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Last updated on November 29, 2022

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What is the Feng Shui 5 Elements Theory Wu Xing (五行)?

Our daily existence is centered on the Feng Shui 5 Elements Theory. Nature and humans could not exist without it. Harmony and tranquility can only be produced by a balanced natural cycle of all the components. The natural order becomes unbalanced if the cycle is broken by an external influence. It consequently causes confusion and damage in its wake.

In China, the principle is applied on a daily basis. For instance, it is implemented in considerable detail during a wedding or tea ceremony. The objective is to bring prosperity to the participating members. Specific aspects of the invisible energy pattern finally manifest in certain ways as tangible objects. These energy patterns will materialize into visible forms such as shape, color, and matter.

Why do have Elements different Shapes and Colors ?

As Einstein discovered decades ago, energy can be converted into matter. Each element has a distinct particle mass due to the different energy patterns that create it. Therefore, nature’s law dictates how energy needs to flow in certain directions to create forms and shapes. To illustrate this better, let’s look at a rectangular form that is associated with the element of wood.

The energy moves initially upward, then turns side-wards, and eventually returns to its initial location. This motion pattern results in a rectangular form. The shapes that are related to the other elements are created by their own unique patterns. We will outline which shape corresponds to which element.

The Behavior of the Energy Pattern
  • FIRE Element increase in its size
  • EARTH Element is firm in its movement
  • METAL Element has a shrinking attitude
  • WATER Element decreases
  • WOOD Element is expanding when it moves

DIFFERENT CYCLES of the Feng Shui Five Elements

It is fundamental to understand the different cycles of this ancient theory. Feng Shui cannot be practiced without it. The element cycles serve as the foundation for the majority of Flying Star (Da Gua) remedies and enhancements. The objective is to develop harmony among all of the energy stars in your home.

Once accomplished, you have great harmony as a gift. The “producing” and the “destroying” cycles are considered the two major ones to keep nature in balance. The “weakening” and “insult” cycles must also be examined in addition to those two. Please note that any interaction of two elements results in a different result.

Producing Cycle (Each Element is in Balance)


The producing or “mother” cycle is where the “parent” produces the child element. To illustrate it better, once fire is burned down, it creates ash. As ash becomes part of the earth eventually, it will enhance it. Consequently, we can state that earth is created by fire.

Next, all the metals we know come from minerals in rocks. Some metals are found just above the soil surface, whereas other metals are found much deeper below, inside the ground. Hence, the earth element generates metal in its cycle. Metal will always need to be liquefied to change its form during processing. Metals produce water for this reason.

The creation of wood occurs next in the cycle. Trees require water to survive and flourish, as we all know. This has the effect that water creates wood. In order to complete the cycle, wood generates fire. As wood is necessary to fuel a fire, without a doubt, this makes it the mother element of fire.

Control Cycle (No Element can break out and get out of control)

Feng Shui 5 element Destroying Cycle Wu Xing

The purpose of the controlling cycle is to keep each and every element in a healthy balance. Otherwise, one might break out and overpower the others. As a consequence, the entire cycle would come crashing down like a house of cards. Only one can imagine nature’s energy to feel its strength. To properly demonstrate this, if too many trees are in a given area, all the nutrients will be absorbed by them.

The earth’s soil is left powerless and empty behind. Surely, a big landslide from the mountains stops the flow of a river in an instant. Try to flood the kitchen and see if there’s any fire in sight. Undeniably, extreme heat (800° C) can melt and bring all metals to its knees. Finally, metal, in the form of machines or tools, can cut the wood into bits and pieces as thin as paper.

Weakening Cycle (Exhaust Element’s Energy in a gentle way)

Feng-Shui-5-element-Weakening-Cycle-Wu-Xing-s1The Weakening Cycle of the Feng Shui 5 elements moves exactly the opposite of the Producing Cycle. Fire burns down wood to its ashes. Therefore, we can say that fire controls wood. Beavers use wood to build dams. with the result that water becomes contained in a given area. Add too much water to steel and the rust starts to pop up like mushrooms.

Surely, once a company mines and removes metal from the earth, it will be drained. Unquestionably, earth reduces the spread of fire as it cannot burn. Have you ever seen firefighters dig trenches as a control line to contain a fire?

Insulting Cycle (Element ‘s Harm each other)


The case of insult occurs when the controlling element is not sufficiently present. If there is too little water on fire and only a “puff” is heard. Water will evaporate into the air. This must be remembered: always add enough to control the element and stop any attempt that could cause an insult in the cycle.

How to apply the Feng Shui Five Elements ?

Without reservation, the Feng Shui Five Elements Theory needs to be understood correctly to proper work with the Feng Shui Application. To be sure that no harmful mistakes are been done, study all the cycle behavior very intensively. To get a full picture of what the 5 Elements all represent, a look beyond its element itself should be done.

