In a Feng Shui consultation, this has been one of two areas which I have advised clients to avoid doing any remodeling in (the southeast portion of your house inside or the southeast sector of your backyard or front yard.) If someone goes ahead and does any significant remodeling or demolition in the accident-prone area, it can cause a variety of problems, complications or delays.
The other negative area this year was North. Over the years, I have received quite a bit of feedback from clients who had remodels or additions in the wrong areas and heard their aggravating experiences. On a large scale, certain parts of the country associated with those same directions can have problems which range from natural disasters, severe weather, political upheaval, or social unrest. As an example, back in 1992 the direction of southwest had the annual negative influences associates with fire, pain, arguments, and disaster. We here in Southern California the southwest part of the nation) experienced the L.A. riots.
These annual influences repeat themselves every nine years (solar) and every twelve years (lunar). The two negative areas to avoid construction in for 2001 will be southwest once again (last time was 1992) and South/South-east since it is linked with the Year of the Snake.
To further clarify: remodeling does not mean you have to be afraid of putting up a shelf or painting a wall in one of these two areas. But substantial changes, like moving walls, pulling up flooring, and outside digging--these are the activities which can stir up the negative vibrations. Even having a neighbor doing construction in alignment with your property can be a potential problem (above and beyond the obvious noise factor.)
If you want to learn more about the annual influences in every area of your house, contact me for a copy of Master Sang’s book: The Principles of Feng Shui. You can also take a class with me.
And if you have been a client of mine, seriously consider having me do an Annual Update Reading for you. Feng Shui Related Holiday Stuff - Top
Check out my website for a variety of books and videos available that make great gifts.
(www.fengshuisolutions.net) I can even put together a Feng Shui Gift Basket for you.
I can also make Feng Shui Gift Certificates if you would like to gift a consultation to someone.
My friend Marjorie Rothstein is available for Instant Re-Design Make-Overs for your home or a single room, using the furnishings you already have! She is a designer and artist who works with me and helps clients follow through with my feng shui recommendations.Call her: (818)905-1999.
Another friend of mine, Edy Rose, is a color consultant. She can advise you on colors to add in your home, in conjunction with my feng shui recommendations. She is also a certified Aura-Soma Color Therapeutics specialist. (This system uses aromatherapy, color, and crystals to remove emotional and spiritual blocks.) Feng Shui Principles That Annoy Architects - Top
It is often said that good design is also good Feng Shui. Generally
speaking, I totally agree. However, Feng Shui principles of how ch'i
moves in and around a building, and what kind of effect that has on
people, will sometimes be in conflict with interesting architecture or
1. Does symmetry = balance? I have seen many floor plans where the
architect deliberately placed doorways or windows directly opposite each
other. Sometimes there is a whole succession of windows along a wall,
and the opposite wall will be a mirror image. I have seen entrances or
exterior facades where columns, hedges, and pathways create long
straight lines toward a main door. In looking at these designs, the
symmetry is obvious. But from a Feng Shui stand point, this is not
necessarily harmonious or balanced. Think about nature, and winding
meandering paths through gardens, and groupings in odd numbers. This is
very different than the perfect pairing of windows, doors, or other
architectural features. Two windows exactly opposite each other may
feel like balance through symmetry from a designer's training. But this
arrangement allows for ch'i (air currents) to either move too quickly
through a room and/or the room leaks its vitality too soon.
2. High ceilings: A room may feel dramatic and larger (intended effect)
when the ceilings are high. Most people initially feel good in this
kind of room. But the function of the room will determine the
appropriateness of high ceilings in Feng Shui theory. It may be hard to
concentrate in a room with high ceilings, and it may be difficult to get
good sleep as well. Sometimes the good energies which need to be cozy
and contained in a small room, will get dissipated in a room with high
3. Beams: The look of exposed beams can also bring personality to a room
from a design point. But open beams in a bedroom are known to cause
health and relationship problems in Feng Shui theory (in all schools of
4.Views from front to back: A major selling feature in many homes is to
create a spectacular view from the entrance, all the way through to the
back (showing a garden, or views of a valley or ocean.) But this is not
the home you will sell to an adherent of Feng Shui. Once again, the
premise is that incoming energy will make a bee-line for the back,
escaping too quickly. The mundane result of a house losing its energy
is that the occupants will have a hard time saving their money.
