Feng Shui Mirrors

Feng Shui Mirrors

Frequently, Feng Shui practitioners in America utilize mirrors as a cure. We consistently see mirrors being used upon the recommendation of a prior “master.” According to one web site, “Mirrors are known to be the aspirin of Feng Shui” (Although I tend to think of them as placebos). What do these mirrors do and how do they affect the Feng Shui in a house or business?

Let me first start out with saying that 168 Feng Shui Advisors recommends the use of mirrors as a bathroom tool to comb your hair by. Beyond that, mirrors only serve a visual or artistic effect. Mirrors have been misrepresented as a Feng Shui “cure” by a lot of practitioners. Here in this country, these practitioners claim that feng shui mirrors will reflect negative Chi and spirits. Have you ever tried to reflect heat with a mirror, or perhaps x-rays? Mirrors only reflect light, a narrow area of the energetic spectrum. Chi, defined as “life energy,” flows around and through each of us, is not diverted by a four inch, eight edged mirror.

Using Feng Shui Mirrors

Mirrors have a useful nature. They can be used to hide pillars, to expand the appearance of a room, and to be used in a piece of art. A small restaurant in Monterey Park, California, which we frequent, uses mirrors to hide the support pillars of the restaurant. Without the mirrors, the pillars would divide the room and make the restaurant appear smaller. While this is an architectural remedy, but has nothing to do with the chi of the building. It can be said that from a Feng Shui perspective, it does create a better environment. After all, Feng Shui is about creating a more comfortable and supportive environment. Let me clarify, while mirrors might be recommended as a visual change, they are not a remedy against bad chi.

Traditional Feng Shui utilizes only the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water as remedies to energetic issues in a house or building. Mirrors do not play any part as a remedy. Often you will see mirrored baguas opposing each other on two houses that face each other. Sometimes there will be a bagua feud – the bigger bagua wins. This is not Feng Shui, but rather superstition mixed with egotism. Traditional Feng Shui does not subscribe to mysticism, superstition, or religion.

Clearing up the mystery of Feng Shui Mirrors

So how did mirrors get mixed into Feng Shui concepts? It is very likely that one of two things (or perhaps both) created this belief in mirrors. First, in the Middle Ages, mirrors were made of polished brass. A master would suggest that you need a mirror in a certain area. It was not the mirror, but rather the brass (metal element) that would create the remedy.

Another very likely misunderstanding is a very well known Feng Shui book title: “Eight House Mirror Theory.” This book says nothing about mirrors as a remedy, but rather, it infers that after performing calculations based on the eight directions, you will have the answer before you as clear as a mirror. Again, people who knew about this book, but did not know or understand its contents probably took the title as a literal recommendation.

Mirrors as stated above, can create an architectural or artistic effect, but are not to be mixed with Feng Shui remedies. If you are looking for a Feng Shui practitioner, be wary of those who prescribe mirrors as a solution to your Feng Shui woes.

Common Sense Feng Shui

There are many aspects to Feng Shui. One can use the analogy of comparing Feng Shui to an onion. As you peel the skin away, there are deeper and deeper layers to be discovered. One of the topmost layers is environmental Feng Shui. Many practitioners go only as deep as this level. Despite only hitting the surface of the science of Feng Shui, they do have some limited success. Anyone who takes the time can apply these environmental Feng Shui principles to their offices and living space. Although much is said about these factors, they bear repeating as questions abound about the “common sense” environmental aspects of Feng Shui.

One of the most basic principles of environmental Feng Shui is that you do not sit with your back to an entrance. It is amazing how many modern offices have cubicles or office furniture arrangements that place a person facing away from either the entrance to their cubicle or the door of the office. Placing a person like that is both unproductive and creates a suspicious feeling in the person who consistently has to turn around to see who is behind them. One company had a worker, who knew nothing about Feng Shui, with a mirror next to him to see who was approaching from the rear. While we do not recommend mirrors as a Feng Shui remedy, (see the article on mirrors) this was one case where it did come in handy to make the person aware of his surroundings. People can be much more productive if they are comfortable. A desk that is aligned in such a way as to protect the backside of the worker is a much more comfortable situation.

