In order to create balance and harmony in the home, we use the art and science of Feng Shui to interpret issues and use the elements found in nature to remedy them.
Although Feng Shui is built on a foundation of science and it’s necessary to look into the diagnostics in every consultation or service, I encourage you to notice how these elements are found in nature first. Notice how they interact with each other and maintain balance in each cycle.
Interaction and Balance
Let’s look at nature for a second: rain (water) will flow down from heaven allowing the soil (earth) nourishment, which in turn feeds the trees, plants, and flowers (wood). The trees are chopped down by axes (metal) and then fed to the flames (fire) to balance out nature and provide warmth. The fire is then extinguished by water or dulled by earth. There are endless possibilities with these cycles and each has equal counterparts to influence them. I encourage you to take note of this when you spend time in nature, see the dew droplets covering the leaves, the ashes of fires feeding the soil, and the earth providing more trees and plants to enrich the quality of air.
As in nature, balance is key. In Feng Shui, we reference the Bagua Map to establish a diagnosis of the area. It overlays the location of the home and distinguishes different regions and their unique significance. This allows us to create balance in the home with areas that feed wealth, love, creativity, and rest to name a few.
All five elements (water, wood, metal, fire and earth) are taken into account with their individual characteristics playing a vital role in remedies, harmony, and avoiding displacement. The element we’re focusing on today is fire.
Fire and What It Represents
Fire is an element of action. Think of a flame as it flutters, influenced by the elements around it, spreading the energy in all directions. Fire has the ability to transmute the energy around it, much like it draws in oxygen, heats water and earth, and burns wood. It’s extremely powerful and controlling in any space. Fire used in the right way, in balance, like the yin and yang, can be positive. Later on, we will discuss how it affects the South area of fame and reputation in the home and actions its success.
Fire is represented by the spring season, this is the birthing place of passion and sensuality, leading into summer you’ll notice fire is at its peak. This is where we notice the earth heating up and the sun turns to provide us warmth, and light intentionally shines on the earth’s growth and production. Think of the period between spring and summer as a slow burn leading to the peak explosion of passion.
Imagine that passion, that explosive action, and how this powerful element in nature reflects in all areas of your home and life. When you feel stagnant in life, in your career or perhaps in your relationships this is where your soul would long for more fire. Consciously or sub-consciously you might notice you’re drawn to fire colors or perhaps already incorporating more of it in your environment, drawn to more action and motivation in your mood and you’ll begin to search for that in all aspects of your life. Drawing the flame, the movement and passion into your habits and rituals. When you feel drawn to fire it’s a reflection of your desire to catapult yourself forward, to stoke and evoke the fire of motivation and success in your life. Or perhaps, as we’ll discuss further on, your relationship with earth is at an imbalance and you might feel stuck, this is where fire would bring back balance and movement.
The key is, that you need the function of all five elements in balance with one another. Today you’ll learn just how potent fire is and how to work with it, dance with it and flow with it into transformational movement.
In order to understand and work with the characteristics of fire, it’s vital to look at the relationship it has with other elements.
As in nature, each element plays a role in various cycles: productive, weakening/reducing, and destructive/controlling cycles. That’s the beauty of Feng Shui; it supports us to align more with the natural rhythms of nature, and the seasons of the earth.
In nature, fire is fed by wood and in turn, fire leaves behind earth, this is called the productive cycle. In this cycle we see the elements relating to one another in the forms of growth, and expansion. In the weakening cycle, the elements neutralize each other and creates harmony. In this cycle we see the fire burning wood and earth putting out the fire. Last but not least, the destructive/controlling cycle shows how fire melts metal and water extinguishes fire. When looking at examples in nature we see these cycles clearly and they all have a magical way of forming, maintaining, and changing the balance.
The destructive element for fire is water as it extinguishes fire. This is why when choosing elements in design it’s important to note that opposite elements can easily undo a remedy put into place unless accounted for.
The creative element for fire is wood as it feeds wood. If you want to enhance the fire element, this elemental relationship will benefit the space. If there is too much fire in a space then you can use the consequences of the destructive and/or weakening cycles to incorporate earth and water.
Fire and Your Space
All of the elements carry shapes, colors, and materials that are used as representations. The fire element, however, is the one element where the representing colors will automatically be a remedy and it’s not as necessary to use its shapes and materialistic representations as you would with other elements. This is entirely dependent on the style of the homeowner and the remedies necessary, an open discussion on desired styles can determine how the element of fire can be brought in.
