Feng shui is the ancient art of moving positive qi (life energy) around your personal space through use of decoration. From big things (where you put your bed) to small things (plants and mirrors) we give you a few feng shui tips.
Feng shui (the art of designing your space to move positive energy around it) can be complicated that’s why you can hire professionals to do it for you. This anglo-asian guide to feng shui borrows from some of the basic principles to get you started.
Feng = wind
Shui = water
Feng Shui is the Chinese process of balancing elements within a space to increase the flow of chi or qi – namely, life energy. You can go the whole shebang by deciding where to put your computer, bed, sofa and such – or you can have a little dabble with introducing feng shui in to your space with a few artfully placed mirrors and coloured hangings. How far will you go?
Some basic principles of Feng Shui
Chi, or life energy should flow freely around your space. Things that trap or block chi are considered negative, but chi flowing out too quickly will leave the residents lethargic. The key is a room that causes chi to circulate.
One chi-trapping culprit is clutter. Clutter is very bad in fengshui (unless you are a hobbit, or unless you have often been complimented in the past on the really quite delightful nature of your clutter) so having a tidy-up is a good beginning. If you cannot embrace the minimilist approach consider the aspects of your home that affect how welcome you and your guests feel. A big table blocking the view of the cosy sofa? Take a look at your living space to see if feng shui principles could make it an even happier place to be.
It’s worth having a look at where you live to see if feng shui principles will make it an even happier place to be.
Sort out your clutter
Clutter is very bad for chi (unless you are a hobbit, or unless you have often been complimented in the past on the really quite delightful nature of your clutter) so having a tidy-up is a good beginning.
Soften the negative impact of sharp corners and pointy sha-chi
Sharp corners and harsh angles send out sha-chi; these are ‘arrows’ of negative energy. In fact, chinese architects have been known to design a city building with harsh angles to send out negative energy to the building’s nearby competitors! Round or soft shapes will cure this. You can’t design your entire building, but on a smaller scale, you may find that moving a table so its corner doesn’t point at you when you walk into a room may help. Think about softening aspects of your room with cushions or globes or round vases/candles/lampshades. Use screens or greenery to block the view of other harmful influences like pylons or ugly blocks of flats outside your window.
Balance the yin and yang in your rooms
Balance the yang (masculine) and yin (feminine) energies in the room to create harmony. If your room is painted all in one strong colour you could balance the effects with some flowers or drapes. Animals are also associated with either yin or yang qualities; If you work with symbolism, use their images to add the desired polarity to your room. For example, if you take the animals of the Chinese zodiac, the rat, tiger, dragon, horse, monkey and dog are yang, while the ox, rabbit, snake, sheep, rooster and pig are yin. If there is an excess of either energy you will encourage its negative qualities – for example, too much yang chi may cause quarrels, and too much yin may cause lethargy.
Take the idea of qi (life-force) literally – love your plants
Plants give out chi, so having one in your room is a good idea unless you neglect it; dead plants as well as standing water create stagnant chi. If you are an unwitting plant-killer, consider having a soft, fuzzy, rounded cactus. It’s a plant after all, and too hardy for you to kill. If you’re really rubbish with plants, have some plastic flowers about the place. Not anything as good as a plant – but it might remind you of qi and things of living goodness when you see them.
Mirrors can move chi around
Mirrors are excellent for bouncing chi around the room. Placing one in front of a full piggy-bank ‘doubles’ the money energy. Mirrors can also be used to deflect negative energy, when hung in doorways.
Mirrors are useful for making small rooms look a little more spacious and airy, so you can consider this when placing a mirror. If you have an ugly view outside your window, consider hanging up a mobile (the ornament, not the phone) made of small mirrors. Decorative, pretty and will move chi around like billy-o.
Use a Feng shui compass (bagua) to decide what goes where in your room
If you have time on your hands you can use a compass to divide your room into the eight compass points. Each of these points corresponds to a different facet of life (see below).
Pinning your CV in your North corner may bring that dream job into your life and your wallet may benefit from resting in the south east, while the south west may be a wonderful place to keep your chaise longue for prospective lovebird action.
The Chinese have their own beliefs as to which objects stimulate these sectors – such as a pagoda for gaining knowledge and a pair of mandarin ducks as a symbol of happiness in love.
North – Career
North West mentors, networking
North East Education and knowledge
East Family and health
South East Wealth, prosperity
South – Fame
South West Marriage, romance
West – Children
Feng shui is far too great a topic to cover in one sitting; hopefully this has piqued your interest. May you make auspicious (lucky) changes in your home.