Feng Shui Cycles:
How to Balance the Five Elements

The feng shui cycles are demonstrated as element wheels to easily show you how to properly enhance the five elements for great qi/chi.

The elemental wheels will show you the three cycles of the five elements and how the elements interact together. 

The three cycles are named the Nourish Cycle, Reduces Cycle and the Dominates cycle. 

You will use the wheels to determine whether the elements are acting to your benefit or not. The wheels will make it easier to understand the feng shui cycles. 

The Sections & the Governing Element

Each section of the bagua map has an element that governs it. These elements are what you will focus on for each room of your home or office as they correspond to the bagua section. You will be enhancing the qi/chi energy of the room by enlivening the element within the corresponding room. 

Nourish Cycle Explained

feng shui cycles-nourish cycle

Nourish cycle means that each element nourishes the element that comes after it while moving clockwise on the wheel. 

Fire nourishes Earth--Earth nourishes Metal--Metal nourishes Water--Water nourishes Wood--Wood nourishes Fire

You will use the nourish cycle when you want to strengthen an element. You will know that strengthening is in order because your bagua map will indicate to you that a particular element must be used in a particular section of the map. 

For instance, in the Wealth and Prosperity section of the bagua map, the wood element should be in place. So you will add wood elements to the room of the house where your bagua map indicates that the Wealth and Prosperity section resides within your home.

To learn more about the elements and the actual items, colors and shapes to use, go to the feng shui elements page.

Sometimes a pre-existing element may exist in a particular section of your bagua map that needs to be reduced in strength. Then you will use the reducing cycle below. 


Reducing Cycle Explained

feng shui cycles-reduces cycle

Reduces cycle means that each element reduces the strength of the element that comes after it while moving counter clockwise on the wheel.

Fire reduces Wood--Wood reduces Water--Water reduces Metal--Metal reduces Earth--Earth reduces Fire

When there is an element in a section of your bagua map that is too strong and it must be reduced in strength, then you will use the reduces cycle in order to reduce the strength of the element. 

Here are some examples for using this feng shui cycle: 

A. The bagua map indicates to you that you should have the wood element in a particular section. However you have earth element in this room. From the reduces cycle, you can see that metal element reduces the strength of earth. So you will add metal element to reduce the strength of earth. You will also add the required wood element. 

B. The bagua map indicates to you that you should have the water element in a particular section. However you have the fire element in this room. From the reduces cycle, you can see that earth element reduces the fire element. So you will add earth element to reduce the strength of fire. You will also add the required water element.

Two feng shui cycles that are meant to be used together are the nourish and reduces cycles. Here are some samples of how they work together.

A. The bagua map indicates to you that you should have the metal element in a particular section. However you have water element in this room. From the reduces cycle, you can see that water reduces the strength of metal. But you don't want the metal element to be reduced. So you will refer to the nourish cycle and add earth element to the room to nourish the metal. You will also add metal element.

B. You have a fireplace in the room which is the fire element. But the room needs to be earth element. From the nourish cycle you can see that fire element nourishes the earth element. In this case the fire place will co-exist nicely with the earth element because fire nourishes earth. Add some earth element to this room.

C. The bagua map indicates to you that you should have the fire element in a particular section. However you have wood element in this room. From the reduces cycle, you can see that fire reduces wood. And from the nourish cycle you can see that wood nourishes fire. So there is no harm done with the fire and wood element being together in the room. 


Dominates Cycle Explained

feng shui cycles-dominates cycle

Dominates cycle means that each element has the ability to dominate the element across from it on the wheel. This cycle looks like a star. This cycle is also called the destructive cycle.

Fire dominates Metal--Metal dominates Wood--Wood dominates Earth--Earth dominates Water--Water dominates Fire

When there are two elements in a room and they are opposite from each other, as shown on the dominates cycle, then you will want to weaken the unwanted element. 

Let's say for example you are attempting to balance the Love and Relationship section of the bagua map. The needed element for this section is earth. But within the room of your home where the Love and Relationship section resides there is pre-existing bamboo flooring which is the wood element. As you can see from the dominates cycle, the wood element is opposed to the needed earth element. 

You will use metal elements to weaken the bamboo wood element, because as you can see on the dominates cycle, metal will weaken the wood element. This is indicated by the arrow pointing at wood and coming from metal. So metal dominates and weakens wood element as you can see from the feng shui cycles.

My Point of View Regarding the Feng Shui Cycles

As you look at all of the feng shui cycles, the dominates cycle, which is also referred to as the destructive cycle, has some drawbacks to it. It is an aggressive cycle, yet the goal of feng shui is to create harmony.

Although it is widely accepted in black hat feng shui that the dominating/destructive cycle is used in order to reduce the strength of a particular element, the reduces cycle is a gentler way of reducing an element.

The two cycles of nourishing and reducing are the only two cycles that you need to use. They are in perfect harmony with each other and portray how nature works in balance.

They are the same cycle but going in different directions They are used together to gently coax the five elements to work together thereby creating a harmonious and beneficial qi/chi energy.

So using the example above that we used in the dominates cycle, let's redo it using the reduces cycle instead. As you can see, to reduce wood you will use fire to reduce the strength of the unwanted wood element. In the process, the fire element will also nourish the needed earth element making it stronger, which is a good thing..

This is a gentle and harmonious way of reducing the wood element without using the aggressive nature of the dominates cycle. 

The feng shui cycles are wonderful tools to help you to develop great qi/chi in your living space. Get comfortable with understanding how they work. It's worth the time that you may invest.

Related Pages

Feng Shui Bagua: The elements that govern feng shui

Feng Shui Cycles: How to balance the five elements

Feng Shui Elements: How to add the elements to your space

Feng Shui Map: The objects, colors and shapes to enliven your space

Feng Shui Yin Yang: Create balance in your home

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