The main color for fire is red, but it’s not the only hue you can work with. Any berry colors, true reds, crimsons, rose, mahogany, scarlet, and vibrant pinks including magentas will act as remedies. Oftentimes red isn’t the desired color in the overall design of the home and that’s where orange, burnt orange, and other flame-like colors can be used. As mentioned, bright pinks qualify as effective fire colors, but be careful not to use pastel pinks as they represent metal with the overwhelming amount of white they contain. In the same light, purples are also considered fire colors but venturing into dark purples can easily translate to water colors so there is a fine line not to cross when implementing colors other than red.
The shape that represents fire is the triangle, an ascending shape. When incorporating triangular shapes as remedies, whether it’s furniture, lampshades, patterns, or decor, be mindful of sharp edges that act as poison arrows in the home. For example, triangular lamp shades or furniture with sharp triangular edges can easily be avoided by using any of the fire colors as remedies instead. In the case of bringing fresh red/orange/pink roses in, the thorns that act as poison arrows can easily be removed before being placed into a beautiful vase.
Another way to incorporate the fire element without overwhelming the space is through artwork that represents the colors of fire, dancing flames such as bonfires, fireworks, and light. Artworks and photographs of poppies, sunsets, and sunrises are also effective. Be mindful, however that other elements in the artwork such as water don’t cause destruction or neutralization of the fire element.
In other decor ideas: candles, lights, and chandeliers are beautiful but not always practical. In Feng Shui, we always look at practicality and safety first, and you certainly can’t keep a candle lit at all times. Use these as temporary fire accents.
The two areas you want to avoid using fire too much or in some cases at all are the kitchen and bedroom. Kitchens already contain an abundance of fire naturally, with toasters, ovens, hotplates, and stoves. Although red countertops or tiles may look pleasing to the eye, they will create an imbalance between the fire and water in the kitchen. If red is to be added, do so in small increments with accent colors.
Although red is associated with passion and action, it’s not ideal in the bedroom as it can overwhelm the space easily. In Feng Shui, the bedroom is designed for rest and intimacy, any artworks, colors, or furniture that don’t align with that will deter sleep patterns and create issues in the acts of intimacy and connection. When we look at the fire element, we don’t want the constant energy to deter our rest and relaxation. Small elements of fire may be brought in, but notice the energy shift and make use of other elements to neutralize it.
Fire and its Associations
In the Early Heaven Bagua, trigram Li sits in the 9 o’clock (East) position, balanced with its opposite, ka, which is associated with the element of water (one yang surrounded by two yin lines) in the 3 o’clock position.
In the later heavenly sequence Bagua, the li trigram sits atop the octagon in the 12 o’clock position (representing South).
In intentional Feng, Shui Li/ Fire is associated with “How you share your light with the world” the area of fame and reputation. In this area, you can place items that represent fame and reputation to you and amplify this with fire. It can be as simple as hanging your certificates and accomplishments in red/purple frames, which can, later on, be repainted if desired.
In relation to the body, fire relates to the eyes and heart. This connects to passion, action, and love. This is why our heart rate is raised drastically once we’re exposed to the color red. In identifying health issues, both physical and spiritual, we have to identify the linked region and what is missing. In this case, illnesses related to the eyes and heart can be identified and remedies put in place to neutralize them.
What does it take to start?
So far we’ve discussed wood and fire, we will venture into the other elements in the upcoming articles and you will have a clear understanding of how these elements function and flow.
Our spaces reflect how we may feel inwardly and the opposite is also true, our environment can influence our intentions and emotions inwardly too. If your bedroom is overpowered by fire, red curtains, and red heart cushions this can easily be translated into a lack of intimacy, connection, and rest. However, when implemented in the South area, with intentional remedies this can advance the passion, connection, compassion, and spiritual development. This element is exceptionally powerful in marriages, and love matches, trickling into self-compassion.
Feng Shui can be implemented easily and without the need for expensive decor or drastic changes to existing spaces. Much like in nature, you can use these elements to change, adapt, remedy, and maintain balance. Implementing these transformational values can be as easy as connecting with nature, listening to the earth, and flowing with her seasons.
Before You Go
A life of abundance, healing, and transformation is a decision away. I hope that as we go along the discussion of these elements you will awaken to new-found techniques and remedies in your home and life. Working with the functions, characteristics, cycles, and intentions of these elements is guaranteed to shift and uplift your space – today.
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