Tag Archives: five elements

Feng Shui 101 – The Most Important Room in your Home.

According to Feng Shui also known as the Art of Living in Harmony with your environment- the most important room in your home is your bedroom.  The reason it’s most important is because your bedroom is the gateway to good health.  Sleep is vital to your well-being and is the key to coping with life in a measured way.

You can improve your health by arranging your bedroom in accordance with Feng Shui principles.  Your furniture arrangement and decorating choices (or lack thereof) manifest energy.  Even though you can’t see energy, you’ll feel its effects.  And when you’re asleep, you easily absorb energy around you because your defenses are low.

According to Feng Shui, everything in the universe emanates one or more of the five types of energy – Wood, Water, Fire, Metal and Earth.  A bedroom should cocoon you with the type of energy that best boosts your health.  (To find your unique type of energy according to your birth-year energy see my post on May 4, 2010 “Feng Shui 101- What Kind of  Energy Do You Have? ” )

For example if you were born in 1959, your birth year energy is water energy so your bedroom should have an abundance of water energy along with the enhancer of water energy which is metal energy.   Choose colors, furniture, artwork, flooring, paint and bedding with metal and water energy – but remember the underlying goal of Feng Shui is balance so ensure all the elements are present but in varying degrees.

At least as important with keeping the décor of the bedroom aligned with your birth-year energy, your bedroom should have as many of the following attributes as possible. Do the best you can with what you have.  Don’t worry if you can’t follow each guideline. 

 1. Sleep in a quiet room located in a quiet area of your home.

 2. Create a dark space in order to sleep your best.

 3. Position your bed along the longest wall of the room (don’t worry about the so-called “corpse position”).  But don’t put it directly behind a toilet from an adjoining bathroom.

4. Put your bed in the command position if possible.  This means that you can easily see the door and whoever’s coming in the door.

5. Have a sturdy headboard behind you especially if you need to place the bed on the same wall as a window.

6. Place a nightstand on either side of the bed if the room allows.

7. Ensure that your bed has a footboard OR put a small bench at the foot of your bed.  The idea is to increase your ability to relax by placing furniture around your bed to cocoon yourself.

Questions or comments?  Post here!

Next time – Easy ways to create a comfortable bedroom.


Feng Shui 101 – What Kind of Energy do You Have?

Did you know that according to Feng Shui, the year you’re born in determines the type of energy you have?  In Feng Shui, there are five elemental energies:  wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  Every year has a predominate type of one of these energies.  You can find out your unique energy (also called your Ming Gua) by using the formulas below.   Finding out which energy you have not only sheds light on your personality, but shows you which colors, shapes and directions support your energy.  When you’re supported, your health and well-being are strengthened. 

How to Determine Your Birth Year Energy or “Ming Gua”:

For Women:  Add all the digits of your birth year.  Add the resulting number until you get a one-digit number.  Add 4 to the result.  If the result is then a two digit number, add the numbers  to get a one-digit number.  The result should be between 1 – 9. 

Example:  If you were born in 1 9 6 2   Add 1+ 9+ 6+ 2 =  18.  Add 1 + 8 = 9.  Add 4 + 9 = 13.  Add 1 + 3 = 4

For Men:  Add all the digits of your birth year.  Add the resulting number until you get a single-digit number.  Subtract the resulting number from 11.  If the result is 10, it means you are a 1.

Example:  If you were born in 1 9 5 9   Add 1+ 9+ 5+ 9 = 24   Add 2 + 4 = 6.  Subtract 11 – 6 = 5

Here are the corresponding colors, shapes, and directions for each Ming Gua.  Knowing the type of shapes and colors that support you is particularly helpful when you are selecting décor for a bedroom or office.  Look for your supportive shapes in furniture, fabric, rugs, and accessories.  The best directions are based on which direction your face faces.  For sleeping, it is the direction that you face when you sit up in your bed.

