Feng Shui 101 Without Going Overboard – Mirrors, Pants & More

Everyone has heard of Feng Shui in one form or another. A lot of people follow the rules of Feng Shui religiously, others are just curious passersby, trying to understand the workings of this practice. There are the lucky few, who in the middle of the COVID crisis have a little time to start a new hobby or dive into a new craft. This article is more for the two latter. People who have a talent and an eye for interior design, and a curiosity towards the art. This will be the gateway drug into the world of Feng Shui.

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

The word “Feng” and “Shui” translate to “Wind” and “Water”. This basically explains the basic principle of the practice, which is becoming one with the flow of nature through our environment. Physically, it’s the arranging of items and furniture in a way that connects us to nature. The idea and the goal is to harness the energy flowing continuously through our living spaces.

There are three main principles of Feng Shui. The first is the commanding position. To put it in basic terms, this means leaving the door and space before it completely empty. The commanding position is the spot furthest from the door and also not in direct line with it. Ideally, the entire space in front of the door should be empty, and people should spend most of their time in the commanding position. After determining the dominant spot in the area, you should try to place critical items in a diagonal alignment if possible. Critical pieces of furniture are the bed (representing the individual), the desk (representing career), and the stove (representing wealth and nourishment).

The second principle is the Feng Shui Bagua Map. This is where it gets fun. The Bagua Map is divided into 9 parts, each representing a different aspect of life. This map should be placed directly on top of either the floor plan drawn to scale or just one room. The Chinese word “Bagua” translates to “Eight Areas”, the ninth being you, and your overall wellness in the middle. So for instance, if you place your office in the place of wealth, you could get better results, you can become more passionate, and you can get more motivated throughout the day, especially now that everyone’s working from home. There are several Feng Shui schools, and almost each of them teaches the art of Bagua differently. Choosing how to lay down the map will be dictated by the school of your choice. Some schools even base the Bagua Map on the time of year, while others simply always place the row of Wealth to the base of the front door, and align it that way. There is no need to focus on all areas at once, that will lead to insanity and confusion. Try to prioritize a maximum of 3 areas that are most important for you, and focus on those first.

The third principle is the five elements. Earth, Metal, Fire, Water, and Wood. Again, there’s no need to focus on all elements. Instead, choosing three and working on those will be the perfect start to creating a beautiful flow in your life. Following the practice of some elements will mean adding specific colors and shapes to the room, to encourage the flow of an element.

For example, if your bedroom is aligned with health on the Bagua Map, that is tied to the element Earth. Earthy colors, clay, pottery, and plants will encourage the ideal flow of that room both according to the Bagua and the elements.

Although not a principle, the use of mirrors is also a huge part of Feng Shui and is the most intriguing part for most fans. Mirrors are said to have reflective properties, in a non-physical way, and therefore a multiplying effect as well. So if you want to have the courage to finally ask for that raise, Feng Shui is here to help multiply the energy you need for it. Having said that, there are a few rules in Feng Shui about the placement of mirrors, to avoid any negative flows. The first “rule”, is to place a mirror perpendicular to the front door. The front door is one of the most important parts of the house according to Feng Shui, and people teaching the art always tell you not to place mirrors right in front of the door, rather try a wall perpendicular to it. The dining room is said to be the best place for mirrors, as it’s believed to represent wealth and wellbeing, therefore there are no rules here, feel free to multiply as much as you can. The kitchen is the polar opposite. Placing any mirrors in the kitchen is said to reflect negative energies, so people should avoid mirrors in this area if possible.

Experts will also warn people, to be cautious about what mirrors reflect both inside and outside of the home. And because of this reflecting property, and the importance of it, they also recommend placing mirrors so they reflect beautiful views and not a stack of bills for instance. Hallways, landings, and small staircases are great places for mirrors. They’re great as an interior design move to widen the area, but they’re also perfect for maintaining the flow of positive energy. Placing a mirror on the end of a corridor on the other hand can slow down energy flows in the house, so stick to the side walls.

Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash

Just like avoiding the stack of bills, avoid placing a mirror in front or behind your desk. It is said to double your workload, and no one wants to watch themselves work all day anyway. Also, if by chance you have a portrait of any negative people in your life hanging on the wall – like your toxic boss, or that overly dramatic relative -, don’t place a mirror in front of them.

In the living room, mirrors are generally great. They double the size of the room, the number of guests, and the energy as well. But if there are a lot of mirrors in the room, kindly ask everyone to leave the baggage at home, no one wants to multiply that.

Choosing paintings, art, and any decorative items is also dictated by the Bagua Map. What you purchase is totally up to your taste and conscience, this article is not about judging black paintings. Where you place them is twofold. It depends on the Bagua Map, and on the elements principle as well. Trust your judgment on this one, and with practice, you will be able to feel the energies of these items in no time. But know, that it’s not just mirrors that affect the flow of energy in your home, and when shopping for anything interior design, think about what it means for your home.

Of course, Feng Shui is a loaded practice, and it explains and uses the energy of plants as well. Overall, plants are great. They manifest change and bring life to any space. Having said that, there are plants that do this more actively, and plants that do it more effortlessly. Plants represent earth and wood elements, so it’s recommended to pack them in those areas of the house next to other areas.

The Money Tree is the most famous of the Feng Shui plants, manifesting wealth and prosperity. For exactly this reason, it’s best to place it in the “wealth” part of the house according to the Bagua Map. Snake Plants are also well-known, as the protectors of the house, therefore it’s recommended to place them near windows and front doors. It’s also good in offices, but should be avoided in bedrooms and children’s rooms. The same goes for Aloe, which is a great protector, but also one of the best air-purifiers. The Philodendron is the calmest of the Feng Shui plants, with great relaxing properties. The best places to put her would be in the wellness center of the house. The dining room is reserved for the Rubber Tree, who’s great in getting rid of toxins, and at the same time manifests calm.

Getting to know the art and principle of Feng Shui is very hard, as it’s an ancient practice with a lot of variations. So if you’re wanting to dig deep into this world, or you’re just curious, it’s best to start slow. Start in the areas that most interest you, and break-even those into smaller bites. Focus on a maximum of 3 tasks, and perfect those, then go from there. It’s a fantastic hobby, and a great practice, and an introduction to the world of energy, manifesting, and harvesting.


Tags: art, feng shui, interior design, mirrirs, paintings

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