Feng Shui Institute

Authentic Traditional Chinese Feng Shui - Research and Development

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Note: Feng Shui is a kind of science, not a superstition.  Authentic Feng Shui has nothing to do with religion.


The Five Elements

Other than being Yin or Yang, everything in the world can further be classified into 5 different substances (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and have their corresponding characteristics. This is where the theory of five elements comes into play.

The five elements are the five substances that naturally exist in our world, they are interrelated and form cycles among themselves. The ancient Chinese used them to represent the different locations and natures in a home, and to assess their characteristics.  The concept of the Five Elements has been used in many traditional Chinese fields, such as astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, music, military strategy and martial arts. It is also called the Five Movements or Five Phases.

The Five Movements are: centre (earth), right (metal), left (wood), forward (fire) and backward (water). The Five Phases are: sink (metal), wet (water), grow (wood), hold (earth) and heat (fire).  In Feng Shui, they are related to directions and the Trigrams in Bagua.

The 5 elements are interrelated and their relationships can be described using the Nurturing cycle and Controlling cycle.

Nurturing Cycle

Fire makes Earth (the ashes nutrients for the soil)
Earth produces Metal (metal mines are underneath soil)
Metal enriches Water (minerals enrich the water contents)
Water feeds Wood (water is one of the essential elements to perform photosynthesis in plants)
Wood fuels Fire (wood will make the fire stronger)

Controlling Cycle

Fire melts Metal (metal will melt or will be vapourized in the fire)
Metal pierces Wood (saws and axes are made from metal)
Wood burdens Earth (the plants take out (absorb) nutrients from the soil)
Earth absorbs Water (soil will absorb or drain water)
Water extinguishes Fire (the most obvious one)

Since one element nurtures the other, it will be weakened by that element too. There is another cycle - Weakening Cycle

Weakening Cycle

Fire burns Wood (Wood fuels fire but fire burns wood)
Wood consumes Water (Water feeds plants but plants consume water)
Water rusts Metal (metal enriches water but water rusts metal)
Metal hardens Earth (earth (mines) produces metal but metal hardens soil too much metal contaminates the soil )
Earth diminishes Fire (Fire gives ashes to soil as nutrients, but the soil diminishes fire)


To the best of our knowledge, we guarantee that all information on this site are sincere representations of Feng Shui. However, we make no claim for absolute effectiveness and are not responsible or liable in any manner in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon the information in this website.

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