Use feng shui to your advantage...
My boss once had a client who was so fanatical about feng shui that she hired an advisor to check out her condominium before purchasing it. I never understood why she paid a total stranger $200 per hour to come to her house, tell her it was facing the right way, and buy more mirrors.
But after writing this how-to, I've come to realize that there's more to feng shui than just a deliberately placed plant in the corner. Now, is it enough to justify a $200 per hour payout? Of course not. Still, it is worth considering. If you're ready for some luck in 2004, then read on to find out how to feng shui could work for you.
Please note: This is a quick guide into the world of feng shui. For more details, I suggest you check out the sidebar for other resources.
What Is It? Why Do People Use It?
Feng shui (pronounced "fung shway") literally means "wind and water." The rules of feng shui were first written during the Han dynasty (25 A.D.) in China. To keep things short and sweet, it is based on the idea that individuals should live in harmony with their environment; if we live in balance with the order of the world (i.e. Earth's wind and water) then we can attract fortune and prosperity.
The main purpose of feng shui is to find the ch'i (pronounced "chee"), the dragon's celestial breath. This is the universal abstract energy or life force that governs the world, and will bring happiness, prosperity, luck, and longevity. It is believed that ch'i pools in special places. But ch'i is a tricky element, and is affected by its environment. For instance, strong winds and swift waters will carry it away, but rolling hills will block this.
The Five Elements
Ch'i energy is manifested in five forms. Each person has some of each element, and how much we have determines personality and success.
To find out which element you belong to, click here.
Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Creative Innovative Pliant and bending or strong and unyielding Sociable and community minded Green East/northeast Birth/early childhood Energy Enthusiasm Can be dangerous Warms and cheers but can destroy Natural leader Red South Late childhood Stable Real estate and legacies Patient, just, honest, methodical Smothering and demanding Yellow Centre, southwest, northeast Adolescence Harvest Business success (financial) Represents sword - can be destructive or violent White West, northwest Adulthood Travel Communication Literature, arts, media Gentle (soft rain) or turbulent (hurricane) Nourishes, but can wear away rock Black North Old age
These elements interact in cycles. There are three: the cycle of production (which is what you want), the cycle of destruction (which you want to avoid), and the cycle of reduction (which is neutral).
In the cycle of production, fire nourishes earth, earth begins metal, metal begins water, water begins wood, and wood nourishes fire.
In the cycle of destruction, fire destroys metal, metal destroys wood, wood destroys earth, earth destroys water, and water destroys fire.
In the cycle of reduction, fire reduces wood, wood reduces water, water reduces metal, and metal reduces earth.
After you've figured out which element you are influenced by, you can use these charts to see what you should be surrounding yourself with. For instance, if you're a water element, surround yourself with metals (as suggested in the production cycle) but keep away from earths (as specified in the destruction cycle). Your aim is to create harmony between the environment and yourself. If there's more than one member in the family, traditionally the household should cater to the breadwinner's element, although each bedroom should reflect its own inhabitant.
The Basics of Feng Shui
The home is divided into eight sections, four good and four bad:
Notice a pattern? The positive sections should be used for eating, sleeping, and working. The bad sections should be reserved for bathrooms, pantries, and general storage.
- prime: good for bedrooms and doors
- health: good for the master bedroom and dining room
- longevity: good for bedrooms and dining room
- prosperity: good for the front door, kitchen, office, and desk
- death: good from the toilet, never the front door
- disaster: good for the toilet, pantry, and storage
- six shar: good for the toilet or kitchen
- five ghosts: good for the toilet or storage area
Avoid shars, which are poisoned arrows. It is believed that because these arrows travel in straight lines, straight lines should be avoided at all times. So, for instance, if your house is at the intersection of two streets, that's bad. Build a fence or plant shrubs around your house to defend yourself against the poisoned arrows.
Exposed beams are also unlucky, as they inhibit the ch'i movement.
[ How to use feng shui at home. Part II of the article. ]