For more than two thousand years, the Chinese have always practiced Feng Shui to bring harmony, happiness and prosperity. Feng Shui means “Wind and Water,” and refers to the natural surroundings and how they can be manipulated to produce a healthy environmental balance and to give you the things you want most in life.
Feng Shui involves an understanding of Chi (positive energy) and Sha (negative energy), Yin and Yang, the five elements of Chinese philosophy, the meaning and value of numbers, the importance of directions, and the Pa Kua.
Chi and Sha
The ancient Chinese considered Chi as an invisible flow of energy that swirls throughout the earth and sky, brings the life force with it. The Feng Shui masters call Chi the “cosmic dragon’s breath of the universe,” and nothing can flourish and prosper without a good supply of smoothly flowing Chi.
A negative Chi flow, which may be either excessive or insufficient in amount, is known as Sha. Sha’s energy is unhealthy, creates disharmony in relationships, and upsets the natural balance that is necessary to prosper in an environment. Sha energy may manifest as physical, mental, or emotional illness, or feeling extremely warm, irritable, tired and physically drained.
In Feng Shui, positive Chi may not enter narrow doorways and hallways, and cause the stale, negative Chi (Sha) to be created. Sharp corners and angles also cause Sha situation in the environment that gives rise to arguments, business difficulties, and general bad luck. You can attract positive Chi to those areas by hanging crystals, placing live plants, or displaying auspicious paintings or pictures.
Yin and Yang
In Feng Shui theory, Yin-Yang is the balancing force of the universe. It is a law of opposite energies that complement each other. Yin is water, Yang is fire. Yin is night, Yang is day. Yin is feminine, Yang is masculine. Yin is receptive and retiring, Yang is active and aggressive. Yin is Lunar, and Yang is Solar. Yin is stillness, and Yang is movement.
In Feng Shui, the most desirable living conditions derive from the balance of Yin and Yang in the environment. For example, too much light in a home results in excessive Yang energy, which calls for modifications in lighting with shades and color to achieve a balance. Because Yin and Yang are complementary, if one overpowers the other, their link is so strong that both forces are destroyed.
The Five Elements
Feng Shui divides our environment into five essential elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Wood, and Metal. Each represents a different energy, and they interact with each other in different ways to create harmony, to clash, to dominate, or to weaken each other.
The Water Element is anything that is aquatic nature. In your home, it is aquariums, fountains, a pond, or a swimming pool. The Feng Shui masters consider that the water element associated with a swimming pool overpowers your house. The water element may also be powerfully represented in the natural landscaping around your home in the forms of a lake, stream, river, or ocean.
Water energy moves downward and brings prosperity. It helps to reach a point of maximum rest and concentration, which is similar to the energy of the New Moon. Water’s colors are blue and black, its number is one, and its direction is North. Water deficiency health problems involve the ears or kidneys.
Water is destroyed by earth, drained by wood, and dissolved by fire. You can control the excess water energy with pottery and ceramic pieces or with quartz crystals. You can neutralize excess water energy by placing wooden objects nearby, or evaporate the effect of water through the use of fire representations, like red color cushions, in a strong water environment.
The Fire Element is active and hot-natured. It is represented by actual fire or the color red. In Feng Shui, the actual fire must burn continuously for the element to be effectively portrayed. So, the use of the color red is a more common portrayal of the fire element.
Fire energy moves upward and brings success, fame, and recognition. It represents energy at its peak, much like that of the Full Moon. Fire’s number is nine and its direction is South. Fire deficiency health problems may involve the eyes or the heart.
Fire is dominated by water, drained by earth, and dissolved when it is used to destroy metal. To represent water, use pictures of moving water, blue and green objects. Control the fire element by giving it pottery or ceramic pieces (earth) to nourish. Metal objects weaken the fire element
The Earth Element in your environment is represented by clay pottery and statues or non-metallic mineral pieces like marble art pieces and quartz rocks or crystals. Living near a large mountain represents a powerful earth energy.
Earth’s energy moves horizontally around its own axis and brings harmony and family happiness. Southwest and Northeast are earth’s directions. Its colors are yellow, tan, and beige, and its numbers are two, five, and eight. Earth deficiency health problems include arthritis, hand or finger problems, or problems involving the stomach or digestive tract.
Earth is destroyed by wood, drained by metal, and dissolved by water. Excessive earth energy may be neutralized by a clock or a metal wind chime. Plants and small trees (wood) or a bowl of water are also extremely effective ways to handle excessive earth.
In Feng Shui, the Wood Element traditionally consists of live plants and trees, but silk plants achieve the same effect in your environment. Wood energy expands in all directions and has great force for emergency and growth like the energy of the waxing Moon. East and southeast are wood’s directions. Its color is green, and its numbers are three and four. Wood deficiency health problems involve the feet, throat, liver, or thigh.
