S t e p h e n W a y n e - S m i t h
F e n g s h u i D e s i g n e r
How I work.
I begin with a basic analysis of energy within a space whether it’s an interior or an exterior garden.
The aim is to encourage the free flow of positive energy which is the earthly chi. This chi moves in an undulating and curving pattern.
Negative energy is known as sha. It travels in straight lines. These principles of feng shui come from the famous Yellow emperor who in 5th century AD wrote his “dwelling classic” outlining these energetic laws.
In gardens the exposure to chi is greater and more expansive. In interiors it is more confined and directed.
In gardens the positive chi can be increased by curves and circular designs in ponds, pathways, garden beds and sculptures.
Sha energy can be decreased by eliminating stagnant water areas and poorly drained soils. Bridges and pathways should be curved or zig zig if angles are necessary so as to discourage the sha from travelling in the straight lines.
In interiors, chi can be manoeuvred to meander peacefully through the space by the placement of screens, furniture and objects to prevent the direct flow-through of sha energy in a straight line. This gives a feeling of calm and restfulness to a room.
Chi needs an entrance and an exit in a room. It cannot leave through the entrance. A room has to have at least a door and a window. Rooms without windows are therefore only suitable as storage spaces as they are stagnant and devoid of life chi.
Generally, there needs to be a balance of the five elements; fire, wood, earth, metal, water. This can be achieved in the home through the placement of candles and lamps for fire, the use of timber floors and furniture for wood, pottery and rustic colours for earth, metallic sculptures and art for metal, aquariums and aquatic features for water.
In the garden, the five elements can be balanced by the use of bamboo screens, ponds and waterfalls, bronze or other metallic statues and sundials, large earthenware pots and fiery coloured foliage and flowers.
Water is the symbol of wealth and prosperity in feng shui principles. It needs to be moving or else the energy becomes blocked and stagnant. It also must be contained and never leaking. In a consultation for a very successful investment banker whose luck had taken a drastic turn for the worse, I came across a very grand water feature in his back garden. It was half empty and looking very sad. According to feng shui principles this was very negative energy affecting his wealth. The water feature was stagnant and not functioning, and it was also leaking. Not only was he deflecting any chance of making new money , the draining of the water was also draining his finances. Not wanting to fix such an unimportant thing in his garden until his finances improved, he was actually preventing himself from better fortune. After remedying the situation, the water feature was back to its flowing glory and at full capacity. His finances improved accordingly.
Placement of the elements.
In basic feng shui a space is divided into nine sections as in a grid. This energetic grid overlay is known as the ba – Gua map. This principle is applied to both your garden and the rooms in your house.
The sections relate to different aspects of your life including your career, your relationships, your reputation and your wealth. These areas can be activated by the placement of items in these energetic “hot spots”. If the energy is happy and flowing in these areas then that aspect of your life will be harmonious. If the energy is blocked or stagnant then disharmony will occur and negative sha energy will be allowed to proliferate.
The power of feng shui is with the individual. In Chinese philosophy we are all born under a sign of the twelve animals. Most people know whether they are born in the year of the tiger, snake or rat. The element for that year is important for your individual feng shui. Whatever element you were born under is a key energetic tool that you can apply to your home and garden.
If your element is water for example, your activating tool is this element. Now you can decide where to use it. If your career needs a bit of a boost then placing a water feature in this area of your garden or home will begin to change the energetic pattern that has been present. If you have been having some financial problems and you are a fire element , then placing a candle or bright lamp in the wealth sector of the room (back left corner) will increase your chances of winning the lottery or getting that raise.
In the garden, the power of colour is important in activating the sectors of your life. Planting flowers of the colour of your element will activate that aspect of your life.
Element flower colours are; wood- blue or green, fire- red, earth- yellow, brown, metal-white, water-blue. If you are a wood element person, a mass display of yellow flowers in the relationship sector of your garden ( back right corner) will guarantee that your love life will blossom accordingly.
10 ways to improve your garden and home with feng shui.
1. Eliminate any clutter or untidy corners of your rooms. Allow free flowing chi to circulate and energise your space unhindered.
2. Cut out any deadwood or dying plants from your garden. Remove any dead foliage and rubbish from heaps or hollows. These are magnets for negative “sha” energy.
3. Remove any large trees or shrubs that are planted against your house. They hinder the movement of the positive yang energy into your house and allow a build up of too much yin energy within.
4. Placing a statue or rock in the shape of a bird in the front garden of your house will attract the beneficial chi of good fortune.
5. A water feature to the left of your front door (looking out) will attract lots of luck. Remove any water features to the right as classically this meant that the marriage partner would stray!
6. Place furniture and screens in the pathway of direct light, if it passes through from one exit to another. This will encourage the chi to stay and energise the space longer.
7. Make sure your bed does not face an open space such as a doorway. If this is unavoidable, place a screen or plant to deflect the pathway. Likewise do not sleep under a skylight or with your head against a window. Curtains and blinds are required to be closed if there is no alternative.
8. Plant perimeter screens of bamboo or other close growing foliage if a neighbour’s house looks down with sharp cornered angles to your garden or home. This will deflect the “sha” energy that will be travelling from the structure. The placement of a Pa-Kua mirror on your side reflecting back will also repel the sha. Be discrete with the placement or else you may find yourself embroiled in a “mirror war” as your neighbour installs another to repel the sha back again!
9. The classic temple lions placed on each side of your doorway will offer protection and security. The classic topiary on each side of the doorway is also excellent feng shui offering a boost of positive chi as you enter and exit. A curved entrance is preferable from the street. This can be achieved by paving designs and undulating flower beds on each side of your pathway.
10. When hanging paintings try finding pairs of matching sizes. The colours are important. Try finding one with light colours and one with dark. This way you are utilising the yin and the yang, like the traditional universal symbol of peace and harmony.
"As seen in The Sunday Telegraph Homeowner Magazine"
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