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Feng Shui Basics - The Feng Shui Wu-Xing Or Five Elements

Much of Feng Shui is concerned with the relationships between the forces of nature, which are symbolized by the Five Elements, or Wu-Xing. The Five Elements are the essence of nature and they symbolize the life force of the Universe.

In Western tradition there are said to be four Elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, but for the Chinese who generally favour the luck number five, they are Wood (Mu), Fire (Huo), Earth (T'u), Metal (Chin) and Water (Shui).

The Chinese do not believe that the universe is literally made up of these materials, but that they represent States of Change - one constantly creating the next in the sequence.

Determine Which Element Are You:

First you need to know your chinese zodiac sign before you can know your element.

Below is a concise description of the Wu-Xing or 5 Elements in Chinese Astrology: To know about yourself, kindly refer to your own element.


  • Characteristics: Full of wisdom, liberal
  • Shape: Wavy
  • Colors: Blue, Gray, Black
  • Direction: North
  • Flying star: Star 1 - angel of life (good star by nature)
  • Animal Branch: Rat , Pig
  • Season: Winter
  • Hour: 21:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Careers: Broadcaster/communication, tourism, laundry business, transportation/shipping, teachers, nurses, doctors


  • Characteristics: Kindness, flexible
  • Shape: Beam like (grows upward)
  • Colors: Green
  • Direction: East, Southeast
  • Flying star: Stars 3 & 4 - misfortune stars (bad stars by nature)
  • Animal Branches: Rabbit, Tiger
  • Season: Spring
  • Hour: 3-7 AM
  • Careers: Pharmacist, law and order, hair stylist, fashion/apparel designer, writer/publisher, furniture business, modeling, educator


  • Characteristics: Vibrant, Hot, talker
  • Shape: Triangle
  • Colors: Red, Pink, Orange, Purple
  • Direction: South
  • Flying star: Star 9 - Angel of Luck Star
  • Animal Branches: Horse, Snake
  • Season: Summer
  • Hour: 9 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Careers: Restaurant/food industry, service and promotion, performing arts/entertainers, electrical engineers, radiotherapist, fuel/gas station, chemicals


  • Characteristics: Stable, Trustworthy, Stubborn
  • Shape: Square or cubic
  • Colors: Yellow, Brown, Beige
  • Direction: Northeast, Southwest
  • Flying star: Star 2 (Sickness Star), Star 5 (Death/Disaster), Star 8 (Wealth Star)
  • Animal Branches: Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog
  • Season: January, April, july, October
  • Hour: 1-3 AM, 7-9 AM, 13:00-15:00 PM, 19:00-21:00 PM
  • Careers: Realtor, insurance agents, accountant, human resource/personnel, consultants, lawyers, sculptor, construction, manager


  • Characteristics: Sharp, Rightheous, loner
  • Shape: Spherical
  • Colors: White, Gold, Silver
  • Direction: West, Northwest
  • Flying star: Star 6 (Angel of Travel, Luck), Star 7 (Robbery, Solemnity)
  • Animal Branches: Monkey, Rooster
  • Season: Autumn
  • Hour: 3:00-7:00 PM
  • Careers: Jeweler, automobile business, mechanical engineers, gold/silver traders, financial specialist

  • Next, I will want to teach you the basics of the Wu-Xing and let you know how five elements influence one another. As mentioned earlier, we call this the States of Change - one constantly creating the next in the sequence.

    The Creative Cycle

    Beginning with the Water Element, the sequence of the Creative Cycle (see box below) is as follows:

    Water feeds Wood

    Wood fuels Fire

    Fire creates Earth (in the form of ash)

    Earth creates Metal

    Metal can flow like Water

    WATER ====> WOOD ====> FIRE ====> EARTH ====> METAL

    The Destructive Cycle

    However, the Elements bring dangers, too, because if the next stage in the creative sequence is missing then the cycle will become one of destruction (see box below).

    Water quenches Fire

    Fire melts Metal

    Metal cuts Wood

    Wood exhausts Earth

    Earth pollutes Water

    WATER ====> FIRE ====> METAL ====> WOOD ====> EARTH

    The Elements & Directions

    Each Element is associated with a compass Direction (see box below), therefore your home will be governed by one main Element (indicated by the Direction of your front door), but it will also have all the other Elements distributed about the house or aparment.

    Water governs the North

    Wood governs the East and South East

    Fire governs the South

    Earth governs the Centre, the North East and the South West

    Metal governs the West and North West

    The Five Elements & Their Associations


    Symbolic Colors





    Black, Deep Blue



    Wavy Lines


    Green, Light Blue

    East, Southeast




    Red, Purple






    Centre, Northeast, Southwest




    White, Metallic tints

    West, Northwest


    Circle, Oval

    The Five Elements can be helpful if they are in harmony or troublesome if they are in conflict. For example, the kitchen, which is governed by Fire and Water, can be harmful to health and prosperity if these two Elements, which are part of the Destructive Cycle (Fire quenches Water), aren't made harmonious by the introduction of the Element Wood which lies between them in the Creative Cycle.

    Similarly, this is the reason that having a bathroom in the middle of the home isn't a good idea. The bathroom is governed by the Water Element, so if it is positioned in the centre of the home it would be ruled by the Earth Element. Since Water and Eart are in conflict in the Destructive Cycle (Earth pollutes Water), the addition of Metal is necessary to restore the balance.

    So, we can deduce that if there is an Elemental conflict the solution lies in adding another Element which will harmonize the warring factions.

    If Water conflicts Fire, add Wood

    If Wood conflicts Metal, add Water

    If Wood conflicts Earth, add Fire

    If Fire conflicts Metal, add Earth

    If Earth conflicts Water, add Metal

    Using the Elements

    Apart from governing compass Directions, the Five Elements also have symbolic colors, images and shapes associated with them.

    For example, if you were having trouble in the Metal sector of your home (West or North West), possibly because you had a fireplace or stove there (both are ruled by Fire), then the addition of a square, yellow rug would symbolize the Earth Element and harmonize the affected area. It would not be a good idea to add more of the Metal or Fire Elements, such as red, white, triangular or circular objects, because that would only empahsize the original imbalance.

    Of course, this example is only one solution. Feng Shui is constrained only by the creative imagination. A stone might be placed in the affected Metal sector with equal effect, as could painting the whole area yellow or adding any object which suggests the Element Earth.

    So, in essence, it is easy to change negative, destructive forces into harmonious and positive ones with a little Elementary thinking.

    To complicate matters further, you too will have a ruling Element which may or may not be in tune with your home. To assess this, we will need to work out your Lucky Star Number. Feng Shui is a Science and you need to keep learning before you are able to apply them correctly. One way to improve your basic understanding and how to use feng shui to your benefits is to download the "The 26 Feng Shui Secrets" e-book below!

    Credit to Jonathan Dee.

    If you are one who keep asking yourself on why does Feng Shui have to be so confusing? Then, I strongly recommend you to get this enriching e-book on Feng Shui. You absolutely need the powerful "26 Feng Shui Secrets" ebook! It is an easy read and explains everything in detail to help you understand the reason behind Feng Shui, which is a very important part of learning.

    Your life will become a place of love, peace, calm and wealth by putting to practice the 26 Feng Shui Secrets.

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