I learned a few feng shui basics some years ago, thanks to a friend.
Clutter makes me cranky. I didn't realize that was the problem, but she knew why I felt irritated a lot of the time.
It's amazing what decluttering your life and adding a few plants can do for your mood.
She'd seen my house in its natural state and been there more than once to help me frantically clean before guests arrived.
There's more to feng shui basics than a few plants, however.
Don't take my word for it, though:
Once you learn more about feng shui and try these feng shui basics, see if they don't change your life for the better!
Feng Shui Means Wind And Water
The ancient Chinese art of feng shui is a method of placing objects in the right spot to achieve maximum energy flow.
Because feng shui aims to manifest harmony between humans and our environment.
The name itself — feng shui — which means wind and water, illustrates the idea.
We can't see life force energy, but we can imagine how it works, through observing how water flows over, under, and around things.
Or similarly, even though we can't see the wind, we feel a breeze as it touches our face.
Goals — feng shui basics
The life force energy that's carried around by wind and water is called ch'i or qi.
You pronounce it like this — chee.
Here's the thing:
Ch'i flows through everything: you, your dog, the trees, and even your car!
And that's not all:
Like most things in life, there is positive, which we call yun ch'i, and negative, which we call sha ch'i.
“In it's highest and purest form, good feng shui signifies perfect alignment between inner and outer worlds.”
― Lada Ray
Keep It Light, Keep It Airy
If you want a quick jump start, before we get into the details of feng shui basics, you can use these ideas to lighten things up right away.
Avoid manufacturing bad Ch'i.
Get rid of anything that's dead: no dead plants, no dead anything.
If you clear the clutter, as I did, you'll feel a lot better almost instantly, from my experience.
One more thing, notice pointy objects. You shouldn't let anything with a point aim in your direction.
Everything Is Connected
Simply stated, the purpose of feng shui basics is to enable the removal of all the things that block our ch'i to keep it flowing freely, so it doesn't get stuck and cause us problems.
Much like the wind blows the clouds away and water washes us clean, so does feng shui harmonize our life with free-flowing ch'i.
And there's more :
The five elements
Water and wind carry the life force.
Yet, they're only two of the five elements that continuously interact with each other, always moving and changing to shape our environments.
Each element has a corresponding color, shape, and meaning, too.
You see, the idea is that balancing all five elements creates harmony.
And we don't stop there:
One more thing before we get into feng shui basics for your home.
You've probably seen the yin yang symbol.
It's even a favorite tattoo, but it's so much more than a cool tat to show off your spirituality.
There's a relationship between our ch'i and yin and yang.
Think about this for a moment:
“The dance between darkness and light will always remain— the stars and the moon will always need the darkness to be seen, the darkness will just not be worth having without the moon and the stars.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Dark and passive, yin manifests in Ch'i as something that is solid, heavy, moist, and cold.
Yin is descending. In other words, it's always moving downward.
Yin's opposite, yang is light and shapeless. It's hot, dry, warm, and aggressive.
Yang is ascending, always moving upward.
Yin and yang, like our Ch'i — our life force — is ever moving, always changing.
We can't experience joy without knowing what it feels like to be sad.
Where Ch'i is the flow, yin yang is all about balance.
The key, then, to feng shui is to understand that there's positive and negative in everything, and it is all important and necessary to experience life to its fullest.
You must go with the flow to gain balance in life.
Now we're getting down to the nitty-gritty of feng shui basics.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to feng shui basics, but we're going to look at two of them.
The traditional form of feng shui uses a compass, which is why it's called the compass school.
Chinese history books describe how around 2005 BC, a turtle emerged from the River Luo with nine numbers arranged in a grid on his back. The numbers were arranged in such a way that when they were added vertically, horizontally or diagonally, they always added up to fifteen. This is referred to as a “Magic Square.”
Here's what you need to know:
There are a total of nine "Ba," or squares. Eight of them relate to compass directions, and the ninth represent you — your life or your home.
Each Ba has a color and element which are used to balance a space. The area that the ba covers is called the gua.
The bagua energy map helps determine what parts of your space line up to which energy.
You can't do feng shui without knowing this piece of vital information.
Compass school bagua energy map
Have a look:
Winter — cold and darkness
Symbolizes long life and endurance
Color and animal black — black tortoise
Spring — new growth and blue seas
Symbolizes majesty and magnificence
Color and animal — azure dragon
Autumn — snow-capped mountains
Symbolizes bravery and strength
Color and animal — white tiger
Summer — warmth and light
Symbolizes vitality beauty and goodness
Color and animal — red phoenix
Take A Compass Reading With Your iPhone
You heard right — thanks to technology, we can use the old-school method with modern convenience.
If using a compass to feng shui your house sounds intimidating, no worries, you can try the western method and use a grid.
Western Feng Shui — Black Hat School (BTB)
One big difference between the two schools is that the compass school takes into account everything outside of the space as well as inside.
The western tradition concentrates on your space.
In the new age western tradition of feng shui, the energy map is an eight-section grid, plus the center representing you.
Here's another difference:
Instead of using a compass, we use the front door to align the bagua.
