Frequently Asked Questions

“Since we believe that much of Feng Shui needs to be personalized, the following should be considered SUGGESTIONS rather than answers.”

My seventeen year old son has a poster on his wall of two nubile young women in their Calvin Klein underwear kissing each other! And another of Carmen Electra looking very sexy bent over in a thong. Are these messages affecting him? Should I push for their removal?

I believe that what we see does indeed effect us. At a deep soul level he is choosing beautiful, sexy women. The one of two women kissing, however, might be telling him that the girl might get the girl. Or perhaps it’s a fantasy. You’ve said he’s having trouble with his girlfriend. Remind him that if she goes into his room, she is also effected by the posters. Perhaps she is even effected without knowledge of the posters. The big question is “what does he want in life and in love”? Those desires should be represented and placed on his walls. So instead of pushing for removal, push for a conversation about his intent. Once he gets the notion that what he sees is what he’s going to get, he may make his own changes.

Is Feng Shui a religion?

No! It is not a religion. It does however rise from Taoist beliefs and is a means of becoming more spiritually centered. Like the Native Americans who try to live in harmony with the earth by showing reverence for all living things, many who utilize the concepts of Feng Shui are trying to rearrange their life style in a way in which they can live in harmony with their surroundings as well as themselves. Practicing Feng Shui usually means you are ready to treat yourself with more love and respect.

I live in a New Orleans “Shotgun” house. (That’s a straight house on a narrow lot, one room behind the next. The name comes from the idea of if you shot from the the front door it would pass straight through and out the back door!). I do have a small hall where the bathroom is. My question is how do the Feng Shui sectors apply to this type of house?

As you know, that’s pretty bad Feng Shui to have an “in one end and out the other home”, but they are charming. Before dividing it into sectors, slow down the Chi with furniture arrangement, changing floor treatments, distracting artwork or flower arrangements, especially with spot lighting.Dispersing the Chi as it first enters can also help. This can be done with faceted crystals and bushy plants. Then place the bagua over the house orienting on the front door and stretch it lengthwise to accomodate the shape of your particular house.

I have an en suite bathroom. Is that bad?

The bathroom has to go somewhere, right? No matter where it is in your home, put the lid down before you flush the toilet, and keep it down until you need it again. And KEEP THE DARN DOOR SHUT!!! You will always have to be a little extra careful in the area of the home that it is located. An en suite bathroom leaves you a little open to “love going down the drain” so be particularly attentive to closing the door.

How should I arrange my yard? Do the same principles apply outdoors

Yup! Think from the macrocosm to the microcosm. In that way, you should Feng Shui your yard FIRST, then the house, then each room, then the top of your desk. A Form School Feng Shui consultant will look at the town/city you live, then your neighborhood, then your yard, and so on. The mouth of Ch’i to most yards is the same as the entrance to the house since often you’ll see a front walk that goes straight to the front door. This isn’t good. The walk to your front door should meander. It’s not auspicious when Ch’i gets a good headwind and attacks the front door. The feeling created by this is like a home where you walk in the front door and can see the back door. The Ch’i will move too fast in one door and out the other. Optimally, we want it to linger in the house as well as the yard. If you have a straight walk to the front door, you should interrupt it with a small fountain allowing plenty of room on either side for your visitors to go around comfortably and resume the walk to your front door. Most of the books on Feng Shui in the yard put no emphasis on color, but we do. We have purple clematis climbing in the Wealth center of our yard and red berried trees in the Fame sector. That badminton net should probably be either in the Family or Children sectors, middle left or middle right as you enter. The swimming pool in the far middle sector is a big no no! Talk about putting out the fire. The water sector is the front middle of your yard and not the best place for that swimming pool, but since water feeds trees/wood, then the middle left or Family sector is perfect. Birdfeeders are a wonderful way to attract natural activators. Their natural beauty and constant movement wonderfully enhances any sector in your yard, especially in the winter when we humans aren’t out there mowing and gardening and playing badminton to prevent things from stagnating.

My front stairs are facing the front door and there’s only about four feet between the two. Is it true that my money can go tumbling out the door?

This is a definite possibility. Let’s look at this piece by piece and see what the metaphor is and how to improve things.
The front door is the “mouth of ch’i” or the formal entrance! It is where we invite all good things and people to enter, except for maybe you and your family who come in through the garage, right? Since money is a good thing, it also is invited through the front door. That is why we suggest three coins on the inside of the front door. The idea is that once it comes in, we want it to stay. The stairs are an opportunity for ch’i, i.e. people, pets, and energy, to go up and down. That’s an important point. Where there are stairs in your home is where that life issue can go up and down. If there are stairs in the middle left sector from the front door, your basic money and relations with family can go up and down. If your stairs are indeed in front of the “mouth of ch’i”, then EVERYTHING can go up and down. And that which goes down can tumble right out the front door. Doors and windows are opportunities while walls are obstructions, so unless you want to move the door over so that it isn’t in line with the stairs, you are going to want to place a cure here. The first idea is to stop the ch’i from tumbling down the stairs and out the door. The color red stops things. It is an attention getter. Therefore, a red rug between the door and the stairs is a good start. You could also place some red tape or string under the lip of the last stair. Chances are it won’t be seen and spoil a beautiful front hall. You can do the same at the door by placing the tape under it. Most doors are high enough off the floor to get your fingers in and stick some red tape there.

So now we’ve stopped the ch’i. You might think this is enough, but we’d suggest a little more. How about if you slow down the ch’i on the stairs, too? Pictures on the stairs will do this, but don’t hang them on a diagonal. This will help the energy to flow downward. Hang a few clustered in a horizontal line. Then another cluster further up the stairs, and so on. This horizontal line will encourage the ch’i to settle for a few moments.

