The Importance of Color in Feng Shui

July 29, 2018

Color plays a very important role in feng shui, too. Chinese color theory offers a way to enhance nearly every aspect of our lives. Color has been a component of many Chinese practices and beliefs: medicine, art and poetry, food preparation and feng shui. This entry is to share some of the most basic precepts in using color within the world we know as feng shui. Feng shui is over three thousand years old, and was developed by observing nature in all of its complexity and grandeur.  

The key to understanding the significance of color in our lives is Ch’i, literally translated as “breath” or “vitality.” This energy circulates in and around the earth, creating mountains, directing streams and rivers, nourishing trees and crops. Ch’i is also the blueprint of our personality, our health, our talents and our lives. There are many ways to improve an individual’s Ch’i, and one way is to apply color. 

This theory can be used to analyze, harmonize and improve our ch’i. Out of the interaction of Yin and Yang arise five expressions of ch’i. All people and spaces are made up, in varying degrees of these expressions. The Five Elements and their associated colors include:

  • Water: black and other dark colors such as navy

This element helps one see the big picture and skills at communicating in a clear and concise manner. The Water element helps us at setting limits and at evaluation. Within us, this element benefits from time alone to think and rejuvenate.

  • Wood: green (like the leaves of deciduous trees and the needles of evergreen trees)

This element provides an infectious optimism that is very innovative and motivating. This element helps a person work well with others and is good at conflict resolution. The Wood element sometimes causes one to lack focus and the ability to follow tasks through to their completion. This groundbreaker characteristic is best suited for creating and transforming ideas, rather than carrying out plans.

  • Fire: red (as well as strong yellows and oranges)

Fire is the social element; joyful, excited, and charismatic with others. The Fire element provides one with perception and intuition, usually giving the ability to shed light on situations with good judgment regarding people and situations. This person can help us provide a concise (although sometimes exaggerated) point of view.

  • Earth: soft yellow, orange, green, light brown and tan

This element is dependable and accommodating, and the prime directive in life is to serve others, always striving to maintain harmony. This element provides the ability to focus on group dynamics and physical surroundings. Skilled at facilitating and supportive roles, acknowledgement is very important. 

  • Metal: white, pastels and metallic colors such as silver, brass, gold, and copper.

The Metal element tends to be action-oriented and focused solely on accomplishment. Order and control are highly valued. Metal is about authenticity. Because our culture values the ability to get the job done, a person with a high degree of this element is often rewarded with leadership positions, and is seen as an effective strategist.

These Five Elements are associated with many parts of nature and our lives, including the seasons. Just as Spring follows Winter, and the harvest in early Autumn leads to cooling temperatures and falling leaves of late Autumn, there is a natural progression, or productive cycle within these Elements. 

The Productive Cycle
shows us how one element seeds the creation and growth of another in a continuous cycle, again like the seasons. The circle above demonstrates this series:

  • Water nurtures Wood

  • Wood feeds Fire

  • Fire feeds Earth by creating ash

  • Earth feeds Metal as it contracts and condenses

  • Metal nourishes Water

    We utilize the ba-gua to create cures (solutions) for problem areas in our homes and offices. The ba-gua is a map that we transcendentally lay upon a space, often a home or office. It is composed of nine different guas, or areas that make up much of our lives. Once again, color can play a basic role in these resolutions. You will note that the same five elements previously mentioned are encompassed in this ba-gua, and that the four corner guas introduce other elements of life: wealth, partnership, helpful people & travel, and knowledge.

A color can be added to a particular area of your home or office to fix a problem. For instance, if you are having trouble getting along with a co-worker, try adding the color grey to the Helpful People gua in your office or home. If you want to establish a new romantic partnership or improve your current one, add pink to the Partnership gua. If your home/office isn’t a square or rectangle, it’s harder to know how to lay the ba-gua. If you need our help, give us a call or email us and we’ll chat about your space.

While we understand this might be hard to swallow if you haven’t experienced the wonder of Feng Shui, it truly works.  Think about it: What have you got to lose?  A little time and some effort on your part and it just might create a solution for your most challenging problem!

Questions? Write back and we will try to assist you with some more ideas.

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