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Feng Shui FAQ

Feng Shui FAQ
Photo by Christa Grover on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered what exactly feng shui is, or where it comes from? Perhaps you’ve heard rumors of certain plants that are bad feng shui, or that your love life is doomed because there’s a toilet in your Love corner?

There is a lot of confusion around many feng shui topics, so we wanted to take a moment to address some of the most common questions we receive. If you’ve had any of these questions yourself, we hope we’ll be able to help you find some clarity!

What is feng shui?

Feng shui, which translates to “wind” and “water,” is an ancient modality that comes from China. It is a way of looking at the flow of energy in your space, and connecting your outer environment to what’s happening in your inner environment.

What is the feng shui bagua?

The bagua is a divination tool that is used in all schools of feng shui. It’s based on the trigrams in the I Ching, and it consists of eight areas arranged in a consistent order around a center. Each area, or gua, which translates to “direction,” has many layers of symbolism and significance. We lay the bagua on top of a space, most often a home, room, or property, to learn things about that space and its inhabitants.

Are there different types of feng shui?

Yes, there are many different types of feng shui! We teach and practice BTB feng shui, also called Black Sect. We all use the same feng shui bagua, the five elements, and the concept of qi (life force energy), which are Taoist ideas that come from China. The difference is in how we apply these things, but all feng shui schools are valid and the end goal is the same. Instead of feeling confused or overwhelmed by the many options, we would recommend finding a teacher or consultant who you resonate with, and seeing which school they follow.

Is a cactus a bad feng shui plant?

We would encourage you not to label things as “good” or “bad,” but whether a cactus is supportive in your environment or not really depends on your situation. Cacti and other sharp plants may not be the best choice for an entryway, but if you live in the desert, this could be the only way to add greenery to this part of your home. Sharp and spiky plants are generally not recommended as feng shui adjustments, but they can also be helpful in some situations where they are breaking up negative qi or creating a protective boundary.

Are dried flowers bad feng shui?

Again, it depends! Dried flowers do not have the same kind of life energy as fresh ones, so if you’re using flowers intentionally as a feng shui adjustment, we would always recommend fresh. It’s also not ideal to have dried flowers in your home in general, but it’s ok to have a few dried flowers in your home that you love, including dried chamomile tea in your kitchen!

What should I do if I have a toilet in my Wealth area?

First, don’t panic! This doesn’t mean you have to move out. Toilets have to go somewhere, and it’s helpful to keep in mind that today’s bathrooms are nothing like the bathrooms that existed when feng shui was developed in ancient China. Modern bathrooms can be clean, relaxing, and even beautiful.

If you do have a bathroom in your Wealth area, called Xun in Chinese, the first thing we would suggest is to love and enjoy your bathroom and make it beautiful, whatever that means to you. Toilets do have a lot of downward water energy which can deplete your wealth area, but you can also mitigate this by adding a plant or an image of greenery to your bathroom to help use up some of that water energy. You can also add the earth element to slow the water down, by introducing the color yellow or square shapes.

What if I have a toilet in my Love corner?

Again, don’t panic! In BTB feng shui, some guas become more depleted with a bathroom than others. The Love corner, called Kun in Chinese, is actually not the worst place for a toilet, because it is an earth gua, and Earth is used to receiving things that are ready to be composted. If you do feel like your love life is in the toilet, the good news is that feng shui gives us the tools to shift the energy in our homes and in our lives. Try cleaning your bathroom, refreshing the towels, adding artwork, and finding other ways to make your bathroom beautiful and pleasant.

What is one feng shui tip everyone should do?

Most feng shui advice is quite personal and depends on your situation and goals. However, if we know nothing about you, one piece of advice we would give to almost everyone is to spend some time focusing on the front door. It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or a shared house; you can still look at the front door of your house or apartment. Your front door is the “mouth of qi,” meaning that it is the portal through which energy from the outside world finds you. You want to make sure your front door is welcoming and easy to find for visitors as well as qi, so remove anything that is blocking the view of your front door or preventing it from opening fully. Make sure it is clearly labeled with your house number, and take some time to clean your front door with intention.

Where should I place a fountain?

If you like water fountains, you may want to use one as a feng shui adjustment. If you know how to lay the bagua on your home, you can place it in the Career area, called Kan. You can also place it in the far left corner of your yard, which is the Wealth area, also called Xun. Another option is to place it outside your front door. Most importantly, make sure any water fountains placed outside are flowing towards the house. Flowing water represents opportunities and resources, so you want these to be moving towards you in your home.

How do I get feng shui advice for my home?

The best way to get feng shui advice for your unique home and situation is to hire a feng shui consultant. If you’ve read a lot about feng shui and you’re still confused, or if you want to take your feng shui a step further, it may be time to bring in an expert. We have many graduates who offer feng shui consultations all over the world as well as remotely! Working with one of our graduates is also a great way to learn more about what you would learn inside our certification program, in case you have been curious about joining us!