In the feng shui practice of managing energy flow through the careful arrangement and orientation of physical spaces, the concept of five essential elements is crucial. Each of the five elements—fire, metal, wood, earth, and water—all have specific manifestations in several physical categories. Along with color and the productive/destructive cycle, shape manifests itself as an expression in the five elements in very important ways, which is the subject of this article.
Along with color, you can also use shape to manage the presence of each of the five elements into your spaces. This can make feng shui decorating an easy, subtle, but very powerful tool.
Shape in the Five Elements
Here's how the feng shui elements are expressed in shapes:
- WOOD: Rectangular
- FIRE: Triangular
- EARTH: Square
- METAL: Round
- WATER: Wavy
When you start applying the feng shui theory of five elements, you might be confused as to the feng shui element representation of a specific piece of furniture or a decor item. In between color, shape and material, how would you define the feng shui element of a specific object?
Let's take the example of a coffee table of blue color, square shape, made from wood. Blue being the color of the water feng shui element, is this table bringing the water element into your home or is it bringing the wood element (as the table is made from wood)? To make it more complicated, the shape of the table is square, which is the earth element. So which one of the three elements does the table actually represent?
Generally, when you have difficulty defining the feng shui element of a specific decor item, the color of the item will be used as the first criteria. Second comes the shape, and then the material from which the item is made.
Of course, when the feng shui element is obvious, such as a metal staircase (metal element) or a plant (wood element), there is no guesswork!
In most cases, though, you will see that each decor item brings two or more elements, and in time you will find it easier to sense, or understand, the feng shui element expression of various items in your home.
Feng Shui Decorating
Decorating with the 5 feng shui elements is a bit of an art, you have to experiment and play until you get to a place where you easily understand the language, or the feeling or a specific object, as well as how it fits into the bigger picture.
This is not hard, as we all have an intuitive knowing, an immediate response to any quality of energy; it is only a matter of experimenting and starting to trust your inner voice. Everything speaks to you all the time, you just have to allow yourself to listen.
Once you know how to balance the five elements in your home by using simple decor items, as well as various feng shui cures, a harmonious home is truly yours to enjoy!