When Feng Shui was still being
in its infancy stage about 3000 years ago, there was
only system that was based on the principles of Yin
and Yang in conjunction with the Five Elements.
Yin and Yang are natural forms
of energy that are in a constant state of change, movement
and interaction. They are two exactly opposite and inter-relating
forces in the Universe. The interaction is reflected
by Night and Day, Positive and Negative, Active and
Passive, Fast and Slow. This interaction of Yin and
Yang subsequently relates to the Five phases of Chi
which later came to be known as Five Elements.
The ultimate objective of Feng
Shui is to attain a balance between this Yin and Yang
interactions. Now, its not very difficult to conceive
why ancient texts always recommend an ideal site to
be a place where hills (Yin) and river (Yang) converge.
The Five elements theory is the
backbone of all Chinese Metaphysical studies. All matters
in the Universe are said to be representing this constant
interaction and hence the 5 phases of Chi or the Five
elements Viz: Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire. These
Five Elements share three types of relationships known
as cycles – Producing cycle, Controlling cycle
and Weakening cycle.
The Producing cycle is in this
fashion: Fire produces Earth, Earth produces Metal,
Metal produces Water, Water produces Wood, and Wood
produces Fire. The Weakening cycle is the exact opposite
because when one element is produced the “producing
element” becomes weaker. So if we reverse the
Producing cycle, we get the Weakening cycle viz: Fire
weakens Wood, Wood weakens Water, Water weakens Metal,
Metal weakens Earth, and Earth weakens Fire. The controlling
cycle which forms a major factor of analysis while doing
Feng Shui audits is: Water control Fire, Fire controls
Metal, Metal controls Wood, Wood controls Earth, Earth
controls Water. The five elements require accurate interpretation
while doing a Feng Shui audit. Given below is a snapshot
of the same:
Large amount of Wood demotes creativity and innovativeness.
Wood can be pliant and bending (willow) or strong and
unyielding (oak). Wood is sociable and community minded.
Wood also represents the color green, the season spring,
and the direction east. Wood represents birth and early
Fire gives energy, enthusiasm or a leader, but can also
be a sign of danger. Too much fire could be destructive.
Fire warms and cheers, but it can also burn and destroy.
Fire represents red, summer and south. Fire represents
the growing years before puberty.
Earth gives stability and also relates to real estate
and legacies. Earth is patient, just, honest and methodical.
However, it can also be smothering and demanding. Earth
represents the color yellow, the center and the teenage
Metal means business and success especially
financial success. On the negative side, metal can also
indicate a sword or a knife and be destructive or violent.
The color is usually white, silver or gold. It symbolizes
autumn and the west direction. Metal represents the
Water indicates travel, communication, and
learning. It also relates to literature, the arts, and
the media. Water can be both gentle (soft rainfall)
and violent (a hurricane). Water nourishes all living
things, but can also gradually wear away the hardest
rock. It represents the color black, winter, and north.
Water represents the final years, old age.
Even though the Five elements
theory is the most fundamental theory, it indeed forms
the very objective of Feng Shui – that of balancing
the elemental interaction. Though it is very easy to
understand the theory through logic and common sense,
its application in real life is what requires a qualified
practitioner. Many commercial houses have already exploited
the lack of proper understanding of the Five Elements
and come out with symbolic objects and images, more
from a fancy or a decorative perspective, than the true
implementation of the Five Elements theory. Don’t
be surprised if you haven’t got any results after
religiously hanging those objects. They do not fully
constitute the true spirit of this theory.