How to Use the Five Elements For Harmony in Your Home

The interaction of the five elements is fundamental to feng shui. Follow our advice to make the most of the essentials for life

The Elements are key to the practice of feng shui. If you understand how they work then the rest is easy. We have tried to simplify it.


Each of the Elements is an energy phase, rather than the physical thing you think of when you hear the words ‘wood’ or ‘water’. Wood for example is the energy of living and growing vegetation, not just furniture made out of dead trees. Each of these Elements transmutes in turn into one of the other Elements in a cycle. There are two cycles, the Productive Cycle and the Destructive Cycle.

A Jade money tree is an excellent way to enhance the Wood Element or to reduce the Earth Element.

In feng shui if you want to increase the strength of an Element you can either add more of that Element to a location, or you can add the Element which produces it. For example if you are attempting to stimulate the Wood element, you can add growing vegetation or you can add Water.

Productive Cycle


It is obviously important to understand the order of the Productive Cycle: Water ‘ Wood ‘ Fire ‘ Earth ‘ Metal ‘ Water. So Water helps Wood to grow. Wood in turn feeds Fire. Fire dies down to ashes or Earth. Metal is born amongst the minerals of the Earth. And finally, the most difficult one to comprehend is the production of Water from Metal. Visualise it as the formation of Water on the surface of cold Metal (Condensation).

Destructive Cycle

Likewise if you want to reduce the strength of an Element, you use the Destructive Cycle: Water ‘ Fire ‘ Metal ‘ Wood ‘ Earth ‘ Water. So Water puts out Fire. Fire melts Metal. Metal cuts Wood. Wood exhausts Earth. Earth clogs up Water. In practical terms, you might want to reduce the strength of an Element by adding the Element that destroys it.

Having established what Elements you need to make the relevant feng shui adjustments, you should now look at the table on this page to see what objects or decorative changes you should use. There are basically three ways of concentrating the energies of an Element; either introduce an enhancement in the form of an object or picture, or introduce a colour, or possibly a shape.

For example, if you wish to enhance a sector of your home with Earth then you should introduce crystals, stones, or pebbles to that sector. You can also use terracotta or clay pots and some low, wide, flat-topped items. The colour that should be used to enhance the Earth Element is yellow.

The terracotta pot of this plant can be used to enhance the Earth Element whilst the plant
The terracotta pot of this plant can be used to enhance the Earth Element whilst the plant


ElementObjects of EnhancementsColoursShapes
WaterAquarium, Fountain,Glass, PondBlack, BlueCurvy, Wavy Lines
FireLights, Candles, Fire-placeRedPointed, Triangular, Zig Zag
Wood Indoor Plants, Flowers, Wooden Objects Green Rectangular, Tall
Earth Stone, Crystal, Rocks,Pebbles, Terracotta Clay Pots Yellow Low, Wide, Flat-topped Items
 Metal Electronic Equipment, Stainless Steel, Metal Objects Silver, White Round, Dome, Spherical Shapes



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