Popular Feng Shui Remedies, Why and How They Work
Mirrors are said to be the aspirin of Feng Shui. In the Flying Star school, mirrors can be used to increase the impact of prosperous water stars. If they are placed on a wall, reflecting the auspicious water stars, they can double up the prosperity of the household. However, one has to make sure though that the mirrors don’t bring in inauspicious features from outside, such as poison arrows and other physical shars. It is best to hang a mirror at such a height so that it will at least reflect the whole image of the tallest person in the house. Mirrors are better with a solid frame so as to avoid sharp edges.
Mirrors in the bedroom are something of a controversy. Some experts say they are fine in the bedroom if they are not too large. It is generally accepted that it is best to avoid large mirrors reflecting the bed, since this can effect the quality of sleep, and in the long run the general health can suffer.
Mirrors activate Qi and active Qi can make it hard to fall asleep. Poor quality sleep, if experienced night after night, will certainly damage the health.
I personally feel that mirrors are best situated elsewhere in the house.
Tiled mirrors are a Feng Shui nightmare, as are smoked and tinted varieties.
Mirror tiles fragment the reflected image, and smoky glass distorts it. This in turn can have a negative effect on self esteem.
Something should be said about antique mirrors as well. If they are damaged and distorted they could also effect one’s self image on a subconscious level and should therefore be replaced with new ones.
Concave mirrors are usually used pointing towards ugly or offensive structures outside, such as sharp corners, buildings resembling fierce animals and so on. Convex mirrors are somehow more difficult to use for Feng Shui purposes as they can be too powerful.
There are also Bagua mirrors with a round mirror in the middle, surrounded by the eight trigrams of the I Ching. Unfortunately, I have seen these used carelessly against ones neighbours, offending and scaring them, worsening ones relationships with the neighbours and worst of all giving Feng Shui practices a bad name. Bagua mirrors are considered to be very powerful tools, and as it is said that improper use can cause serious complications, they are usually best avoided.
The most useful variety for Feng Shui purposes are made of lead crystal and are spherical. They work best in windows where they can catch daylight and refract it into a room. In the practices of the Eight Mansions School, they are believed to enhance the relationship area (of the eight areas mentioned above) of the Bagua, since they represent the Earth element. However during my practices and research into the Eight Mansions School for over a decade, I found that this will only happen when the relevant palace (sector) coincides with a prosperous Flying Star.
Crystals stimulate Qi with the light they catch, and spread and enhance it in rainbow refractions through the living space, bringing increased vitality. In Flying star school, they are wonderfull encouraging current prosperity star 8. They can also be used as a supportive decoration for people with Kua numbers 2 and 8. However, too many crystals in inaproppriate areas will cause more harm than benefit. I often find myself in a “crystal clearing” mission of wrongly placed crystals that ofset the balance in homes of my clients. Moving them to appropriate sectors immediately restores the balance and the difference can be felt right away.
Other types of natural crystals such as quartz or amethyst can be also used for the same purpose.
Natural daylight is very important, especially in winter.
Qi goes very still in dark places, and darkness is certainly appropriate in restful and relaxing environments, such as bedrooms or night clubs. But where we work we need more active Qi, and this usually means more light, and preferably more natural daylight.
Humans need light, and we are actually as dependent on light as we are on food. Just as we are careful about what we eat, so we should be more aware of the quality of light in the environment. Fluorescent light sources are the worst and unfortunately the most common source of lighting in work places and schools. The flickering effect of fluorescent tubes is said to be able to drain peoples’ energy and weaken the immune system.
It could be very simple to replace fluorescent tubes with full spectrum lights, and this would significantly improve light quality. Research done in the U.S.A. has shown that school children perform better and have fewer headaches with full spectrum lights.
It is usually quite simple to improve the quantity of natural daylight in a home. Modern homes do not have issues with draughts, and so it is possible to make more use of sheer fabrics as curtains. With thicker fabrics, we should use as much of the wall space to park the curtains during the day in order to maximise the natural inflow of daylight.
One of the classical Feng Shui cures, wind chimes are as effective and pretty now as they were thousands of years ago in China. They are easy to adapt in contemporary homes and they do especially well outdoors in gardens, as long as chiming sounds do not annoy the neighbours.
They are available in many different shapes and sizes, but it is vital that they are made of metal to produce a pure metallic sound. Afterall, it is this metallic sound that works as a remedy against the inauspicious earth star 5. However, it is of no great importance how many tubes they have, but the size of the chime should be in proportion to the size of the room. Sometimes six tubes are prefered, representing the Metal element, particularly when curing the Yellow 5 Danger star in Flying Star Feng Shui. It is also important that the sound is pleasant to our ears since it will effect our nervous system.
