Ch’i and the Five Elements in Feng Shui
According to the Chinese, everything in our universe is made up of these 5 elements, in their naturally circulating order, they are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. When these 5 elements are completely balanced in your body and your environment, you will have balance, harmony, and abundance in your life. Energetically speaking, our bodies contain varying combinations of each of these 5 elements.
Here is a brief summary of how each of the five elements manifests itself in our ch’i and therefore shapes our character. During a consultation, I examine the ch’i of my client and their spaces and then incorporate the five elements to better balance their bodies and environment. In turn, this leads us to a more harmonious, abundant, and balanced life.
The Energy of Growth
Wood represents goodwill, charitableness, and steadfastness. Those deficient in the wood are like duckweed, which floats on water. When the wind shifts, it is blown this way and that. These people have no strong views of their own. They are amicable and easygoing. They are followers, influenced too much by others.
They tend to be wishy-washy, often contradicting themselves in order to agree with prevailing viewpoints. Those with the proper amount of wood are like big trees with luxuriant branches.
When the wind blows, they lean slightly with the wind. When the wind stops, the trees stand straight. These people are flexible and receptive. They listen to others, old and young- and use their own reason to figure out their own views. Those with large amounts of wood are like palm trees, which do not move with a subtle wind.
If however, a typhoon or hurricane comes along, it will knock down the inflexible palm trees. These people are prejudiced and biased and do not accept or absorb others’ views as options. They may have good ideas and intentions, but these can be undone by their rigidity.
The Energy of Expansion
Fire refers to reason and expressiveness, mannerisms, and conduct. These are two types of people in fire. One type tends to swallow their feelings. If, for example, they encounter difficulties, they merely grin and bear it. They absorb their own dissatisfaction, hoping it will go away.
The second type of person deficient in fire hides his true feelings then swallows them. This type of person will suffer from stomach and intestinal disorders as a result. Those with a proper amount of fire in their personal makeup will stand up against injustice and explain their position articulately and logically.
Once they have expressed themselves, they know when to stop and keep quiet. Those with an excess of fire tend to have emotional outbursts. They are aggressive: when they encounter injustice, their ch’i bursts out of them. Even in everyday situations, they are bellicose and lecture and offend others. During arguments, they will fiercely defend their position, sometimes without justification or logical reasoning. They tend to get overexcited and overheated.
The Energy Of Stability
Earth stands for sincerity and loyalty. Those with low amounts of the earth tend to be opportunistic, selfish, and insincere. They are self-indulgent. Those with the proper amount of earth can balance caring for others with caring for themselves. They are fair, reliable, and loyal. They are also equipped to protect themselves or to seize an opportunity, without being opportunistic. Those with a large amount of earth tend to be self-sacrificing and overly sincere. They are generous to the point of self-denial.
The Energy of Contraction
Metal represents righteousness, the ability to speak out, and properly express ourselves. Those with the lowest amount of metal cannot say what is on their minds and in their hearts. When something goes wrong, they become verbally choked. They tend to be taciturn and cautious.
Those with a medium or proper amount of metal are able to speak out against injustice because their ch’i first circulates through their brain before they speak. These people know when to hold their tongues. They think before they speak.
Those with an excess of metal in their chi are compulsive talkers. Their chi does not circulate in their brain, so they do not consider others’ feelings or the appropriateness of their words before speaking.
Their ch’i makes their mouth move constantly, spraying people with their words. They accentuate their words with grand hand gestures. They tend to mind other people’s business and to be argumentative (often wrongly) and are self-righteous.
The Energy of Stillness
The Chinese divide water into two main categories: still and moving water. Still water refers to our cognitive and judgmental abilities: our insight and intelligence. Those deficient in still water are like frogs at the bottom of a dry well, who think the sky is as large as the small opening they see. Chi never reaches their brain. They are intellectually limited, ignorant, and narrow-minded. Provincial and often wrong, he or she is like a person napping by a tree who sees a rabbit drop dead next to him and returns each day to the same tree, hoping to catch another rabbit.
This type of person is uninterested in world affairs and only knows what concerns him. Those who possess the middle amount of still water are like a swimming pool. They are clear and deep, with defined boundaries that enclose their understanding.
Smart but limited, these people know their environment quite well but are unwilling to try out any other area. Someone possessing a large amount of still water, on the other hand, is like a reservoir-clear, reflective, and expansive.
This person is highly intelligent, wise, and lucid. Moving water refers to a person’s social and business contacts and activities, as well as personal drive, mobility, and effectiveness. Those deficient in moving water are like backwater trickling down a mountain. These people have little contact with society. They never go out and prefer to stay at home.
Someone with the proper amount of moving water is like a river, with more contact with the outside world. This person’s life is balanced among many business and social engagements, home time, and travel. People with an excess of water are like oceans, touching all bases, seizing all opportunities. These people are never at home and are constantly on the move, sometimes spreading themselves too thin.