There’s good news: Feng Shui can help! Feng Shui tools give us an effective way of shifting people’s attitudes and behaviors by shifting the energy of the space they are in. Today, I will share the 5- Element tool with you. Like much of Feng Shui, the 5-Element tool is a combination of a literal and a metaphorical approach to creating a good environment. We manipulate the literal space to achieve the metaphorical effects we seek – softer surfaces, softer attitudes…
The Feng Shui 5 elements are the building blocks of the physical world. They are earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Humans are made up energetically of the qualities/metaphors associated with the five elements and are therefore most comfortable when all five are represented in their environment.
When one element dominates a space literally, an attitude or behavior that correlates with that element will also dominate. For example, perfectionism can be fostered or exacerbated by a home or office that has too much of the metal element. A space which is dominated by the metal element can foster an inflexible attitude, a sharp tongue, an obsession with order, differences, and the need to be right.
The metal element in Feng Shui is found literally in metal objects: stainless steel, marble or stone, metal artwork, chrome, brass, aluminum, the color white, silver, gold, grey, round shapes, shiny fabrics or surfaces. The qualities associated with the literal form of metal – unbending, stiff, rigid, cold, brassy, hard, stony, can be seen in the behaviors or attitude in a person living or working in an overly metallic space.
Before you begin to think metal is a negative element to have around you, let me explain that all elements have positive and negative aspects depending upon how much of an element is in the space, and what other elements are present, and in what proportion. Metal in the right balance, induces qualities such as concentration, focus, precision, organization, restraint and refinement.
When one element dominates, Feng Shui first suggests reducing the amount of that element in the space. Too much metal? Identify all the metal elements and remove whatever you can. When that is not possible, Feng Shui uses one of the three elemental cycles to diminish the influence of the dominant element. The cycles are the Creation Cycle, the Reduction Cycle, and the Controlling Cycle. The cycles are based on the relationships each element has with each other element. Each element interacts with one other element to increase, reduce, or control its influence.
In the Creation Cycle each element creates another element: wood feeds fire, fire makes earth, earth creates metal, metal holds water, water feeds wood.
In the Reduction Cycle, elements reduce the strength of another element: fire burns wood, wood absorbs water, water dissolves metal, metal compacts earth, earth smothers fire.
In the Controlling Cycle each element dramatically reduces the influence of a particular element: wood consumes earth, fire melts metal, earth dams water, water puts out fire, and metal chops wood.
To reduce perfectionism at home or at work, remove as much of the physical metal from the space as possible. Next, use the Controlling Cycle to minimize the element’s power.
Fire is the element that melts metal. So, use representations of the fire element to reduce the energetic power of metal. The fire element is expressed in shapes such as triangles, cones, and pyramids, the red spectrum of colors, plants with fire shaped leaves that point upward, art that depicts sunshine, light or fire, candles, lighting, leather, suede, wool, flame stitch of chevron patterns.
Using the Reduction Cycle, metal’s influence can be lessened by the water element dissolving it.
The water element rusts metal and thereby reduces its influence. The water element is expressed by mirrors, glass, the colors dark blue and black, meandering patterns, wavy lines, fish tanks, water scenes in artwork, water fountains, asymmetrical shapes.
Lastly, use the Creation Cycle and reduce the amount of earth elements in the space, because earth creates metal.
Feng Shui offers many ways to address people and space challenges. Isn’t that perfect