Whenever wind chimes are in use, they should be integrated with the interior in such a way that they should not look strange or out of place. This is the case with all the other classical Feng Shui cures. Anything that makes the home look like a Chinese restaurant should be avoided. The challenge is to make the look very natural, so that there is no apparent trace of a Feng Shui consultant having been at work.
In Flying Star Feng Shui, chimes have a very specific purpose and when they are needed there are not really any other cures that can act as substitutes and perform the same function.
Radios, TVs and Hi-Fis affect Qi as well. We should also remember that musical instruments such as guitars, pianos and bells can all be used to improve the quality of Qi.
Plants represent the Wood element in Feng Shui and they bring freshness, growth and vitality to an interior.
They should be healthy and green. Dead and unhealthy looking plants should be removed immediately. Plants used are considered best if they have large round or heart shaped leaves.
Cacti are fine outdoors in the garden. But one should be careful about using them indoors as they can create so-called Knife or Arrow-Chi. This would be disturbing only if the plant is very big. It is perfectly allright to use small decorative pots of cacti indoors.
In Flying Stars practice, bright coloured flowers and green leafy plants are perfect to encourage the prosperous and timely stars 8 and 9. In the Eight Mansions School, plants are believed to activate the East and Southeast sectors of the Bagua. In my experience though, this activation will only take place when these particular sectors have good Water stars, as I mentioned earlier.
Silk flowers can be used where it is impractical to use fresh flowers. However dried flowers should be avoided since they emit yin (dead) energy, and also by gathering dust they create a stagnant pool of Qi around them.
Not only plants and fresh flowers, but all living things, such as fish in aquaria and other pets freshen up Qi. Traditionally, the most popular are goldfish in a combination of eight red and one black.
All big and heavy things such as statues, sofas and cupboards fall into this category. They anchor and ground the energy and represent strength and stability. Tall cupboards and book shelves can be used as perfect support for good Mountain Stars in Flying Star Feng Shui.
Unfortunately, these heavy objects can cause as many problems as they solve if they are misplaced! For example, in a bed room where harmful Mountain Stars 2 and 5 are active, a metal wind chime will be recommended to decrease their ill effects. Placing a tall heavy cupboard in this sector will make the situation much worse, by supporting the bad stars and diminishing the impact of the cure used.
Another example of wrong use of tall and heavy objects would be to have them in areas where they obstruct prosperous Water stars. However, they are excellent for obstructing or trapping bad and untimely Water stars.
In old China, water in the form of rain meant more rice, and more rice meant more money. This could be one of the reasons why the water element is so often associated with wealth.
Water can have a relaxing and beneficial effect as well, for example in an indoor fountain, especially if water is one of your favourable elements and the water feature is placed correctly – in accordance with prosperous Water stars.
One could easily build one of these fountains by using an aquarium pump and beach or river stones in a beautiful bowl. As with all other basic Feng Shui cures, the placement is of vital importance with all water features. They can do more harm than good if they are wrongly placed.
Large swimming pools and ponds in areas with negative Water Stars can cause many problems. But they bring greate prosperity and good luck when they are placed together with good and timely Water stars.
Water features are used in the Eight Mansions School of Feng Shui to activate the North and Southeast Sectors of the Bagua of a property (mind you, the impact of this is not beyond dispute.)
Paintings, photographs, other art work and all handmade articles can also activate Chi. But one has to be careful with the symbolism. Study your pictures carefully. What do they say to you? Are they optimistic? A very valuable piece of art may not necessarily have a positive symbolism and consequently be totally useless or even harmful from a Feng Shui point of view.
Our pictures communicate with us the whole time through symbolism, which is the language of the subconscious.
Abstract art can have its limitations as well. Our subconscious has problems interpreting its symbolism and can get rather confused. However, if it makes us smile or the colours make us feel good, it can only contribute to overall good Feng Shui of our living and work spaces.
Understanding Traditional Chinese Cures:
In the Flying Star school, six metal coins are used to remedy black star 2; this is associated with sickness when it is untimely, as it is now in period 8. These coins are often knotted together with a red ribbon. The red colour doesn’t actually do much here; the Chinese simply love red and believe it brings luck. I prefer mine tied with a white, silver or gold ribbon.