If your ming gua is 1 – You are a Water Element

Colors: Blue, Black, White, Gold       Shapes: Wavy     Best Directions: SE, S, E, N

Associated Qualities – Flowing, liberal, running downwards, intelligent, creative


If your ming gua is 2 or 8 – You are an Earth Element

Colors: Yellow, Brown, Red and Purple, Pink     Shapes: Square, Cubic  

Best Directions: NE, NW, W, SW

Associated Qualities – Concentration, stability, stubbornness


If your ming gua is 3 or 4 – You are a Wood Element

Colors: Green, Turquoise, Dark Blue, Black   Shapes: Rectangular  

Best Directions:   SE, N, E, S

Associated Qualities – Growing upwards, endurance, will power, usefulness


If your ming gua is 6 or 7 – You are a Metal Element

Colors: White, Gold, Beige, Brown,Yellow  Shapes: Round, Spherical  

Best Directions:  W, SW, NE, NW

Associated Qualities – Sharpness, propriety, cutting, advancing


If your ming gua is 9 – You are a Fire Element

Colors: Red, Orange, Pink, Purple   Shape: Triangular  

Best Directions:  E, SE, N, S

Associated Qualities – Radiant, spreading, generosity, anger

Questions or need further information?  Contact me at e@blptexas.com, or leave a comment, below!

Using Feng Shui To Help A Home Sell Works

Feng Shui has nothing to do with superstition, religion, or philosophy; it’s about living in harmony with your environment through balancing energy (or “qi”).  When a room is balanced and qi can flow gently, you’ll automatically feel comfortable and at ease.  The flow of qi is essential to personal comfort and well-being, and your body intuitively feels when an environment is balanced or imbalanced.

It’s simple…when a buyer feels comfortable in a home it will sell and when they don’t the home won’t sell.

If you believe that Feng Shui is New Age fad, it may surprise you to know that the eastern cultures have practiced the art of placement for centuries. And now that Feng Shui has been westernized, buyers and sellers are using Feng Shui to buy and sell real estate.

The idea behind Feng Shui is to create a harmonious environment to support the health and prosperity of the occupants by placement of objects, use of color, landscaping, and the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. The simplest way to look at it is that if any element is out of balance or missing, we feel off-balance too.

Every object vibrates to create a unique combination of energy.  Feng Shui helps home sellers create balanced energy which will attract buyers. For example, a white front door and a semi-circular front door mat are metal elements. To help the home sell, create balance using fire and earth elements – red or orange-colored plants on either side of the door or by replacing the door mat with a red or orange rectangular- shaped mat.

The goal of getting a home sold is to create comfort and appeal so that buyers linger in the home.  The more time a buyer spends in the home, the more likely they are to buy it.  To help buyers linger, you’ve got to create coziness.  Coziness creates comfort and it is indicative of a gentle flow of energy.  Adding earth elements like rectangular area rugs, square wall art, and window treatments help create coziness. 

In long hallways qi can move too quickly if you don’t have wall art, earth wall colors, or area rugs to slow it down.  The goal is creating slow, meandering qi.  On long straight walkways outside, you can stagger potted plants to change the feel of rushing qi.

In the current real estate market, home sellers need every advantage to get their home sold quickly, but it should be noted that Feng Shui it can’t overcome setting a home sales price too high.   However, Feng Shui will absolutely help the home to feel welcoming and comfortable which will help set it apart from other homes on the market.

Feng Shui Can Help With Your Home Decorating Decisions

You may not be aware of it, but you’re always experiencing and reacting to the energy in your environment.  Using the principles of Feng Shui will help balance energy in your home.  Why is this important?  Because when your home looks and feels good, you can relax and feel comfortable.  And that creates a better life!

So – how do you balance energy?  By using the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood and the principles of yin and yang.  The feeling you get when you walk into a room is dictated by the way the elements are used (knowingly or not) in decorating the room.

Take a look at these photos and notice whether you feel differently when you look at each one.  If you do, you’re experiencing the power of Feng Shui.  What you’re reacting to at the most basic level is the arrangement of the elements.  Shape, color, and placement of the elements create energy which then makes a room feel warm or cool, comfortable or uncomfortable.

