PAGE: FENG SHUI
Although there are many names for energy and its uses, one of the more familiar terms used to describe positive (or negative) energy is 'Chi', which refers to the 'vital force' in all things (both animate and inanimate) and how those 'things' can and do affect us. This ancient Chinese practice is known as Feng Shui ('fung shway'), which translates into 'wind' and 'water': the breath and blood of Mother Earth and everything she embodies. Observation of this practice can be beneficial in determining the level of happiness and success within your home and therefore in your personal life as well.
Based on the principle of balanced energies (as shown in the Yin/Yang symbol), Feng Shui says that we have the ability to influence the content and direction of our lives if we are aware of the different areas our 'living' spaces (like the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom et al) and what they represent. Since the content and direction of our lives is always changing, Feng Shui is sometimes called the 'art of placement': an action which is ongoing for the same reason – as the life changes, so too does the placement of relevant objects, colors or elements. There are five elements to consider when working with Feng Shui: water, wood, fire, earth and metal (in that order of flow), and the symbolic meanings and energies attached to them will dictate the energies they emit and the affect they have in any area.
There are five elements to consider when working with Feng Shui: water, wood, fire, earth and metal (in that order of flow), and the symbolic meanings and energies attached to them will dictate the energies they emit and the affect they have in any area.
For example, let's say that you and your hubby always seem to argue in your bedroom. Have a careful look around your bedroom – does it contain any red or orange? Are there decorative pieces with sharp points, like pyramids or triangles? Do you have a fireplace? Are there lots of candles around? If your answer is yes, your bedroom is overloaded with the fire element, which is highly potent and even 'flammable'...hence the tendency to argue. How to fix it: remove the most obvious fire elements and introduce water elements (water puts out fire)...for example, replacing the paintings with seascapes of deep blues and black or removing the sharp points and replacing them with 'wavy' items will help lessen the fire load.
In addition to the importance of the five elements is the path of the chi energy...is it directed into other areas or is it rushed out the door? Is it turned around, blocked or hitting 'dead' spaces? Chi must have the ability to 'flow' smoothly, without interference, in order to interact with the other elements present and thereby produce the most beneficial results – if it can only go in a straight line, there is no circulation...and where there is no circulation, there is no 'life'.
For example, if you live in a home with a front and back door aligned (which you think is great on hot summer nights), you should also know that this 'straight line' is taking all potentially positive energy interactions with it as it goes. A house whose doors remain open on a regular basis will feel 'empty' because, essentially, it is. Therefore: bad chi. How do you fix it? Simply place a solid screen of some kind between the two doors: this 'breaks' the flow and directs chi into other areas of your home.
So as another form of working with energy, Feng Shui is definitely worth the investigation: not only does it fire the imagination, it also explains certain oddities in a home, involves practical activity, calls up the intuition and feeds the spirit. After understanding its basics and performing your first 'art of placement', you will feel empowered, inspired and captivated – take my word for it.
THE BAGUA CHART
The Bagua Chart - the top left hand corner is SE: the top right hand corner is SW.
The bottom left hand corner is NE: the bottom right hand corner is NW.
The left side is E: the right side is W.
If you overlay this grid on your home (according to which direction your home faces, something you may need a compass for), you should have a good idea of which areas in your home represent which areas of your life. Often different sections cover different rooms, and that is okay...you will find things like your bathroom in the Children's sector and things like that, but don't panic...there are always cures and things you can do to encourange positive chi around these areas.
BELIEF PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE
Like the Law of Attraction, belief is everything. If you don't believe it will work, it won't. Having said that, Feng Shui has a strong mathematical background and as such, is also logical and practical in its applications. It has also been used for thousands of years...nothing lasts that long if there isn't something to it. So believe it, do it and release it....and when you see the results, you will believe.
This process is very personal to each practitioner: response and reaction times vary – you may need to 'play' with the cures and additions bit by bit to see what works for you.
Focusing on your intention is also important – what is it you will be attempting to attract or dispel? Clear and concise intentions are a must when practicing this art.
Another aspect here is patience – once again, the connection to the Law is evident: things take time to manifest (usually around a month: sometimes longer), so you must be willing to wait!
And again, similar to the Law of Attraction, after implementing a change, you must release your attention from it – let it go and carry on with your day.
When choosing an element for addition (say you wish to boost your career and are adding a red item to your office space), make sure that you actually like the object...emotional reactions to whatever you choose to use will dictate the results – so if you hate that red pillow, your emotion will cancel out its effectiveness.