Alrighty, then. There are nine areas on the grid which you'll use to define the energies in your home.
The center gua, health, and balance, represent what you're seeking.
BTB bagua energy grid
Abundance & Prosperity — wealth, happiness, peace — Number 4 — Color: Purple — Element: Yin wood Shape: Rectangle — Name: xun
Fame & Reputation — recognition — Number 9 — Color: Red — Element: Fire — Season: Summer — Shape: Triangle — Name: li
Relationships & Love — partners — Number 2 — Color: Pink — Element: Yin Earth — Shape: square — Name: kun
New Beginnings & Growth — family — Number 3 — Color: Green — Element: Yang wood —Shape: Rectangle — Name: zhen
Health & Balance — center — Number 5 — Color: Goldenrod — Element: Earth — Shape: Square — Name: tai chi
Children & Creativity — joy — Number 7 — Color: White — Element: Yin Metal — Season: Autumn — Shape: Circle — Name: dui
Skills & Knowledge — self-cultivation — Number 8 — Color: Royal blue — Element: Yang earth — Shape: Square — Name: gen
Path in Life — career — Number 1 — Color: Black — Element: Water — Season: Winter — Shape: Wavy line — Name: kan
Benefactors — travel — Number 6 — Color: Grey — Element: Yang metal — Shape: Circle — Name: qian
Using the bagua energy grid for feng shui basics
You might be intimidated by all this information. But using the bagua energy grid is easier than you think.
Image via: clipgoo.com
Place the bagua over your layout
Align the bottom or north sector of the bagua map over the front side of your home layout.
While the north direction defines the front side of your home, your front door may fall within one of the gua on the bottom edge of the grid.
Image via: gowithharmony.com
Get familiar with the areas on your map
Now you can use the map to help strengthen various areas of your life, such as career, money, relationships, and health.
Why You Need Feng Shui
To create energy and good vibes.
Feng Shui Cures
A cure in the world of feng shui is something that helps ch'i flow.
Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant — Think air quality and bringing nature indoors
- Open the windows to create air flow
- Put away the electronics — No electronics in the bedroom
- Add a variety of shapes — Think of the five elements
- Take off your shoes and store them — Energy gets stuck to your shoes
- Surround yourself with light — Darkness can represent neglect
- Proper bed placement — Keep both sides accessible — Placed diagonally across the door
- Get rid of clutter — I said this a few times, and it bears repeating
The idea behind feng shui cures is to keep the chi moving and balance out the energies in your environment.
Here are some objects to help:
This cure energizes and heals as it aligns with the universal life force brought in by the wind.
Windchimes transmit sounds and harmonize the noise in our brains, awakening creativity and intuition.
A traditional style of Chinese wind chimes, bamboo helps us to relax.
It's believed that bamboo wind chimes bring good fortune, peace, and lots of money.
Plus, the soothing sound of bamboo chimes is said to help with health issues.
Metal is the element that relates to the north, west and north-west zones.
These chimes activate our professional life.
So if you want to you attract professional success and opportunities, use metal wind chimes. Place them above the areas that can help you balance the energies in your best advantage.
What's more, is that they will optimize the Chi energy wherever you hang them.
The sound of flowing water is not only relaxing, but it also keeps the ch'i moving.
Here are a few DOs and DON'Ts:
- Place the fountain in front of the entrance of the house
- Try to put the fountain outside but if that's not possible, indoors is okay
- If you want to enhance your career place the fountain on the north end
- Put it in an eastern location for optimum health
- South-east placement attracts money, which is why a compass comes in handy
- Make sure the fountain is always flowing and doesn't get clogged
- Make sure the water’s flowing towards the house
- Use filtered water to protect the pump
- Make sure you can't hear the pump
- Remember not touse more than one fountain at the entrance — it's overkill and will turn negative
- Don't let the water flow away from the house or you'll send your money in the wrong direction
- Don’t put the fountain to the south because it'll put out your fire
- No fountain in the bedroom
- Or the kitchen
- Don't put a fountain in the bathroom, either
- Or under a staircase
- Don't use a fountain if it's broken
- No clutter
- The fountain shouldn't block the entrance to your home
As a cure, mirrors are a little tricky. So we'll stick to these feng shui basics.
Have a look:
- Mirrors double everything they reflect
- Always make sure the reflection is something you want to see
- Do not place the mirror in front of the bathroom or a trash can
- Do not place mirrors opposite of each other as this will cause a lack of concentration
- One mirror per wall
- Keep it simple with one mirror per room
- Always make sure the mirror reflects your entire face
- If a mirror cuts off part of your head's reflection, it causes headaches and bad luck
Feng Shui Symbols
As you can imagine, there are a vast array of feng shui symbols.
Here are a few:
Year of the earth pig
Chinese New Year in 2019 started on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019, and will end January 24th, 2020.
So, until January 24th, 2020 we are in the year of the earth pig.
