Yin & Yang Picture
This really is the foundation of Feng Shui. Yin & Yang are expressions of energy in separate states. Yin is inward and downward energy while Yang is expressed as outward and upward energy. We cannot have one without the other. Morning is a perfect expression of Yin energy becoming Yang, while evening is an expression of Yang energy becoming more Yin again. Noon then is an expression of full Yang energy while Midnight would be an expression of full Yin energy. 

Most likely  you are familiar with the Yin Yang symbol. A circle with a white shape swirling toward a black shape swirling in turn toward the white. Each with a small circle inside representing the seed of the opposite. The purpose of the seed is to 'ground' the particular expression of energy. Too much of either Yin or Yang results in discord and discord can lead to discomfort and dis-ease.

The black side represents the Yin while white represents the Yang. Think about black being evening when we are winding down from a hectic day. We are becoming more Yin. Think of Yang as the bright sunlight of morning when we are full of energy and potential. 

So What Are The Five Phases?

You will hear them being called the Five Elements or possibly the Five Phases. The Chinese used metaphors to help further their understanding of the energetic qualities present during any given time or season. Thousands of years of observing the natural world below our feet and the stars above our heads, the Chinese came to understand how best to live a harmonious life.

The Five phases or elements are, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. 

Water describes an energetic quality that is still, deep and full of potential. Water is night time. Water is cold. When that potential is put to work watering seedlings the energy changes to something tender but full of potential, emerging. Freshness, ideas, children, morning sun rise. Wood energy is also yin becoming yang. Yang is expansive and full of juice. Yin is inward and quiet. 

When a seedling grows as the result of feeding on water energy it becomes a tall mature tree. In time wood energy will give rise to Fire energy. Fire energy is embodiment of the explosive nature of Yang energy. Fire energy brings notoriety, attention, a jolt of juice that is sustained by an adequate supply of wood energy to keep the fire burning. The middle of Summer is the full expression of Fire energy. 

Wood energy that is consumed by excessive or prolonged Fire energy eventually becomes ash. Ash gives rise to Earth energy which is stabilizing, grounded, nurturing energy.  Earth energy manifests itself as a transition from the hot Fire weather of summer to cooler Metal Autumn energy. As ash is layered upon layer the resulting compressing and refinement turns to metal. Metal energy is cold, inward downward movement of energy. It's trees pulling their resources in for the winter. It's the leaves turning fall colors. It's later in life. It's the stage in a process that refines an idea and enjoys the fruit of its labor. 

Metal energy is compressed to the point it begins to vaporize becoming more water like. Dark cold, midnight, winter energy. And then the cycle repeats itself over and over and over. 
Then finally, what is Sheng Chi or Qi and Sha Chi?.  
Positive, uplifting refreshing energy that you want to increase in your home or business is Sheng Chi. It is the opposite of Sha Chi which is turbulent or aggressive energy. During a Feng Shui consultation I observe your home, office or place of business and identify the areas that manifest Sha Chi and then recommend enhancements or adjustments to help mitigate or eliminate the unhelpful quality of energy.

Sha Chi is turbulent or aggressive energy and should be minimized as much as possible in your home, office or place of business. Sha Chi can be a street outside your space with a large volume of traffic or a sharp angle in your home, office or place of business. There are many ways to minimize the Sha Chi but you first have to identify it and work to transform it into Sheng Chi which has a more uplifting positive energetic quality. A Feng Shui consultation will identify the areas of Sha and Sheng Chi and will maximize the Sheng while minimizing the Sha.