The five basic elements are METAL, WOOD, WATER, FIRE and EARTH. The Ancient Chinese believe those are the basic elements of the universe and everything in our word is a compound of the five elements. The five elements are not to be treated the same as the chemical elements we learned at school.

Many aspect of life has the five elements character. The individual objects, directions, colors, time, food  and even our internal organs.

The most important of all is the balance of all five elements. Although some times we see bad implications of certain elements in our certain area of life, there is no "bad elements". Every one is a necessity of our life. On the other hand, every element can bring disadvantage to our life too. The circle of life links the five elements with each other. The short or over affluence of one element can and will bring the disturbance to all. Fengshui (Feng Shui) is specifically dealing with your living environment compensate and prevent disturbance in your life. It is all about balance.

More on five elements:

What are the relationships between the five elements?
How does color relates to Five elements?
How does Taste relates to Five elements
How to write and pronounce five elements in Chinese?