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What Are The 5 Elements Of Feng Shui?

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In addition to the Bagua, one of the most important things you can learn are the 5 elements of Feng Shui.  Each area of the Bagua has its own element, which also corresponds to its color.

feng shui 101: what are the five elements?

What are the 5 Elements of Feng Shui?

  • Wood
  • Fire
  • Earth 
  • Metal
  • Water

The 5 elements of Feng Shui correspond with the cycle of creation:

  • wood creates fire
  • fire supports earth
  • earth supports metal
  • metal supports water
  • water supports wood

and then the cycle repeats.

In order to have a balanced, harmonious space, all 5 of the elements should be represented.

How do the five elements relate to the areas of the Bagua?

Each of the five elements also corresponds to areas of the Bagua. This means that those areas are boosted when they contain that element.

  • The wood element: wealth/abundance, legacy/family
  • The fire element: fame/reputation
  • The earth element: love/relationships, knowledge/spirituality
  • The metal element: children/creativity, helpful people/travel
  • The water element: career
the five elements in the bagua

What are the meanings of the 5 feng shui elements?

feng shui 101: the fire element can be added by using candles in your space

Fire – symbolizes passion, inspiration, boldness, and expression. It is represented by the colors red, pink, and purple.  Think of fire as the heat – helping things simmer and move along. 

The fire element can also be represented by animal prints, pictures of animals, and animal products.  Its symbol is the triangle, or sharp, pointed shapes.  

Too much fire in a space can result in frustration, aggression, anger, and irritability.  But if there’s not enough fire in a space, it can cause apathy, coldness, and a lack of self-esteem.  

A balance of fire expresses itself as a balance of emotions.  

If you want to add the fire element to your space, add lighting, candles, the color red, sunlight, or more animal prints.

Earth – the earth element symbolizes balance, grounding, and stability.  Think of the earth itself under your feet:  stabilizing and supporting everything you do. 

feng shui 101: you can add the earth element by using browns, clay pottery, and horizontal surfaces

It is represented by the colors of the earth – browns, greens, beige, and yellows.  The earth element can also be represented by images of landscapes, clay pottery, and horizontal surfaces.  Its symbol is the square or rectangle.

Too much earth in a space can feel heavy and sluggish. It can cause boredom and apathy.  But too little earth can make people feel ungrounded, chaotic, and unfocused.

A balance of earth expresses itself as nourishment and stability.

If you want to add the earth element to your space, add pictures of landscapes, square shapes, tables with horizontal surfaces, and earth colors.

feng shui 101: the metal element is represented by whites and pastel tones

Metal – the metal element symbolizes logic, clarity, and productivity.  It is represented by pastels and the colors white, gray, and silver.  Think of anything made of metal, such as gold, brass, silver, or bronze. 

Its symbol is the circle, oval, or arch shape.  

Too much of the metal element in a space can cause criticism, talking too much, and being too hard on yourself and others.  It can cause over-organization and rigidity.  But too little metal can cause a lack of focus, flightiness, and being overly cautious.

A balance of metal expresses itself as a balanced mind and productivity.

If you want to add more metal to your space, add rocks and stones, circle shapes, or pastel/white tones.

five elements water

Water – the water element represents spirituality and emotions.  Think of the ocean and how it ebbs and flows. 

It is represented by black and other deep-toned colors.  It is also represented by water features, fountains, fish tanks, or shiny, reflective surfaces (like mirrors). 

Its symbol is a flowing, curvy shape.

Too much of the water element can cause unbalanced emotions and the feelings of being overcome by them.  But too little water can make you feel isolated, lonely, and stressed.

A balance of water expresses itself as balanced spirituality and connection.
If you want to add more water to your space, add mirrors, dark tones, and any type of water feature or pictures of water.

Wood – the wood element represents growth and flexibility, rebirth, creativity, and expansion.  Think of how a tree is rooted but also reaches up towards the sky as it grows. 

feng shui 101: the wood element includes plants, trees, flowers, and wood furniture

It is represented by the colors green and blue.  Wood also includes plants, trees, flowers, cotton and natural fabrics, and wood furniture. 

Its symbols are vertical stripes or columns.  

Too much wood element in a space can overwhelm, rigidity, stubbornness, and inflexibility. But too little wood can cause depression, lack of creativity, and stuckness.

A balance of wood expresses itself as balanced growth and stability.

If you want to add more wood to a space, add flowers, plants, natural fabrics in curtains, rugs, and blankets.  Also the colors blue and green, wood furniture, and column shapes.

As you can see, working with the elements gives you tons of room to play with your space! Ultimately you want a space that feels great to you, so follow your intuition and work with the elements until you have a space you love.

feng shui 101: what are the 5 elements?