The 5 Feng Shui Elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood

The 5 elements of nature—water, wood, fire, earth and metal—bring different energies into your living or work space. Decorate according to these properties, and you’ll enhance the Feng Shui flow.

What are the 5 Feng Shui elements?

In Feng Shui, just like in astrology, the “elements” of nature are an essential part of the practice. Feng Shui uses them to decode the energy in your home.

In astrology, we use nature’s elements to understand people’s temperaments. Western astrology divides the zodiac sign into four elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

Feng Shui, like Chinese astrology, distinguishes five elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Various regions of the Feng Shui bagua map correspond with each element.

The feng shui elements are associated with specific colors, shapes, and energy. Adding shapes, colors, and energy to the regions of a home or room with these elements can enhance harmony and improve the flow of energy.

Understanding the 5-Element Theory

Or, the 5-Element “cycle of life”

The five feng shui elements each have an element that creates it (the “parent”) and an element that is created by it (the “offspring”). For example, the fire element is created by wood (parent). Fire creates earth (offspring). Water destroys fire.

ParentNourishes & Creates (Offspring)Destroys & Controls
The 5-Element Cycle of Life
Feng Shui Fire Element
Feng shui element: fire

Feng Shui Element: Fire

Energy: Pulsating, energy, vitality (yang)

Shape: Triangular

Colors: Red shades, pinks

Season: Summer

Design Ideas to Activate Flow/Energy:  Lights, candles, candelabras, a fireplace; hang a painting or sculpture with a bold splash of red or triangle shapes

Feng Shui Earth Element
Feng shu element: Earth

Feng Shui Element: Earth

Energy:  Stability, nurturing, sustaining

Shape: Square

Colors: Orange, yellow, earth tones

Season: Transition of seasons

Design Ideas to Activate Flow/Energy:  Terra cotta pots, ceramics, soft fabrics and colors

Feng Shui Metal Element
Feng shui element: Metal

Feng Shui Element: Metal

Energy: Focus, direct, contracting

Shape: Round

Colors: Grey, pastels, white

Season: Autumn

Design Ideas to Activate Flow/Energy: Metal objects, metallic finishes and fixtures

Feng Shui Water Element
Feng Shui Element: Water

Feng Shui Element: Water

Energy: Fluid

Shape: Wavy

Colors: Black, dark tones

Season: Winter

Design Ideas to Activate Flow/Energy: Fountains, fish tanks, mirrors

Feng Shui Element: Wood
Feng Shui Element: Wood

Feng Shui Element: Wood

Energy: Changing, growth, sprouting

Shape: Rectangular, columnar

Colors: Green shades

Season: Spring

Design Ideas to Activate Flow/Energy: Plants, wood flooring and furniture, sculpture


Kate MacKinnon

Kate MacKinnon, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner and founder of Everyday Feng Shui, is the co-teacher of our Feng Shui astrology course Home Reset. To work with Kate and discover how Feng Shui can change your life, book a free 30 Minute exploration call.