Feng Shui Theory: 5 Element Theory
The Chinese devised a very sophisticated system describing every attribute of their environment by categorising all inherent qualities using the 5 Element Theory.
The theory was originally used to describe everything from agricultural practices, military strategy, political systems and medicine. Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal are the elements used to describe all physical, emotional and spiritual qualities. They are the energetic substances out of which everything is made. These energetic qualities have a form, a season, a direction, a climate, a sound, a taste, an odour, a voice, an emotion, colours and shapes by which they can be described. Each element interacts with the others.
Their cycles and interplay are constantly moving as everything in the universe is constantly changing.
Each element supports or controls another. The qualities of these 5 elements reside within us. We are effected by them in our environment and we respond to them energetically and emotionally.
Different people feel more comfortable around different environments, textures and colours.
Just as some people look at a sparse minimal room with strong use of metal, little colour and think,
'Ah, Bliss', others will feel uncomfortable and dash for the nearest brightly coloured patterned cushions and warm textured rug before feeling at home! Feng Shui attempts to use these qualities to support people in their home and working environments.
The different elements can be 'prescribed' to enhance different areas of our lives ego good health, good fortune, good family and personal relationships, inner peace, joy. Pictures are a very easy way to make a significant change in any environment.
It is, therefore, our intention, wherever possible and appropriate to encompass our knowledge of the 5 element theory into our work. There may be some images that do not follow the rules but will have been included for their individual merits.
The Five Elements Map (click to view)
This chart maps the relationships between the 5 elemental energies (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Understanding these elements and their relationship with each other is one of the driving principles of all good feng shui.
Feng Shui Fundamentals
Feng Shui means, 'Wind Water'.
They are the two most powerful forces of moving energy on Earth. Wind, the directional energy of the air which we breathe. Water, giver of life to the land and connection between the source of all rivers up high in the mountains journeying to the vast waters of the ocean. We know our environment effects us.
Using Feng Shui is a way of making the most of the existing environmental factors together with understanding how you can make your property feel right and have the right focus for you, whether that is a business environment, a peaceful soothing home or a lively sociable living space.
Do we feel comfortable, safe ? Do we like the decor ? Is it stimulating or depressing ? Does it add vitality or is it draining ? Feng Shui can harmonise adverse conditions to have a positive effect on our behaviour.
When a Feng Shui cure is placed with conscious intention we are already opening our minds to the possibility of change. Remember, always be clear about what you want to achieve. Make sure you understand the difference between what you want and what you need. Always ask that it may be done for the highest good of all those concerned. Let go of the outcome, do not try to anticipate how your goal will be achieved. If we are limited in our view on how events should occur, we limit the possibility of gifts coming in unexpected ways, we miss the signs and the opportunities presented to us.
For more indepth explanations please go to the Feng Shui Society website: www.fengshuisociety.org.uk
There many many books on the subject, often with different views. As with any new topic, read research, reflect and decide what makes sense to you personally.
Here are some reading suggestions:
Feng Shui Made Easy by William Spear ISBN 1-85538-377-2
Essential Feng Shui by Lillian Too - ISBN 0-7126-7162-5
Feng Shui for the Soul by Denise Linn - ISNB 1-978-1-56170-731-7
Are You Sleeping in a Safe Space? by Rolf Gordon - refer to Dulwich Health
The 9 areas of the Bagua
Here are some basic Feng Shui theory concepts.
There are also many books on the subject but these can get confusing without the guidance of a qualified consultant!
This is one of the principle tools of feng shui.
A nine grid map, laid onto a floor plan that allows you to read the energy of a space.
In Feng Shui, each 'Bagua' area of a property has an energetic quality according to its
For instance, the South is known as 'Fire'.
It is associated with the most daylight when the sun is overhead at midday.
A room in that place is most likely to be the brightest, lightest, warmest place in a property, an active space. The North, traditionally would have been used for a bedroom as it would most likely be the darkest quietest area of a property due to the lack of sunlight.
The main traditions in Feng Shui are Compass School, Form School, Black Hat and Western Intuitive, or Three Gate Door of Chi.
Different methods suit different people and different environments. For the purposes of this website, either, get a compass and work out where North, South, East and West are situated in your property or, if you live in a built up area with little natural light and little nature around you, you may find it more suitable to use the 'Three Door Gate of Chi' method. Stand at your front door looking into your property, lay the bagua over the space, effectively dividing your house into 9 equal squares. Align the bagua so that the front door aligns with the houses 8, 1 or 6. You can also place the Bagua over individual rooms using the same principle of aligning the main door into the room with the houses 8, 1 or 6.