Being in your element Feng shui, 9 star ki and setting your course for 2020
The only constant in life is change; visible in the seasons, the passage of light throughout the day and our journey through life. This is key to our understanding of feng shui and 9 star ki astrology.
Our lives, like the seasons, go through a natural dance of gathering and letting go, expansion and contraction. Each year over a cycle of 9 years our personal energy goes through subtle changes, some years our energy is rising and proceeding like the full force of spring and others our energy is more inwardly focused, deepening and solidifying our footing in the world.
In all traditional cultures there is a natural instinct to look to mother nature to understand our place in the natural order of things. We are greatly impacted by the cycle of the seasons, the natural ebb and flow of light and heat throughout the day and throughout the seasons and the natural cycles occurring over a period of years.
Many systems have been created to help us understand this natural flow so that we can tap into this and navigate our way on our journey through life with greater ease, trust and understanding.
These systems have closely observed the various energies in the natural world and assigned each of them an element; these elements are the essential building blocks from which all life is created, built, sustained and destroyed before beginning the cycle all over again.
In feng shui, ayurvedic and western traditions we look at the elements; wood, fire, earth, metal and water (the quintessence) . Often referred to as the five phases or five transformations, they represent growth and movement forward; onward and upward (wood), expansion, blooming and blossoming into full growth (fire), stabilising, steadying and solidifying (earth), contracting, condensing, gathering and consolidating (metal) and regenerating, diving deep to begin again (water). Other cultures such as the native american and Celtic cultures break this down to just four; earth, air, fire and water.
In order to make the apparent mysteries of the natural world more tangible to us these elements are used to describe different types of energy both visible and invisible:
We know we need water to live and grow and thrive; we need air to survive; fire heats, burns and consumes; the earth beneath us is solid and supportive; trees and plant life offer vitality, shelter and fuel for our fire.
Used in our built environment, the 5 elements can remind us of the natural flow and rhythm of life and how to go with the flow rather than swimming against the tide. It is a system that allows us to be in a more harmonious relationship with each other and with our surroundings.
Trees are the obvious representation of growth, in our everyday vernacular we talk about “putting down roots” and “branching out” into new areas. The vertical emphasis of trees inspires us to dizzying heights and actually causes us to realign our spine vertically, straightening ourselves up as we walk among them.
Therefore a window affording a view out into woodland, tall leafy green plants, woodland imagery, tall columns in architecture, vertical stripes in design and furnishings with a strong vertical emphasis can be said to hold the essence of this growing, rising and proceeding energy. Long narrow corridors (the shape of the wood element) inspire faster paced movement than would a wide curved or undulating thoroughfare.
While the colour green is associated with growth and may be used to introduce the wood element, be mindful of the overall big picture into which it is being infused. Is its impact sufficient to change to overall feeling of the space?
Actual fire, bright lighting and candles are obvious representations of this element, as are design features which instantly grab our attention. Fire is bright, hot and explosive. Therefore design elements which have this flashy, attention grabbing fiery and eye-catching nature are said to have its essence.
Stability is the essence of this element. Solid and maintaining in energy, this is an element which we find comforting and safe. The calm centre at the core of the moving wheel of life, it allows us to keep hold of things as they are and maintain the status quo.
Earth does allow change, but it is very slow paced. It is a very useful addition if we are “all at sea” or feeling “a bit all over the place” or in need of a calm port in a storm. When things get overly volatile and we need to pull in our horns and go into our cave and regroup we add more of the earth element.
Square shapes in decoration and design, and low, soft deeply cushioned furnishings allow us to sink into them and be enfolded and rest for a while allowing us to put our feet up and relax and unwind.
Gathering, binding, contracting and holding things together is the essence of this element. Associated with harvest, gathering in and reaping the rewards of our labour, this element is therefore also connected to money.
Associated with Autumn and the evening time (When we reap our rewards for our days work) and gather around the dining table or campfire, the end of day activities of relaxing, enjoying each others company and having fun.
The colours white, grey, silver and gold are associated with this element and round and spherical shapes in design. Domes and arches in architecture are symbolic of contracting and condensing energy, holding it in.
Where we wish to contain and condense energy, hold it in so that we can reap its rewards we utilise the metal element
Associated with winter, night, the colours black and dark blue, this essence of this element is shapeless and may also be colourless. Water will find the easiest path forward and takes on the shape of its container.
Where we wish to encourage a sense of movement and flow we introduce the water element. This can be in the form of actual flowing water, water features, imagery of flowing water etc Or in undulating or organic shapes in design and decor. The colours blue and black may also be used to mimic its deep and ever moving nature. However the overall form of the space and our ease of movement through it, will dominate here.
In 9 star ki astrology we use a system of numerology to discover our own elemental signature, based on our date of birth and how best to support ourselves through the ever changing cycles of our lives.