Another common sense Feng Shui axiom is that curves are much more pleasing than angles. In art, a smooth curving brush stroke is much more pleasing to the eye than a sharp angle. The same is true in buildings. It seems that much is written about angles pointing at you. They are referred to as Metal Sha, Qi Arrows, etc. From a common sense perspective they do not look pleasing, nor do they provide comfort. They create on on-rush of direct chi from two directions with a focus directly at you. The objective then is to break up that on-rush of energy. Ideally a curved corner is much more desirable. Many architects and builders are now building homes with no angles at all. Every corner is rounded. If it is a building near your home or office, consider putting a tall bush or shrub in front of the angle to break up the qi force.

Clutter – this has to be the most popular “cure all” solution for your basic Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is about pleasing and comfortable environments. While some people thrive on clutter, it is not a way of improving one’s prosperity or well being. So even though it is basic advice, it is still good advice. Take care of the clutter. You may have seen this solution on TV, but it works for assisting in clearing out the clutter.

Looking at environmental “Sha” (evil influence), freeways and roads are the most predominant in today’s world. Some suggestions about these environmental influences are to avoid living right next to a freeway. This is true for railroad tracks as well. While people can become accustom to the noise Sha, it does not provide a harmonious environment. There is too much fast moving qi and noise Sha. If you have this situation, try to put some barriers between you and the Sha. A hedge or a wall can deflect some of the noise. Another situation to avoid is living in a house or building on the outside edge of a curved road. This is like a sickle of qi slicing through the house. From a common sense perspective, it is more likely that a car will lose control and end up in your yard. Again, the solution would be to create a barrier such as a hedge or wall that is protective. While these can be protective, ensure that they fit with the environment around, are beautiful, and are not isolating.

Another problem in today’s cities is the problem of proportion. Many times a high rise is built next to a small building or apartment complex or even a single home. A high-rise by itself is unprotected and exposed. A small building surrounded by high-rises is overwhelmed and the occupants have a similar feeling. The solution here is to avoid situations like these. This is true if you are planning a building or if you are looking for homes.

Modern environmental influences can also include electrical lines. Although the debate about high-tension power lines continues, Feng Shui considers this Fire Sha. Too much Fire Sha is not good. If there are power lines near your house, consider adding earth element to ground this fire.

A more traditional environmental Sha are cemeteries. Cemeteries are the resting-places for the yin spirits. Too much yin chi can be overwhelming. There is another study of Feng Shui known as “Yin House Feng Shui.” This is the study of the Feng Shui of the dead. Traditional Chinese culture believes that the siting of the grave can affect the generations to follow. Cemeteries are places to mourn and have separation associated with them. This is even more yin qi. Yang house (homes for the living) should not be near cemeteries.

Good Feng Shui standards follow the concept of “being plugged in.” This is applicable to bedrooms, houses and apartments. In the bedroom, keep your bed “plugged in” to a wall. Do not have the bed at an angle to the walls, nor away from a solid wall. This leads to uncomfortable sleeping patterns and a generally poor rest. The bedroom is where you regenerate and absorb the most chi of the day. Most people spend at least six to eight hours sleeping. During this time you are absorbing the qi of the room. When a proper Feng Shui analysis is performed, the focus should be on the bedrooms and the entrance (where the qi circulates into your house). The most important part of Feng Shui is creating a balanced environment for the people. A supportive bedroom is a must.

Houses and other buildings should be plugged into the ground. Stilt houses are not considered to have good Feng Shui since they are not “plugged into” the ground. This can lead to instability and stomach problems. When looking for a place on a hill, try to find one that is grounded.

Lastly, always remember to keep a balance. The fundamental theory of Feng Shui is the concept of Yin and Yang. This is about balance. If a room is too bright, put up curtains. If a room is too dark, consider adding a skylight. If it is too cold, turn on the heater. Too much of anything is not healthy. 168 Feng Shui Advisors uses the philosophy of “Bringing traditional balance to modern living.” There are a lot of modern environmental problems around, but there are as many traditional solutions. Thousands of years ago, things were much simpler which allowed the time to examine solutions in depth. The answers to today’s environmental issues are still to be found in traditional Feng Shui.