One of the main detractors from the free flow of chi is clutter. This can be in all rooms: it can be in just one. The important thing is that clutter clutters and prevents free movement and energy interactions. If any rooms are filled to the rim, no chi can enter. The room becomes a dead zone...which will manifest in your own life in correlation to the 'area' of your life it influences. So if your office area is filled with clutter, you can be sure that at some point, your business will feel the effects.
Clutter, by the way, includes things from the past which you may be keeping or hanging onto even though you may not like them or that carry negative associations for you...like that over-sized doll given to you years ago...get rid of it! Boxes of old clothes can be given to shelters: various and sundry articles can be sold in a garage sale – clear out the way for chi to move around – working with energy means we must be willing to let go and allow Universal energy move us where it wants us.
THE FIVE ELEMENTS
Briefly, water flows and curves, wood grows and is cylindrical; fire is bright and pointed; earth is grounded and 'flat' and metal is conductive and malleable. When their connected shapes, colors and materials are placed in certain areas in our homes, they 'boost' or tone down the energies of those areas.
Water is the first element and represents the 'water of love' and the creation of life: new beginnings, progress, comfort and continuity: it is life-giving, free-flowing and never-ending. Water covers two-thirds of the earth just as we are composed of two-thirds water...we are connected in a profound way.
In Feng Shui, small amounts are usually applicable when used in the home: fountains are often found near doorways of homes and businesses and in office areas to enhance the flow of connections, communications and community involvement. Since it also represents emotions, care should be taken in the amounts of water elements assigned to any area and it should be clean and fresh at all times.
Too much water energy can cause emotional and mental indecision, lack of motivation and confusion in general. To balance an overload of water energy, try adding an earth element: earth is grounding and firm and absorbs water.
Its shape is wavy – like the movement of the ocean and its colors are deep blues to almost black.
Things that hold the water energy are mirrors, fountains, ponds, windows, aquariums, glass, crystal, clear plastic, seashells, shades of blue (from medium to deep) or black materials.
Wood is the second element and it grows from water. Wood represents growth of all kinds as that is what trees do. Tied to family and health, the wood element encourages growth, healing, luck, creation, confidence and achievement. This is a strong and durable element which is also tied to activity – we build houses and fires from wood.
Too much wood energy can translate as taking on projects that are too big to handle or things getting out of control due to too much growth! To balance an overload of wood energy, try adding elements of metal (it wards off negative energies and a metal ax 'chops' wood).
Its shape is usually perpendicular, elongated, cylindrical or circular – like the trees of the forest and its colors are light to dark green and sometimes purple.
Plants are great additions to most rooms (but not in bedrooms – rest and activity do not go well together) because they breathe and grow and are always active. Tall or bushy plants can also serve as barriers or directors within the home.
Things that hold the wood energy are wooden furniture or shelving units, ornaments, frames, upright and circular objects and green materials.
Fire is the third element and its creator is wood. Fire represents a powerful and forceful energy and manifest in ways we all know. The more positive aspect of this energy is its push; its advancing and determined thrust. This is a passionate and hot element which should be used rather sparingly...but if a boost of raw energy is needed in one area of the life, it can come in mighty handy.
Too much fire energy will promote arguments and even a sense of being 'on edge'. This is one color which should not be used excessively in the bedroom for obvious reasons!
Its shape is pointed and angular, like pyramids, triangles and the tips of a flame. Its colors are bright reds, oranges, yellows and even deep purples and pinks...all the shades of a traditional campfire.
Things that carry the fire energy are fireplaces, (red) candles, pointed decorations, bright lights and red/orange materials.
Earth is the fourth element and is warmed by interior fire. The earth is grounding, supportive and nurturing and represents the base upon which our lives are built: the foundations. As such, it offers security and encouragement at the same time.
Too much earth energy will leave you feeling 'heavy'; even listless. To help balance too much earth energy, add the greens of the wood element...for example, one large or two small healthy green plants in any type of pottery will help balance earth energy.
Its shape is flat (or rectangular), like the line of the horizon and its colors are warm yellows, browns, tans and beiges.
Things that carry the earth energy are dirt, rocks, plants, crystals, clay or ceramic pottery or sculptures, terra cotta tiles or pots, flat surfaces and brown or yellow materials.
Metal is the fifth element and is created by earth. Metal is an energy conductor (copper), is associated with wealth (coins), mental prowess and protection and warding off negative energies or entities. If you wish to gain mental clarity or a shot of confidence and strength, place metal in the appropriate area.
