What is My Feng Shui Element?

If you’re looking forward to applying Feng Shui in your house or your everyday life, knowing your Feng Shui element is essential. Not only because it’s one of the core foundations of Feng Shui, but it can also help you make the best Feng Shui for your home or office.

If you’re still unfamiliar with your element, here is a simple guide on how to determine your Feng Shui element and how you can use it to improve your life. 

How do I find my Feng Shui element?

In Feng Shui, your Feng Shui element is associated with your birth year and your zodiac animal. This is all related to the Chinese astrology.

The Chinese zodiac has 12 animal signs. Together with the five elements, each of these signs is associated with a year in the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese calendar

Chinese calendars do not start on January 1, like the Western calendar. Instead, Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year falls on the second new moon of the year. Suppose you were born in January or February. In that case, you must check where the date fell in your birth year as your element and sign might be of the prior Western calendar year.

The end date is February 5 of every year (as opposed to January 1 or the Chinese new year). This is a Chinese solar calendar based calculation, and this date is scientifically identified as the beginning of spring worldwide.

To determine your Feng Shui element, you only need to take a look at your birth year’s last number. But like we mentioned earlier, the Chinese calendar works differently.

If your birthdate falls from January 1 to February 5, you should subtract 1 from your birth year.

Example: If your birth date was on January 26, 1986, you need to subtract 1. Your Chinese birth year would be 1985.

But if your birth date was on February 28, 1986, your Chinese birth year will still be 1986 because it fell after February 5 (Chinese calendar end-date). 

You can look at the table below to see what element corresponds to your birth year’s last number.

Feng Shui Birth Elements

ElementLast digit of your birth year
Metal0 and 1
Water2 and 3
Wood4 and 5
Fire6 and 7
Earth8 and 9

Each of these elements is dominant for two years. Since there are five elements, the cycle repeats every 10 years. This is known as the 10 heavenly stems or 10 stems.

Knowing your element can help you determine the right colors, decors, items, and areas you should emphasize and minimize in your home. This will allow you to create the best feng shui for your home or office.

For example, you were born in a year of a fire element. You should gravitate towards red and yellow shades (fire colors) while using less gray, white, green, and brown tones (metal and wood). You also should add some fire elements like a fireplace or decorate with candles while avoiding metal decor.

Chinese Zodiac Animal Signs

This process wouldn’t be complete without determining your zodiac animal sign. In Feng Shui, your zodiac animal sign can also affect the aspects of a dwelling to emphasize and minimize.

Unlike the elements, these 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs change each lunar year. Your birth zodiac animal is said to guide your personality traits and influence your compatibility with certain people.

Your zodiac animal sign depends on your birth year as well. Here’s a list of the different animal zodiac signs with their corresponding year.

Animal Zodiac SignYear
Rat2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936
Ox2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937
Tiger2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938
Rabbit2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939
Dragon2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940
Snake2025, 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941
Horse2026, 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942
Sheep2027, 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931
Monkey2028, 2015, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932
Rooster2029, 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933
Dog2030, 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934
Pig2031, 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935

To know about the positive and negative traits each of these animal zodiacs possesses and your feng shui element, you can try out this Chinese astrology calculator.

The element cycle

Before we proceed to know more about your birth element, you must first understand the element cycle.

Although these five elements stand independently, each of them still influences and molds the others. In Feng Shui, the world’s interactions are determined by how these Chinese elements create and destroy each other. The process of creation promotes development, while the process of destruction restrains this development. These two are complementary processes and create a harmonious stillness when balanced, just like the principle of Yin Yang.

For example:


  • Water feeds Wood.
  • Wood fuels Fire.
  • Fire makes Earth (ash).
  • Earth produces Metal.
  • Metal carries Water.


  • Wood separates the Earth (i.e., roots).
  • Earth absorbs Water.
  • Water extinguishes Fire.
  • Fire melts Metal.
  • Metal penetrates Wood.

The meaning of your birth element in Feng Shui

Each of the five elements has its own characteristics and meanings in Feng Shui. Knowing your element’s attributes can help you determine how to use them correctly in your home and blend it with other elements.

What are metal elements in Feng Shui?

The metal element is known to be unyielding, rigid, and determined. People born with this element are strong and hard but will adapt and change when put under pressure. However, on the negative side, Metals can also be forceful and controlling.

Favorable side: West and Northwest

The element that Nourishes Metal: Earth

Color: Metal colors (silver, gray, black, brass, metallic finishes, white) and earth colors (tan, beige, terracotta, yellow).

Best decor items: Metallic elements such as iron and brass objects. You can also add some earth elements like maps, images of mountains, globes, and earth items such as porcelain vases and crystals.

Elements to Avoid: Water and Fire

What are water elements in Feng Shui?

The water element represents wisdom and intelligence. Water is calm yet dangerous, flowing yet still. Those born with the water element enjoy their own company and time for inner reflection but are not really reclusive. They are mostly peaceful and quiet, but they also have the great ability to overwhelm others.

Favorable side: North

The element that Nourishes Metal: Metal

Color: Water colors (blue, black, purple, turquoise and aqua) and metal color (white, gray, gold, silver)

Best decor items: Images of water, mirrors, and water elements like fountains and aquariums. Crystals and metallic objects can work as well.

Elements to Avoid: Wood

What are the wood elements in Feng Shui?

Wood is known to be generous and expansive and cares deeply for others. It is strong yet flexible, like bamboo, and is a natural-born leader. The characteristics of people born with the wood element are often connected with patience and sensuality. However, they can also be intrusive and aggressive at times.

Favorable side: East and Southeast

The element that Nourishes Metal: Water

Color: Wood colors (green, brown) and water colors (blue, black, purple)

Best decor items: Wood objects, plants, images of plants, nature, and water. Water elements and colors can be added, as well.

Elements to Avoid: Metal

What are the fire elements in Feng Shui?

Fire is always known for being energetic, persistent, and reliable. It is also often associated with passion, warmth, and the need to create. Those with Fire as their element tend to be thrill-seekers, who roam from one adventurous moment to the next. However, in connection to that, it can also be related to aggression, impatience, and destruction.

Favorable side: South

The element that Nourishes Metal: Wood

Color: Fire colors (red, magenta, pink, purple, orange) and wood colors (brown, green)

Best decor items: Fire elements, candles, fire images, images of the sun. You can also add wood objects, plants, and pictures of plants.

Elements to Avoid: Water

What are the earth elements in Feng Shui?

Earth is patient, thoughtful, and calm. It is also stabilizing, mediating, and protective as it represents the roots that hold everything together. People who are born with the earth element are known to be a natural-born peace-keeper. However, earth elements can also become easily self-centered, and controlling as it believes it is the center of everything.

Favorable side: Northeast and Southwest

The element that Nourishes Metal: Fire

Color: Earth colors (tan, yellow, orange, ochre, terracotta) and fire colors (beige, red, purple)

Best decor items: Earth elements, stone or brick, crystals. Fire elements like candles can be added too.

Elements to Avoid: Metal

Harmonize your life and environment using your Feng Shui element

Knowing the different characteristics and abilities of the five Chinese elements will allow you to determine their manifestations and balance them. This is the core of Feng Shui for your environment, inner self, and the expression of your outer self. Maintaining harmony between your element and the other elements will give your life peace, health, and prosperity.

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