Feng Shui Water Element

Feng Shui Water Element

Feng Shui literally means wind and water. The ancient Chinese used Feng Shui to study the effects of qi (pronounced “chi” and meaning “Life Energy”) on people and buildings and to create environments that were supportive and prosperous. “Wind disperses qi and Water holds qi” is a common axiom in Feng Shui. Water is one of the key elements in the Feng Shui theory of the Five Elements. Instinctively, people have always had an affinity for water. Most major cities and palaces of the world are located near rivers or bodies of water. Houses or property located near these waters usually fetch higher resale prices. Water, properly applied in Feng Shui can strengthen existing relationships, help to create new relationships, and even assist the overall prosperity of a home or building. Frequently, people ask, “What role does water play in Feng Shui?” or “How can you apply this element to improve your prosperity?” Water plays a key roll in Feng Shui and properly applied can greatly assist the prosperity of a home or building.

The water element is used frequently in Feng Shui. Water can be found naturally in the environment such as a river or lake. It can also be applied as a Feng Shui remedy. For the exterior, water can be stored in pools, ponds, fountains, or even cattle troughs! Water inside can take the form of small inside-fountains, fish tanks, water sculptures, or even large bowls. The key thing in all of these applications is to keep the water clean, fresh and moving. Fish tanks do not necessarily need fish, although Chinese superstition says to put in 6 gold fish and 1 black fish). Fish do help the water circulate though. Video fish tanks do not work as a Feng Shui remedy!

 

When applying the water element, it is important to understand that metal containers tend to work better than earthen containers. Metal strengthens water in the cycle of the elements. We have also seen people put a metal liner in their fountain to increase the strength of the water qi. Another key understanding is that the water has to be fresh. Water that is stagnant or moldy is considered a “sha” or negative influence. It can create a worse situation than if there were none.

 

The colors of blue or black can also be used as a substitute for the water element. North represents the Trigram of Kan. A house that “sits” to the North can benefit from a blue trim. While north is the water direction, this does not mean that you should automatically place water in that direction. Although a lot of books suggest water be used in the north, it really depends on the house and the particular qi it holds.

 

Recently we were asked the following question: “I’ve read that water in front of a dwelling brings prosperity into it, and water behind it draws prosperity out of it. Also, running water moves too quickly and must be cured by windmills or the like to catch the energy so it doesn’t just rush by.” First, a lot of what people read is not necessarily true. The best answer to the above question is “it depends.” In some cases, water behind the house will help the money prosperity. People frequently ask about swimming pools. Water near the house is good because it keeps the energy flowing and prevents it from being “locked.” Each house is different and it takes a qualified practitioner to determine the specific qi possessed by that house.

 

Traditional Feng Shui is concerned about the qi of the house and how comfortable it makes you feel. Further, traditional Chinese Feng Shui does not use “windmills” as a correction. If anything, putting up an embankment or by placing large rocks (then, only if needed) would be the solution. Earth dominates the water element and in order to block the water qi, you would use earth. A softer solution might be to put up a hedge or row of trees, as wood reduces water qi and is a softer solution than earth dominating water. This is not always needed, but rather, these are the solutions that might be applied if the water qi was undesirable.

 

Another positive benefit of water can also be to induce a relationship. Poetically known in China as bringing about the “peach blossom,” water used in the right place in combination with a particular qi (found only in certain homes) can attract male suitors.

 

If you belong to the Chen Trigram (wood), water can be used to give you strength. You belong to the Chen Trigram if you were born after February 4 in 1934, 1943, 1952, 1961, 1970, 1979, 1988, 1997.

 

Until 2043, it can be said generally, that water in the southwest or east, can assist prosperity. The water should be placed outside in fairly large container (perhaps as much 100 gallons). A warning though; if these directions are in front of, or behind your house, you should consult a qualified practitioner to determine if it is okay to do this. Just like medicine, there can be side effects if not applied carefully. If these directions are on the side of the house and you can apply it. Ensure that you use a compass to accurately determine the directions.

 

Water can be used in a lot of beautiful and creative ways. As with all Feng Shui remedies, work to create a harmonious environment that does not look “Feng Shui’d.” Water can be soothing and refreshing, especially during the summer months. Remember to keep it clean and don’t forget it. Water does evaporate, so keep your fountain or fish tank full. Store the qi. Lastly, when in doubt about how to use the element properly, please ask a trained practitioner. Properly applied, the water element can make a world of difference.

Here is an example of a fountain similar to the Feng Shui water fountain in the lobby of the American Feng Shui Institute’s offices.

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.