The WATER Element

Love & wisdom seem to be of rather short supply in this crazy fractured world of ours – at least on the big stage. We can however focus on nurturing these qualities in our personal lives and homes. 

In Feng Shui and traditional Chinese medicine, love & wisdom are associated with the WATER element.  There are 5 elements, which together create Qi (energy) flow and make up the cycle of life. These are WATER, WOOD, FIRE, EARTH and METAL. 

Interestingly, when visiting homes during my consultations, I find that the WATER element is often out of balance. It is lacking in many places, yet there are others where WATER is excessive and overdone. Both are in imbalance and contribute to stuck Qi and non-optimum life situations. 

The WATER element embodies freedom of movement, it spreads at liberty. It is the energy of winter when many living things hibernate. It is the time for looking inwards – the time for inspiration when ideas for new projects are born. 

The WATER element is associated with resourcefulness and wisdom & love. It is one of the energies we use for literary and academic pursuits, career and creativity.

What happens when the WATER element is ‘out’?


Too little WATER

With too little water the life cycle cannot begin. It is dry, barren and scorched. Qi cannot flow and creation does not occur. On a personal level, we cannot be nurtured without WATER, run dry and exhausted, uninspired. 


To much WATER 

This is like drowning, it’s cold and stagnant. With too much downward movement life does not manage rise up into creation. Too much WATER is associated with worry, anxiety, fear, kidney & bladder issues, ear problems. It can also mean loneliness and isolation. 


The WATER element in Your Home

The WATER element is represented in the physical by wavy shapes and the colours of dark blue and black. In order to bring it into our spaces we use wavy shapes as well as black and navy colours. 

Objects that I like to use to bring in the WATER element are wrought iron things – that both have the wavy lines and are black, wavy shapes, zebra patters, as well as black or navy objects in general – such as black glazed planters or pots, monitors, black frames, etc. 


Two types of homes

Coming back to the two types of homes mentioned earlier, or really two types of people, these are:

  1. People that have an aversion to using black and shy away from it, often think of it as too strong or heavy. Such people tend to live in more naturally toned, earthen or colourful and eclectic homes. 
  2. People who like to decorate with an abundance of black, grey and metallic features – very common with the recent fashion. 


I incidentally belong to the first group. I have shied away from strong black features and stayed with warm tones – and even when indicated by my Feng Shui analysis have used it only sparingly. But here is the lesson for people of that first group:

Recently have I begun to liberally use black and the wavy shapes of the WATER element where indicated by my analysis. And – of course Feng Shui is always right – to my surprise, it does not feel cold but grounding when in the right place. It can actually make a space whole.


On the other hand, homes of the second group are dominantly decorated with greys, metallic features and blacks. They are out of balance the other way by overdoing the WATER (and METAL) element. They have too much black and too much grey, too much metal and as a result they tend to be cold, controlled and stiff. 

Life energy does not flow if there is an imbalance – whether too little or too much.


Qi Needs to Flow

We need a balance of elements, the right amount of each one, for Qi to flow. 

In relation to WATER, there is the METAL element that helps to free it and to exhibit its free flowing nature. Hence, the WATER element goes well with whites, greys and metallic objects. 

On the other side, the WATER element nourishes the WOOD, which brings growth and creation/life. We use greens and blues and the shapes of the WOOD element to move the Qi along if there is too much WATER. 

Further, to complete the cycle of life, FIRE and EARTH are also needed in the right balance. 


Intangible elements present in your home

So where to emphasise WATER, or the other elements? 

This is where the individual energy chart of your home comes in. It tells us what types of intangible Qi are already there and indicates which element is needed in each room to create balance – where there which be a problem that needs to be drained, which qualities need to be enhanced, or energetic conflicts to be resolved with the appropriate element. 

But even when you don’t have a chart, the WATER element is a fairly safe one to apply. While it may not be the exact element needed to create balance in an area, it does not aggravate negative potentials. It can however drain life force and be too much. 

You are probably able to feel this when it’s in the wrong place. Experiment! Or to get it really right get a Feng Shui analysis so you know where WATER is needed and what elements would balance each area of your home.


In conclusion

I believe that being alive at this time we have the opportunity to shine our light and help create balance in this world. Attending to it in our homes and spaces is a small step in facilitating the free movement of wisdom and love. 

Image: Duncan Kidd on unsplash

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