The five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — all play an essential role in the practice of feng shui. These elements relate to each other under a set of rules. All the matter in the universe works under the principle of five elements. By balancing these elements in our home, we can create a more welcoming living space.

According to feng shui theory, the five elements are governed by productive and destructive cycles. These two cycles are, so to speak, the name of the game. Once you master it, you can make your living space sync with the surrounding environment.

The productive cycle is as follows: Wood produces fire; fire produces earth; earth produces metal; metal produces water; water produces wood. The destructive cycle is: Wood breaks up earth; earth absorbs water; water puts out fire; fire melts metal; metal chops down wood.

The Wood Element
Plants are often put in the home to enhance the wood element. Those with auspicious names and positive connotations (such as lucky bamboo) are usually more preferred than others with thorns (like cactus). But if you are a big fan of traditional Chinese décor, try a wooden abacus and Chinese bamboo flute, which are two popular ornaments to express the wood element.

The Fire Element
Electric lighting is considered a fire element. Switch on the light wherever fire elements are needed. If that type of lighting is not suitable for installation, any red-coloured decoration or paintings will do.

The Earth Element
Ceramics or pebbles bring in the earth element. Those who wish to give their career a boost can place a Chinese jade seal at home. Try a vase if you hope to add a touch of elegance and modernity. Earth is also good for enhancing social relationships and romance.

The Metal Element
A copper wind chime represents the metal element based on its material, colour and radiation of sound. It can be used to offset negative energy caused by any earth element. Alternatively place six ancient Chinese coins somewhere in the home. The round shape and the number six are both associated with metal. Use a round golden clock instead if it’s hard to find ancient coins.

The Water Element
Water is the main element that brings wealth to your home. Simply placing a fish tank in your home can achieve these ends. To maximise the effect, use feng shui ornaments with moving water, such as water columns and a rolling ball.

Published on 17th April, 2014