Five Element Theory Feng Shui

Feng Shui 5 Elements

The Taoist 5 Elements; Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood.

The Classical Chinese elements differ from the four Western elements; Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Air is left out of the Taoist five elements. The Taoists believe that everything between Heaven and Earth has an interaction with the five elements. Each element is associated with different: years, months, days, minutes, seasons, weather, cardinal directions, colours, organs, body parts, illnesses, speech, sounds, emotions etc.

In ancient China, natural changes between the Elements were observed and this system was given a name ‘Wu zhong liu xing zhi Qi’, abbreviated to ‘Wu Xing’. Known also as the '5 Transformation Phases’.

Each of the five elements is seen as a movement, constantly changing in our surrounding environment. An element never dies, only the form changes as it progresses through each phase. The five element theory is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Meridian Therapy, Shiatsu, Astrology, Macrobiotics, Face Reading, Martial Arts, Tai Chi etc.


Click on the element images below to read detailed associations with each one.






Together these elements form natural cycles – an important tool for Classical Feng Shui.

The five element theory can be used in a property to enhance or calm areas where there is imbalance after carrying out a Flying Stars analysis. This can help find suitable colours, materials and shapes for each area in your home.

Using the physical Element is the best way to bring it into your interior e.g. for an area that needs Earth, you could use a clay pot (earth element ) filled with earth (earth element ) and a small plant (wood element) that has an earth element shape. Colour and symbolism are less effective than the physical element. It is all about finding the most practical solutions for you and your property. Some clients are able to use the physical elements, some will use colour and some may use just symbolism. This is where creativity and flexibility come in.

Water is the most powerful element in Feng Shui and must be used wisely in the home. It is not advisable to use physical water in some areas, depending on the Flying Stars analysis and the findings of other compass school Feng Shui methods. It is important to seek guidance from a Feng Shui professional when using the five element theory.

Five Elements Feng Shui