What are the five elements

What are the five elements of fung shui? And how to use them?


What are the five elements of fung shui? The ancient Chinese believed that the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood represent the characteristics of Qi (Energy) which creates everything in our life.

In this article, we’ll explore the five elements and their meanings.

Table of Contents

What are the five elements?

Feng Shui is the practice of arranging objects and spaces in a way that promotes harmony and balance.

There are five elements of feng shui: wind, water, fire, earth, and metal. They represent different forms of Qi (Energy) which change over time.

Each element has its own unique qualities that can be used to create a harmonious environment.

The goal of feng shui is to create a space that is comfortable and conducive to achieving success and happiness.

The Productive Cycle

In the productive cycle, each element produces, or enhances, the succeeding phase.

This relationship is known as the “mother-son” relationship. Each phase is the
“son” of the phase that produces it, and the “mother” of the one it produces.

  • Fire produces earth. Like the heat of full summer, fire burning the accumulation of wood to produce ash.
  • Earth produces metal. Earth qi compacts, giving birth to the contractive, inward pulling qi of metal.
  • Metal produces water. Out of metal’s contracting force, water condenses and liquefies.
  • Water produces wood. Water’s flow nourishes and stimulates the growth of wood.
  • Wood produces fire. Wood’s expansion and fullness, and eventual drying decay, give life to fire.

The Controlling Cycle

Each phase controls its counterpart. It’s a cycle of imbalance. The controlling cycle sets into motion weakened and depleted qi, which stagnates the environment and causes illness and other unwanted effects in us.

  • Fire melts metal.
  • Earth blocks water.
  • Metal pierces wood.
  • Water diminishes fire.
  • Wood burdens earth.

How to use the five elements in your home:

The five elements of feng shui are wind, fire, water, earth, and metal. Each element has a specific role in shaping the energies of a space.

When designing a space using feng shui principles, it is important to consider each element and its impact on the overall atmosphere.


Fire brings energy and passion. Add a fireplace or candles to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.


Wood brings growth and new beginnings. You can use it in your home by adding plants or wood accents.


Earth provides stability and grounding. Use natural materials like stone or ceramics to add a feeling of stability.


Metal represents strength and determination. Add metallic accents for a look that is both elegant and timeless.


Water is associated with fluidity and change. Use it in your home by adding mirrors or incorporating blue into your decorating scheme.

The five elements relationship with the human body

The five elements are making everything in the world, and they are connected to our vital organs, characteristics, and emotions.

For example,

  • Fire is associated with the heart/small intestines and joy.
  • Earth with the spleen/stomach and intense concentration.
  • Metal with the lungs/large intestines and grief.
  • Water with the kidney/urinary/bladder and fear.
  • Wood with the liver/gallbladder and anger.

In fact, the Chinese medicine practitioners of acupuncture use the five elements concept to correct imbalances of energy in our bodies.

If you have even a little mastery over the five elements within you, life will happen the way you want it to.

Conclusion: What are the five elements?

In Chinese philosophy, the natural elements are believed to be fundamental to the creation and maintenance of the universe. These five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

According to the practice of fung shui, each element is said to have its own unique properties that can be used to improve our home’s flow of energy and create a more harmonious living space.

Picture of Khames, BID, MSCM

Khames, BID, MSCM

About the Author:

I'm Khames, an interior designer and the founder of khames.com, a blog for interior design inspiration. Join me to explore the art of design together!

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