The five elements in feng shui are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These are the elements that are used in Chinese astrology, and are also the same elements that are referred to by acupuncturists. Whether in your body or in your surroundings, the goal is balance. This balance can be achieved through a variety of ways. Find out more from Feng Shui professional, Carol Wheelock.
The concept of the five elements is the most difficult feng shui concept to grasp. It takes time to learn how to determine which element a particular item in your home might be because many things represent more than one element. A rectangular wood table that is painted red reflects three elements – wood for the substance, earth for the shape, and fire for the color. A round mirror is both metal (the shape) and water (reflective surface).
Balancing the five elements is one of the layers of feng shui that is used to bring balance to your life and your space. Look around your house. If you have one element that is dominant, it is apt to create an imbalance in your life. For example, if you have an excess of wood, you may feel overwhelmed or over-committed. There are specific techniques that use the natural cycles of the elements to bring about balance, but space does not allow exploring those this month.
Much can be done by looking at the whole space and being aware of the five elements in it. By removing items and bringing others in with intention, you will start the process toward balance. Houses and rooms that contain all the elements feel the most comfortable. By having a balance of the elements in your home, everyone who enters that space will feel comfortable. Everyone who lives there will feel more in balance, more supported by the space, and that is the goal of feng shui. Personal taste, which stems from which element a person is, accounts for why someone may prefer a stark all white environment (metal) and someone else may like a more cluttered homey feel (earth). Carried to the extreme, however, these environments may not be comfortable even for others who live in the same space. It also leads to our having too much of our own selves and that “I am in my own way” feeling.
Although you may gravitate toward things that are one element, try to include things in your surroundings that represent the others as well. This is usually not as difficult as it sounds. If you feel you home is lacking the fire element and you don’t like red or orange, include more candles or art that includes people and/or animals. You could also hang a group of pictures to form a triangular shape on the wall. Or maybe a bowl of oranges or red apples on the tables would be pleasing to you.
In the end, you want an environment that supports you, welcomes you, and makes you feel at peace and balanced. By honoring all the elements, you will create an environment that supports not only you, but also those with whom you share or invite into your space. In the process, you are also honoring the natural rhythms and cycles of nature.
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