Yin and Yang Theory

Yin and Yang Theory

The concept of Yin and Yang is one of the most fundamental and profound theories of Feng Shui. It is the Chinese perspective of balance and continual change. Many Feng Shui practitioners claim they have a deep understanding of this concept, yet they cannot even represent the image correctly. In fact, this is a good indicator of the depth of knowledge a “master” possesses. Many times these practitioners call themselves masters, yet their printed materials contain an incorrect Tai-ji (The name for the Yin and Yang circle) representation. How can one call themselves a master of Feng Shui and not even understand the basics of this deep and extremely significant diagram? Yin and Yang is a foundation theory for Feng Shui that supports many other theories including the Five Elements theory and the Environment. Hopefully by reading this, you will be better informed on what Yin/Yang theory is in Feng Shui.

What the Western version of Yin and Yang might be

A western perspective on yin and yang

Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance. The opposites flow in a natural cycle always replacing the other. Just as the seasons cycle and create a time of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycles through active and passive, dark and light, etc. Yin and Yang evolved from a belief of mutually dependant opposites that cannot live without the other. The Eastern view of opposites is, if you will excuse the pun, opposite of a Western view. If Yin and Yang are balanced and flowing in the East, in the West (if a similar philosophy were adopted), it might look like the image to the right.

We in the West tend to look as things as black “or” white, right “or” wrong, etc. There is separation and unrelatedness in the Western perspective. Whereas, the Chinese view opposites as evolving and cycling. There is neither right or wrong, but rather there is balance, transformation, interaction, and dependent opposition. We need both to maintain a balance.

Symbolism

Yin and Yang can further be explained as a duality that cannot exist without both parts. The chart below shows some of the many opposites that are contained in such a simple symbol.

yin and yang

After the Yellow Turban rebellion (184 A.D.), the Han dynasty emperors commissioned scholars to re-examine the ancient texts. The principles of which Dong Zhongshui (?179-104 B.C.) and others interpreted the ancient texts were derived from the early philosophy of nature, the complementary alternating forces of Yin and Yang, dark and light, female and male, which maintain the balance of the cosmos, and which had been a thought pattern of the Chinese before any philosophical schools came into being.1 Meaning, that Feng Shui and Yin and Yang concepts were evolving from cosmological and environmental sciences before Daoists philosophy adopted it. Many people believe that it was a Daoist invention.

Within Yang, there is a small piece of Yin. Within Yin, there is a small piece of Yang. Just as in the heart of winter, a seed lays in wait to become life, so is Yang waited within Yin for its turn. In a hot summer, a sudden desert storm can bring coolness. This too is an example of how Yin is found in Yang. Again, there are no absolutes, just cycles in time.

An excellent book on this topic is Heaven and Earth in Early Han ThoughtYin and Yang.

Understanding a small piece of the true nature of the Tai Chi symbol

5 Element cycle

These Han dynasty scholars examined the ancient texts and discovered that their forebearers already had a logical and cyclical explanation for the Yin and Yang beyond the morality and philosophy. The first initial observations were of the changes of the seasons. Then expanding these observations the directions were explained. Then cycles in nature were further explained as the cycle of the Five elements.

From a solar perspective, the Sun rises in the East, reaches its peak overhead and sets in the West, then the symbology of the Tai-ji can be represented as right. Furthering that; Spring gives way to new wood, Summer brings fire and heat, Autumn cools like metal, and lastly snow (frozen water) brings the coldest time or Winter. It can also be seen that heat rises and coolness settles.

From a directional perspective, in the Northern Hemisphere (and from a Chinese perspective) the hottest direction is the South and the coldest is the North. Meanwhile all of this occurs with Earth being the center point.

An elemental perspective is a productive cycle of five elements. Creating this productive cycle of elements we see that:

  • Wood burns producing Fire.
  • Fire leaves behind Earth.
  • Earth is the source of Metal.
  • Metal liquefies into flowing liquid like Water (or another explanation is that Metal when cooled it creates condensation, such as a car left out on a cool night).
  • Water then becomes the nourishment for the Wood.

