Five forms of energy make up chi to establish the principles of feng shui. It's through the cycle of interaction between these five elements that chi energy is created and sustained. The five forms of energy are called elements and these appear in the Creative Cycle (birth) in the specific order of water, wood, fire, earth and metal. This cycle of element transformation creates what are known as the expressions of chi energy.
Compass Directions and Five Elements
Each element governs a specific compass point within the Creative Cycle. This is the blueprint for determining when various elements aren't balanced and a remedy is required to bring the cycle back into its proper flow. This is the crux of all feng shui applications. The elements and the directions they govern include:
- Water: North
- Wood: East and southeast
- Fire: South
- Earth: Northeast and southwest (also center of your home or building)
- Metal: West and northwest
Energy Element Examples as Feng Shui Cures
The five elements can be used to correct a negative element or an element imbalance inside or outside your home. For an imbalance of energies, you can use a Controlling Cycle (also known as a Destructive Cycle). You can apply a cure to correct negative chi energy within a specific sector of your home.
If the water element in the north sector of your home is weakened, you can add various water elements to this area. You can also introduce metal elements, since these will attract water and strengthen this sector element. If the water element is too strong in this sector, then you can weaken it by introducing earth elements. You can use objects such as:
- Aquarium (be sure to keep clean at all times)
- Water fountain (never allow water to flow away from home or you'll drain your finances)
- Metal artwork, picture frames, furniture
- Paintings of gently flowing water that flows into the room.
Do not place water elements in a bedroom. This creates too much yang energy and will result in a restless sleep and possible financial loss.
The use of wood can enhance the east and southeast sectors of your home or garden or it can be used to weaken too much earth in the northeast or southwest sector of your home. You use any of the following for wood element cures:
- Wood furniture and objects
- Plants (never place plants in bedroom; creates too much yang energy like water)
- Wood frames and wall art
- Window shutters
- Hardwood flooring
To remedy too much metal element in west and northwest sectors, or to enhance the south sector of your home, you can introduce fire elements into these sectors. Any of these can be used for a fire element:
- Outside fire pit or grill
- Lighting such as lamps, spotlights, landscaping lights
- Wall art depicting fire
- Photos and paintings of campfires, cozy fireplaces vignettes
- Wood furniture, wall art, statues and objects (wood fuels fire)
You can remedy too much water elements in the north by adding an earth element. You can also increase the earth element in the northeast and southwest sectors as well as the center of your home by adding any of the following:
- Ceramic and pottery pieces
- Crystals such as amethyst and quartz
- Stones in a ceramic container
- Photos or paintings of mountain range
The metal element draws water to it, so you can add it to the north sector of your home, as well as the metal sectors of west and northwest. If you have too much wood element in the east or southeast sector, use metal to cut the wood element. Any of these cures will accomplish this:
- Metal trays
- Metal boxes, statues, candle holders
- Mineral rocks
- Metal picture frames
- Gold, silver, brass objects
It helps to understand the order in which the five elements appear in the Creative Cycle. You can use this as a guide to ensure the chi inside and outside your home is balanced.
Creative Cycle Order of Energy Transformation
The five expressions of energy begin when the water falls from the sky (heaven) and nourishes the planet by filling rivers, lakes and oceans. The rain also nourishes the world and brings forth all forms of plant life. This process transforms the energy of rain (water) into wood; the second form of chi energy.
The birthing process continues as the wood energy gives birth to fire. This new energy form continues in the cycle to create earth (ash). The cycle progresses as the earth forms metal (minerals) that then attracts water (moisture) to start the cycle over again. It begins anew for a perpetual state of creating forms (expressions) of energy.
How Cycle Imbalances Occur
When something happens to disrupt the Creative Cycle, either by natural forces or man-caused ones, the interruption creates a Weakening Cycle. Whenever there is a disturbance on the planet such as a hurricane, tornado, tsunami, earthquake, flood or other natural disaster, the chi creative cycle is interrupted. When a building or other structure is made and erected in the wrong place within the environment, it can disrupt the natural flow of chi energy. An interruption of chi energy means that the elements can no longer nurture and support each other in the next step of energy transformation. Instead, the elements are weakened and destroy each other.
This Weakening Cycle is evident when:
- Water destroys fire by extinguishing the fire element.
- Wood buries or covers the earth element.
- Fire melts metal.
- Earth blocks the flow of water and prevents it from nourishing plant life.
- Metal cuts into wood and prevents it from supporting fire.
Introducing Elements Into Your Environment
It's easy to add elements to your exterior and interior environment to enhance, support, or weaken chi elements. Just make sure that you know which elements are missing or need to be purposefully weakened. This is a task for a professional feng shui practitioner who can create a chart of your home based on the year it was built and the birthdays of you and your family members. This map can then guide you for proper application of feng shui elements. The focus on elements has the single purpose of creating the balance of the yin (female) and yang (male) aspects of chi energy. When the yin and yang energies are in harmony, the Creative Cycle is restored to allow the natural flow of chi throughout your home.