Five-Element Theory – Wu Xing

2010 Lo Shu - Annual 8The Five Elements are not “things” as much as processes, e.g. Wood is the process of growth – too much Wood Element, may be a business that has problems as a result of “growing to fast”.

Realize the numbers in the Lo Shu (to the right) are essentially a code for the Five Elements and their attributes such as: compass direction, body parts, personality types, kinds of career, seasons (colors), and so forth. The code is:

  •       1 – Water
  • 2-5-8 – Earth
  •    3-4 – Wood
  •    6-7 – Metal
  •       9 – Fire

The suggested remedies and enhancements are traditional Chinese artifacts, which can be substituted with objects from your own culture or that conforms to your interior design preferences. Ex: Kuan Yin may be suggested as a symbol of peace, compassion, and protection. A Metal Kuan Yin can drain Earth 2 or 5, while a Red Kuan Yin can burn up Wood 3. In this way the Element is combined with an item that symbolizes something positive. But anything made of metal will drain Earth, and even a red piece of paper will burn up Wood.

Remedies for inauspicious numbers that reduce or drain its influence: Metal reduces Earth; Water drains Metal; Wood uses up Water; and Fire burns up Wood; and Earth reduces Fire.

In order to benefit from the auspicious numbers enhance with the same Element or the Element that feeds it: Metal feeds Water; Water feeds Wood; Earth feeds Metal; Fire and activity feeds Earth; and Wood feeds Fire.

Water: dark colors, amorphous shapes, detailed patterns, water features, images of water.

Wood: green, columnar, stripes, items made of wood.

Metal: grey, white, metallic tones, circles and domes, items made of metal.

Earth: beige, earth tones, square, solids, items made of earth.

Fire: vibrant colors, triangles, candles, bright lights, lead-glass crystals.