Overview of Feng Shui
Translated from Chinese literally as “wind, water”, feng shui is about harmony and positive energy into your home, or where ever you choose. In Chinese history, it was used to physically orient buildings by reference to local features such as the stars, or bodies of water. The ultimate goal of feng shui is to create an environment that has good qi, which is a life force.
Declutter Your Home
Firstly, clear out any “junk” or things you do no need or want from your home. Although time-consuming, clearing out cutter is a necessary first step in order to lighten your burden. Especially in our society today, we are filled with consumer items and materials. It is important to cleanse the house by ridding it of unwanted things. Who knows, maybe something that you do not need or want anymore could very well be something that someone else would like to have.
Bring Fresh Air and Light Into Your Home
After you have cleaned up your home, create chi by filling your house with fresh air and light. Chi refers to universal energy that surrounds us. You can help to permeate energy flow by opening the windows and placing plants in your home. The best type of plants are the ones that are air-purifying, such as bamboo palm, areca palm, lady palm and English ivy. These plants are commonly found and easy to care for. Introduce more light by placing lamps around the home. Introduce bright lights into your home to get rid of darkness. These methods will improve air and light circulation.
Map The Bagua Of Your Home
Define the bagua, or feng shui energy map of your home by following the steps below.
Create a grid with nine squares or rectangles. This will correspond with your house floor plan. The lower part should be aligned with the wall of your front door. Now, assign each of the 9 squares to the corresponding areas:
Bottom row, from left to right: Personal Growth and Cultivation, Career/Life Path,
Blessings and helpful people (your front door will be in one of these areas)
Middle row, from left to right: Health and Family, Heart/Yin and yang, Children/Creativity
Upper row, from left to right: Prosperity and Abundance, Reputation, Love and Marriage
This video illustrates how to map your house’s bagua plan:
Now that you have mapped your home, you can apply the proper feng shui principles to improve the energy in each bagua area. If you are from China or are familiar with Chinese culture, you can use Chinese symbols as feng shui applications in the respective areas. However, if you are not from China or do not resonate with symbols from the Chinese culture, it would be good to use symbols that you can identify with and respond to. To create feng shui in your home, you do not need to use Chinese symbols. Rather, use symbols that are meaningful to you and create an energy, such as an emotional response.
For instance, you may see a certain type of flower symbolizing love. You can create a good feng shui in this area by putting these types of flowers, or images of the flowers, in the love and marriage area of your home. Traditionally, the Buddha has been a symbol of yin, or peacefulness, and especially helpful to those who have busy lifestyles. The Buddha tempers the yang, or active side, and provides a balance – the yin and the yang. If you are stuck in terms of what kind of images and symbols to use in different parts of your home, think of different objects and creatures:
- Plants – different types of flowers and plants
- Animals – butterflies, horses, birds, fish
- Symbols – dragons, rope knots such as the Mystic Knot which symbolize longevity
You can incorporate different symbols and concepts into your home in the form of objects, pictures, or sculptures.
Incorporate Feng Shui Elements
To create balance in the home, use the energy of feng shui colors to achieve the results you wish. In feng shui, there are five elements: Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth and Water. The elements interact amongst themselves in different ways, resulting in Productive and Destructive Cycles. Ideally, you will want the elements to work together in harmony to bring happiness and balance to your life in all aspects.
Each element has different color correspondences. The representative colors are very similar to the colors of the elements that can be seen in real life:
Wood – brown, green
Fire – red, strong yellow, orange, pink, purple
Metal – grey, white
Earth – tan, light brown, sand, faded yellow
Water – blue, black
Each direction of the home has a corresponding element. For instance, the element of the southern side is Fire. The best colors to place in this area are thus, red, yellow, orange, pink and purple.
When incorporating colors into your home, you want to avoid putting together elements that will fight against each other. For instance, water and fire produce destructive cycles. Water puts down fire, and they cannot coincide. Since fire resides in the South, you want to avoid putting water colors in this area.
Here is a quick guide to where to put the different elements:
North – water to support your career and life path
South – fire for keep gatherings warm and happy
East – wood for health and family
West – metal to support creativity
Determine Your Feng Shui Birth Element
Using the chart below, find your year of birth in one of the five columns that represent a different element. Check the day and month of birth as well to ensure your birthday is after the number, not before. The format used in the chart is day / month / year.
The calendar uses the Chinese calendar, or lunar calendar. So, for example, if your birthday is January 2, 1930 (02.01.1930), your year of birth is actually 1929 for feng shui. According to the Chinese calendar, 1930 began on the date January 30, 1930 (30.01.1930). The closest date on the chart right before this year is February 10, 1929 (10.02.1929), the new year’s day of the previous year. You would actually be born at the end of the 1929 year. Hence, your birth element would actually be Earth and Not Metal.
You should decorate your home more with colors of your respective element. If another element interferes with your element, you should downplay this element. For example, if you are wood, you should downplay elements of fire because fire destroys wood. However, if you are fire, you can use wood to complement your element because wood feeds the fire.
Feng shui is a complex and traditional art that requires deep study and analysis. Hopefully these steps help you to work towards creating balance and harmony in your home!