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The Myths About Feng Shui

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Asia One Singapore

When you hear or read about Feng Shui, the first image that you picture is a cluster of wind chimes tinkling in the wind, the Ba Gua mirror that you mom placed outside the house or seeing the living room filled with numerous figurines of frogs and horses.

The practice of Feng Shui has become more accepted in recent years although a sense of mysticism continues to surround the practice. Detractors would argue that Feng Shui is merely a collection of myths, often pass off as old wives tales and helped along by the power of suggestion and self-fulfilling prophecies.

The true practice of Feng Shui or Classical Feng Shui began its life as Kan Yu about 1,500 years ago in China and was used primarily for burial sites. Classical Feng Shui is a well-documented field of study that emphasizes the harnessing of the direction and location of the Qi in the environment. It is used for assessing the quality of a person's life by looking at their living environment and seeking to improve the quality of their life by tapping into the natural energies - the Qi - of that environment.

To clear the air on what Feng Shui is NOT about, here are some common Feng Shui myths that most people will come across:

Placing Objects to Enhance Luck

Myth: Placing any objects of art, decor, painting or sculpture that looks and feels Asian anywhere in the house to activate the Feng Shu present. It is not uncommon to hear of people getting paranoid over a painting or statue they have at home just because a "Feng Shui expert" claimed the object was exuding negative Qi.

Fact: Contrary to popular beliefs, object placement, however aesthetically pleasing to the owner, does not do much to help enhance the overall Feng Shui of the property. The most it can do is to give your property a more classy and exquisite look and feel.

The Under Water Taboo

Myth: Having a water feature like a fish tank, a water tank or jacuzzi above you is unfavourable and negative as having water on top is a sign of suffocation and danger.

Fact: The purpose of water in Feng Shui is to help gather auspicious Qi. If a certain area in a property is identified as an area where the Qi is beneficial, water would be well suited in that sector of the house. Although common sense would dictate that water tanks have to be built above you as it is necessary to ensure adequate water pressure for the tank to function properly.

Unlucky Numbers Equals Bad Luck

Myth: House or car numbers with 'negative' numbers like '4' when spoken in Cantonese or Mandarin or in any other Chinese dialect, sounds like death or bad luck and must be avoided. Most Asians prefer to also buy properties or cars that have numbers like 1-6-8 or 888 to ensure a prosperous and lucky life.

Fact: While these sound prosperous, nice and even bad, numbers really do not carry any Feng Shui effects. Just because it sounds like it, does not mean that they are definitely auspicious or bad luck. This is just merely superstition.

The Elusive Love Sector

Myth: Enhancing the Love Corner of a house will immediately boost one's chance of improving one's love life and improve the chances of getting married sooner.

Fact: Feng Shui cannot create LOVE but it can help create opportunities. There is no specific 'love' corner that one can activate to help build relationships but there are types of Qi that will guide you in making you a more pleasant and attractive person. This can help boost your attractiveness and likeability to others.

The Mirror of Abundance

Myth: Placing a large mirror over the dinner room table means that the occupants living there will always have an abundance of food as it will be doubled by the reflection in the mirror.

Fact: If you want to double the food on your dining table, please cook more. A reflection in the mirror is merely an illusion because when the food is finished, it won't be in the mirrored world either. Mirrors cannot do more than just reflect what is present and not 'double your food' as you hoped.

The Auspicious 'Feng Shui' Fish

Myth: Keeping fish in a pond or tank will help absorb all the bad luck directed at the occupants. And rearing exotic fish with 'special' markings and colours will help enhance wealth and business luck for the owners.

Fact: A fish is just a fish and nothing else. Its main 'job' is to swim around in your fish tank or pond and to provide some entertainment or joy to you as a pet. And while rearing exotic fish is a beautiful and symbolic gesture, fishes do not have any special abilities or magical powers and it is in no way going to 'absorb' your bad luck or enhance wealth in any shape or form.

Combating 'Back-stabbing' at the Office

Myth: Sitting with your back to a window in the office is bad as it signifies a lack of support at work and if you stick a mirror to your PC and place a tortoise figurine behind you, it can help 'reflect' the Sha Qi that is emanating at you.

Fact: Mirrors and object placement are not considered a primary Feng Shui cure. Unless there are actual negative Feng Shui features such as sharp angles pointing directly into your window, mirrors do nothing more than provide a negligible effect for you. A better option is to simply keep the blinds of the window closed.

Auspicious Colours

Myth: Painting your kitchen, bedroom or living room in bright colours that represent the elements can enhance the room's Qi and luck.

Fact: Painting your rooms in a particular colour will hardly be of any effect in real Feng Shui analysis. What matters more is where your stove is located in the kitchen or what shape your rooms are in. The colours of your rooms and kitchen are yours to choose.

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