Find Feng Shui Balance with the Five Elements

In feng shui, we employ the five elements, a philosophy used to describe the cycles of nature and how they work together and seek to always be in balance. The five elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Wood and Metal. Five element theory is also utilized in traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese astrology and martial arts. A great way to create balance and harmony is to include something that represents each of these five elements in your space.


The element of Earth is related to earthy colors like brown, orange, or yellow and the feng shui bagua areas of Abundance, Health and Knowledge. Earth also has the qualities of stability and nourishment, like “Mother Earth”. The Earth element creates metal, because metal ores come from the earth’s core. Earth overcomes water as the banks of a river.

Some examples of Earth are objects with a square shape, orange, brown or yellow color or composition from the Earth such as a large stone sculpture.  A stone statue or large natural stone such as Jasper is a great example of how you can add the Earth element. It's heavy and from the earth, providing stability and support. A big, heavy wooden desk is another Earth element, as it is brown, earthy in color, squarish and has weight to it.


The element of Water is related to dark colors like black and very dark blue and the feng shui bagua area of Path in Life. Water also has the qualities of fluidity, wisdom and intelligence. The Water element creates wood, because water supports plants and trees as well as all life. Water overcomes fire as it extinguishes the flames.

Water items include wavy shapes and, of course, anything with actual water. A water fountain or fish tank are both simple and beautiful ways to add water to your space. Mirrors are also water element and can visually expand your space. Water represents knowledge and can assist with positive cash flow.


The element of Fire is related to the color red and the feng shui bagua area of Recognition. Fire also has the qualities of explosiveness, passion and heart-feltness. Fire element creates earth, as ashes transform all back to the earth. Fire overcomes metal as it causes metal to melt into a liquid.

Fire is red and triangular in shape. In Feng Shui, fire elements improve passion and recognition. You can add fire into your home with the color red. I especially like using the Mars Yantra for fire adjustments. The fiery colors and triangles are fire element all the way!


The element of Wood is related to the colors green and blue and the feng shui bagua area of New Beginnings and Abundance. Wood also has the qualities of flexibility, life, and kindness. and symbolizes growth. Wood element creates fire, like the logs in a fireplace. Wood overcomes earth as the roots of a tree push through and takes nourishment from the soil.

Wood objects to add to your space can be vertical or expansive, such as living plants. Green living plants also improve the indoor air quality and add life energy to any space.


The element of Metal is related to the metallic colors as well as white and grey and the feng shui bagua area of Benefactors and Completion. Metal also has the qualities of righteousness, contraction and joy. Metal element creates water, as drops of water condense on a metal pipe. Metal overcomes wood, such as when an ax chops down a tree.

Metal is associated with circular shapes and the physical element of metal. Metal assists in efficiency and attracting helpful people to your office. Ways to add the metal element to your space includeis to adding metal windchimes or other natural metal objects. You can find metal Buddhas to balance the five elements in your space as well.

by Anjie Cho