Too much metal energy can cause an overall feeling of disquiet...nervousness and anxiety are also common results. To fix an overload of metal energy, add some fire. Fire melts metal.
Its shape is round, like buildings with copper domes and its colors are grey, white and silver. The metal group includes silver, chrome, pewter, tin, copper and brass...to name but a few.
Things that carry the metal energy are candlesticks, plates, mirror/picture frames, cups, pots, wrought iron, sinks, faucets, domed shapes and white, silver or grey materials.
This is the first thing people see when they come to your home, so it must be as welcoming as possible. Clear the clutter: make a pathway using lights or plants and ensure that pipes are hidden and that the entrance is well lit. A potted plant, wind chimes and even a red door can enhance this area. If there is a negative aspect near your home (like a cemetery), hanging a bagua mirror (convex to push away those energies) outside the entrance will help divert those elements. (Again, never place a bagua mirror inside your home).
As far as the immediate entry space, if it is small and cluttered – clear the clutter and remove excess decorations...simple is best. Again, if your entryway leads to stairs going up, hanging a crystal between the door and the first step is almost necessary as often chi will enter and leave if a path is not cleared for it to flow.
Another great grounding element is to place a rock (I have a 'holy' rock – ones found on the west coast with natural 'holes' in them which filter negative energies and protect your home from same) near the door. This can actually 'ground' your entire home.
The bathroom often poses the most problems as it is the center for elimination of toxic elements and is powerfully equipped with running water.
Ideally, bathrooms should not be near entrances to homes, near kitchens or in the center of a house as they 'suck' all energies (including good ones like financial success) right down the toilet, but unless you are constructing your own home, moving the bathroom is just unrealistic.
So what to do?
First of all, keep the door closed and the toilet lid down. If space allows, you can also place a screen or plant beside the door to camouflage it a bit. A crystal hung near the door in the hall can do no harm, either, as it will help to redirect attention away from the room.
Since water is the key element here, try not to 'charge' this room too much...it is best left clean, uncluttered and its mirror should be spotless and garbage can empty.
Maybe outhouses were not such a bad idea after all...the above bathroom is just plain bad feng shui - toilet seat up, door open and pipes visible climbing the wall.
As with the example in the article above, red is not an element that is suitable for bedrooms. While we usually don't have the option to move our rooms around, we can furnish and decorate them according to the kind of energies we want each room to have. In the case of the bedroom, peaceful and gentle elements are preferable...a little water, a little earth and maybe a touch of fire (for those passionate moments) should do the trick. If you would like to invite a touch of romance into your room, pink silk flowers in the right hand corner of the room is fine.
Remember that as beautiful as plants are, they are not suitable for the bedroom as their energies involve constant movement by virtue of the growth they are constantly undergoing.
Mirrors should be avoided, especially those facing the bed or ones in which you can see your reflection when sitting in bed...the reasons vary, but some are historically connected to the idea that the spirit leaves the body when asleep and can be 'caught' in the mirror. An exception to this general rule is when one corner of the room appears to be missing (like a square with a corner missing). In that case, one may hang a mirror on the wall which is not facing the door or the bed.
About 'poison arrows'
As you know, chi needs to be free to move in any direction and flow where it wants to flow. In plain speak, that means straight lines ('poison arrows') should be identified, especially when they are 'aimed' at you and where you live, sit, sleep, work or even play. These 'poison arrows' can manifest as corners of walls, tables, or even other houses. The most immediate way of slowing and redirecting the chi is to hang a round, faceted crystal (40mm at the least...see 'On Crystals and Herbs' on the menu bar for more meanings of the colors and meanings of crystals) from the ceiling in front of the offending wall; move the table so the edge is not pointing at you and hanging a deflective bagua outside your house which is aimed at the offending house. This last one is true for anything (like cemeteries or police stations) that are close to your home and that make you uncomfortable.
It is best to keep very large windows at least partly covered, especially if they are in the living or dining area – anything of interest which is outside the home will also attract chi energy...if the windows are open, it acts like an open and aligned front and back door – the chi just rushes through your house without interacting with positive energies within the house. Consider also that glass is a water element and counts as such.
Windows are best kept clean and polished, especially in your lifepath and career areas: if they are dirty, cloudy or otherwise obscured, so are you obscured: opportunities for advancement and success can not 'see' you and will pass you by.
