Cape Town - This complex ancient Chinese system works best with the guidance of an experienced feng shui practitioner (what works in one house might not work in another).
Here feng shui master Andrew Graham gives a few basic tips on how to invite good energy into your home.
Could a few simple changes at home improve your quality of life? Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is a complex ancient Chinese system of harmonising people with their surroundings to promote good energy and well-being. Feng shui translates as “wind-water” in English.
Feng shui practitioners believe everything – from a home’s natural surroundings to its fittings and décor – has an energy, “chi”, which can affect all aspects of our lives. The goal of feng shui is to have our homes filled with vibrant energy all the time.
“Traditional ‘Flying Stars’ Feng Shui is the science of predicting how a building will affect your life and what you need to do to make the building really work for you,” explains Andrew Graham, a local feng shui master.
“It relates to the feeling we get from buildings. Some buildings and rooms feel good and you really want to enter those; others feel wrong. What most people don’t realise is the feelings you get in your house are affecting your life. If you feel good energy, things will go well for you (this includes popularity, success and finances), while negative energy pulls you down and makes life more difficult.”
According to Graham, changing the use of a room, moving your bed to another wall, changing the colours or putting a water feature in the right place can make a big difference. “Many people have told me it just made their lives easier.”
“Good design is basically feng shui,” says interior designer Manuella Candido. “If there is harmony in the design, and balance of placement and proportions – when feng shui principles are applied to a space – the design and feng shui line up. Often something will disturb me in a room, and by either painting a wall a colour or adding wallpaper, the feng shui gets corrected.”
Candido emphasises feng shui should not be applied in isolation and works best when implemented with the guidance of an experienced feng shui practitioner.
Though feng shui is not widely applied in South Africa, there is an increasing understanding that the energy of buildings affect us.
“Unfortunately the so-called ‘feng shui’ that first appeared in the West was superstitious nonsense and talked about lavatory seats, three-legged frogs, wealth and relationship corners. Proper traditional Flying Star Feng Shui is different. Most of my clients are successful entrepreneurial people and all my business now comes from word of mouth or repeat business.
“Feng shui has really caught on in California and Sydney, Australia, because they have big Chinese populations. As more people travel to these places and see the benefits, there is an increasing acceptance of feng shui in South Africa,” adds Graham.
Feng shui: creating harmony at home
Find the best energy space in your home
Locate the area with the best “atmosphere” by taking note of where guests like to gather when you have a party. It is sometimes an unexpected place, away from your entertainment area. If you sit and work in this space, it will help bring you popularity, success and money.
Find a chilled space to restore body and soul
The prime purpose of a house is to serve as a space where you can rest and restore body and soul. Identify the best spaces in your house for chilling by thinking of where you like to unwind. Whether it is the old couch or the verandah, this is your home’s best space for relaxation and re-energising.
Avoid water features in the bedroom
The art of water placement in feng shui can be complicated. A water feature in the right space in a home can have a positive effect. However, if it is in the wrong place, it can boost bad energy. Water features generate strong active energy which is good in a space where you want to work and be productive, but wrong for the peaceful space where you get a good night’s rest.
Sleep against a solid wall
Bedrooms need to be quiet, secure places. Too much glass makes them too active. Sleep against a solid wall with no windows behind your bed. If you still have problems with sleep, you are probably sleeping against a wall with the wrong energy. Move the bed to another wall and if this doesn’t help, try sleeping in another room.
Clear the clutter from your home
Clutter drains your energy. Clutter and mess always accumulate in areas with bad energy. If you have a room that is always messy, paint it a warm yellow. You will then be happy to keep it tidy.
Place pot plants in your home
Pot plants help to clear the air, reduce anxiety and create a sense of peace. Put them in any part of your house that feels right, as long as they are not too big – you don’t want to block the good energy of an area.
Watch where your kids like to play
Young children and babies are sensitive to feng shui. Watch where they like to play – they are usually good at choosing places with good energy. Let them play there as often as possible.
Invite nature into your home
Allowing natural light and fresh air into your home. Decorating it with natural features, such as bamboo, wood and beautiful stones, helps to increase serenity. It is important, though, to always keep a balance; too much of anything disturbs good energy.
Mirrors reflect energy
Position them where you want to increase energy flow, such as a living room and dining room. Also make sure your mirror reflects something beautiful.
Your front door should be unobstructed
A house gets its energy via the front door – the stronger and more balanced it is, the better the quality of energy that enters. The entrance should be clean and unobstructed, while the front door should be well-cared for and solid.
l Contact a Flying Star Feng Shui practitioner by going to www.astro-fengshui.com/misc/ p_africa.
At the feet of the master
ANDREW GRAHAM a degree in industrial chemistry and worked in the chemical industry for 25 years.
Fifteen years ago he started studying feng shui and because proper feng shui is a complicated science, he was accredited as a Master of Feng Shui by Master Joseph Yu of the Feng Shui Research Centre only three years ago.
He has been working as a full-time feng shui practitioner for over a decade, consulting mainly in Cape Town and Joburg, but has also worked in England, the US, Australia and Europe.
He helps with design and renovations, as well as sorting out problems in existing buildings and, to date, has worked on over 800 projects for individuals, families, businesses and large corporations.