A few things to keep in mind
There are lucky numbers, colors, days, and directions
- Numbers — Four, six, and eight
- Colors — Yellow, gray, brown, golden
- Days — the 2nd, the 7th, the 10th, the 11th day of every month
- Directions — southeast, northeast
Pi Yao figurines
The Pi Yao is one of the most popular symbols used in Feng Shui. It's the ninth son of the heavenly dragon.
Pi Yao lives in heaven, and they are shown sitting on Chinese coins to signify the protection of your money and property, making it a powerful wealth and luck enhancer.
But there's more:
Chinese Feng Shui Dragon
Dragons are powerful feng shui cures that need to be handled correctly.
Follow these guidelines:
- Place your feng shui dragon in an open space with good Chi flow.
- Be sure your feng shui dragon is facing the house to bring in wealth and prosperity
- Don't set your dragon in a window looking outward because that's sending your luck the wrong way
- Likewise, don't let the dragon face a wall or get stuck in a corner
- Give the dragon room and don't place other cures too close
- Show the feng shui dragon respect and give them room as their energy can go either way
And then theres Buddha:
We can't forget the happy Buddha because this cure is definitely one of our feng shui basics.
Choose a bigger statue if you want to have the laughing Buddha in your home or at work. He loves his tummy rubbed, and if you do it, he will bring you wealth and prosperity.
To determine your lucky direction, you must first know your lucky number.
Here are the basics:
In Feng Shui, the eight-mansion theory determines the four good and four bad directions that bring energy into our lives.
Basically, there are two groups of people:
East Group — People have kua numbers 1,3,4,9
And the West Group — People have kua numbers 2,6,7,8
The calculation of kua number starts with the year you were born in, according to Chinese Solar Calendar.
Beijing’s forbidden city is laid out according to feng shui principles, with a man-made mountain behind it and two rivers dug to its east and west. Today, pairs of Guardian Lions, or Fu Dogs, are placed with the male on the left and female on the right of entrances to homes, businesses, and temples to protect the inhabitants.
How to calculate your number
Female and male energies differ and so does the way we calculate their feng shui birth number.
Image by Midia via pexels.com
For guys —
- Add the last two numbers of your year of birth. If it's 0, use 10 instead — 1981 = 9
- Now subtract one from the number you get if you were born before the Chinese Lunar New Year
- If your result is a single number, go to the next step.
- If it contains two numbers, add the numbers together to get a single digit
- And if you were born before 2000, subtract the single digit you get from 10
- If you were born after 2000, subtract the single digit from 9
- If the result is a double-digit, then add the digits to get a single digit number
- This is your kua number
Image by nappy via pexels.com
For the ladies —
- Add the last two numbers of your year of birth — 1984 = 12
- Now subtract one from the number you get if you were born before the Chinese Lunar New Year
- For those born after the Chinese Lunar New Year, skip this step.
- If the result is a single number, then go to the next step
- But if it's a double-digit, add the numbers together — 24 = 2+4 = 6
- If you were born before 2000, add 5 to the single digit
- If you were born after 2000 add 6 instead.
- Again, if the result is a double-digit, then add the digits to get a single digit number.
- This is you kua number
Now you can use the chart below to determine your personal optimal feng shui.
- Feng Shui Directions -
Number: 1 — Best direction: North — Success: Southeast — Health: East — Love and relationships: South Personal growth: North
Number: 2 — Best direction: Southwest — Success: Northeast — Health: West — Love and relationships —Northwest — Personal growth: Southwest
Number:3 — Best direction: East — Success: South — Health: North — Love and relationships: Southeast — Personal growth: East
Number: 4 — Best direction: Southeast — Success: North — Health: South — Love and relationships: East — Personal growth: Southeast
Number: 5 — Best direction: Male Southwest — Success: Northeast — Health: West — Love and relationships: Northwest — Personal growth: Southwest
Number: 6 — Best direction: Female Northeast — Success: Southwest — Health: Northwest — Love and relationships: West — Personal growth: Northeast
Number: 7 — Best direction: Northwest — Success: West — Health: Northeast — Love and relationships: Southwest — Personal growth: Northwest
Number: 8 — Best direction: West — Success: Northwest — Health: Southwest — Love and relationships: Northeast — Personal growth: West
Number: 9 — Best direction: Northeast — Success: Southwest — Health: Northwest — Love and relationships: West — Personal growth: Northeast
Number: 10 — Best direction: South — Success: East — Health: Southeast — Love and relationships: North — Personal growth: South
If yin energy fills your home, it can affect your mood and sap your strength.
So, here's the goal:
The idea is to bring in some yang and get things balanced.
Stagnant Ch'i makes you feel tired, unproductive, and uninterested.
Use sounds to get the flow going again. Clear your space and recharge your mind.
As you've probably guessed by now, feng shui basics aren't all that basic. Feng shui is a complex and ancient process.
Here's the bottom line:
We can tap into the life-giving force of Ch'i, and we can learn what to do with these feng shui basics to help it flow freely.
Feng shui is a personal growth system as much as it is a way for you to organize and declutter your house.
The more you study and work with the colors, symbols, numbers, and feng shui basics of arranging your home, the closer you will come to achieving balance and harmony in your life.
Start incorporating these feng shui basics into your life today!