The 5 Elements of Personality: Feng Shui Astrology

Are you an excitable Fire person, an upstanding Wood element or a mentally astute Metal? Maybe you’re a nurturing Earth archetype, or a dreamy and empathic Water. Your birth year element tells an important story.

In Chinese astrology, every birth year is assigned one of five natural elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Understanding yours can help you play to your strength and harmonize with your loved ones, coworkers and friends.

What’s Your Birthday Element?

Metal: Born in year ending in 0 or 1
Water: Born in year ending in 2 or 3
Wood: Born in year ending in 4 or 5
Fire: Born in year ending in 6 or 7
Earth: Born in year ending in 8 or 9

The Wuxing system and Feng Shui Astrology

This five-phase system, called Wuxing, begins anew at each Lunar New Year in January or February. In the Western astrology system, this falls at the Aquarius New Moon. (Capricorn and Aquarius friends, scroll down to the end of this post for an important caveat!)

We recently nicknamed this system Feng Shui Astrology because it blends the five-element system that’s used in both Feng Shui and Chinese astrology.

While designing our new online course Home Reset, we realized that the five elements not only influence the energy of a physical space, but also the people that inhabit it. Balancing interpersonal dynamics is as important as properly positioning a bed or desk, for example.

Feng Shui principles in real life

When organizing a space by Feng Shui principles, there’s a saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

The idea is to get energy flowing in the right direction. You want to make sure you’re not blocking “chi,” or life force energy, with problems like misplaced furniture, sharp corners, leaky faucets and poor lighting.

But newsflash: Life isn’t a perfectly staged Pinterest board. Human beings are involved, and that’s where Feng Shui Astrology REALLY comes in.

The most divinely appointed home can still turn chaotic depending on the cast of characters that walks through your front door. (Yep, even if you painted it red for good luck!) As the pandemic forces us to cram work, school and life into one space, our nests are feeling more stressed than #blessed.


What does your birth element say about you?

Your birth element shapes your personality, the energy you exude and the way you decorate, dress and express yourself. How will you resolve conflict? Do you need more privacy to concentrate or are you an “open-plan” extrovert type who doesn’t believe in walls?

Like any ecosystem, all five elements are interconnected. To create harmony in any environment—whether at home or on your Zoom conference calls—they must be balanced.

There can be “too much of a good thing” when certain elements dominate. And when an element is missing or deficient, things feel askew.

For example, an excess of attention-seeking, competitive Fire energy in a group can be exhausting. Everyone’s shouting over each other; nobody’s listening. Can we pass the “talking stick,” puh-lease?

But on the flip side, a lack of Fire in a group can feel dull and lackluster, devoid of the spark that gets projects and parties started. Properly balancing Fire can bring the right amount of vibrance to a home or collab, stoking inspiration without burning down the house!

We’ve referred to this balancing act as “astro-Ayurveda”—and it rings true for the five-element system. In Home Reset, you’ll learn this system in depth, and how to elicit the right proportions from all five elements, and to compensate for elemental energies that are missing.

The 5 Elements of Personality—Your Archetype:

Metal: The Organizers
Water: The Empathizers
Wood: The Providers
Fire: The Energizers
Earth: The Stabilizers

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The 5 elements of personality

Whether in nature or among people, every element has a job. And when we play to our strengths, a household, work group or community can feel beautifully balanced.

Think about being in a coffee shop (pre-pandemic), when you get into the zone and feel the productive energy all around you. Chances are, there are people of all five elements there, and you’re picking up on the collective good-vibes buzz!

The Water people are listening to music and creatively flowing. The Metals are banging out that proposal spreadsheet they weren’t able to focus on at home. The Fire and Earth folks are sipping lattes, trading gossip and hatching a startup (with the Fire playing evangelist). And the Wood folks are nerding out with the barista about the single-origin coffee beans while their pour-over brews (no rush!).

Your Element’s Keywords:

Metal: Sharp, decisive, seeks clarity
Water: Intuitive, creative, emotional
Wood: Masterful, structured, diligent
Fire: Enthusiastic, colorful, restless
Earth: Nurturing, reliable, grounding

The 5 Elements of Personality and compatibility

The supportive star

Your birth element in Feng Shui Astrology can help you find—and embrace—the role you were born to play. Then, the next question arises: Do you play well with others?

Understanding the Feng Shui Astrology “life cycle” reveals which elements support yours and which ones you may feel out of sync with.

The five elements of personality have a symbiotic relationship:

  • Metal generates Water
  • Water feeds Wood
  • Wood sustains Fire
  • Fire makes Earth (ash)
  • Earth (ash) creates Metal

They also have a destructive manifestation:

  • Fire melts Metal
  • Metal cuts Wood
  • Wood breaks Earth
  • Earth absorbs Water
  • Water puts out Fire

When we accept that each person has a role to play, we can appreciate who they are, even if we don’t necessarily want to share close quarters 24/7.

And well, if you do happen to be family or close colleagues, you can design a setup that meets everyone’s individual needs. So much creativity becomes available when you understand what makes everyone tick!

After all, the goal here is harmony and flow, finding a way to coexist amid our differences. That’s something the planet needs more than ever.

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Join us for Home Reset—and watch our free Feng Shui X Astrology masterclass!

Learn more about Feng Shui Astrology with The AstroTwins’ new course, Home Reset.

P.S. A note for January-born Capricorns and all Aquarius Sun signs:

Because the Lunar New Year begins at the Aquarius new moon, the “new” ruling element of a year will start sometime during Aquarius season (roughly January 20 to February 19).

If you’re a Capricorn born in a year that ends in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8), your element will be that of the year prior.

If you’re an Aquarius born in one of these years enter your birth date into our Cosmic Calculator to find your correct element.


The AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.