Colors and Symbols of Four Elements

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Colors and symbols of four elements

The colors and symbols of four elements represent the different aspects of nature and the forces of energy that control the world. You can incorporate these symbols in your daily life, in your home and work environment and even your attire.

Early Symbols of the Four Elements

The four classic elements are still essential symbols of the cultures and belief systems of many groups, including Native Americans, pagans and various tribal groups throughout the world. More modern groups such as Wiccan have adopted various symbols from these ancient cultures. During the Greek Hellenic civilization (323-146 B.C.), the symbols used to represent the four elements of Greek physics were based on the triangle:

  • Fire: Triangle points up
  • Water: Triangle points down
  • Air: Triangle points up with a horizontal line through center of triangle
  • Earth: Triangle points down with a horizontal line through center of triangle

Colors and Symbols of Four Elements

The colors and symbols associated with the four elements each represent different aspects of nature. Depending on the culture and belief system, the symbols and colors may vary slightly.

Earth Element

ancient Greek earth symbol
  • Earth is a feminine element and is passive.
  • It symbolizes the planet earth, mother, and grandmother.
  • Earth represents nourishment, stability, permanence, security and solidness.
  • It symbolizes the direction North and represents the season of winter, and the wintertime of life (old age).
  • Earth represents midnight in the cycle of the day.

In feng shui, earth represents a strong solid foundation. This element is assigned to the compass directions of southwest and northeast, as well as the center sector of your home.

Feng Shui Symobls Feng Shui Colors Western Zodiac Colors of Other Cultures
Earth Symbols and Colors
Crystals Yellow Virgo Brown
Earthenware Brown Capricorn Tan
Ceramic pottery Taurus Green
Gemstones Yellow
Rocks, boulders Russet

Water Element

ancient Greek water symbol

Water is a feminine element.

In feng shui, water represents:

  • Wealth
  • Prosperity
  • Purification
  • Abundance

In pagan cultures, water rules the compass direction of west and the season of autumn. However, in feng shui applications, the water element is assigned to the north.

Feng Shui Symbols Feng Shui Colors Western Zodiac Colors of Other Cultures
Water Symbols and Colors
Aquariums Black Cancer Aqua
Water fountains Blue Scorpio Turqouise
Outside water features Metal colors: Gold, silver or white Pisces Gray

Fire Element

ancient Greek fire symbol

Fire is a masculine element. In feng shui, the masculine energy is called yang.

  • It represents noon in the cycle of the day.
  • The feng shui direction is south; it represents recognition and fame.
  • Fire represents the season summer.
  • In the cycle of life it represents young adulthood.
Feng Shui Symbols Feng Shui Colors Western Zodiac Colors of Other Cultures
Fire Symbols and Colors
Candles Red Leo Red
Dragons Pink Sagittarius Pink
Wood object (fuel the flames) Aries Orange
Purple

Air Element

ancient Greek air symbol

Air is a masculine element in many cultures; however, in feng shui air is not considered to be an element. The chi energy rides on the air to travel around the world, but air cannot be contained or recreated to use within or outside your home. Therefore, it is not considered to be an element, but a vital component of chi energy.

In many cultures, air is recognized as the breath of all life forms. Nothing can exist without it, but it's an invisible force and can only be seen in its passing through the other elements, such as:

  • Leaves of trees
  • Dust storms
  • Flickering flames of fire
  • Over the oceans

Some cultures believe air is represented by the compass direction east.

Feng Shui Symbols Feng Shui Colors Western Zodiac Colors of Other Cultures
Air Symbols and Colors
N/A N/A Aquarius Blue
Gemini White
Libra Gray

Mystique Surrounding Element Symbols and Colors

The colors and symbols of four elements, and the relationships they represent have been used to bolster and enhance personal environments throughout history. Most cultures have a deep reverence and respect for the elements of the world and recognize using them as well as their symbols and colors, they can bring those energies back into balance within their homes and surroundings.

Colors and Symbols of Four Elements