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.

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.