Wood is destroyed by metal, drained when it is used to nourish fire, and dissolved by earth. Metal objects and figurines or clocks control excessive wood energy. Use red (fire) accessories like cushions or wall hangings and strong lights (fire) to control wood by weakening it. It takes many ceramic pieces (earth) to dissipate the strength of wood, so use this remedy in conjunction with others.
The Metal Element is represented by anything that is made from metal, like brass or copper figurines and gold or silver jewelry. The Chinese consider clock to be metal in nature. Metal energy moves inward and, as the most dense of all the elemental energy forms. It has the power to condense and coagulate similar to the energy of the waning Moon.
Metal’s energy brings powerful and helpful people into your life. West and northwest are metal’s directions. Feng Shui masters suggest that you place a tiny gold bell in the northwest corner of your home to attract the help you need from others. Metal’s colors are white and gold, and its numbers are six and seven. Metal deficiency health problems involve the mouth, lungs, chest, heart, or head.
Metal is destroyed by fire, drained when used to nourish water, and dissolved by wood. Use red objects and strong lights to destroy excessive metal energy, or use wooden objects and plants to dissolve it.
The Five Elements interact according to their productive, or their destructive cycles.
The productive cycle describes wood producing fire which produces earth which produces metal which produces water which produces wood in a never-ending cycle.
The destructive cycle describes wood destroying earth which destroys water which destroys fire which destroys metal which destroys wood in a never-ending cycle.
In Feng Shui, the numbers 1 – 9 have special meanings, and all numbers reduce to a number between one and nine.
1: New Beginning, 2: Separation, 3: Communication, 4: Death, 5: Change, 6: Spiritual Help, 7: Hard Spiritual Lessons, 8: Prosperity, 9: Completion
Since most of us strive for prosperity, Feng Shui masters recommend that you have your house number equal 8. For example: The house number 731 equals 2 by adding 7+3+1=11, then 1+1=2. To get the house number to equal 8, you need to add 6 to it with clear fingernail polish. This is one of the most simple Feng Shui remedies and it works quite well.
Auspicious numbers are these numbers that end with all the lucky numbers: 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Each of these five numbers is a very lucky number, but the number 8 seems to be the most popular because the word for it sounds like ” Fa” which means prosperous growth in Chinese.
The number 9 is regarded as the premier number by most Feng Shui masters because it signifies the fullness of heaven and earth. The number 1, 6, and 8 together, in any order, are regarded as a most splendid combination representing many good luck.
Easy Ways to Revitalize Stagnant Chi
Do you feel listless, stuck in a rut and just hate your life? No need to fret. When life becomes dull and boring, sluggish and blah, when nothing excited or motivates you, you are probably suffering from an attack of stagnant Chi.
Stagnant Chi is energy turning stale due to a number of reasons, such as an illness, severe clutter, bad energy brought by negative people or simply things staying stagnant in a store room for too long. Stagnant Chi is the result of a build up of Yin energy. Here are some easy ways to deal with the stagnant Chi.
1. When you leave your home empty and unoccupied for a period of time, a good thing to do is to leave a radio on or leave some lights on, so the Chi does not become too stale. And, do not let your house feel unhappy, such as the house with dirty windows, peeling paint and un-mown grass.
2. Stillness and quiet can make a home too ZEN. Some homes are very Yin because there is insufficient movement or sound, and the Yang energy gets depleted. The solution is to create Yang Chi. Leave the radio or TV on to allow sound vibrations within the home to continue. No need for the volumes to stay too high, just let the energy replenishment take place at natural levels of sound. And also leave the foyer lights turned on during the night. And let the fresh air in by opening the windows for at least 5 minutes every morning.
3. Dark colors are depressing and heavy. When a home is decorated with mostly dark colors, it creates massive doses of Yin energy. Brighten up living, dining areas or the key corners of your home with Yang energy – white, bright lights, yellows and dashes of red. Use auspicious paintings, scatter cushions and curtains to bring in Yang energy. But, at the same time, don’t make too much Yang, always maintaining balance and harmony.
4. Get yourself a pet. Animals are an excellent source of Yang energy if you do not have kids. There is nothing more effective for raising Yang Chi by having the untiring energy of a dog or cat. Choose an animal that suits your lifestyle.
Watch for Cramped Spaces and Narrow Corridors
The two important things to look out for in interior feng shui are dark corners and cramped spaces in the home. This is where stagnant Chi can accumulate, creating stale energy that can cause illness, exhaustion, low energy and general lack of interest. Cramped spaces suggest life does not flow smoothly.
– Installing a mirror flanking a long and tight staircase will improve its feng shui.
– If the corner feels stale, revitalize with sounds and incense to make the Chi alive again.
– Hang pretty pictures and wall mirrors to improve and expand the space visually. This applies to narrow staircases or dark/long hallway. Just make sure you don’t hang wall mirrors directly facing the door.
– Paint walls a white or light color to expand a narrow space.
– Installing a soft warm light will further improve the flow of energy. Keep lights on as much as possible.
– Make sure cramped spaces are clean and free of clutter at all times.
– Small room that feel crowded benefit from light-colored soft furnishings.