The Social Life of the 5 Feng Shui Elements You Need To Know About

Understand the main cycles of the feng shui elements and use them in your home decorating

Part 1:
What are the Five Feng Shui Elements?
Part 2:
The Social Life of the Elements
Part 3:
Playtime! Feng Shui Elements Decorating

Now that you understand the origin and the meaning of the five feng shui elements theory (have you read part 1?), there is just one more step and a very important one to assimilate before we go playing and enjoying the feng shui elements in action. Our five feng shui elements friends have a complex way of interacting with each other, and understanding the dynamics of their social life gives us an all-powerful key to bring good feng shui into any space, be it home, office or garden.

Even though there are quite a few variations in the interaction of 5 feng shui elements, they can be all summed up in two basic and fundamental ways of relating that is happening between the five feng shui elements. These ways of relating are called “cycles” in feng shui, and we do have to know them.

The first cycle of elements is called the Productive Cycle, or the cycle of Creation. This is a way of communicating where each element is supporting the other, being in turn supported by another element, too. Below is a graphic that illustrates this blissful interaction.

It helps to think of elements in very practical terms such as their expression in nature or even in various household items. For example, if you want to make fire (Fire element), you need wood (Wood element). If you want your plants (Wood element) to be lush and healthy, you give them water (Water element); to cut something, you use a knife (Metal element), etc.


WOOD creates FIRE
FIRE supports EARTH
EARTH supports METAL
METAL supports WATER
WATER supports WOOD

So the productive cycle of the five feng shui elements resembles quite a harmonious, happy community! Everybody finds a way to love and support everybody else, everything is peaceful and life-sustaining. Understanding this cycle will help you strengthen the elements you might need in your space in a subtle, but very powerful way. I will give you several examples on how to use these cycles in part 3, for now, let’s get really good at understanding the dynamic of these two cycles.

What is the second cycle following the Creative cycle? Well, of course, it’s the Destructive one! The Destructive Cycle is the way of relating between the feng shui elements where each element is destroying the other (or making it really, really weak). No more peace, real destruction happening here! Jokes aside, this is an equally important cycle to understand when you deal with a space that has a stubborn presence of a feng shui element that is detrimental to someone’s well-being (examples in part 3). There can be no creation without destruction, so here is how the intelligent rage of the Destructive Cycle of the feng shui elements expresses itself:


WOOD weakens EARTH
WATER puts down FIRE

Now, if you want to go a bit deeper, I will tell you that there are variations to each cycle, too. For example, in the Productive Cycle of elements, Wood can be supported by both Water and Earth; while in the Destructive cycle Water not only puts down Fire but also weakens Earth and Metal. However, I do not want to overwhelm you, so will just leave this door open for you to come back and explore the depths of each cycle. Last thing before the well-deserved playtime — it is helpful to get to know the unique energy qualities of each feng shui element.

Here’s enough info to get you strong on your feet, read the tips below to understand how each element is expressed in specific home decor items, colors, etc. OK, ready? Let’s go play with the 5 elements feng shui decorating.

Photo sources: chicalookate/; illustrations:

Continue to Part 3:
Easy Decorating with 5 Feng Shui Elements

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

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

Rodika Tchi


Rodika Tchi is a master feng shui consultant, teacher, and author of two best-selling books on feng shui. She is the creator of The Feng Shui Home & Life Makeover, and has loyal clients all over the world. More about Rodika at