Winter Elements and Feng Shui

Each year in the holiday season the subject turns to enhancing businesses and homes using Feng Shui principles by balancing the elements that complement the season.

In Chinese Metaphysics, the winter season is linked to the Water element, northern compass direction, midnight hours, yin, passive energy and the emotion of fear. Deep winter energy is very still and quiet compared to the middle of summer when Fire rules the hot daylight hours. Historically, Winter Solstice celebrations included the warmth of Fire during the long, dark, cold nights when hunter-gatherers roamed the earth in search of sustenance.

Evergreen trees represent the Wood element which fuels Fire so a combination of green and red colors warm up an otherwise cool environment in winter. Red poinsettia plants are another way to introduce fire since their brilliant color and pointy leaves represent flames. Some people prefer twinkling white lights and glittering silver or gold decorations which represent the Metal element evident in moonlight and bright stars of the winter night sky. We generally avoid using black and dark blue Water colors during the holidays since winter provides enough of that. But we’ll call on them again in summer to cool the Fire down. Earth blocks the flow of water, so we use browns and yellows in moderation and reserve them instead for the gathering autumn harvest.

Since the emotion associated with Water is fear, it makes sense to introduce both Fire (associated with joy) and Wood (optimism) for balance during winter. These elements and emotions remind us that change is both cyclical and inevitable and that it’s healthy to embrace them all for awhile.

A simple strand of outdoor lights on a tree or shrub illuminates the path to a front door and welcomes business, friends and chi energy. The sound of bells and holiday music vibrate the energy of a space which helps to clear stagnant areas. Use items from nature such as berries, evergreen branches, pine cones and nuts in your decor as they are widely available in most places. Then simmer cinnamon, cardamon, orange, apple and cloves on the stove to naturally scent your environment. Light a fire or candle in early evening to warm your spirits through longer nights and turn on your favorite music, grab a book – and relax in the season of rest, rejuvenation and reflection.

Wishing you warm nights and good chi,

Diane Gallin