The practice of Feng Shui is often referred to as a system for living in “harmony with nature.” For me, this explanation conjures up images of fields and forests, when in fact most of us are living and working indoors. Does this mean you have to spend more time outdoors to achieve the kind of balance Feng Shui adherents are referring to? Does this mean that apartment dwellers and workaholics cannot enjoy good Feng Shui? Absolutely not!
While it is enviable that some people can spend a lot of time out doors and luxurious homes are often built in the scenic mountains or at the beach, there is also an unseen, powerful aspect of nature going on right inside your home, right inside every single structure built on this planet. The Chinese call it “chi” and East Indians call it “prana.” These energies exist within our own bodies and they also exist in our surroundings. There is a constant ebb and flow and co-mingling of energies inside our bodies and our immediate physical environment. And that is one reason why having a wood framed bed could have a different affect on you than a wrought iron bed frame. There is a transferring of energies from one object to another. And apparently there is plenty of room for this ebb and flow when we consider dark matter and quantum physics.
This is also why a blue room will have a different affect on your body than a yellow room. Everything in your physical environment can affect your body, intellect and emotions.
Many people have had an introduction to Feng Shui through the media and what gets discussed most often is the concept of “chi flow.” This often boils down to furniture arrangement and architectural features in how they affect invisible air currents within our home or work place. These energy flows are determined to be healthful or hurtful depending on a number of factors. For example, we like to arrange a desk so that you can see and sense incoming people into a room. Having your back to a door can be unsettling and the chi flow will be hitting your back. If there is substantial clutter in a room, it will inhibit a healthy circulation of the air currents in the room, eventually resulting in ill health for the occupant.
What is less known about traditional Feng Shui is how we can alter the magnetic field of a room using raw elements. These elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal.
An example of water is a fountain. Wood can be a live plant. Fire is real fire burning or a large display of red color. Earth is something really made or stone or soil. Metal can be copper, brass, bronze, gold or silver. Our own bodies possess ratios of these five elements as well, with our bones being an example of the earth element.
A common misunderstanding about Five-Element-Theory, even amongst Feng Shui enthusiasts, is that you can create balance by representing all these elements together in a room. This is the furthest thing from the truth. As elements, they have both a productive and a destructive relationship with each other. For example, water nurtures wood the way a plant is watered and it grows. This is an example of a productive relationship. However, water can destroy fire, so they are rarely put together in the same room.
And putting all the elements together will cancel out all their affects. So, to learn how to use the elements powerfully and correctly, one must train in the traditional Feng Shui schools in the same way that one studies Chinese medicine over a period of time and with qualified instructors.
In Feng Shui philosophy, we want to live in harmony with our own environment and the good news is that we can control a lot of those energies. Given that there is so much in this world which we cannot control, Feng Shui principles can provide both protection from harmful circumstances as well as ways to enhance areas that are already good, making them even better.
In 2009 (for one year), there was a particularly harmful energy residing in the west sector of every person’s home. This is one of nine different annual energies that can be calculated. And by using a compass and learning how to divide up a floor plan, you can learn how to locate the west sector or any direction within your home. For some people the west sector is a relatively unimportant area like a bathroom or dining room. For others, that harmful annual energy could have had a big influence if the west sector was someone’s bedroom or entrance. This annual energy was related to sickness, depression, bleeding or miscarriage. It is a type of earth energy that is obviously considered negative and it needs to be weakened or depleted so that it will not have an influence on the occupants. Metal happens to be the element which will drain or weaken this annual influence, also called the 2 star.
This is just one example of using Five Element Theory correctly and strategically to improve health and well-being. What would be a disaster waiting to happen would be a large display of red color (fire element) is placed anywhere this 2 star happens to reside in any given year. Fire strengthens earth and you do not want to strengthen a visiting energy that can cause sickness, depression, or bleeding.
Every house is a combination of positive and negative influences, permanent as well as transitory. This is why Feng Shui can be called a predictive art like astrology: because some permanent energies are determined based on when a structure is built and others come and go with yearly cycles.
Author: Kartar Diamond
Company: Feng Shui Solutions ®
From the Health and Personal Matters Blog Series