The Feng Shui 5 Elements cycles are being used by all Feng Shui Consultants to apply placements inside the house. The purpose is either to weaken, enhance, or neutralize the energy in certain sectors. To illustrate better, in case the #5/2 Sick Star Combination with the Earth Element is present in one sector, “Metal” needs to be used to exhaust it. As Metal weakens Earth in its cycle, this is the only possible choice here.

The Feng Shui Flying Star Da Gua is associated with 9 different Stars. Each Star has its own element. All the 5 Elements are somehow equally divided onto the 9 Star System. Once the permanent energy of the house is known, the star combination can provide more light about what you have to deal with. If a Star-Combination favorable in one area, then it has to be supported.

Do not make the mistake to chose a wrong element which insults or weaken it by any chance. On the other hand, an inauspicious star needs to be taken care of. By all means, do not let the energy go wild and out of control. Given that, chaos and mishap can be seen in such a case. With this in mind, the first step in a Feng Shui Consultation is to understand the Energy Chart of the house and the Star’s Elements.

The 9 Flying Star and its Feng Shui Five Elements

1 Star = Water
2 Star = Earth
3 Star = Wood
4 Star = Wood
5 Star = Earth (worst evil star)
6 Star = Metal
7 Star = Metal
8 Star =Earth
9 Star = Fire

Now that it is known what stars are associated with what Element, the use of the cycles (above) can be applied.

Feng Shui 5 element weak strong behavior s8

The Fire-Element in Feng Shui

  • Shape/Form: Triangle, Sharp
  • Material: All Electronic Devises (TV, Lights, Computer), Cooking Stove, Lights, Candles, Cell Phones
  • Type of House Roof: Pointed & Sharp
  • Color: Red, Bright Yellow, Orange, Violet, Purple
  • Family Member: Middle Daughter
  • Astrology Sign: Horse & Snake
  • Weather: Warm
  • Taste: Bitter
  • Body Organs: Eye & Heart
  • Positive Expression: All in all Happy, Friendly, Open-Minded, Thinks Positive
  • Negative Expression: Not Patient and therefore Hasty
  • Direction: South

The Earth-Element in Feng Shui

  • Shape/Form: Square & Flat
  • Type of House Roof: Flat
  • Material: All ceramic pottery, the soil in flower pots, stones, grass, and boulders
  • Color: Light Yellow, Brown Tones of soil
  • Family Member: everybody living inside the home
  • Astrology Sign: Dog, Ox, Dragon, Goat
  • Weather: Wet
  • Taste: Sweet
  • Body Organs: Bones, Intestines
  • Positive Expression: Thoughtful, Honest, quite. Surely, the person can be trusted completely
  • Negative Expression: Is very calm and also the thinking process is slow
  • Direction: Center

The Metal-Element in Feng Shui

  • Shape/Form: Round
  • Material: All Decor Items, furniture, or shelf made out of metal, jewelry
  • Type of House Roof: Dome Shaped
  • Color: Grey, White
  • Family Member: Younger Daughter
  • Astrology Sign: Rooster & Monkey
  • Weather: Dry
  • Taste: Spicy
  • Body Organs: Mouth & Lungs
  • Positive Expression: Is very Concerned, Determined, has a lot of energy whenever active
  • Negative Expressions: Undeniably, a very strict and aggressive behavior
  • Direction: West

The Water-Element in Feng Shui

  • Shape/Form: Wavy & unlimited
  • Material: Yang: Fountain, Fish-tank, streets, rivers, swimming pools – Yin: a bowl of water, vase of water, a bottle of water (non-moving)
  • Type of House Roof: Irregular & Round Shape
  • Color: Blue, Black, Turquoise
  • Family Member: Middle Son
  • Astrology Sign: Rat & Pig
  • Weather: Cold
  • Taste: Salty
  • Body Organs: Ears, Kidney
  • Positive Expression: All in all, very intelligent and who has many talents
  • Bad Expression: A very optimistic person who does not know when to stop
  • Direction: North

The Wood-Element in Feng Shui

  • Shape/Form: Rectangular & Big
  • Material: All real and fake Plants, wood furniture
  • Type of House Roof: narrow & looks like a hut
  • Color: Green, Brown Tone of Wood
  • Family Member: Oldest Son
  • Astrology Sign: Tiger & Rabbit
  • Weather: Windy
  • Taste: Acid
  • Body Organs: Liver, Feet, Legs
  • Good Expression: Cares about friends and is honest regardless of what the situation is
  • Bad Expression: All of a sudden be upset, has mood swings and is Stubborn
  • Direction: East

Putting the Feng Shui 5 Elements to work with a Energy Chart

FengShuiBlanz FlyingStar 9Mansion

To provide a real-life example, allow us to illustrate it with the above shown Flying Star Energy Chart. At the Northwest Sector of the floor-plan, the notorious 5-2 Star Combination can be seen. The table shows us that both the number 5 and 2 Stars belong to the Earth Element. Therefore, metal is needed to exhaust the bad effects. How to know metal is needed? Take a look at the Weakening Cycle to detect the correct Element. Furthermore, enhancement of the Earth Element is not wished for. By all means, no fire Element should be present in this section of the house.

