What Has Colors to do with Feng Shui?

By: Rhen Sambal


In my practice, customers frequently ask me to suggest suitable colors for their home or offices. Is this not the job of the interior designer? When did Feng Shui consultants become color savvy? What has colors got to do with Feng Shui anyway?

There is a long and there is a short answer. In this article, I will give you the long answer - at least for two of many approaches to selecting colors. So this is a good time to make yourself a drink and settle in on your favorite spot on your sofa.

Practitioners believe that various kind of "qi" or energy occupies the different sectors of your property. What goes where depends on factors such as the facing of the property, when it was completed and first occupied, subsequent renovation if any etc.

In the Xuan Kong Feng Shui system these "qi" are represented by numbers between 1 and 9. They are also known as stars. In the current period, the current stars e.g. 8, 9 and 1 are auspicious and influence the occupants positively. The rest e.g. 2, 3, 4 to 7 are out of timing and are inauspicious. Stars 2, 5 and 7 are seen as very inauspicious while stars 3 & 4 not too bad. Star 6 is inherently a good star and even though out of timing is not considered bad.

The quality of these "qi" can change with time. For example from 2024 onwards star 8 is considered out of timing while star 2 which is inauspicious becomes auspicious. Star 2 bring which bring illness when inauspicious, now brings good health and wealth through land and properties (at the very least a little bit).

In addition the effectiveness of these qi - auspicious or inauspicious - are further strengthen or weakened by natural land form e.g. mountains and man-made structures in the vicinity of the house. An ugly mountain such as a rocky mountain or one with a collapsed face, for example, can do havoc to your relationships while a man made structure such as a high tension pylon, if near enough, can wreak your career and wealth luck.

What has this to do with colors? Please let me get to that.

Each of these stars is associated with an element. Star 2, 5 and 8 are earth. Star 3 and 4 are wood while star 6 and 7 are metal. Star 1 is water and star 9 is fire.

Each of the elements is associated with one or more colors. For example water is blue (or black) while fire is red (or pink or orange). Earth is yellow while wood is green. Metal is while (or gold or silver).

There is also a productive relationship between the elements (and hence the color). For example wood produces fire, which in turn produces earth. Earth produces metal which in turn produce water which in turn produces wood. There is also a controlling relationship which I will not touch on.

During the current period 8, both the 2 and 5 stars are out of timing. Its negative influences manifest. Star two is associated with sickness while star 5 signifies health problems, injuries, money loss and even death.

Therefore when the 2 and 5 star appears together in one sector of the house, it is considered highly inauspicious. The situation is made worst if there are structures outside that generate "Sha Qi".

Practitioner would normally advise you not to use this sector. However in practice, sometimes we have no choice. That is where cures come in. Since both 2 and 5 are earth "qi", we can soften the earth qi by introducing metal. Earth produces metal and in the process of producing metal, earth is exhausted and its negative influence is believed to be reduced.

This is the reason why the 2 and 5 star is considered less potent when found in the west or north-west sector. Both these sectors are metal and it helps to soften the inauspicious earth energies.

A more direct method is to place plenty of metal items in the affected area.

Besides this you can also use colors. The color of metal is white (so are gold and silver). By painting the room white (or a very light color) you can help (at least in theory) to reduce the negative influence of the inauspicious energies of earth based stars 2 and 5.

How effective is this use of color?

In my practice, I observed that the facing direction of the property, the right external landform and correct utilization of the space within has a more profound effect on the occupants. Colors appear to play a less significant role.

This is probably why some practitioners do not believe in the use of colors and do not recommend them in their practice. As for me, I believe that there do have an effect but their contribution is small. Nevertheless, every bit helps.

Is this the only way to use colors in Feng Shui. Absolutely not!

A highly popular way is to base it on the Ba Zi or date and time of birth. Most of us have an unbalanced birth chart meaning too much of some elements and too little of another. This in turn influences our fate potential and luck in life. There is usually one element (sometimes more) that can influence out our fate or luck positively. This is often called the "useful god".

For example if the "useful god" is wood, you can augment your fate and luck by living in a woods or placing plants indoor and outdoor. Or you can paint your car green or wear green colored clothes. Or you can paint parts of the interior of your house green. And so on.

And that is how color plays a part in Feng Shui (and Astrology).

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Henry Fong is a Feng Shui Master in KL. He provides feng shui consulting for residential and commercial properties.

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