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Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art, not only of placement of objects within a space, but also on how a space is governed by elements, shapes, light, and unseen forces.
You may find it to be a little far out, but I have found it to be one of the most grounding practices when it comes to homemaking. This post will cover the basic concepts in fengshui, what can happen when you use fengshui in your home, and what I’ve learned being a homemaker putting a fengshui flare in my spaces.
I am not a fengshui professional. Seek a professional to get the most out of your feng shui journey. Your experience with feng shui may be different then mine.
What is Feng Shui?
The direct translation of “fengshui” is “wind and water.” It is based on the concept that our external environment is mirroring our internal environment. The goal is to align our home with how we want to feel inside and visa versa. Do you want to live in a harmonious environment? Be specific to what harmony is to you and how you can create a space that maintains this harmony. Maybe even do a little reading on feng shui to learn more.
Check out my favorite book on harmonious living: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
This is a word you will inevitably hear with any type of oriental medicine or ancient chinese art. It is energy, or natural forces, both good and bad that cannot be seen by the naked eye. It can impact us in a physical, mental, or spiritual way. Physical examples are wind, heat, and static electricity. Electrical currents produce an electromagnetic field that can bring negative Qi.
Other non physical forms of Qi are sound, smell, and sight. Hearing birds chirping or water flowing brings positive Qi, where other sounds such as an airport and house party can bring negative Qi.
Music brings positive Qi. So when we want to be more productive or creative, good fengshui means to clear out negative sounds and invite in harmonious sounds.
Tending to undesirable smells and getting fresh air in your home can immediately enhances the home atmosphere.
Psychologically, sight is a very important tool in fengshui, especially when placing objects. Keep reading to learn more.
Yin / Yang
Maybe you have heard of yin yoga, which focuses on holding postures and moving through sequences at a slower pace. Understanding yin and yang in feng shui takes this concept a lot further. The idea is based on everything in our universe having two opposing forces: yin and yang. When both of these are in harmony, you can create balance in your home.
feminine, female, soft, passive, nurturing, dark, cold, water, fabrics, floor lamps, soothing colors, curves, flowing shapes, upholstery, window treatments, rugs, furniture
masculine, male, hard, active, aggressive, bright, warm, light colors, warm, friendships, neighbors, pets, white, metal, upward moving energy, straight lines, angular shapes, bright colors, wooden, glass, stone fixtures, wood, marble, tile floors
In translation, “bagua” means “8 areas.” These 8 unique areas correlate to specific parts of your life. In traditional feng shui, it requires a feng shui compass to read the space from your front entrance. Applying the basic bagua grid to your home looks like this:
FRONT OF HOUSE
What if my apartment or house is missing these areas or extends beyond the bagua?
You can use the elements to restore balance.
The five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. Each of them interact between one another and can be productive if placed in the appropriate area of the bagua.
The elements can do wonders to a space, but what about color? Using the basic bagua grid, you can apply color to the areas in your home that create good feng shui.
Each color and element work together.
Wood works with greens and browns.
Fire works with reds, deep yellows, orange, pink, purple.
Earth works with lighter yellows, sandy tones, and light browns.
Metal works with whites and grays.
Water works with blues and blacks.
Let’s look at some basic facts about water. 75% of the Earth is covered in water. Water is greatly affected by the moon as it creates our tides. Water is free forming and expressive. You might just say it’s one of the strongest forces of nature. It is this kind of power that can heal or destroy. When using the element of water in feng shui, there are a few rules.
Water is known as the symbol of abundance.
Be mindful of how much water is flowing out of your home.
Fix any leaks and don’t run the water more than necessary.
Fountains or water fixtures should direct the flow of water toward your home, not away.
Invite the water element into your Career/Life Path area or your Health/Family area or Money/Abundance areas.
Use flowing shapes or mirrors appropriately.
Animals and Placement
Statues, figurines, and totems can be used within the home to increase positive chi and break up negative chi. (Well hot coffee!) Be mindful of placing statues on the ground (bad feng shui). Instead, lift them up on a surface so they are better seen and cared for. Specific animals in this ancient art can supposedly enhance the space. To name a few…
The turtle is considered a celestial animal and symbolizes support, protection, and longevity. You can place this animal near the back side of your home facing the center.
The three legged toad is a common feng shui symbol. The legends say it can bring wealth from the outside in when placed in the wealth area or somewhere close to the front door facing toward the center of the room, not facing the door.
Elephants are highly auspicious in feng shui and are seen all over asia. They are more powerful in numbers, specifically pairs and can bring good luck, strength, and protection.
Horses can be placed in your wealth area or fame area of your space. They symbolize success, speed, and nobility.
(Funny story, when I was building my house, I found a red horse figurine in the fame area of the bagua. It would have been framed into the house had I not moved it! Today I keep a red horse on that window sill with the intention to enhance success as a homeowner.)
Roosters can be used to reduce negative Qi from power lines or bad relationships. Perching a rooster toward power lines or in the bedroom can help disperse negative Qi.
Other Feng Shui Tips
Wind Chimes near entrances or windows to break up stagnant Qi.
House Plants or lucky bamboos can be used to boost energy.
Flowers in the love or relationship area.
Feng Shui Crystals placed appropriately can clear negative energy and improve personal growth.
Statues can work best if they are lifted up off the floor and facing toward the center of the home.
Water features flowing inward (toward the center of the home) can symbolize wealth coming into the home. They can be outside as well as inside water fixtures.
Fire Pits in the appropriate location can not only invite success, but social interactions which heighten the positive Qi or good feng shui of the home.
Maybe you’ll dismiss this practice as complete superstition, which is cool, no biggie. But hey- maybe you’ll see that Feng shui can help us understand our energy, or Qi, and how our spaces influence us and how we influence our space. This only goes so far, so if you are looking for meaningful lifestyle changes, do the appropriate research for your personal circumstances. Feng shui can be a great compliment to your willpower to reach your goals.