The 5 Elements of Feng Shui

Recently, I gave a, informal lecture to about 20 of my yoga students at a studio here in Portland, Oregon. It was a fantastic opportunity to share a bit of Feng Shui knowledge with these willing learners. Because I only have about 80 minutes to give them a brief overview of what Feng Shui is and how to start making simple, yet effective adjustments in their home, I handed out a two-page printout. This hand-out broken down the practice of Feng Shui into Nine Principles. I furthered the discussion with a slide-show explaining the Bagua (the energy map that is placed over all horizontal spaces in the home) and the 5 Elements of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui is about finding balance. Sometimes this is hard to do when looking at a space you already see on a daily basis. To starting seeing your home or work place with a more “scientific” eye, use the 5 elements theory of Feng Shui. Each element invokes a different mood, creating a customized space that's beneficial for your personality and goals.

Wood harnesses the power of creativity and represents traits such as growth, strength, flexibility and intuition. Too much can make you feel rigid. Too little can show up as a lack of creativity. When designing with the wood element, use shapes that mimic the vertical, column-like shape of tree trunks and softness of leaves and flowers. Wood colors are green and light blue. Objects that symbolize wood are fresh flowers, indoor plants, wood furniture and natural fibers (cotton).

Fire increases enthusiasm and leadership. It can also encourage expressiveness and boldness. Too much fire can show itself as anger and aggression. Too little fire can be seen as lack of vision or self-esteem. To add fire to your space use candles, a variety of lighting, red/pink coors and objects, triangular objects, electronic equipment, HEAT, or animal prints and patterns.

Earth creates the feeling of grounding, balance and stability. Too much earth can product boredom and sluggishness. To little earth can make people feel disorganized or chaotic. Bring in the earth element by adding earth tones (brown, tan, some greens), squares, horizontal surfaces, images or landscapes and earthen materials (like terra-cotta pots).

Metal affects mental clarify and logic. It can be felt as organization and focus. Too much metal can make you seem chatty or over-critical. Too little metal and you may feel overly cautious and have a lack of focus. Add metal to your space with round shapes, things made of metal and white/gray/silver colors.

Water's domain is spirituality and the emotions. Water can bring inspiration and critical thinking. To much water can drown you emotionally and make you feel overwhelmed. Too little water can make you feel lonely, stressed and isolated. Add the water element by incorporating the color black or deep blues, reflective surfaces (MIRRORS), free-form shapes, and water features.

The 5 Element Creative and Destructive Cycle

The 5 Element Creative and Destructive Cycle

Adam Roper