These are interesting and can be used for a variety of purposes: to brighten a dark or stale area; to redirect chi energy; to repel or attract elements; to magnify or strengthen and to fill in missing areas or corners of rooms. They can also be used to 'push' a slanting roof away from the top of your head (usually by placing a small mirror on top of a vanity or bookcase, facing up), or by deflecting energies from below (if you live above a garage, for example) by placing a small mirror face down under a piece of furniture.
Bagua mirrors are available in concave and convex shapes: the concave absorbs energy while the convex pushes it away...these mirrors should never be used inside the home as they are simply too powerful.
Mirrors used should be smooth and clean, without blemishes and in regular shapes rather than odd.
Tones and sounds are energies forms of energy and wind chimes are among the most charming and soothing of sounds...most think they are only for use outside, but they are just as beautiful and effective when placed inside the home (you can always tinkle them as you go by). Bells of all types are good, too (I have a large dome bell outside my front door). Bells and chimes create a new energy flow; notification of messages sent or received; promotes harmonious surroundings and protects through positive chi which soothes the soul.
30 mm lead crystal
These are marvelous gems which I consider Mother Earth's DNA. They can be used in a variety of ways, some of which follow.
*To redirect energy in stagnant areas, such as dark corners without windows, hang one from the ceiling where it will catch the most light or breeze. (Chimes work here, too: even if they are not moving, they are still effective).
*In long hallways with many doors, hang a crystal along the middle of the hall to encourage continued flow of chi...passing bathroom doors, for example!
*If a door opens and points directly to your chair or bed, hang a crystal from the ceiling to help dilute and redirect the stream of chi energy.
*As mentioned, if your front door opens to stairs, hang a crystal between the door and the first step to encourage chi flow.
Anywhere you feel a lack of 'movement'; a certain staleness or darkness, add a light, a small potted plant and a crystal and wait to see the difference.
Plants are excellent chi symbols – but they must be healthy and bug-free. Softly curved leaves invoke the gentle lines of the water element, so they are preferable to long and pointed leaves, which invoke the fire element. I guess the Bamboo's pointed leaves are so heavily connected to luck and prosperity that they balance the fire shapes. Do try to avoid any kinds of cactus, but most especially the ones with long, pointy and sharp needles! If you have any dead or dying plants or flowers about, trash them! Better no plants than dead or on-the-way-there ones.
Bamboo is considered lucky, is easy to grow and requires little maintenance...and flowering plants are more beneficial than non-flowering ones.
A money plant should be placed in eastern area of home (I have one and it is growing like mad). The only exception here might involve placing soft pink silk flowers in the bedroom for romantic enticement purposes.
When choosing a home
Look for a few things when choosing a home...the following are only some of the elements that make a home Feng Shui approved.
*Roofs that are uneven in any way, angled on one side or flat. The same goes for the floors inside the building.
*Homes which have valleys in the rear or rivers, large trees, lamps, bridges, hills, tall and solid fences, or structures of any kind directly in front of the main entrance.
*Homes where a T junction or dead end leads to the front of the home or where another building 'points' at the main entrance. Also avoid homes which are beside any type of organization or business that might be considered an 'energy leaker' (again, like a cemetery or prison) or that are 'sandwiched' between two taller buildings. (If you fall in love with the place, you can always paint the side that faces the negative chi red to block the energy – red can be used to protect or to invite – but an entire wall of this color will serve as a blocker).
*Look at the placements of the rooms – is the bedroom over the kitchen? Is the bathroom the first door you see when you walk in? Are the front and back doors aligned with one another? Are the stove and fridge next to one another? All of these situations are bad chi.
*Roofs that are smoothly shaped, pointed or moderately apexed...even domed shapes are good.
*Open areas in front of the main entrance, small ponds or areas of flowing water (not rivers!), a protective hill on the east side and a smaller one on the west, a protected back area of the home – like a bank of trees or a row of taller buildings...anything which serves as a 'protective' barrier to the back of the home.
*A layout without stairs going up or down at the entrance, no bathroom immediately evident, a large and open kitchen where appliances are well separated, rooms that are open and spaced apart, a detached garage, concealed pipes and wires and no slanted roofs over areas which involve working or sleeping.
There are many options that can help balance the energy...you will need to play a little bit before finding the correct ratio for all applications.
This is just a small example of the elements of Feng Shui. You can hire a professional consultant who will place a binagra over your home layout and match the areas of your home with its categories and advise you of the best applications for your particular home.
Here are some excellent links if you would like to know more about the practice of Feng Shui:
everything is exactly as it should be, so relax!