9/17/2013

Feng Shui 101

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy on design which is utilized to help humans become more in tuned with nature and their surroundings.  Used optimally, feng shui is said to be able to improve your life. It is said you can use feng shui to increase income, improve love, better your health. It is most well known for its applications in home design, which professionals all over the world refer to.



Here are some basics:

1.) First, consider your home in this way, as the image below depicts. The top image is how everything is divided and categorized, in its simplest terms, according to feng shui. The lower image is how that translates to your home. The top most color (fire) is north, while black is south (water).



 
Another image, showing the directions:



These guides are called the ba gua. It is a mapping chart to divide your home into nine areas and to determine where to place furniture and objects. You can get started in feng shui by using a ba gua do divide your home into these life areas, wealth, future, love, children, helpful people, career, harmony, family and well-being.
Consider these connections when organizing and decorating your home. You want everything to be in harmony and balance. This means that water should not overpower fire, or vice versa. Considering east and west, green should not be more prominent than white, and so on. 
Because balance is the goal, so too must you consider how much of these qualities are represented. If you are decorating a room you want to make sure that its elements are represented there (IE: water room having a fountain). However, you do not want too much of them. Nor do you want too much of a different (especially contrasting) element. 



2.) One of the main principals of feng shui is the "Five Elements." This is noticing the colors around you, what they represent, and how they are in balance with one another. Notice how they make you feel. Here is an elaboration on what they represent and control:

Fire Colors: Reds, Oranges - passion
Earth Colors: Browns, Yellows - stability 
Metal Colors: White, Metallics -  strength 
Water Colors: Deep Blues, Black - relaxation
Wood Colors: Greens - growth 

3.) I asked my friend Margo, who is a practitioner, for some tips for someone starting out in feng shui. This is what she said, 
"If you live in the Northern hemisphere - you can maximize your daylight by ensuring you have east south and west facing windows- the opposite is true in the Southern Hemispheres - have east north and west facing windows."
4.) Another main principle is that of continuity and connectedness. It means that the more you surround yourself with images of what you want to attract, the more likely you are to attractive them. An easy and effective way to do this is to make sure your artwork represents what you want to attract into your life.






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