feng Shui Report which gives tips and advice on using Feng Shui in your home
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