Now, all the stars of the Energy Chart can be taken care of. This to say, extensive knowledge of the Star Combination Meanings are required.


ELEMENT SUBSTANCE (Wood, Metal, Earth, Water, Fire) AND SHAPE (Round, Square, Triangle, Rectangle, Wavy) OVERRULE Color

For example, if a decor item main material is metal and the color is red, the color is not important. #1: Substance, #2: Shape, #3 Color (Symbolism is not relevant in Feng Shui)

What happens when a Feng Shui Five Element is OFF-Balance?

Be prepared to experience nature in its full force. It does not appreciate when one or more elements are unbalanced. Take a look at what will happen:

If a Fire Element gets out of control, it creates a very bad temper. Just imagine a regular wildfire which grows in its strengths. It will destroy everything in its path. Take the case of hundred meter high flames to rush in hurricane speed in every direction. Do not mess with Fire or it will destroy everything! Translate this into your home and you will see temper rising high.

Next, excess of the Earth Element can create mistrust and compassion issues between family members. At any rate, take good care of Earth inside the house. By and large, Harmony is the key in each household.

Too much of the Metal Element and one becomes the Sheriff in town. Everything needs to be 110% correct, regardless of what it is about. Under those circumstances, it can easily lead to conflict as every action of others is sought after.

Once the Water Element takes over a section of the house, a flood will result. Important to realize, do not underestimate the power of water. Thoughts are washed away into the ocean. In brief, be prepared to drown in inaction and overthinking of all and everything.

Last, the Wood Element leads to excessive compassion behavior. Believe in everything is told, makes a fool of you in the end. Also, a lack of personal growth can be noticed. Take a look at a tree that is stuck in its size. To stay like this is the consequence until the trap can be unleashed.

The Feng Shui 5 Elements by Compass Direction and what it Represents

Trigramm feng shui

The 5 Elements for Business and Career Choice


In general, each Career or business type can be assigned to a certain Element. Also, a look at a person’s Bazi chart can tell if one is successful or not in its work. Furthermore, the Bazi-Birthchart can tell if a business Element is suitable and bring fortune or failure. Please note, that in reality, many business sectors do incorporate different Elements.

Take a look at a restaurant, the kitchen belongs with no doubt to the Fire Element, but the waitress belongs to Water. Why you might ask? As we have said earlier, the stove is well associated with the fire element as it gets hot and burns. On the other hand, a waitress job is fast moving. In other words, customers come and go. To point out, this is a typical character for Water. Please note that a company logo also should reflect either the personal Bazi-Chart or the industry’s Element related to it.

The Meaning of the Fire-Element in Business

The Fire Element relates to industries that deal or creates heat. For that reason affiliated are the following industries:

  • State Prosecutor (Law)
  • Chemical Industry
  • Beauty Salon & Sale
  • Oil (Gas Stations)
  • Online E-Commerce
  • Computer-based activities (online)
  • Electronic
  • PR-Agencies
  • Actors / Actresses
  • Multimedia
  • Restaurants
  • Psychologist
  • Cosmetic

The Meaning of the Earth-Element in Business

In general, all industries that take earth into consideration. Be it a real estate developer or a mining company. In fact, Earth is the common factor seen here. In particular, see which career and work are associated with the Earth Element:

  • Food Industry
  • Real Estate
  • Reit Management
  • Farm / Harvest
  • Sports
  • Pottery & Glass Manufacturer
  • Architect & Engineering
  • Fashion Industry
  • Customer Relationship

The Meaning of the Metal-Element in Business

Take a look at a coin and guess out of what material it is made of. Yes, you guessed correctly, it is metal without doubt. Therefore, all industries handling money or previous metal fall under this category. To illustrate Metal related businesses:

  • Banking Industry
  • Metal Mining
  • Entertainment
  • Hardware Stores
  • Jewelry Manufacturer & Shop
  • Investment Firms
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Accountants
  • Train / Airplane
  • Military / Defense Industry
  • Insurance Companies

The Meaning of the Water-Element in Business

Water by nature is fast moving and changing all the time. Take a glance at the ocean to discover that no wave is like the other. To put it differently, a retail shop deals with many customers and goods: Customers and items change constantly like the water in the ocean. To illustrate, some examples of what is included in a Water Element:

  • Advertising
  • Retail
  • Cold Beverage Industry (Coca Cola)
  • Laundry
  • Healing
  • Media
  • Music Business
  • Transportation (UPS, DHL)
  • Travel Industry

The Meaning of the Wood-Element in Business

To sum up, Business or Career which are related to the Wood Element:

  • Cafe
  • Office Supply Stores
  • Film Industry
  • Paper Products
  • Hospital & Health Care Products
  • Gardener / Garden Center
  • Tree, Coffee, or Tea Plantation
  • Doctor / Nurse
  • Author


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One Comment

  1. oprolevorter July 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm - Reply

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