The Element of Wood in Feng Shui

In the art and science of Feng Shui, balance and harmony are what we seek. With every interpretation of the issue at hand, there is a way to increase balance and encourage energy that will optimize a space. We consult ancient techniques to map out our surroundings and diagnose the problem.

This ‘diagnosis’ begins with a Bagua Map- often seen as a rectangular map that overlays a location and distinguishes different regions and their individual significance. These regions involve categories such as wealth, love, and creativity.

We must also take a deeper look at the Bagua Map, particularly the octagonal version that includes the eight trigrams, directions, and elemental features.

Although all five elements (water, wood, metal, fire, and earth) have to be taken into account to provide balance to a space, let’s take a closer look at one specific element today: wood.

Elemental Relationships

A good place to begin is with wood characteristics and how other elements can encourage or interfere with it.

Wood is represented by the spring season, displaying new growth and a fresh perspective. It can positively influence expansion and creativity. It raises chi and retains chi.

In nature, wood is fed by water. It disrupts the earth with its roots and depletes nutrients within the ground. Wood is counteracted by metal, considering a metal ax is often a method of destruction.

If there is too much wood element in a space, it can be balanced out by bringing in fire features. If there’s enough wood, water features can be brought in to enhance the wood. There is a need for each element to exist in your space, no matter the attributes associated with each element.


Wood and Your Space

The main color that represents the wood element is green, so any shade of green would be a beneficial addition. However, very dark green can represent water and a pastel green can bring in the element of metal. These colors can come in the form of one painted wall or many painted walls. It could also be portrayed through door hues, artwork coloring, and furniture colors.

Live plants and fresh flowers are the best sources of bringing in the wood elements as they are alive and bring that life force into the space. There are many reasons for this, not only do plants provide oxygen and live energy into the space which can aid with health problems, but plants also connect us with nature.

If you’ve longed for a connection to nature, focusing on grounding yourself and truly feeling present then live plants are a great option. Because plants focus on growing inwardly first, sending their roots down into the soil before expanding and growing toward the light – they are a beautiful representation of grounding and focusing on sending your roots down into the earth with daily practices. They also provide gentle and calm energy that maintains a balance in the home.

Something interesting to note when bringing live plants into your space, they are truly a reflection of your present mental, emotional and physical state. For example: if you’re going through a challenging time your plants might reflect that by dry leaves, becoming unhealthy, and sometimes dying. When you’re thriving and in alignment with yourself then you’ll often find your plants thriving and blossoming in their growth.

Now that we’ve covered what to do, let’s talk a little bit about what not to do, or rather, where you should proceed with caution: cacti. Cacti are beautiful but represent poison arrows through their sharp and pointy edges. More importantly, they invite Sha Chi into the home which can create blocks for opportunity, growth, and change. Subconsciously, we might bring cacti into our home as a reflection of our longing for privacy or boundaries but the key to activating this without inviting further Sha Chi is where to place them. If there’s an area that you’re inviting boundaries or protection then you can place cacti there, but for interest sake make a note of how the energy shifts once it’s been moved. Be mindful of placing cacti in the bedroom specifically because it can block any desired love interests or intimacy to enter that space.

When considering poison arrows in plants, you might wonder which plants would invite Sha Chi and which wouldn’t. The general rule of thumb is if you place your finger on the sharp spine/edge and it pricks you or causes any discomfort – it’s too sharp. This is a great way to check plants like roses, agave, or crown of thorns.

It is encouraged to add live, healthy plants to any space. It is important to take good care of these plants. When choosing plants we like the leaves to be soft and rounded. Avoid dried flowers as they represent dead energy real, fresh flowers are a much better option as they will raise the good chi and vibration in the home.

If perhaps you’re a constant traveler and the concern for watering your plants has prohibited you from bringing them into your space, you can use silk flowers as a reminder of nature. Keep in mind though, that this will not have the same effects as live flowers and plants.

You can add wood into space through wood furniture. Some may only consider the more traditional wood furniture made of varieties like oak and pine, but you can also use bamboo or wicker furniture to accomplish the same goal. However, as it’s not live wood it does not bring in the life force in the same way as it is no longer living energy. This is important when considering bringing the wood element in, as live plants provide a deeper connection to nature, health gains, and life force.

When adding more wood to a space, consider tall, column-like furniture or items. Long curtains can accomplish this, as well as tall and thin bookshelves. This concept can also be represented in wallpaper details. The tall, columnar shape originates from the shape of a strong tree, so it is heavily associated with wood. Art with trees, forestry, or many green hues can contribute wood to your space.

In more of a wood-enhancing theme, you can consider water-representative items. Mirrors represent reflection, a lovely feature of water. When placing flowers in vases, it is best to choose clear, glass vases rather than non-transparent vases.


Wood and its Associations

In the later heavenly sequence Trigram, wood is represented in the east (Chen) and southeast (Sun), along with the numbers 3 and 4 respectively.

Chen, the east trigram, is symbolized by thunder (energy and movement) and is associated with family and new beginnings. It is strong, sturdy wood. It is connected to issues of the liver and feet, along with nervous disorders.

Sun, the southeast trigram, is symbolized by wind and the distance it is capable of traveling. It is associated with wealth and fortunate blessings. It is young, flexible wood. It is connected to issues of the arms, thighs, and buttocks and illnesses like colds and rheumatism.

In identifying health issues, both physical and spiritual, we have to identify the linked region and what is missing. We use the trigrams and the Bagua Map to reveal what is out of balance and how we can return to harmony.


What does it take to start?

In the coming months, we’ll discuss all five elements (water, wood, metal, fire, and earth) and you will have a clear understanding of what these elements mean, where they should be placed and how to create balance in your home with all five elements. The key is balance. Wood is a life source element that deepens our connection with nature, but it’s not the only element we need present.

As we discussed here, our plants are a reflection of our inner work – Feng Shui teaches us to dive deep into inner healing and allow that to reflect outwardly. I invite you to use every experience and issue to reflect on your home and life, continue to work inwardly, study and learn the art of Feng Shui, and work with this wisdom to create a balanced and abundant life. You can start implementing Feng Shui at any experience level to ensure true transformation.


Before you Go

I hope our discussion about wood and its incredible role in our life balance has inspired you to keep learning and applying new Feng Shui concepts each and every day.

Are you eager to learn more about Feng Shui? The Inner Circle of Feng Shui is a wonderful online community where you can learn more about Feng Shui and access an exclusive library of courses and affirmations.



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