5 elements in Feng shui

The theory of 5 elements, along with the principles of yin and yang, form the cornerstone of Feng shui. What is it all about? The whole Chinese ideology is based on the search for and creation of harmony - in the body, in the soul, in space and thus in the whole life. This is done through the optimal flow of life energy, the Chinese call it "qi". The purpose of Feng shui is to ensure a harmonious flow of qi in our living space - at home, in the office, wherever people spend their time. It uses 5 elements - wood, fire, earth, metal and water, which should be in balance.

The individual elements together form a cycle in which they support or weaken each other. If an element is missing in space - we will supplement it, if one predominates, we will alleviate its excessive effect.

Mutual cycles between elements

Productive cycle (green arrows) - consecutive elements support each other

Draining cycle (red arrows) - each subsequent element weakens the previous one

Control cycle (yellow arrows) - elements in the direction of the arrows control each other

Example of the productive cycle: When we light candles in the southwestern sector, we introduced the element of fire into the sector ruled by the earth, so we proceeded in the direction of the green arrow - we used the nutrition cycle. Candles are suitable in the southwestern sector and nourish the sector.

Example of a draining cycle: If we painted the southwestern sector white, we would bring the element metal to the earthy sector. Since the metal follows the earth element in the diagram, we proceeded in the direction of the red arrow, and if the metal became predominant, we would weaken the energy of the earth sector.

Example of a control cycle: But if we wanted to put flowers in the same sector, we would proceed in the direction of the yellow arrow - the control cycle. So many flowers in this sector are not suitable because wood controls the ground.

Characteristics of individual elements


World direction: east, southeast
Materials: wood, wicker, rattan
Colors: green and blue
Shapes: vertical strips, objects of tall slender shapes, columns
Interior accessories: houseplants, especially tall and slender, dragon, paintings of trees, landscapes with plenty of greenery


World direction: south
Materials: artificial materials, plastics, leather
Colors: red
Shapes: pointed shapes, triangles
Interior accessories: lamps, candles, fireplace, stove, symbols of the sun, phoenix bird, birds, exotic animals


World direction: northeast, center, southwest
Materials: clay, ceramics, unfired bricks,
Colors: yellow, orange, brown, all shades of earthy colors
Patterns: horizontal stripes and squares
Interior accessories: stones, crystals and gems, ceramic objects


World direction: west, northwest
Materials: all metals - silver, copper, gold, stainless ...
Colors: white and gray color, metal colors
Shapes: spheres, rounded shapes, circles and ellipses
Animal (west): white tiger
Interior accessories: clocks, metal sculptures and decorative objects, carillons ...


World direction: north
Material: glass, mirrors
Color: black or dark blue
Shape: wavy lines and irregular shapes
Interior accessories: fish, turtles, aquariums, fountains, water paintings - sea, waterfalls, lakes and rivers

Cheat-sheet 5 elements

Do you want to have all the characteristics of 5 elements always at hand? Download a practical cheat sheet in which you have all the necessary information in one place without repeated searches on the internet. And even if you print them out, you won't even have to turn on your computer 🙂

5 elements cheatsheet