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.

The Fish Factor – Feng Shui Fish Falacies

The Fish Factor – Feng Shui Fish Falacies

We frequently get questions about fish and their effect in Feng Shui. This is a Feng Shui topic that has a lot of misunderstanding, primarily because there is some basis for what is discussed, but also there is a lot of misunderstanding. There is no such thing specifically as a feng shui fish, although people tend to associate them with gold fish or with carp.

In traditional Chinese Feng Shui, the only recommended solutions are the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water element strengthens wood qi. Fish have been confused to be a Feng Shui remedy, but this is not in itself true. What it is, is a combination of superstition and misunderstanding. In Feng Shui, the number 6 and 7 are used in the calculations of the trigrams and are representative of metal, and 7= Dui or soft metal). Five Element theory says that metal strengthens water. Chinese folklore says that adding 6 gold fish and one black fish makes the water stronger. What this is trying to do is to strengthen the water effect with metal. Actually, the fish only add decoration to the tank. To really strengthen the water element, the tank should have the real metal element with the water.

Fish do add a couple of things though. One is beauty and the other is to add circulation to the water. Further, they are living creatures and they bring life to the environment. This is good Feng Shui, but it is not needed in a strict sense for the Water element to be effective. Personally, I like fish and if I were to add water to an area, I might add the fish, but for the beauty and serenity they bring, but not for the reason of strengthening the Water element. That is environmental Feng Shui, but not elemental Feng Shui. The water element will work with or without the fish, so long as it is kept clean and circulating. Avoid stagnant water. This becomes a “sha” (negative influence) and is not helpful.

Let me give you an example of how people apply fish to Feng Shui. There is a restaurant near our school that was “Feng Shui’d” by someone who knew only the folklore beliefs. All their remedies blatantly stood out. They have a giant (8 foot) fish tank at the entrance with 6 gold fish and 1 black fish. Nothing else in the tank! First, the poor gold fish have no environment to interact with and it appears very stark. This in itself is poorly applied Feng Shui. Second, all the other remedies stand out so much that they feel out of place. This is a not the way to resolve Feng Shui issues. Feng Shui is a natural science. Everything should appear natural. Properly applied, Feng Shui should be so natural that you don’t even notice that a Feng Shui master has been there, except for the feeling that the building is very comfortable. As an example, perhaps you need the Metal element in a room. By putting a beautiful bronze statue of a horse or perhaps a brass plate on the wall, you get the metal influence without it appearing out of place.

Lastly, everything in Feng Shui has an explanation. Feng Shui is based on logic and practical application. If in doubt about the information presented, question “why?” Also remember that Feng Shui properly applied, should appear natural and comfortable, both to people and to fish.