At the foot of the stairs you might want to hang a crystal, windchimes, or mobile to make the energy “swirl” around there rather than head straight up or down the stairs. Even a round leafed plant here would attract the ch’i to mingle in its leaves and encourage it to move on into the rest of the house.

I work in a cubicle. Will Feng Shui help me climb the ladder of success?

Absolutely! The first thing you want to do is make sure your desk or work surface is in the position of power. This is kitty corner from the entry door and facing it as you sit. It gives you a full view of those who might approach and enter your territory. You don’t want to be surprised. Try not to put your desk directly across from the door. This may be too much of a temptation to leave. Remember, if what you see is what you get, you may be seeing too much of the exit. You want to move UP! Not OUT! If your desk is permanently attached to the wall, be sure to use mirrors or highly reflective objects to see what’s coming. One other thing. As the big lady in South Pacific said, “Ya gotta have a dream.” Position something so that when you look up from your work, you’re seeing the reason for your labors. If it’s to travel with your wife, put a picture of your last vacation there, or a picture or reminder of where you want to go next. If it’s a business of your own you want, figure out what will symbolize that for you. My dream is to live on a lake like I did growing up, so I’ve put two oars up on the wall across from my desk.

We have a dog on a run from the back door to the back of the yard. Is that bad?

Absolutely not! Animals activate Ch’i. Movement of any kind is an activator. Birdfeeders, mobiles, windbells, windchimes, and the neighbor kids running through the yard are good! If the dog’s run is in the Fame center, it’s especially good since animals enhance the Fame sector. It’s the clutter the dog might deposit while on the run that detracts from the good Feng Shui.

My husband is too bossy. I don’t suppose there’s a Feng Shui cure for that.

Of course there is! Since what you see is what you get, let him see something different. Check out the bedroom first. There should be an equal amount of space between the bed and the wall on either side of the bed. Make sure he doesn’t have more. If he does, even it up. Take a little extra perhaps till he becomes less bossy. Make sure the furniture on either side of the bed is equal too, or a little more in your favor.
If you no longer sleep in the same room, make sure you’ve got the bigger one. And does he have an extra room in the house that’s just his? If so, it may be time for an addition. Put yourself in the power position in the dining room, the TV room. That means that you face so that you can see the entrance/s to that room.
Good Luck!

Will I have to get rid of everything bad?

I love this question! It’s so subjective. What is bad? Yes! You should get rid of dirt, dust and clutter! They’re bad things. Overhead beams are “bad” but should you get rid of them? That could get pretty expensive. I’d say you should string lights on them to disperse the poison arrows they send off, or hang lots of faceted crystal balls or bamboo windchimes, or arrange furniture so that you aren’t under the angle of the corners they make for long periods of time. Those are a few suggestions, but if you suffer from constant headaches, you might want to get rid of the beams altogether. If you live in a post and beam home, the better alternative if headaches are constant and debilitating might be to move. Bummer! But some beams are softer, like hand hewn. Slanted ceilings are “bad”. So are spiral staircases, especially open ones, but remember that most problems have solutions.
Each sector has “bad” things associated with it. Get rid of the “bad memories” from the Helpful People sector. Don’t store newspapers in Wisdom. They’re full of news about the stupid things people did. Since fire melts metal, candles in the Children sector aren’t a great idea, nor are fireplaces and wood/pellet stoves. And the list goes on!

But most of all, DON’T GO NUTS over all this Feng Shui stuff! Here’s our philosophy for newcomers: Don’t run out and buy “cures” and water features. First of all, get rid of stuff. Find places for what’s left. Clean. When you’re ready to look at sectors, start with Wisdom. It’s going to take wisdom to know what you really want, wisdom to get it, and wisdom to keep it! And, remember! Have fun!

How do I determine where the Love sector of my house is?

You must find the “mouth of chi” if you wish to work with sectors according to the Black Hat Sect. The “mouth of chi” is considered by most to be the front entrance as the architect intended. Occasionally you will come across a teacher who says to consider it the door most frequently used. Don’t we all wish there was total agreement? Oh, well! Our feeling is that since many Americans enter daily through the garage, it would be a shame for such a grand entrance to be relegated to the place where we park our car. You may have to trust your intuition on this. We like to ask, “If the Queen of England is coming to tea for the first time, which entrance will she show up at?”

Once the “mouth of chi” has been determined, you must divide your space into nine equal “sectors” and the entrance must fall within one of three. It would help if you downloaded our Chi Sheet to use as a quick reference. If your front door is on the left one third of your home as you come in, then you enter through Wisdom. If it is in the middle, you enter through Career, and through Helpful People if the entry is on the right. Got that? Now to answer the question. If you’ve done it right, love will always be in the far right one-ninth of your home. Is you bedroom there? Or the computer?

Why are there so many schools of Feng Shui?

Feng Shui has been around for more than six thousand years, therefore, we find it a bit surprising that in all that time there are so FEW schools. Think of all the people who could have had their own way of doing it. Much of what we use is Black Hat Sect, but we also draw on Form and Compass schools.

At eleven, our son was learning was learning Feng Shui very quickly. One day he asked, “If the mouth of ch’i to a house is through the front door, what would be the mouth of ch’i for the earth?”

To ourselves, we’re rolling our eyes with an internal, “Oh, my!” but also loving the thought process that generated such a question. “Well, lets see,” we stalled. “We haven’t read anything about that anywhere, but let’s think through it. I guess we would have to decide if our energy comes from the sun or the gravitational pull from the center of the earth or both or something we know nothing about yet.” He agreed that that would be essential to figuring out what was the mouth of ch’i. The discussion continued for days, each of us coming up with new theories and possibilities. But like much of the philosophical world, we came up with no definitive answer. What do you think?

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