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Certified NYC Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano has over 20-years of on-site and remote Feng Shui & Design consulting. Consultations, seminars and classes provided in New York City and Los Angeles California, along with National and International locations.

Feng Shui Manhattan Blog



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The Feng Shui Five Elements and You

Laura Cerrano

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The Five Element theory is the foundation of Chinese disciplines such as in Feng Shui, martial arts, and the I Ching (The Book of Changes). Studying the Five Elements provides a blueprint that illustrates how nature interacts with the body and how the different dimensions of our being impact each other. Each of the five groups—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—include categories such as a season, a direction, stage of growth and development, emotion, aspect of the soul, color, sound . . . the categories are seemingly limitless. The Five Elements reflect a deep understanding of natural law, the Universal order underlying all things in our world.

For now, let's introduce ourselves to the Five Elements Theory through archetypes, characteristics, colors, the season, shape, Kau number, and where to find them on the Western Bagua map. Using these foundational tools can then help you implement simple changes into your living environment through small doses, while at the same time shine some light into your inner nature. 

Quick Insider Tip: When implementing these changes into your environment, pay attention to the function of each room. This opens your awareness and consciousness to each part of your home and how the objects, colors, and over all furnishings within that space could compliment the element suggested within a specific area of your home or not. 

Another Insider Tip: In modern day times, we tend to use objects, colors, and imagery as a means to represent the elements. So, before making any new purchases, I strongly recommend you FIRST SHOP AROUND YOUR HOME . Learn how to repurpose what you already have through clear intention of use and choose items that provide a positive emotional connection and psychological influence. 


Fire Element: The Wizard

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Characteristics When Balanced: Dynamic, charismatic, loving, glowing, magnetic, warm, attentive, and open. Natural salesman or women. Smiles with their eyes. 

Not Balanced: Burned out, raging, abusive of self and others, easily agitated, unable to finishes what they started. If not mindful, they could merge with other people and lose themselves.

Color- Red (or any grouping of warm, inviting colors)

Season - Summer

 Bagua Life Section- Fame/Reputation

  • Kau Number: 9
  • Direction: South
  • Shape: Diamonds, triangles, pyramids
  • Objects: Candles, artwork with accents of red or warm colors in general, images that convey a warm emotions, or choose artwork that is bold and expresses the dynamics traits of you.
  • Organs: heart and small intestines


Wood Element: The Pioneer

Characteristics When Balanced:  Youthful, flexible, assertive, adaptive and independent. Seeks challenges. Likes pressure and likes to be the first, the best, and only.  This persons needs to keep growing. 

Not Balanced: Impatient, vindictive, smothered, slow, sluggish and inflexible. 

Color: Greens

Season: Spring time

Bagua Life Section: Family and Wealth 

  • Kau Number: 3, 4
  • Direction: East & South-East
  • Shape: Vertical lines or rectangles
  • Objects: Family photos, images of budding flowers or fully bloomed flowers, and strong rooted trees. When possible, using real plants inside your home or office is always best. 
  • Organs: liver and gallbladder


Water Element: The Philosopher

Characteristics When Balanced: Quest for truth, is strong in his or her beliefs, offers insight, easily gathers information, cleaver, articulate, and very connected to their emotions. 

Not Balanced: Passive, fearful, angry, drowns self and/or others, very emotional or very tough (icy personality), suspicious, unforgiving, blunt and detached. 

Color - Black or Blues

Season - Winter

Bagua Life Section - Career

  • Kau Number: 1
  • Direction: North
  • Shape: Wavy patterns and lines and translucent layers
  • Objects: An actual water fountain, fish tank with fish (at least 3 fish), images that represent water (beach with water view, ocean, river, steam), mirrors, glass vase that vase flowers in them or glass coffee table. You could also use artwork that incorporates accents of blue or cool colors in general. 
  • Body organs:  kidneys, ear, and bladder


Earth Element: The Nurture

Characteristics When Balanced: The Peacemaker, mediates conflict, can alter perspectives and put people at ease. They are caring, sympathetic, peaceful, dependable, behind the scenes leader, poised, and values the unification of relationships. 

Not Balanced: This person becomes shut down, uncoordinated, insecure, obsessive, nervous, resistant to change. Overextending of oneself,  unrealistic expectations of other people and over protective. 

