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Feng shui: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Friday, July 10, 2015
The Edge Property
By: Dato' Joey Yap

There's been a rise in interest in feng shui in recent years, thanks to the availability of information online.

This has opened doors for the general public to approach the subject and discover what feng shui can do for their homes, and their lives.

However, this same easy access has also led to a much confused thinking about feng shui. Unfortunately, many homeowners now fret over things which have nothing to do with feng shui.

To clear things up, here are some things you shouldn’t pay attention to:

The types of plants that you keep at home are generally harmless and have no effect in classical feng shui. Having several pots of money plant is not going to bring you more moolah. Conversely, planting cactuses at home does no harm. Just because it has pointy needles, this does not mean that it is emitting sha qi (inauspicious qi) at you or the occupants of your home.

The same applies to placing “auspicious plants”, like peonies, in the home. Though beautiful to have in any home, peonies do nothing in feng shui to enhance your love life.

And fear not if you do not have peonies at home; it has no significance in feng shui for your love life (though giving flowers to your partner might win you brownie points or get you out of the dog house!)

Plants, figurines and furniture have their significance in Chinese culture, but this does not mean they actually have any feng shui significance. By all means, if you like having Chinese-inspired furniture or even a Chinese-styled garden, then go for it. However, if you do not, your feng shui will not be affected. Your taste in foliage or furnishing plays no part in feng shui at all.

Many people obsess incessantly about putting up paintings of waterfalls, deities, sailing ships and ponds with gold fishes because they believe this will attract good qi into their home. The truth is that paintings — like plants and furniture — are merely testament to your personal taste and expression. As long as the painting gives you pleasure to look at, then buy it and place it anywhere in your house.

There are really no feng shui rules when it comes to the placement of art in your home because it has nothing to do with feng shui to begin with. Remember, you’re buying inspiration, not superstition.

Another common feng shui misconception concerns colours. Some people believe painting your house red and gold will immediately attract great wealth and fortune.

Painting your home in bold and bright colours is imaginative, and purely symbolic. Any supposed feng shui benefits said to come from this is a false interpretation of feng shui. The colour a building or its interior is painted in does nothing to attract good qi into the property. Have your roof or walls painted in any colour you like.

Now, we come to mirrors. Should you be concerned if your house faces a property that has a Ba Gua mirror? The answer is, no. While Ba Gua mirrors may have historical significance, they have no feng shui significance.

Many people assume the Ba Gua is a feng shui tool when it is, in fact, nothing more than a diagram indicating a mathematical model of the universe. Symbols like the Ba Gua mirror only have power over those who believe in them.

What about house numbers? The phobia about certain “inauspicious” numbers has no bearing on whether you will have auspicious luck living in the property. If you live in unit number 14 on the fourth floor of block number four, and you like it there, carry on.

Sure, we like our cherished possessions to have meaningful names and numbers, but with feng shui, we are talking about the qi in the environment — which has nothing to do with your house number.

What’s relevant?

Now, we understand what’s not relevant to feng shui and why, we can move on to the stuff that matters. The external environment of your home affects its feng shui significantly.

This is why a gorgeously landscaped garden and pathway with plants and trees that is the pride of any proud homeowner can make a difference to your home’s feng shui too. Such a land feature can help direct auspicious qi into your property.

However, be careful with the placement of external bodies of water such as ponds created by landscaping, rock gardens or rock waterfalls. Water is a significant element in feng shui, and its placement according to the sectors of the compass will yield different outcomes. It is advisable to seek professional advice in the placement of water features in or outside your home.

One external structure that should be considered for evaluation is the presence of lamp posts and other tall structures, for example, electrical pylons located in the vicinity of the house. The concern here is the location of these lamp posts, not their symbolism. Their feng shui effect is accentuated when these tall structures could be blocking your main door of your home as you look directly out from it. As long as they do not block the view of the Main Door, then their negative effect on the feng shui of your property should be minimal.

After the external environment of your home, the main door, the kitchen and bedroom of your home are the three most important features that must be evaluated.

The importance of a main door is that it is essentially the “qi mouth” or the main entry point for qi, of your home. This is the primary entrance for qi to flow in from the external environment.

The kitchen is the second-most important feature that needs to be evaluated because it is the “heart” of the home, and it governs the general health of those who live in it.

The same principle applies to the bedroom — the third most important feature of any home — for this is where all occupants go to at the end of the day to rest, rejuvenate their minds, bodies and generate good health and vitality.

Evaluating the feng shui of your house is not a hard thing to do once you’re able to understand the principles by which you determine the positive and negative feng shui features in your home.

When you begin to understand what feng shui really is, you can start focusing your efforts towards identifying the positive features when evaluating the feng shui of your property.

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