One of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui is the philosophy of Yin and Yang, which represents the interdependence and complementation of opposites i.e. balance and continual change, activity and passivity, lightness and darkness, hot and cold, night and day, sound and silence, male and female. According to this philosophy, everything in the universe consist of two opposing but deeply interconnected forces and the movement and interplay of these two forces, is what creates the life around us.
Whereas in many religions the notion of duality involves one element overriding another, as in “good over evil”, the Chinese concept of duality requires an inherent and mutual dependency between opposites in order to achieve harmony and balance. Yin and Yang are the dependent opposites that must always be in balance. They cannot survive one without the other and they flow into and out of each other, just as do the seasons. The aim to achieve an equilibrium between Yin and Yang, in order to create balance and happiness, is the ultimate goal of the Feng Shui practice. The best representation of the interaction between Yin (Black) and Yang (White) is the Tai Chi symbol of a perfect circle with two components, represented in black and white, flowing together and each containing inside itself a dot of the color, or the essence, of the opposite sign.
The quest for equilibrium is also the basis of Feng Shui’s “Five Elements Theory”. These elements, namely fire, water, metal, earth and wood, all interact with one another. Their interactions can be either of constructive or destructive character.
In the constructive cycle, water is a source of moisture for wood, namely trees, to grow; wood is a source of fuel for fire; the remnant of fire is ash- soil of the earth; the earth forms metals, and metal allows moisture – water, to condense on it as it cools. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes the flames of fire, fire melts metal, metal cuts through wood, and wood controls the earth by over growing it.