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The earliest origin of feng shui five-element principle was from a book call 五行大义 written by 隋萧吉. Unknown to many it was not written for feng shui or bazi purposes.
木克土者, 专胜散; 土克水者, 实胜虚.
水克火者, 众胜寡. 火克金者, 精胜坚.
It covers extensive areas such as birth stems, seasons, medicinal care, forecasting, fortune telling etc. Later this system was adopted by feng shui, astrology, Bazi and even martial arts.
Five-element cycle is reversible
You probably heard of the constructive and destructive five-element chain but this cycle is not absolute. The chart shows the construction and destruction pattern indicated by the different colour arrow. Take “wood” as an example it grows fire show by dark arrow and metal conquers wood red arrow.
In a figurative sense, forest wood needed water to grow, produces fire. Fire fertilised the soil which is earth. Earth produces gold mine. As for destructive cycle, fire melts metal turning it into liquid form. Earth controls water by building a dam.
One little known fact is that the five element cycle is reversible! Let’s take Metal as an example, earth produces metal 金赖土生but too much Earth buried the Metal 土多金埋!
Five elements imbalance – Unhealthy level
In bazi reading earth represent trust. Fire politeness, water intelligence, metal righteousness and wood kindness. When the element is excessive it is unhealthy. It may sound paradoxical but your greatest strength could be your greatest weakness. For instance, your unstoppable enthusiasm in work can lead to peers boycott. Thinking that you are stealing their rice bowl. The keyword is operating at “optimum” not “maximum” level of your strengths.
Having too much metal make you a “marvel comic ironman” saving the world but compromising the safety of your loved ones. An overly compassionate person due to excess wood makes him gullible to a con man.
5 elements home or office feng shui
Feng shui is about balance and harmony. Ideally, all 5 elements are present. For e.g. over indulgent with electronic gadgets at home causes agitation and bad tempers. It is bad for the heart, blood and cardiovascular system.
Five Element representations
In addition five elements represents body parts, characteristics, colors, smell, shapes and tastes. Assume an office with an elongated or protruded North sector representing excessive water. This will result in over-thinking leading to inaction and missed business opportunities.
Article was publish in feng shui for modern living
The Five-element can be found in our very own Singapore Orchard road