Color - Yellow, beiges, creme or earth tones

Season - Indian Summer

Bagua Life Section- Wisdom/Knowledge, Health and Partnership

  • Kau Number: 8, 5, 2 
  • Direction: North-East, Center & South-West
  • Shape: Squares, cubes, and horizontal lines
  • Objects: Photograph of mountain ranges or an abstract painting, pomes that speak to the healing energies of Mother Earth, earth based textile patterns and tapestries, or the use of crystals. 
  • Organs: stomach and spleen (and pancreas).


Metal Element: The Alchemist

Characteristics When Balanced: They focus on morals, values, justice, honesty, are reasonable, refined, organized, and efficient. They bring out the best in self and demand the best in you. They know what they are and what they believe in. 

Not Balanced: They become fussy, cheap, rigid, overbearing, strict, distanced, and cold. 

Color- White and/or Gray

Season- Autumn

Bagua Life Section - Children/Creativity and Helpful People/Travel

  • Kau Number: 7, 6
  • Direction: West & North-West
  • Shape: Circles and ovals
  • Objects: Furniture that has metal parts in them, picture frames, mirrors, sculpture, sound healing and music (listening and playing), or even seeing musical instruments out on display.
  • Organs: Lungs and large intestines (and colon)

Feng Shui expert with 21+ years of experience. She provides bicoastal consultations and workshops for residential, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies, and healing facilities. She is currently conducting research for her upcoming book that focuses on bridging the gap between the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and modern day science to establish the practice of Feng Shui as a credible form of assited healing within the health care system.

The Valuable Lessons of Number 4 in Feng Shui

Laura Cerrano

Our primitive MIND taps into FEAR based thoughts of what we DO NOT UNDERSTAND. It could be in regard to another person or another culture. I invite you to have an OPEN MIND with what I’m about to share in regard to how number 4 could provide valuable lessons. 

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In the Cantonese language number 4 sounds similar to “death” and due to that, a stigma against 4 evolved. So when we see the number 4, does it mean we'll have “back luck” coming our way? That all depends on how you CHOOSE to PERCEIVE number 4. 

I can only share what I have observed and first hand experienced with the number 4 through a personal short story. 

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On May 18th, 2010 I received a call from the Huntington physical rehab center in New York. The nurse shared my mother, Carole Provenzlae was not doing good and that I needed to get to the hospital they transferred her to ASAP! Mom had been sick for quite some time on and off. In past, she was able to fight and will her way to better health.Yet this time, it was different. 

As I was driving toward the hospital a car pulled in front of me and we stopped at the same red light. Their license plate read, “4444” in the number section. After seeing the numbers an immediate deep inner knowing of “life is about to change and you are fully supported” washed over me. I knew mom was ready to leave this earthly plane and it was a matter of my brother, Adam, and I arriving at the hospital within a timely fashion to be in her presence and give permission to her spirit to leave. After quickly checking in at front desk, the nurse brought me to my mother’s room and I was taken back from what I saw. It didn't look like her at all. The person I saw before me was just a shell of a body in process of being emptied out from all its life force. Her skin color was a pale green-blue and her eyes and face were so drawn, it resembled a surrealistic zombie. Once my brother arrived, we sat beside her and within a minute, she took her final breath. 

I share this very personal story because it brings us back to the Cantonese cultural perspective of the number 4 meaning “death.” I have to say, I look at number 4 as a sign of TRANSITION in the cycle of life. There is a beginning and a completion, yet from that same point of completion it continues again without skipping a beat.

Yes, on the surface “death” came knocking, yet on deeper levels so much more was also being gifted to us and to our mother the same time. The gift of wisdom, new found awareness and spiritual growth. To offer a more elaborate digestions of this perspective here is a break down of number 4 from varying teachings. In western numerology, number 4 means strength and support. For those who follow Angelic numerology, number 4 represents love, support, and inner-strength, enabling you to do what you need to do within that given moment and beyond. And that is what I felt and needed. Number 4 could also symbolize a life changing event and/or lesson is unfolding to expand your spiritual growth, which was also true for us.

Even with this article, take what you read with a grain of salt. If you do not understand something in life that is beyond your comfort zone, LEARN about it, become CURIOUS and ASK QUESTIONS. Conduct your own research and pay mind to your INDIVIDUAL personal interaction with what you are curious about. In this case, we are exploring another side to the energy vibration of number 4.


Feng Shui expert with 21+ years of experience. She provides bicoastal consultations and workshops for residential, real estate developments, Fortune 500 companies, and healing facilities. She is currently conducting research for her upcoming book that focuses on bridging the gap between the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui and modern day science to establish the practice of Feng Shui as a credible form of health care.