Even beginners in classical Feng Shui learn that there are personal best directions and ways to cater to one person over another in the same space. Much of that information comes from the Ba Zhai School, also called the Eight Mansion School. For example: a person born in 1979 can garner more wealth luck if they sleep with their head to South than if they sleep head to West. Or a person born in 1988 can be more productive sitting at a desk facing North than facing Southwest.
We can even dip into Chinese astrology for some Feng Shui recommendations. For example, a person born in the Year of the Horse could be drained (physically and financially) in a house that “sits” in the Rat Direction.
But what about the Elements? In Flying Star School Feng Shui, we use Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, or Metal in strategic ways to balance the unseen magnetic field in a room. For example, a room might have the 6-9 combination, which is code for Metal being destroyed by Fire. In this type of energy field, potentially anyone using the room may experience upper body issues, such as with the head or lungs. The remedy for this is the Earth element placed in the room.
Does it matter what the birth date is for that person in terms of the element used or even how much of it? Can one element be good for one person and bad for another?
Here are some general concepts and guidelines regarding this issue:
Generally speaking, if you balance an energy field with the elements, just about anyone can benefit from that. This is like saying that most people benefit from eating broccoli. But as we know, some people can’t handle certain vegetables, so we can’t say that 100% of people should do the exact same Feng Shui remedies either. And on an even more sophisticated level, we should consider the occupation and marital status of the occupant before determining the correct element to use.
If a certain element is good for a room, but could have a dominating effect on the individual, we may want to use less of that element. For example, let us say that a Metal type person is sleeping in a room that needs the Fire element. In the cycle of the Elements, Fire melts or destroys Metal. Having bright red walls may be too much for the room and too much fire for the person. In this case, there may be a need to tone down certain elements based on who is using the room.
It should also be noted that no one individual is just “one Element.” We are actually a combination of influences and elements in our personal astrology chart. So before one makes a decision to alter the amount of an element to use, they may want to be well-versed in the various forms of Astrology which are compatible with Feng Shui.
Using myself as an example: In the Trigram system I am a “Hard Wood” 3 star Zhen trigram. Based on that information alone, one may assume that I shouldn’t be around too much Metal, since Metal “chops” Wood. However, in my Four Pillars Chart, (which factors in Year, Month, Day, and Hour of birth), I have an over-abundance of earth in my Four Pillars chart. To that extent, being around metal items can help diffuse that excessive amount of earth. Because of that, I try to remind myself to wear my gold and silver jewelry more often.
Do you need to be concerned? As students learning Feng Shui, I can vouch for the fact that most people do well with the element chosen to remedy the room, regardless of their birth data. But you will encounter some exceptions to the rule. And you will also encounter other practitioners with a different approach because of this nuanced application of the elements.