The creative and the destructive elements' cycles
The five feng shui elements, earth, wood, fire, water and metal affect each other according to a destructive and a creative cycle. These elements not only create balance and harmony allowing us to improve each one of our lives’ areas, but also the way in which one element affect the other, whether it is creating it or destructing it, can be used as a way to achieve the proper balance among them and as a feng shui cure.
In the creative cycle, water nourishes wood, wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal and metal creates water. The elements create each other and are co-dependant, if there was one of them missing the chain would break. Therefore, each one of the elements is necessary for the creative cycle to be complete and allow the achievement of balance and harmony.
On the other hand, in the destructive cycle one element destroys another and eliminates the effects it causes within an environment. According to this cycle, water extinguishes fire, fire dissolves metal, metal cuts wood, wood consumes earth, and earth absorbs water. This destructive relationship between the elements allows the application of many feng shui cures and remedies.
The destructive cycle allows the possibility of eliminating the effect of an element which can not be eliminated in another way. If, for any reason, you have too much of the fire element within a space but you can't move it from there, you can neutralize its effects by adding more water in the same area. The application of these cures should be done carefully and ideally by consulting an expert since, when done improperly, it might cause problems instead of giving solutions.
Sometimes, some feng shui experts
also use a third element's cycle called the exhaustive cycle. This cycle
allows diminishing the negative effect which an element could cause
within a specific area. In this cycle, wood exhausts water, water exhausts
metal, metal exhausts earth, earth exhausts fire, and fire exhausts
wood. As you might be able to notice, this cycle is the opposite of
the creative one and its application might need to be done by an expert
in order to produce the right effect.