Now you see that there is a lot of depth and meaning to this simple symbol. Many times this symbol is represented as shown below. If heat rises and cool settles, how can Feng Shui “masters” use it on their web sites, in Feng Shui books, and in their classes classes etc.?

Incorrect Tai Ji Incorrect Tai Ji

Incorrect! Heat does not flow down and cool does not rise!!

Without understanding the conceptual view of Yin and Yang, one cannot properly utilize five elements. Since the five elements are the basis of the energetic representations and are the (only!) corrections utilized in Feng Shui, next time you see this incorrect version of the Tai-ji, question the information you are receiving.

For an authentic Feng Shui Consultation, please contact us today.

1. Morton, W. Scott, China Its History and Culture, McGraw Hill, 1995

Yin and Yang

Find your Feng Shui Consultants in Los Angeles

Find your Feng Shui Consultants in Los Angeles

Looking for a traditional Feng Shui Consultation in or around Los Angeles? 168 Feng Shui Advisors is your answer.

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168 Feng Shui Advisors realize how important your home is for you. It is your place of recover from a stressful world. Utilizing Feng Shui, you can further enhance the peace and tranquility. You can promote harmonious relationships. Most importantly, you want to ensure that your health is protected. Your home is key to your own well being.

Ensure that the qi of your home is properly balanced and supportive to you and your family. We are located in Burbank and doing business in greater Los Angeles area, Glendale, the San Fernando Valley, Beverly Hills and most of Southern California. 168 Feng Shui Advisors can provide you with an effective and amazing traditional Feng Shui consultation. Give us a call now at: 818-841-4135 to arrange a consultation

Feng Shui Consultations for Business

A place of business is your livelihood. You need to be alert, productive and build great relationships. Your workspace should support you in your efforts. You want a building that supports your financial prosperity. Feng Shui aims at creating an environment where you can achieve these fundamental goals. 168 Feng Shui Advisors listens to your goals and focuses on your success. Key changes to your environment can make all the difference!

When you use 168 Feng Shui Advisors for a personalized consultation, you will be getting a detailed analysis that looks at all four factors of Feng Shui; Building, Environment, People, and Time. Most practitioners utilize only the first two (building and environment). People and Time are especially key to an accurate Feng Shui reading. With decades of experience, you can be assured that our advisors are able to help you improve the Feng Shui of your home or office.

There are many Feng Shui “masters” who have learned from books or have taken classes from anyone who holds a seminar. 168 Feng Shui Advisors have dedicated themselves to learning the deepest aspects of Feng Shui from only Master Larry Sang, founder of the American Feng Shui Institute. In fact, as instructors at the Institute, we have taught many of the practitioners in Los Angeles for more than 15 years!

You will receive the necessary information to correctly enhance your situation. You will find out how the greater environment effects you, how key areas of your house or building can be enhanced to assist you, how you personally can be more rested and productive.

All of this is based on traditional mathematical calculations, logic, and common sense.

As FengShui professionals, we do not use superstition, mysticism, or religion. Instead, we use practical and understandable recommendations to improve the Feng Shui in your home or office.

Arranging an on-site consultation

If you are looking for a Los Angeles Feng Shui expert, we would be happy to provide you with a detailed Feng Shui analysis.

In certain situations, we travel to various places around the US to provide fengshui consultations. For appointments outside of the Southern California area we need at least 30 days notice. Please contact us below for more details and to arrange both an appointment and travel considerations.

What is needed?

We ask that you provide us, either before or at the time of the analysis:

  • An accurate floor plan
  • The year the building was built
  • The birth dates of all occupants.

Feng Shui Consultations by email?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide long distance readings by email, fax, or letter. We feel that like a good doctor who will not prescribe medicine without first meeting the patient, a qualified Feng Shui practitioner should not provide recommendations without examining the building and environment first-hand.

You can however post general questions at the American Feng Shui Institute’s Intro to Feng Shui Forum!

Costs?

The cost of an on-site consultation varies with the size of the property or development, travel time, and the depth of analysis. Custom home developments and consultations, or consultations outside of the greater Los Angeles area, are priced on a project by project basis.

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