Feng Shui Glossary



In natural terms, water represents winter. When water falls from the sky it penetrates deep into the earth, replenishing water tables and initiating birth for the abundance of life to come. Water Qi therefore is a descending type of Qi. This means that the deeper it goes, the denser it becomes and pressure builds. If you have ever tried scuba diving you will know that you only have to go down 8 feet for the barometric pressure to double. Waters colours are black and dark blue, and shapes are wavy and flowing. People of this type are either very bubbly on the surface or very deep and reflective, with no middle ground. They are outgoing, superficial, adaptable, easygoing, receptive, worrisome, passionate, philosophical, generally unromantic but strong sexually.


Water gives birth to Wood
After winter, water is deep within the ground and trees and shrubs put their roots deep down for nourishment, enabling growth. Spring is the time when plant life is regenerated and as it re-emerges through the soil it expands, therefore wood Qi is expansive. Colours are green and light blue. Shapes are tall and upright. People of this type are positive, high spirited, always getting into difficulty but they always get out as well. Full of optimism and the spirit of youth, they live for pleasure and fun!


Wood gives birth to Fire
After spring, comes summer which is hot and bright. Nature reaches its zenith; plants reach their height of growth and become luxuriant. Fire needs wood for fuel and air as a catalyst. Fire Qi is ascending, like a fire where the flames are generally rising, reaching out for fuel. Colours, as you would expect are red, pink, peach, although colours that have a warmth to them are also considered fire. Shapes are triangular. Fire people are artistic with a good sense of proportion, attractive, idealistic, impulsive and outgoing. Generally they have a problem finishing things. They are bright and intelligent.


Fire gives birth to Earth
This Qi is rotating producing a stabilising magnetic force called gravity which is the basis of all matter. Colours are all of the colours that you find naturally on the earths surface, from ivory beaches, to cream, beige, yellow corn fields, brown and terracotta. Shapes are square and squat. There are three different types of Earth people. Generally they are great supporters, assistants, conventional and conservative, gentle, pleasing, obsessive regarding details, indecisive, tactful, dedicated to the public and service. Some are great defenders of human rights with an inner strength. Some are fatalistic gamblers and always do things the hard way.


Earth gives birth to Metal
This represents autumn when the weather begins to turn cold and leaves fall from trees. Metal Qi is contracting, controlling, condensing, cold and cutting. Colours, are white and grey metallic. Shapes are round and curving. There are two types of metal people, like two sides of a coin, one is a great leader, but can dominate and conquer, constantly active with high ideas, ambitious and egotistical. They hate to lose, very self critical, strongly materialistic and can seem stubborn and overly ambitious. The other is a great orator, tactful, elegant and well liked by others. They like to be free, dislike supervision and hate to be ignored.

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