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Published August 8th, 2018
Feng Shui
Every one of the Five Elements is well represented in this living room, including the Earth element. Can you locate the Earth element additions? Photo provided

The Five Elements are the second most important and used tool in Feng Shui, besides the Bagua map. In Feng Shui, we use the Five Elements to balance and enrich home spaces so that the feeling of home promotes grace, ease and support. Our home should function as a personal retreat, a restorative place we rejuvenate and refresh and so if the home does not feeling that way, the Five Elements can help. The Bagua includes all Five Elements and each Bagua area is ruled by one of them.
The creative or productive Five Elements cycle is as follows: Water creates Wood; Wood creates Fire; Fire creates Earth; Earth creates Metal; and Metal creates Water.
There is also a Five Elements controlling cycle as well: Water controls Fire; Fire controls Metal; Metal controls Wood; Wood controls Earth; and Earth controls Water.
An environment with a lot of the Metal element, such as white walls and metal furniture, can be brought into better balance by introducing the warmth of the Fire element with lighting, candles or spherical shapes, and an overly Wood décor with lots of green, plants and vertical artwork can be balanced by cutting back the wood with some of the Metal element.
So how does the Earth element - which governs the whole 2018 Earth Dog year through January 2019 - help us in our homes to be happier, more grounded and at ease?
First, Earth has a mothering quality and makes you feel securely balanced and peaceful from within, so you create a better balance between nourishing self and others. Earth is the peacemaker and with a better connection to the idea of establishing healthy boundaries and an ability to say no, Earth can then do the most good in the world.
Earth is represented by colors that range from yellow, orange, brown, pink, and certain blues (also a secondary Water color). Square shapes also symbolically represent the Earth element as do materials such as crystal, ceramic, brick, clay, rock, stone and shells.
Second, from a personal health and wellness perspective bringing the Earth element into balance will support many of the health initiatives we are integrating into our personal care regimes. Many people will find in 2018 the necessary energetic support to quit smoking, improve exercise commitments, refocus on dietary choices or establish a better work-life balance. Balancing the Earth element at home is another way to create the desired results.
Third, by fostering the Earth element in our home, we can create a respite that deepens our connection to the nourishing role home is meant to play in our lives.
There are three Bagua areas ruled by the Earth element (see Bagua map) including Relationships, Health and Self-Knowledge/Wisdom. Each element, including Earth, has a more predominant Yin or a Yang aspect and to that end, the Relationship area is Yin Earth, the Health area is balanced Yin/Yang, and the Self-Knowledge and Wisdom area is more Yang Earth. We can choose any one or all three of these Bagua areas to adjust or activate in our homes. How to choose? Start with whatever area feels most out of balance. Are you feeling out of balance in your relationships, is your health suffering or are you struggling to achieve consistency with your spiritual practice? Use these questions to guide you to which Bagua area needs your attention most.
Do a personal audit of the Bagua areas ruled by Earth and identify which objects, furniture and art may represent Earth in your space. If you discover a predominance of clutter in any of the Earth areas, your first job is to clear the stagnant clutter. What else is each area subliminally communicating to you? Are the far right areas at the entrance to your master bedroom and home aligned with loving and nourishing relationships? Is the health center of your home a long hallway or a draining bathroom? Are the near left areas of self-knowledge and wisdom overly controlled by lots of Wood element plants, green décor or wall colors? Take a personal audit first of the Bagua areas governed by Earth that you would like to address and bring them into balance with the Five Elements, either adding more Earth and Fire (Fire creates Earth) or if there is too much Earth, add the Water element.
In these uncertain times, grounding ourselves at home can help create the difference between a year of wellness, happiness and quiet personal triumphs versus succumbing to the stresses of life that are always at our door. If you believe the Five Elements is a challenging subject you are certainly not alone, and that is also why using a professional Feng Shui consultant who consistently applies them can help you to better balance the Earth element in your home so that you receive the desired results of nourishing support. When we feel supported and aligned with balance, we can accomplish almost anything regardless of what life throws our way.
May the 2018 Earth Dog year continue to bless you with the grounding balance and deep happiness through the nurturance you create right in your own home.

The Five Elements
Shells, crystals and rocks all activate the Earth element in our spaces, so add some in a ceramic bowl and place in the center of your home or frame your favorite photo, like this one placed in this home.
The Bagua Map: Front Door
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2018 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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