This “Part 2” article features common update questions and begins with how live plants are treated.
The Wood Element is best represented by a live plant and there is also a pdf file with examples of the Wood Element on my FOR CLIENTS page. The understandable question is “How could a live plant ever be bad?” We know that indoor plants can filter the air and also help people emotionally, since most of us spend way too much time indoors and need to be around “nature” any which way we can.
Within Five Element Theory, the WOOD element depletes EARTH, like a plant depleting the soil it grows in. And there is one kind of earth element we do NOT want to weaken in your home or business. It is the 8 earth Wealth Star. We don’t want to undermine the 8 star because it is also related to the bones, muscles, hands, fingers, and joints. The 8 star can also represent a child and we don’t want more pressure on a child than whatever they are already dealing with. This imbalance can even undermine fertility.
If you are a client of mine, when you refer to your floor plan, you will see the “flying stars” posted outside each directional zone. If you see an 8 star, that is a permanent one and unless there is some special exception to the rule, then generally you don’t want live plants in that area. I also identify where the annual (temporary) 8 star is in every update.
Fake plants can go anywhere, but the live plant has a nervous system and is considered the WOOD phase. There is also a distinction between WOOD and EARTH, although a live plant in a large pot of soil is a mixture of both wood and earth elements. I might find some justification for recommending both in your personal space. Very large displays of dark green color can also resonate a little of the Wood Phase so this is why I sometimes note in an update (or the original report) to not have a dark green bed spread or wall color or other large surface areas with a strong green color.
Additionally, sometimes I have recommended a live plant as a way to buffer or re-direct qi (chi) flow in the house, such as when there is a direct alignment with a front door and back door. Here the live plant serves a completely different purpose and I am careful to consider the unseen flying star energies in that location.
You may enjoy reading my first book, Feng Shui for Skeptics, where I debunk a lot of feng shui myths, including the one about dried flower arrangements having bad feng shui.
What’s the Deal with Metal Weights?
The metal element is needed in many homes and businesses. When it is not naturally occurring (in furnishings and appliances), I recommend metal which can otherwise still be functional or beautiful like a bronze statue.
However, for anyone on a budget or anyone who likes their furnishings exactly as they are, this is when I recommend the inexpensive work-out weights, kettle bells and barbells. They slip behind and under furnishings and no one has to know that there is 100 pounds of metal behind the couch. When clients go hunting for their metal remedies, one common question is “How about coated metal weights?” You should avoid the metal weights which are covered in rubber or plastic because that is going to muffle some of their effectiveness.
In fact, some of those work-out weights are coated concrete! In the same way that a steel infrastructure (covered over in drywall) is not that effective in a room, likewise, the metal should be more exposed to the qi in the room. I have told clients that it’s okay to place metal behind desks and under beds, where needed, but the ideal is in fact to have the metal more exposed to the “air” in the room whenever possible. And common sense dictates that we are not putting metal where someone can easily stub their toes on it or be some other danger with small children around.
Volume of water for indoor fountains or aquariums? This topic is always covered in an initial consultation and it doesn’t change for annual recommendations. The average indoor fountain or fish bowl should hold at least a few quarts of water. A gallon or more can be even better. What you are trying to do is change the magnetic field in a certain area and being timid with any of the elements may not get you the desired result. So, the amount of water you use boils down to (like the pun?) how much space you have for the water and how much your budget can afford.
If someone has a 60 gallon aquarium in an area that needs water, that is good too! But any aquarium used for feng shui purposes needs to have a partially open top so that the water and the air touch each other. Sealed up aquariums do not work, and neither do sealed up water beds or jugs of bottled water. If you happen to need water in a kitchen or bathroom, the water there that leaves through plumbing does not count. You would then need some other source of water which stays in the environment to work.
Author: Kartar Diamond
Company: Feng Shui Solutions ®
From the Frequent Client Questions Blog Series