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Altar Your Reality With the Five Elements of Feng Shui

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altar with buddha

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Energize your altar space with the five elements

In times of so much change, there’s a natural desire to make our home our sacred space. A great way to do this is creating an altar space. It can provide an anchor for meditation or prayer and bring immediate peace and grounding to your home and yourself. Think of an altar as a lightning rod connecting you with the Earth and the Heavens.

An altar is a place for displaying deities and ancestral support, in addition to honoring sacred items and intentions. To strengthen this connection, consider incorporating the five elements of feng shui into your altar space. The five elements are a primary tool used in feng shui and originate from Taoism – a philosophy that emphasizes the onenesss of everything. Everything is a micro-universe made up of the five elements. When all five elements are used intentionally within a space, you create a harmonious and balanced space.

Each of the five elements shows up in their literal form, in addition to a symbolic expression of a shape and color. Each element also invokes a specific energy. Here are some suggestions on how to energize your altar using some of the literal forms of the five elements.

Metal: Activate With Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and gemstones are Metal elements and have specific intelligence that can be used to positively energize spaces. Depending on the shape of the crystal and its unique properties, it can absorb, transform, focus, or emit energy. Crystals have been used for their healing properties for as long as history has been recorded and continue to be used by healers. Choose crystals based on your intuition or consult a book for the specific energy that you desire. Cleanse your stone, set an intention, and place it on your altar to activate the space.

Wood: Expand Your Space With Plants

Like gemstones, plants are living, breathing organisms that bring living energy to spaces. They connect us with nature while also providing decorative benefits. Plants also add the expanding energy of the Wood element to spaces. They absorb negative energy in spaces and also purify the air. One of my favorite ways to use plants is to block unsightly electrical cords. In doing so, they also help absorb electromagnetic energy emitted from electronics. Consider placing your favorite plant or flower near or own your altar space. Enlivening your altar with fresh flowers is a great way to keep the energy clean and active.

Fire: Using Transformative Properties of Fire

Fire holds the energy of transformation. It’s no wonder that fire is so often used in ceremony and ritual. It burns away the old to make way for the new. The Fire Element in the form of a flame represents energy in its most focused, pure form and is so medium potent for manifesting. Using candles or incense on your altar space is a great way to add the Fire element in its most raw form. Each time you light the candle, add an affirmation or intention relating to what you desire. A candle flame can also be used as a meditative device. Focusing your gaze on a flame helps to focus the mind.

Water:  Incorporating Water Features

The Water element adds a relaxing energy to spaces. Indoor water features have become popular décor features for their aesthetic beauty and calming effect. Water naturally purifies the air making it easier to breathe and healthier for our skin. If you’re looking for a spot for an indoor fountain, consider near your altar space. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for instant aromatherapy. If that’s not your style, then use the symbolic forms of Water, which includes glass and wavy formations.

Earth: Grounding in with Earth

When I am feeling ungrounded my favorite thing is to take a walk in nature and literally connect with the ground. If I can get my hands in the dirt or throw some pottery, that’s even better. This is the essence of the Earth element. While dirt and clay may not sound like attractive décor items in your home, they can be brought in through pottery, decorative bowls, and baskets. You can ground the expansive energy of plants in terra cotta or pottery to represent growth at a sustainable rate.

With all Five Elements represented, your altar will provide you with a balanced and supportive environment of expansion (Wood), manifestation (Fire), intention (Metal), relaxation (Water), and grounding (Earth).


Tisha Morris headshot

Tisha Morris is a social entrepreneur, feng shui expert, intuitive coach, teacher, and self-help author. Prior to entering the healing arts, Tisha practiced law and obtained a Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. She is the founder of Earth Home School of Feng Shui, host of Feng Shui Your Life podcast, creator of the Earth Home product line - including the Original Smudge Spray®, and Feng Shui for the Planet - a social initiative to help promote better living spaces across the globe. She is the author of CLUTTER INTERVENTION: How Your Stuff is Keeping You Stuck (Llewellyn Worldwide 2018), Decorating With the Five Elements of Feng Shui (Llewellyn 2015), Mind Body Home: Transform Your Life One Room at a Time (Llewellyn 2012), and Feng Shui Your Life: The Quick Guide to Decluttering Your Home and Renewing Your Life (Turner Publishing 2010). tishamorris.com

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