Swaswara and the Five Elements

Swaswara-HutA key aspect of harmonizing spaces from a feng shui perspective is to integrate the Five Elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. Each space should contain the five elements and when they’re in balance, spaces feel comfortable. Balance does not mean equal proportions though. There’s really an art and science to all of this. When in doubt, let your intuition be your guide.

My first impression upon arriving at Swaswara was “what a nurturing environment.” The curved red-earthen buildings are nestled among a backdrop of two retention ponds, a curved wall, tall trees and abundant splashes of bougainvillea and other flowering plants. In the distance you hear the ocean waves gently unfolding on Om Beach. Most days the sky was a light gray, although there no pollution and no rain in sight. Curvy paths guide you along your way and well-placed signage also directs you throughout the property. Every day we were treated to a wide array of bird-song and monkey chatter.

Swaswara-PathThe five elements? They are all present, blending together in harmonious patterns of shape, color, touch, texture and sound, resulting in a nurturing, healing environment. The buildings are a combination of Fire, Earth and Metal elements. The red color represents Fire, the building material come from the Earth and the curved shapes are Metal. The backdrop of trees and flowers represents Wood energy. The Arabian Sea, the retention ponds and the swimming pool incorporate Water energy.

As you go deeper, nature further refines itself. Various plants and flowers display additional elemental qualities based on their shape and color. The monkeys, birds, and other animals generate dazzling Fire energy daily as they play in the trees and bushes.

Overall, everything blends together. This is the way environments should be!

While in India, I also studied the Five Elements from an Ayurvedic perspective. In Ayurveda, the Five Elements are: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. In this tradition, Ether is the initial element and each subsequent element carries the properties of the previous elements. I find this fascinating.

Ether carries the quality of sound.
Air carries sound and adds destiny.
Fire brings shape and color to sound and destiny.
Water incorporates taste into sound, destiny, shape and color.
Earth adds smell to sound, destiny, shape, color and taste.


Each element continues to build upon and further develop the previous element:
Sound waves use Ether to expand.
Ether set in motion condenses and becomes Air.
Air moves. Its density leads to the friction of Fire.
Fire’s heat condenses Water, adding taste.
Water cools down to form the solid mass of Earth.

As the elements relate to the environment, all solid forms take on qualities of Earth. Earth is the densest element and requires the least amount of space. Ether is most spacious and brings a quality of freedom. The gas-like nature of Air helps to combine the elements. Water adds a liquid quality, while Fire brings brilliance, heat, color and shape. Once again, each element blends with the others to bring harmony and balance.

The Five Elements of feng shui and the Five Elements of Ayurveda are interconnected and overlap in many ways. The result is a focus on peace, joy and harmony within your physical environment and your inner self. This is what wellness, abundance and prosperity are all about.