EDITION: August - October '07


Sometimes you feel uncomfortable in a flat, without knowing why. Only after looking more closely it might become obvious: an angular table dominates the room, drooping plants, the furniture is stuffy and doesn’t match. Sometimes the impression is clearer: a sunny, tidy room is more inviting than a crammed den. In any case, the place where we spend time influences our well-being. That is the fundamental idea of Feng Shui, the Chinese teachings of life in harmony with the environment.

Feng Shui goes even further: the teachings say that choice and design of a dwelling affect many areas of life, including relationships, success and health. This applies to houses, gardens and offices: whoever likes to sit in his office also achieves better accomplishments. In Asia, Feng Shui belongs to everyday life. Property developers as well as business people consult Feng Shui masters before they build or design a room. In the western world this is happening more and more often too.
The esoteric ‚aftertaste’ misleads: Feng Shui is a millennial old science. Its name (“Wind and Water”) clarifies how humans are shaped by their surroundings and how in everything there is a source of energy. Classic Feng Shui is based on numerous philosophy systems and requires intensive study, that can last 30 years. For this reason, “Neo Feng Shui” is often practised in this country, a much watered down version of the real teachings. But it can still work very well.

The Home as a Reflection of Personality

The Bagua method is particularly popular in the West. A grid with nine squares is placed across the layout of a property. These squares stand for different areas of life, for example family, prosperity or relationships. The grid applies to the whole place and then again for every room. It is always placed such that the bottom line matches the wall where the entrance door is. With this analysis you can find out where the strengths and weaknesses lie. If the area of “career” for example is crammed full with junk then it could be that the inhabitant is having problems getting ahead in life. And a cactus in the relationship area speaks volumes.

With specific Feng Shui measures the areas can be positively influenced. Mirrors, lead crystals and additional light sources are used as boosters. Objects with symbolic character are ideal: dolphins in the relationship area, fountains in the prosperity corner or photos with personal value.

Permissible is anything that pleases. In Feng Shui the home is a mirror of personality. It doesn’t make sense to buy the entire contents of a holistic shop, if you don’t have a relationship with crystals and buddha figures.

You can also practise Feng Shui with modern art, simple furniture or antiques. It is about care regarding your own four walls – and with it your own life. Every piece of furniture and every object should not only fulfil a purpose, but also satisfy the aesthetic need. Whoever likes it warm and cosy, shouldn’t surround themselves with cool designs.

If a complete area is missing in the Bagua grid, because the layout of the flat isn’t square but irregular, this can have negative affects on the relevant areas of life: If the area of „relationship“ is missing in a place, the couple who live there could be having difficulties synchronising their lives. Here a “booster” on the adjoining wall would help, for example a mirror that brings depth. If a part of the flat juts out, this means an extension of that area of life. And that is beneficial.

Even the „western“ Feng Shui is an important matter. To feel comfortable we also need cleanliness and order. And freedom of movement: furniture shouldn’t be in the way. Old junk that nobody needs anymore can become a strain. This also applies to sharp corners of tables or shelves. It is worth consulting serious guidebooks and “tidying up” a bit in your own life. The pleasant side-effect: a place that you can be proud to be in..


- Part 2 (Ibicasa october '07):
Feng Shui measures when building

- Part 3 (Ibicasa december '07):
Feng Shui in the Garden