First photo – There’s a lot of  water and metal energy here and it creates a cool, modern feel.  Looking closely, here is the breakdown of energy:               

  1. Water energy is created by the curvy shape of the chairs and their blue color.
  2. Metal energy is created by the metal floor lamp, the white color of the shade, and the plant on the table.
  3. Earth energy is created by the shape of the table and the beige color of the carpet.
  4. Fire energy is created by the red color in the wall art and the magazine.
  5. Wood energy is created by the rectangular shape of the wall art and in the table.

Second photo – Lots of fire energy here in the color of the chairs, the accessory on the table, and the wall art.  Does the space feel warm and inviting?  Fire energy creates warmth.

Third photo – The most basic level of energy, yin and yang, is displayed here.  White is yin energy and black is yang energy.  When black and white are used together they create a formal and rigid feeling.   This rigid feeling is alleviated by the shape of the wall art.  Even though the art is without color, it feels vibrant, doesn’t it?  It’s because of the shape.  This is the most vibrant part of the space.

Here is a helpful guide for you to identify the five elements in your environment:

The Five Elements and their Characteristics

Element Quality Color Shape
Water Flows, falls Black, Blue Wavy
Earth Compacts Yellow, Brown Square, Cubic
Wood Grows upward Green, Turqouise Rectangular
Metal Contracts White, Gold, Silver Round, Spherical
Fire Radiates Red, Orange, Purple Triangular

And for more information, see my post “Feng Shui 101 – the Five Elements.”

Simple Feng Shui

The term “Feng Shui” may sound exotic or difficult to understand. It’s really a very practical study, but many think people dismiss it as another new-age gimmick or “wu-wu”  because of the way its been marketed here in the U.S. 

Originally from Asia, Feng Shui is simply the study of energy flow and balance.  Whether you realize it or not, you’re constantly experiencing the effects of energy.  Just like gravity, you can’t see it but you can feel it.  Every “thing” – i.e. trees, flowers, furniture, colors, and shapes emanates its own unique energy.  The arrangement of these forms in your environment creates energy that translates into positive or negative feelings in your body.  Balancing energy in your environment allows you to feel comfortable and relaxed. Unbalanced energy creates imbalances in your life and discomfort in your body.  That’s the essence of Feng Shui.

 To experience the effects of Feng Shui for yourself, you can try any of these…

  • Look at either side of your desk, whichever is the most cluttered. Now, move the stuff away.  Feel different?  If there is too much clutter in a space, you can feel constricted because energy flow is constricted.
  • Move your chair to the center of the room and sit down.  Now, move it against the wall and do the same.  Do you feel differently sitting with your back against the wall?  If you sit in the center of a room you will likely feel vulnerable and exposed.  A wall behind you allows you to relax and allows energy to flow towards you.
  • Remove a piece of artwork from a wall, or conversely, hang one.  Can you feel the difference?  The colors and design in the art create energy.  When you remove the art, you remove energy.

The study of Feng Shui explains how and why the placement of objects creates balance, energy, and flow.  The universal principles of Yin and Yang and the five elemental energies classified as wood, water, metal, earth, and fire which are derived from Yin and Yang are the essence of Feng Shui.   Feng Shui provides us with a blueprint for quantifying energy and an explanation of why certain spaces affect us they way they do.  Feng Shui principles can explain why a friend’s house doesn’t feel comfortable or why you may need to select a certain table in a restaurant.

All the other Feng Shui enhancements you may have heard about like fountains, wind chimes, and lucky statues are simply icing on the cake.  They are fun and easy to implement.  The real study of Feng Shui however is concerned with landforms, structural forms, energy flow, and balance.   Feng Shui provides an explanation of  how the intangible to becomes tangible.  Energy is constantly flowing around us and it is the harnessing of this energy using Feng Shui principles that is the power of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui 101- The Five Elements

Orange Chair

Can you spot the Five Elements in this photo? Scroll down for answers.

