Feng Shui

Feng Shui

The belief that all things in the universe seek balance and harmony is a cornerstone tenant of Chinese philosophy. Feng Shui is the ancient application of this philosophy in architectural and interior design. By mindfully balancing elements and energies in design practices, you can balance your Chi, or life force.

The Chinese birth symbol or zodiac animal sign under which you were born plays a role in Feng Shui as well. Each animal in the Chinese zodiac is associated with a primary energy that is either Yin or Yang, and Feng Shui calls for the balancing of Yin-Yang in design. Your natural energy must therefore be complimented and balanced by design elements to achieve Feng Shui.

Yin-Yang and Chinese Astrology

Yin and Yang are opposites but they are also essential to one another in Chinese philosophy. Like all things in the universe, energies seek balance, and one cannot exist without the other. Yin is associated with darkness and negativity, and Yin with light and positivity. They are opposite aspects of a single whole. This whole is the Thai-Chi, or Universe.

Neither of these forces or energies can exist without the other and when Yin-Yang is out of balance, it can have a profound impact on your life. Feng Shui aims to promote a Yin-Yang balance through design practices.

Your Zodiac Sign and Yin-Yang

You naturally possess a stronger Yin or Yang energy by virtue of your birth symbol. This means your harmonized energy depends on surrounding yourself with balancing design elements, or those that bring the power of the opposite energy to bear on your Chi. For example, if you are a Yin animal, a Feng Shui design must incorporate balancing Yang features.

  • Yin Animals – Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, and Dog
  • Yang Animals – Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Ram, Rooster, and Pig

When Chi is healthy, it is uninterrupted and swirls and flows naturally. When a design is inappropriate for your Yin-Yang energy however, Chi is disrupted or flows too quickly, too slowly, or not at all.

The Five Elements and Feng Shui

A healthy and balanced Feng Shui design incorporates all five of the elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. For harmonized Chi however, a Feng Shui design must balance these elements in a personalized manner, by taking into consideration your dominant element and whether your dominant element is active or receptive.

If, for example, your dominate element is Active Fire, your personalized Feng Shui design may draw primarily on Wood, Earth, Metal, and Water to balance your natural energies with your surroundings. If however, your dominant element is Receptive Fire, your ideal Feng Shui may also draw Fire into the design in order to promote positive energies associated with Active Fire, thereby balancing the hindering qualities of your Receptive Fire dominant element.

Elements also possess energies and characteristics of their own. The chart below depicts each element along with common features, attributes, or traits with which the element is associated. These features can easily be used in Feng Shui design.

  Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Energy Outward Upward Steady or Horizontal Inward Downward
Direction East South Center West North
Season Spring Summer All Seasons Autumn Winter
Color Green Red Yellow White or Silver Black or Blue
Shape Columns Triangular Flat Rounded Irregular
Height Tall Pointed Low Dipping Varying


By emphasizing characteristics of particular elements in a Feng Shui design, you can bring your own dominant element into balance. You can also promote your positive or desired personality traits or decrease the influence of negative or unwelcomed traits. Use or emphasis of the elements in a personalized Feng Shui design enhances the flow of Chi and ensures your Yin-Yang balance is optimized by your surroundings.