Using Candles in Feng Shui

Sally Painter
candle on coffee table

The fire element is vital to activating certain areas in your feng shui home, and choosing a candle is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. Candles can be moved wherever a remedy is needed and used to activate sectors and elements.

Candles Are Versatile Feng Shui Tools

Fire is recognized as a purifying energy. While you can use a fireplace or fire pit to introduce and activate the fire element in a particular sector of your home, both of these may be too big of an element and can have the opposite effect that you desire. Another consideration is that a fireplace is a permanent structure and might not always be located in the most desirable sector of a home you purchase. Candles provide flexibility that fireplaces cannot.

Move Candles Where Needed

Candles are perhaps the most versatile and easiest way to activate the fire element in your feng shui design. A candle can be moved from one room to another. This is especially helpful when applying Classical Feng Shui principles. Flying stars (both auspicious and inauspicious) move daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, just as their celestial counterparts.

Use to Counter Flying Star Influences

A candle used for a fire element remedy can be set in the appropriate sector to counter or augment a flying star's influence. The candle can either activate the fire element to generate auspicious energy, or extinguish the inauspicious energy activated by the flying star moving into that sector.

Feng Shui Sectors for Candle Use

Candles and sofa

Each compass sector is assigned an element and a color. Although elements only can activate the chi energy, the mindful purpose is reinforced with the correct assigned color. You want to keep in mind that there are specific feng shui sectors that you can use a fire element in. These sectors govern various areas of your and your family's lives.

Southeast Sector

Burning a red candle will stimulate wealth luck. Other feng shui colors associated with wealth include gold and purple. There is often a tendency for people to believe that if one candle will stimulate wealth or abundance then several will bring them greater blessings. Use a candle here to activate the wealth chi energy to increase wealth, such as finances and work-related income.

South Sector

The south sector is governed by the fire element. Placing red candles in this area will activate the fire element. The south sector also governs the fame and recognition as well as fortune areas of your life:

  • Assist in job promotion and pay increase
  • Promote recognition of accomplishments, such as scholastic and career
  • Give your reputation a boost

In her book Lillian Too's Little Book Of Abundance, the feng shui guru advises to "make space along the south wall for lighted candles, which create good yang energy that benefits the whole family."

Southwest Sector

Lillian Too discusses the various uses of candles in feng shui to infuse auspicious energy into various areas of your life. She gives examples in her book, Lillian Too's Easy-to-use Feng Shui: 168 Ways to Success. One of these areas is the Southwest sector.

If you feel your social life is suffering or is practically non-existent, then Too suggests giving it a boost with fire energy. She explains this yang energy will activate the governing Southwest sector when a red candle is placed and burned for a period of time.

Activate All Elements

Floating candles

You may simply wish to use candles in your feng shui designed home, but are cautious about creating an imbalance within the elements and the energies each governs. A great solution is to create a centerpiece that incorporates all the five elements.

Create a Five Element Candle Centerpiece

This approach will activate all the elements in an equal and balanced way.

  1. Use a glass bowl.
  2. Layer pebbles (earth element) in the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Carefully fill bowl with water (water element).
  4. Add pieces of metal (metal element), such as tiny metal balls or nuggets.
  5. Add flower petals (wood element) in any color desired to float on top of the water.
  6. Set floating candles (fire element) in the bowl and light.

Too explains that this attractive feature gives a representation of all five elements and acts as a power energizer.

Types of Candles

Row of candles

You can use almost any type, size or shape of candle that you want for feng shui applications. For example, a triangle shaped candle doubles the fire element since the triangle shape is associated with the fire element.

Shape and Size Examples

Some examples of shapes and sizes to choose include:

  • Novelty shaped candles like roses are suitable for a bowl of floating candles or as plain votives.
  • Small candle holders with colorful votives can also decorate a window sill.
  • Place small, medium and large size column candles on a tray surrounded by pebbles or colorful floral glass fillers/gems.
  • Elegant taper candles can be used in a single holder or candelabra.

Select Candles With Caution

You might not realize that many of the candles on the market, especially scented ones, can be harmful to your health. Many emit health-threatening fumes. Some candles, such as paraffin contain harmful chemicals that are known carcinogens. Most scented candle wicks contain heavy metals such as lead that are released into the air within a few hours of burning. Such toxins aren't just unhealthy, but go against the entire purpose of feng shui.

Number and Color of Candles

Colored candles

Numbers are important with each having a particular set of energy. Colors are also assigned to compass directions and can be used in conjunction with each sector.

Number Meanings

Numbers also play a significant role in feng shui applications, for example lucky bamboo arrangements are created with various numbers of stalks to represent the energy the numbers attract. While feng shui number meanings go beyond that of nine, most people won't use more than nine candles to generate fire energy. Too many candles would be inauspicious.

Feng shui number meanings include:

  • 2: Expression of love
  • 3: Happiness, long life and wealth
  • 4: Chinese word for four sounds like the word for death - avoid
  • 5: Intuitive, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual
  • 6: Sounds like the word for luck
  • 7: Good health
  • 8: Grow and thrive, fertility
  • 9: Good luck

Candle Colors

Feng shui compass directions are also assigned colors to go with the various elements of each sector. You can use these assigned colors to narrow your choices of candle colors.

The colors and their meanings include:

  • East: Green candles
  • Southeast: Blue, red and purple
  • South: Red, pink, burgundy and peach
  • Southwest: Red, pink and white
  • West: Gray, white silver and gold
  • Northwest: White, gray and black
  • North: Blue and black
  • Northeast: Blue, green, aqua and black
  • Center of home: Yellow, brown and tan

Balance Is Important

A word of caution is needed since feng shui is about balancing energies and not overloading any one element. Keep the number of candles you use in direct proportion with the size of the room or space you are using them in. Too many candles will defeat your objective and create an imbalance of energies.

Using Candles in Feng Shui