Feng Shui is based upon the principles of Yin and Yang.  Yin and Yang are the parents of “the five elements”.  The five elements — fire, earth, metal, water, and wood are used in Feng Shui to create balance and harmony.   The elements describe different types of energy (qi) and can be thought of as “five phases” because energy is constantly moving and transforming.  Everything in the world is created from a combination of the five phases.  They are the building blocks which create the quality of energy present in a certain space. 

Why is this important?  Because when energy is balanced, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable in a space producing a higher level of satisfaction with life.

The Five Elements and their Characteristics

Element Quality Color Shape
Water Flows, falls Black, Blue Wavy
Earth Compacts Yellow, Brown Square, Cubic
Wood Grows upward Green, Turqouise Rectangular
Metal Contracts White, Gold, Silver Round, Spherical
Fire Radiates Red, Orange, Purple Triangular

The goal of Feng Shui is to balance the elements in an environment so that they don’t conflict with each other.  Using color, shape, furniture arrangement and space planning, a Feng Shui practitioner arranges the elements a harmonious way and makes the unseen, seen.  The qualities of each element is manifested in its color, material, and shape.  However, you’ll rarely find an element that’s just a single element – most things consist of a combination of elements.  For example, when we use the term wood qi, it means that it has a preponderance of wood qi, not that it is only wood qi.  

How to Balance the Elements

The correct use of elements will create the productive cycle.  The productive cycle means the elements are not overpowering one another.  The space will feel comfortable and look appealing.   The productive cycle works like this: 

five elementsWater nurtures -> Wood nurtures -> Fire nurtures -> Earth nurtures -> Metal nurtures -> Water. 

In contrast, using too much or too little of an element causes conflict between the different energies which causes unbalanced qi.   This is known as the destructive cycle.  The destructive cycle works like this:  

Water weakens -> Fire weakens –> Metal weakens -> Wood weakens –> Earth weakens –> Water.  

destructive cycle

Applying the Principles to a Room

At the most basic level, if you have a room with a pitched ceiling, painted red, with white furniture and white drapes containing circular-shaped pattern, the room will have a lot of fire and metal qi.  Why?  Because red is a fire color, and the pitched ceiling is a fire element (triangular), white is metal color and circles are metal shapes.  Fire is destructive to metal.  The elements are following the destructive cycle. This is undesirable and the unseen conflict between fire and metal can cause you discomfort in the room. 

How to move into the Productive Cycle?

Add rounded-leaf plants in square-shaped pots to add earth, wood, and water energy.   Earth energy is found in the dirt and the square-shaped pot.  Wood energy manifests from the color green and from the very nature of the plant.   Water energy is found in the curved shape of the leaves.   Adding the missing elements buffers the conflict between metal and fire and creates the productive cycle.

Going Deeper

A Feng Shui practitioner would go deeper and do more a thorough analysis before making recommendations by asking these questions:

  • First, what type of inherent energy is found in the room?  This is based on the compass reading of the room and charting of the natal chart or flying-star chart.  (“Star” meaning energy) 
  • Second, what is the room used for?  Recommendations for a bedroom will be different than for the dining room.  You need to determine the quality of energy needed  in the room based on its usage.  For example, earth energy in a bedroom is desirable because it is grounding and can help you relax.  In an office, too much earth can make you lethargic and not wanting to work.
  • Third, what is the birth-year energy (or ming-gua) of the people who will be using the room?  If you are a water element the best elements for your bedroom are water energy and metal energy (metal creates water).   Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to add these elements if they are already inherently in the room.

The goal of Feng Shui is to create balance and harmony through correct energy balancing. When a room is balanced energetically odds are you’ll feel it as you walk in.  If you get the feeling of peace and feel like relaxing your shoulders look around and see if you can spot how the five elements are used in the room.  Intuitively, we all can feel when a space is balanced.


Orange Chair

Can you spot the Five Elements in this photo?

Water – the curved arms of the chair; the color of the floor (black).

Wood – the inherent material used in constructing the chair; the shape of the chair legs.

Fire – the color of the upholstery (orange).

Earth – the square-shape of the squares on the wall; the shape of the bottom chair cushion.

Metal – the color the chair was painted (white); the circular back of the chair; the color of the wall (grey).