What Are the 5 Feng Shui Elements?

5 feng shui elements: what they are & how to use them

If you’ve been experimenting with creating good feng shui in your home (or office or garden), you must have definitely heard many times about the five feng shui elements. What are the five feng shui elements and why should you bother?

Well, the 5 feng shui elements are hugely important because honestly, there cannot possibly be good feng shui in any space – be it your bedroom or your office – if these elements are not represented. And, represented in just the right amount.




I know this might sound complicated and difficult to understand, but I am here to not only help you easily grasp this complex subject, but to go even further and help you have fun and enjoy playing with it! Why am I speaking of enjoyment when there is so much seriousness, superstition and even fear surrounding feng shui?

Because I know for sure that creating good feng shui in your home should come out of joy, not fearful obligation. This is how you will keep applying it; and this is how your home will be saturated with good feng shui and sharing it freely with you!

So, let’s start. With a basic theoretical foundation first. We need at least a little a bit of theory in order to understand why the feng shui elements are such a big deal in feng shui, don’t you think?

In fact, not only the elements are important; the 5 feng shui elements theory is one of the cornerstone theories of this ancient body of knowledge.

Part 1: What Are the 5 Feng Shui Elements?

Going back many thousands of years (some say 3,000 years, some go as far as 5,000 years or more); the wise and beautiful feng shui masters of ancient times were exploring the unseen, mystical dimensions of the Universal energy called Chi. Their goal was to map the influence of this energy on humans’ well-being.

Delving into the very depths of cosmic knowledge, these ancient feng shui masters were studying the intricately connected patterns between the Universal and the personal expressions of energy.

No stone was left unturned by these brave warriors of Spirit – they studied with absolute dedication the expressions of this Universal energy in various land formations, in the flow of water, geometry of man-made structures and so much more.

What they came to clearly understand (and define as a foundation for good feng shui) is that in order for an indoor environment to replicate the potency of Chi, or Universal energy and promote the health and vitality of people, several specific elements must be present.

These vital elements were defined as Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.




Each one of these elements has a unique quality of energy that is expressed in specific colors, sounds, body organs, compass directions, planets, flavors, etc. This feng shui information can get really complex and way out there!

Lucky for us, though, we do not need to go that deep in order to understand how to use the 5 elements to create good feng shui.

Let’s just trust the ancient ones because I know for a fact this theory is so incredibly powerful. I have been consulting for over 15 years (this lifetime :) and I can assure you that the 5 feng shui elements theory, when applied correctly, can bring enormous improvement to any space.

So, we can sum up the very complex theory of 5 feng shui elements by stating that there are 5 universal forces, or archetypal nature energies, that are expressed as 5 feng shui elements.

They can be viewed as building blocks, or feng shui tools that help one create potent, vibrant and alive energy in any space. An auspicious quality of energy full of vital force to sustain the health, wealth and happiness of people living in that space.

Ok, almost done with the theoretical part! Let’s just quickly look at the social life of our 5 feng shui elements (very important!), and then we’ll play, I promise.

Continue To Part 2: The Social Life of the 5 Feng Shui Elements

Feng Shui Decorating with: Wood | Fire | Earth | Metal | Water

5 Elements Info: What They Are | How They Interact | Decorating Examples

Illustration: (c) KnowFengShui.com

Rodika Tchi is the feng shui expert for About.com (FengShui.About.com) and consultant (in person and long distance) with TchiConsulting.com. She lives in Vancouver, BC Canada and consults internationally.