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Basics of The Five Elements in Feng Shui

In Chinese, the words "feng" and "shui" literally mean “wind” and “water," respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the five elements in Feng Shui and how they affect our lives.

What is Feng Shui?

Feng shui is an ancient art and science that was developed over 3,000 years ago in China. The literal translation of “feng” means “wind” and “shui” means “water”. In Chinese culture, wind and water are both associated with good health. Thus, feng shui came to mean good fortune.

Feng shui is essentially the interaction of humans and their environments. It enables you to influence these interacting energies to achieve specific life improvements.

The Five Elements in Feng Shui

In Chinese philosophy, the Five Elements are the building blocks of everything in the Universe. The elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

five elements


Also known as the Five Transformations of Energy, each of the elements represent a different phase of energy and the Five Element Cycles show how these phases transform from one to the other.

One of the best ways to illustrate the energies are with the seasons:

  • Wood represents Springtime and uprising energy
  • Fire represents Summer and ascending energy
  • Earth represents Early Fall and stabilizing
  • Metal represents Late Fall and contracting energy
  • Water represents Winter and descending energy

How the Creative Cycle works can be illustrated below:

feng shui

  • Wood feeds Fire
  • Fire creates ash (which is soil)
  • Earth produces Metal (minerals)
  • Metal condenses into Water
  • Water feeds plants

To counter balance and keep harmony in the natural world, there is also the Controlling Cycle:

  • Fire melts Metal
  • Metal chops Wood
  • Wood breaks through Earth
  • Earth dams up Water
  • Water dowses Fire

Every element has an element that "creates" it and an element that "controls" it. Therefore, balance and harmony are maintained.

How the Five Elements Concept is Used in Feng Shui Jewelry

Each of us also has an element, which is determined based on which year we were born.

Each element has specific qualities and is represented by specific colors. It’s believed that if you wear the colors that represents your element, or the element that creates your element, your energy will be strengthened and your overall well-being will be improved. In contrary, if you wear the colors that “control” your element, the energy will be blocked and may cause disharmony in your life.

The Wood Element

If you were born in 1958, 1959, 1972, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 2002, 2003; your element is Wood.

The energy of Wood is uprising, like sprouts rising up through the soil. The energy is strong and represents vitality. When it comes to personality types, the archetype of Wood is known as “The Pioneer” – a driving force and independence.

Recommended colors to wear for Wood types is green.

Because Water feeds Wood, you can also wear the Water colors (blue, black), and you should avoid Metal colors (gold, white) as Metal chops Wood.


The Fire Element

If you were born in 1956, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1995; your element is Fire.

The Fire Element is the most yang of all of the Five Elements. When it comes to personality types, the archetype of Fire is “The Wizard” – full of magic and passion. Fire types are enthusiastic, compassionate, confident, vibrant and love meeting new people.

Recommended colors to wear for Fire types are red, pink, orange, purple.

Because Wood feeds Fire, you can also wear the Wood colors (green), and you should avoid Water colors (blue, black) as Water dowses Fire.


The Earth Element

If you were born in 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 1976, 1977, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999; your element is Earth.

Earth is known as the ‘transitional’ element, which is placed at critical junctures of the 5 Elements Cycle. The Earth Element in personalities is known as the archetype of “The Peacemaker” – seeking harmony in the world.

Recommended colors to wear for Earth types are brown, orange, yellow.

Because Fire creates Earth, you can also wear the Fire colors (red, pink, orange, purple), and you should avoid Wood colors (green) as Wood breaks through Earth. 


The Metal Element

If you were born in 1962, 1963, 1970, 1971, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2001; your element is Metal.

The Metal element is connected to the heavens, stars and sky. It is said to represent the spiritual path from awareness to enlightenment. The Metal Element in personalities is known as the archetype of “The Alchemist” – refined and noble.

Recommended colors to wear for Metal types are gold, white, and silver.

Because Earth produces Metal, you can also wear the Earth colors (brown, yellow), and you should avoid Fire colors (red, pink, purple) as Fire melts Metal.


The Water Element

If you were born in 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005; your element is Water.

The Water Element represents the energy of winter and deep night, which is known as the “greatest yin.” The Water Element in personalities is known as the archetype of “The Philosopher” – revelation and mystery.

Recommended colors to wear for Water types are blue, black, and white.

Because Metal condenses into Water, you can also wear the Metal colors (gold, white), and you should avoid Earth colors (brown, orange) as Earth dams up Water.


Final Thoughts

Depending on your element, you can strengthen your energy by wearing or adding the suggested colors into your everyday life and your surroundings.

Set your intentions whenever you wear your Feng Shui bracelet to manifest health, abundance, and to bring positive changes into your life.

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