In I Ching texts, the metal element is associated with the hexagram of “Heaven” and the number six. Hence, the cure of the six coins. In Chinese metaphysics, the harmony of Heaven and Earth is much emphasised. This is also reflected in the shape of the Chinese Emperor coins that are used for making this cure. The coin itself is round, representing Heaven, and the hole in the middle is square, symbolising Earth – it thereby embodies them both, bringing harmony and unifying them.
Six Black Fish
This is another, more seldom used cure for yellow 5. The (live) fish has to be small, in a metal bowl so that the cure doesn’t become too active. Even though I’ve seen beautiful gold fish displays in large brass bowls in Singapore, happily swimming, some of my clients were warned here in the West against metal bowls being improper for fish. So, this cure might prove to be a little difficult to prepair.
This is an image of a many tiered tower-like building, representing academic achievement. In the Flying Star school they are used to enhance the combination stars 1 and 4 to help children, or adult students, to excel in their studies. If they are placed in the direction of the academic star derived from the person’s birth data, they can be even more efficient.
The gourd or hulu is used as a cure for black sickness star 2. In ancient China doctors often carried and dispenced their medicine from containers made of a gourd. This practice probably originated from the legend of the eight immortals.
The eight immortals are legendary saints revered by Taoists that play an important part in Chinese culture. They were mere mortals once, but through their spiritual dedication, penence and meditations, they gained sainthood and the status of immortals. They are often illustrated together in silk scrolls and decorative vases. Each immortal holds a power tool that represents his/her unique heavenly achievement. The fifth immortal is Li T’ieh Guai (Iron-Crutch Li) who is said to be the most ancient and popular of the eight. He is described as kind to the poor, sick and needy, whose suffering he dispells with special medicine from his gourd (wu lou or hulu). Hence the use as a cure for sickness star 2.
Flute and Coin Sword
These two cures are hung on beams in the ceiling to reduce their harmful effects. The flute is often used in a pair, tied together with a red ribbon, a popular remedy of the Black Hat Scholl in the US. It probably originates from the philosopher Han Xiang, one of the eight immortals. Han Xiang is often pictured playing a flute and the sound of his flute is believed to give life.
The sword is attributed to Lu Dongbin, one of the chief heavenly immortals. He is often illustrated dressed as a scholar, carrying a sword on his back that dispels evil spirits. Hence the clearing of negative energy underneath the beam.
Auspicious Animals Connected to Feng Shui:
Three Legged Frog
The origin this animal can also be traced to the eight immortals. According to legend, one particular bad frog, feeding on people, was tamed by one of the heavenly immortals. The frog repented his evil ways and accepted as a penence to go to the houses of the poor and spit coins inside the house.
The proper positioning should be next to the door and facing inside the house. They seem to be particularly popular in India. I have spotted many of these frogs in shops in malls and even in lawyers’ offices, always placed wrongly though. I find them rather unsightly and never wanted to have one. But I am sure it works if you believe it does, just as a placebo. One thing for sure though, if your door is at a prosperous water star and has open space in front, with or without this frog, your money luck will be good.
Lions are always used outside on either side of the door to ward off negative energy coming from outside. They always come in pairs, one male and one female. The male lion holds a ball and is placed on the left, when one’s back is against the door and facing outwards. The female lion holds a baby lion and is on the right of the door.
Even if a very small pair of lions are in use indoors, one should make sure that they face outwards and not towards the bedrooms.
The kirin is another legendary animal used for Feng Shui purposes. It has head the of a dragon, horns of an antelope, the scaly body of a fish, the tail of an ox and the four legs and hooves of a deer. Kirins usually come in pairs.
A pair of kirins has the same function inside as the lions have outside; protection against negative energy coming in. They can be placed on the window sills or somewhere else near the window, if there are threatening physical shars outside, such as sharp angles, poison arrows, tiger head or peeping shar.
Pei yow is sometimes called foo dog. It has the face of a peking dog with one horn on its head. Pei yow can be used singly or as a pair. It is mainly used as protection from spiritual shars, such as bad spirits, and also graveyards, police stations, prisons and so on.
As this legendary animal is said only to eat and not to discharge, it is also used for protecting money luck; this has probably added to its popularity in recent years. However, they are said to cause constipation. So if you happen to suffer constipation, get rid of your Pei Yows and you’ll magically recover.
Dragon Headed Tortoise
Another legendary animal with the body of a tortoise and the head of a dragon. It is placed in the position of the Grand Duke, or Tai Sui, that changes each year. It is believed to protect the household from offending the Grand Duke; this could have serious consequences and should always be avoided.