Feng Shui All The Way
External factors have a significant impact on our internal homeostasis. Just like your body, your home should be a sanctuary — a space that represents you and your unique path in life. This is where feng shui comes into play.
Developed over 3,000 years ago, feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is the ancient Chinese art and science of placement. In Chinese, feng means wind (the breath of life) and shui means water (the liquid of life). It says that everyone and everything has an energy, or chi. Through feng shui, you can learn to enhance, guide and balance the chi flow of your external environment to promote internal well-being. This is what a nourished Home Base is all about.
By understanding the basic concepts of feng shui, you can create a happier, more harmonious home...and life. Here’s what you need to know:
Chi, or feng shui energy, is the term for the universal life force. Chi manifests itself in different colors, yin and yang characteristics and forms according to the feng shui five elements theory.
- Sheng chi, or beneficial chi, is linked to good feng shui.
- Si chi, or unhealthy chi, is linked to bad feng shui.
- Sha chi, or harmful chi, is linked to killing feng shui.
Yin and Yang ~
According to ancient Chinese philosophy, yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) are the two opposing yet interconnected forces of the universe. One is not complete without the other, as each is defined by the other. Sheng chi (the one you want!) is achieved when yin and yang are in balance in your surrounding environment.
- Yin energy is passive, accepting, intimate, cool and wet; symbolized by the moon and nighttime. Dominant yin elements, like calm colors (blues and greens), odd numbers and soft music, are ideal to bring relaxing energy to your bedroom and bathroom.
- Yang energy is active, dynamic, vibrant, hot and dry; symbolized by the sun and daytime. Dominant yang elements, like warm colors (reds and oranges), even numbers and bright lights, are best for kitchen and dining spaces.
Before we get into the five elements, let's take a moment to marvel at the mystery of the bagua...
The Bagua ~
The bagua, or feng shui energy map, is the main tool used to analyze the energy of any given space. The octagonal template has eight trigrams and a center area. Each bagua area is associated with a specific trigram — and arranged to represent the energies of the elements, compass directions, colors, numbers and the essential life areas. The bagua will help you choose the best feng shui cures to promote sheng chi in your space.
*image via here
The Five Elements ~
One of the most fundamental principles of feng shui is the five elements: water, wood, fire, earth and metal (in that order of flow). Each element governs an area, and is connected to a specific color, number and shape. To achieve good feng shui, all five elements must be present and in balance.
- Water (ease and abundance) is the dominant element of the North bagua area. East and Southeast bagua areas also benefit from a strong water element.
- Wood (growth and vitality) is the dominant element of the East and Southeast bagua areas.
- Fire (passion and high energy) is the dominant element of the South bagua area.
- Earth (nourishment and stability) is the dominant element of the Northeast and Southwest bagua areas.
- Metal (clarity and precision) is the dominant element of the West and Northwest bagua areas.
Feng Shui Cycles ~
The feng shui elements interact according to two main cycles.
- In the Productive Cycle, each element strengthens the element that comes after it, while moving in a clockwise direction. Water nurtures → Wood nurtures → Fire nurtures → Earth nurtures → Metal nurtures → Water.
- In the Destructive Cycle, each element has the ability to dominate the element across from it, while moving in the shape of a star. Water weakens → Fire weakens → Metal weakens → Wood weakens → Earth weakens → Water.
Kua Number ~
Here’s the deal...different people have different energy needs. According to feng shui, the Kua number energetically divides us into two groups: East (1, 3, 4, 9) and West (2, 5, 6, 7, 8). It’s most commonly used to help determine an individual’s lucky and unlucky directions. This is particularly relevant when it comes to placing feng shui cures.
Feng Shui Cures ~
From the use of colors and light to mirrors and plants, feng shui offers a variety of cures to help create a happy home or office.
Clutter: Clutter is the junkfood of the home. The first step towards sheng chi is clearing the clutter. Let go of what no longer serves you (aka get rid of everything you don’t need). Clutter can create blockages and stagnant energy. In a clear, organized space energy is able to flow freely.
Light: As with most things, natural light is always preferable. Feng shui emphasizes maximizing the energy that comes from nature...and this includes light. Take advantage of bright sunlight during the day and the moon’s glow at night. If your space is lacking natural light, incandescent task lamps can help increase ambient light.
Color: Color can profoundly impact our moods and emotions. When used properly, color is one of the easiest ways to shift the energy of a space. In feng shui, each color is connected to one of the five elements. The best practice is to choose color according to the element you want to strengthen and energy you want to bring into your space.
- Feng shui practitioners (and Sakaralites) believe that the kitchen is the most important part of the home; it’s the room that sustains life. What we eat nourishes us physically, mentally and emotionally. Where we prepare and eat should nourish us energetically. The feng shui color of sunshine, yellow lightens and brightens any room, and is a cheerful and welcoming choice for your kitchen.
- Red carries the passionate energy of the fire element. Used sparingly, it can bring excitement and sexual desire to your bedroom. If overused, it can lead to overstimulation...and even anger. Try incorporating red with accessories (like throw pillows) versus painting an entire wall.
- In feng shui, white signifies new beginnings and possibilities. A metal element color, white carries clear and fresh energy. A coat of crisp white paint will bring the energy of new possibilities into your home office.
Plants: There are a multitude of benefits of adding greenery into your space. Plants improve air quality, bring healthy energy and brighten any space. Plants are considered a powerful feng shui cure, representing growth, prosperity and good luck. A feng shui-friendly plant, like lucky bamboo or jade (money tree), is an excellent way to bring natural energy and good fortune to your office.
Crystals: Crystals have been used in feng shui for centuries to create sheng chi. There are many types of crystals and just as many ways to use them in your home.
- Rose quartz attracts love, strengthens relationships and promotes healing when it comes to matters of the heart. For these reasons, it’s commonly used as a cure in the Southwest bagua area (love and relationships).
- Amethyst purifies negative energy and provides spiritual guidance, making it a powerful feng shui cure for the Northeast bagua area (spiritual growth and self-cultivation).
Mirrors: One of the most popular and powerful feng shui cures, mirrors are an expression of the water element. They offer calming energy, making them ideal for stressful environments as well as spaces that can benefit from a little extra zen.
Window Treatments: A room with a view, sign us up! But be warned, the wrong window treatments can throw off the chi of your entire room. Especially when it comes to your more intimate spaces, opt for fabric shades and curtains over clunky wood shutters and metal blinds.
Happy, healthy and harmonious feng shui’ing, Sakaralites!