What Are the Feng Shui Five Elements?

Feng Shui is a theory that revolves around the design and arrangement of your living and working spaces to achieve harmony and balance. The concept divides the world into Five Elements based on the inner planets, all of which have physical manifestations in different shapes, colors, objects and more.

See a full list of additional Resources at the end of the article.

The Feng Shui five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of these elements represents different qualities and virtues, which are mirrored in a wide range of physical components that you interact with in your day-to-day life.

In this article, I’ll take you through everything there is to know about the five Feng Shui elements and what they represent. In the following sections, you’ll learn more about what wood, fire, earth, metal, and water stand for in terms of qualities, colors, shapes, and much more. If you’re looking for the ideal guide to rearrange your living space and bring more balance into your life, this article is for you.

The Fundamental Elements Of Feng Shui

The practice of Feng Shui is based upon five fundamental elements that are widely considered to be the driving forces of the universe. Each of them holds its own irreplaceable position in the world as it invokes a unique feel.

For this reason, knowing what these elements stand for can help you create a complete, balanced living space.

This theory is so widely appreciated, that in Chinese medicine there’s a whole field dedicated to what’s called the “Five Element Acupuncture.” The aim of this practice is to identify the element you’re most closely connected to and help you achieve a better balance between your mind, brain, and spirit.

Chinese astrology also utilizes the Five Elements concept to help you better support your natural energy. Let’s now discuss these elements more in detail.

Wood Element

The element of wood represents flexibility, strength, and growth.

The close relation to flora makes this element a symbol of life and nurturing. It’s an excellent component to incorporate into your living space if you’re someone who wants to mark a new beginning in your life.

Wood is connected to nature-related colors, usually greens and blues. By conducting quick research on the theory of color symbolism, you’ll quickly realize that the meanings of these colors perfectly match what wood stands for.

An excellent way to incorporate the element into your living space is to simply add some healthy, vibrant plants.

Wood is connected to your bladder and liver, which is why those needing more support with these parts of their body might want to incorporate more wood-related elements into their lives.

plants for good feng shui

When it comes to careers, those who feel deeply connected with the element of wood would be an ideal fit for nature-related industries, such as paper, lumber, forest, textile, or food. Additionally, these people tend to feel more at ease when working for family-operated businesses.

The shapes that represent this element are columnal and vertical in nature, mimicking the shape of tree trunks.

Note: The element also carries some disadvantages, meaning that too much of it can make you feel overwhelmed and stubborn, so tread carefully.

Fire Element

Poets and philosophers have widely covered the symbolism of fire throughout the years, so you might already have a faint idea of what it represents.

Fire symbolizes passion, boldness, and enthusiasm. However, the element is also connected to traits like anger, impulsiveness, and irritability. For this reason, considering your personality before deciding on how much of each component you want to incorporate into your living space is crucial.

Those who want to add fire to their lives can do so by incorporating more reds and bright oranges. If you’re not comfortable with these types of colors, don’t worry! You can still implement this element into your space by choosing more angular shapes on your designs.

People who feel represented by fire tend to be better fitted to fields such as cosmetology, technology, photography, or other similar fields.

In traditional Chinese Medicine, your heart, small intestine and body’s ability to regulate internal temperature are closely related to the element of fire, which is why incorporating even a few elements that symbolize it is crucial for your general well-being. Showing love and kindness is Fire Element just as much as passion and fury.

when the fire element is disrupted, it can result in circulation disorders like heart attacks

Earth Element

Earth is the ultimate symbol of strength and balance. Physical possessions that represent this element will make you feel more stable and grounded. However, an overabundance of these possessions might affect your life negatively, making you feel bored or sluggish.

Choosing a color that represents this element is as easy as you’d think, as any muted yellows, oranges, and browns will do. Additionally, any square or rectangular design can bring more nourishment and reliability to your life.

Those represented by earth can feel better suited to industries such as:

  • Architecture
  • Masonry
  • Archeology
  • Landscaping
earth element people like sweet foods

The body parts most closely related to Earth element is the stomach and womb, so if you’re looking to feel more connected to them, you might want to add some brown, rectangular accents to your home. Earth element is also represented by sugary foods. If you are craving sweets, then you may have an imbalance with Earth element.

Metal Element

Metal is the element of logic and efficiency. The material itself is durable and unwavering, which explains why those working in engineering and technology careers often feel represented by this element.

However, incorporating too much of it into your living space can make you feel overly critical. So try not to add too many whites, grays, and metallics to your home’s color scheme.

If you want to bring more of this element into your space, you’ll want to choose round, spherical, or oval designs when it comes to your belongings.

geng yang metal can be helpful tools that increase creativity
xin yin metal is soft and golden like jewellery
geng yang metal can be a sharp cutting sword

Metal is a complex Element, versatile and used in many ways depending on the qualities you want to bring out. 

Your large intestines and lungs are directly related to the element of metal, which is something to consider when deciding on the ideal balance you’ll want your home to represent through its decor.

Water Element

Water is the element of wisdom and spirituality. This unexpected combination comes from the substance’s depth and flowy nature, rendering it a crucial component to incorporate into any space.

However, too many designs corresponding with this symbol could potentially make a home feel overwhelming and isolating, which is why finding the ideal balance is always key.

If you’re looking to incorporate water into your living space, you can do so by choosing colors such as black or midnight blue. Additionally, any wavy, asymmetrical, or formless shapes would also be an excellent way to bring the element of water into your home.

The body part most connected to water is your kidneys, which, due to its essential role within your organism, requires being surrounded by a wide range of water-related elements. People connected to this component usually thrive in industries that require creativity, innovation, and strategic planning.

tai chi and qigong are a complementary health boost that uses the feng shui five elements

Tai Chi and Qigong can help to improve the strength of our kidney function, replenishing the body's "Jing" or Life Force.


Wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are the five Chinese Feng Shui elements. While researching and understanding the significance of each can be easy with enough time and patience, figuring out the ideal balance between them that could optimize your living space can be much more challenging.

However, by taking into account each element’s characteristics, you’ll be able to decide on which fits your life’s requirements best at a particular moment.


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Dean French

With over two decades of practical Feng Shui experience, Dean French is known for his down-to-earth attitude, perceptive observational skills, and his direct and honest communication. Amongst his clients, he has a reputation as an accomplished consultant that has grown through perseverance, professional diligence, conscientious integrity, and the outstanding transformative life shifts they receive.

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