One of the most important components when learning how to use Feng Shui or interpret our Bazi is the Five Elements and the Five Element Cycles. We all (hopefully) heard of Qi (Ch-ee), and we (hopefully) know when we use the elements as cures and counter measures we are addressing the condition of existing Qi in our space.

The five elements at a very basic level represent the condition of Qi stemming from the relationship between Yin and Yang. Think of the Summer when Yang is more prominent we say heat, fire, or warmth is dominant. We know water exists, just more scarce in the Summer. Since Yin or Yang exist together, Yin may be more present than Yang or vice versa. Yin and Yang is one of the oldest concepts in Taoism. The two components of the Tao (wholeness, completeness) represents everything. If we consider darkness (death, dormancy), we know light (life, thriving) exist. When we meditate (Yin), we know activity (Yang) exists. Yin and Yang are not opposites, but they represent two components of one system. When we relax, we know others may be working very hard. We know when one condition exists the potential of the other is present; always. When Yang increases intensity, Yin is activated; or when Yin increase intensity, Yang activates; because of the law of harmony between Yin and Yang.

You would not want to stay in a state of meditation nor be active nonstop. Yin and Yang follow conditions of each other and each ones state. We and all that exists are in a state of change. When we run for miles (Yang) we are subject to tiring leaving us to become more Yin; so while we are running Yin exists and we are subject to Yin; the same is true of Yang. Sometimes, change may not flow easily because due to stagnation, blocked Qi, or conflict between energies, and other times change happens immediately. Even the organs of our body define Yin or Yang when functioning properly are harmonious together even though our organs have different polarity (yin or yang).

The Five Elements

How does Yin and Yang (the Tao) relate to the Five Elements in Feng Shui? Since Yin and Yang are inseparable, they exist in relationship of concept and also nature. You will not find one without knowing the other exists. When we think of darkness, we know light exist. We can understand this thinking of the four Seasons. Everything (even us) exists in a potential state of change.

Because change is possible, Yin may drastically take the place of Yang if the conditions permit. The winter follows autumn because the conditions are right. Because of the changing season, plants go into dormancy. Directly after the Winter comes Spring when water is plentiful and nourishing (the Sun helps too). The peak of the Summer plants reach the highest growth and water is more scarce, offsetting plants pattern of growth towards decomposition representing the season of Autumn. Within each of these four seasons we find five basic elements: (1) water (winter, north), (2) metal (autumn, west), (3) fire (summer, south), (4) wood (spring, east), and (5) earth (all seasons).

Five Elements in Feng Shui

We do not necessarily think of Qi in different states of change as the element per say, but the form of those elements. For example, you may pay attention to the flying star transitions each month or each year. The stars are easier to recognize by the number that represents the stars but generally the stars are just representative of these different forms or variations of Qi that stem from planetary alignment and shifting, and the season of change. For example, the #3 star represents the East which has the characteristics of Spring, growth, and the element of prosperous wood. Everything you will ever know or interpret in Feng Shui relates to the variations of Qi (the relationship between Yin and Yang) or rather the five elements.

I hope you have a better understanding of the Five Elements in Feng Shui. If you enjoyed this information and want me to write more articles like this one, leave me a comment and remember to share it with others you know might benefit. 


Amy Thompson

Amy is a psychology graduate, founder of Feng Shui Enthusiast, and Life Coach. In her spare time, she enjoys front-end development, content writing, her new puppy Max, photography, and organizing.

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