Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is a powerful tool used to assess, adjust and create a harmonious and balanced environment. Feng Shui derives from the I Ching, or Book of Changes and has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a tool used to understand the relationship between people and the spaces they live or work in.
In Feng Shui it is believed that certain parts of the home correspond to key aspects of one’s life. The practice of Feng Shui involves looking at your goals, aspirations as well as any challenges or obstacles that you may be facing. A tool called a Bagua (map) is used to analyze your space to identify what is going on in your life.
The Bagua (Ba-gua) map that is superimposed over the floor plan of your home, property, room or office. Each area or “gua” has a governing element, energy and color and corresponds to different aspects of your life: health; wealth; fame/reputation; marriage/relationship; children/creativity; travel; career; and knowledge.
You can use the Bagua to map out the entire home or to map out a single room.
Your space is then assessed for: Chi Flow, Balance of Yin and Yang and the Balance of the Five Elements
Things flow more smoothly when we align ourselves the natural energy of the Universe.
Ideally, the energy “chi” should not be hindered in any way; It should flow easily into and meander throughout your space, filling it with positive energy. The energy comes in mainly from the front door, the “mouth of chi”. It shouldn’t move too fast or become stagnate.
When the “chi” is ideal and flowing freely, it will bring about positive circumstances in your life. If on the other hand, you have overgrown bushes by your front door, or clutter in your entry way, the energy flow will becomes disrupted and depleted, creating disharmony within the environment and in turn affecting those that live in the home.
Yin and Yang is the concept of duality; the balance between two extremes, opposite yet complimentary forces that exist in everything. Yin symbolizes the feminine, receptive aspect of life and Yang symbolizes the masculine, active side.
Most people are comfortable when their environment strikes a balance. For example, a room that has too much yang, high ceilings, a lot of windows, bright colors, sparsely furnished, sharp angles, may feel sterile or cold. Conversely, a room that is too yin, a room that is dark with a lot of furniture, knick knacks, heavy drapes, lots of patterns, may feel claustrophobic.
Below are a few examples of the qualities of Yin and Yang:
Cool/Cold Warm/Hot Dark
Everything physical on this earth – human beings included – are made up of a combination of the elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Therefore, our home or workplace is most comfortable when there is a balance of all five elements.
Below is a list of each Element, its characteristic/ energy type, and examples of various objects, shapes and colors that are representative of each. (see my article The Five Elements for more info)
- Anything made of brick, ceramic, or clay
- Art depicting earthy landscapes
- Square, rectangular, long flat surfaces
- Yellow and earth tone colors
Fire: The Energy of Expansion
- Lighting, candles, fireplaces, natural sunlight
- Pets and wildlife
- Artwork depicting people and/or animals
- Items made from animals such as fur, leather, feathers, and wood
- Triangular shaped object including pyramids and cones
- Red and orange spectrum of color
- Anything made of wood, wood furniture, paneling, and accessories.
- All plants and flowers
- Plant based fabric and textiles such as cotton and rayon
- Floral print fabric, wall paper, upholstery, window treatments
- Artwork depicting landscapes, flowers, plants, gardens
- Rectangular shapes and Columns (tree trunk shapes), pedestals, poles, stripes, etc.
- Green and blue spectrum of color
- Anything made of metal (stainless, copper, aluminum, silver, brass, gold, iron)
- Rocks, stones (marble and granite), natural crystals, gems
- Art or sculpture made of rock or stone
- Circular or oval shapes, arches
- White, gray and light pastel spectrum of colors
- Any type of water feature such as rivers, ponds, pools, fountains, aquarium, bird bath
- Reflective surfaces such as mirrors, glass, cut crystal
- Artwork or accessories depicting water, seashells, fish, etc.
- Asymmetrical, free-flowing shapes
- Dark spectrum of colors such as black, dark blue, charcoal gray
The Five Elements interact with each other in what is referred to as a Creative or Nourishing Cycle and a Destructive or Controlling Cycle. For more information please read my article The Five Elements
Once your space is analyzed and goals and intentions identified, adjustments/ enhancements are made to the corresponding area (Gua). These adjustments and enhancements may include the rearrangement of furniture, adding color, or the placement of artwork and/or meaningful and symbolic objects.
As you practice Feng Shui you will soon see your environment reflect back to your life and vice versa. This is a result of Law of Attraction at work and how “like attracts like”.
Feng Shui is a fascinating and powerful way to create a nurturing and supportive environment and when aligned with your intentions, will help you achieve your goals and aspirations, manifesting the life that you deserve.