5. Angles and odd shapes: When a building or a single room has an odd
shape, (not a square or rectangle) this can make the ch'i boomerang
around the room, causing lack of focus, ill health, or arguments. I
have often been in very odd-shaped buildings or houses, where the real
orientation (of what is the front and what is the back) is also very
Just because a building looks striking from afar doesn't mean it is a
comfortable place to work in. I once saw the design for a new building
by some famous architect and it honestly looked like a crumpled piece of
paper! This can't possibly be good Feng Shui.
**Keep in mind: there are some buildings which get classified as being
good for money, but not good for health and relationships. The ideal is
to create a building that is good for both, but given a choice, the
priority should be more in favor of people over money.
6. Staircases: Sometimes the design of a grand, swirling staircase can
make a huge statement for the room or entrance. But energetically, a
staircase is a conduit for energy. It will swirl and activate whatever
it is around. If the stairs are located in a positive section of a
building, they can make it even more positive. If they happen to be in
a bad location, then the movement they stir up will only further
irritate the area. This can only be understood by Feng Shui
practitioners who can calculate the "unseen" influences.
7.Aesthetics: Sometimes a home or commercial property just looks and
feels great, and all the visual features are in sync with good Feng Shui
principles as well. But every structure has been built facing a
particular compass degree, and within a certain time frame, and those
two coordinates may produce a house-type that can attract tremendous
misfortune, even though it "looks" good. This is the level of Feng Shui
that architects find most startling. How could it be that their
gorgeous new home can create lawsuits? Or miscarriage? Or accidents? Or
The good news is that more and more architects are considering working
with Feng Shui practitioners, so that the blending of their talents can
truly create a superior space-- visually, functionally and
energetically. The Art of Feng Shui and the Feng Shui of Art - Top
A question that comes up often during a feng shui consultation, is how
to interpret the effects of art in our home or work place. Here are my
1. Art is subjective: if you like looking at a particular piece of art
and it makes you feel good, then that is good feng shui in one sense.
2. When an art object or painting or photograph is boldly one color,
then it will emanate the element associated with that color. Example: a
giant red canvas on the wall is the fire element.
(That color may or may not be good for that particular area, but if you
have good reason to believe that a certain element is appropriate for
that area, then a large display of it via color will enforce the
3. A picture which has several or many colors will NOT be strong enough
to represent one or all of those colors--the energy gets dissipated.
4. Art should not conflict with the function of the room. Example: I
once had a client who had a large painting over her bed. It was brash
and modern with the actual words "LISTEN TO ME NOW!" sprawled across
it. Perhaps a joke, but not exactly the kind of message you would
normally want to display for the new boyfriend!
5. Placing a series of pictures along the wall or walls of a room with
frames all at the same level will create a subtle second ceiling to the
room. Air currents travel along walls, ceilings and floors. This could
be good for rooms with ceilings that are too high.
6. In general, placing pictures a little higher on the wall will make
the room feel bigger.
7. Art pieces, such as bronze statues or sculptures are definitely feng
shui metal remedies.
8. Having an attractive paining on an otherwise blank wall can be a feng
shui remedy for a congestive entrance.
9. Having pictures of landscapes can be good for rooms with no windows.
***Recommended Reading: a new feng shui book by Master Gahle Atherton
(Feng Shui: The Perfect Arrangement) has now joined the ranks of one of
my favorite authentic feng shui books. (A grand total of six!) It is
not in stores in America yet, but you can get signed copies from the
author by contacting her at www.fengshui.com.au Don't forget the "au"
part of the domain name or you won't get Gahle's site. I have a few
copies, and I'm ordering more. $20.00
Question from a student: Are new houses better than older houses?
Answer: A newer house may be in better structural condition. This
contributes to good feng shui. A newer house will statistically have had
fewer past occupants. The result is less lingering energy of past
occupants, or even the potential for one of them to return as a ghost.
These are just a couple of advantages of the newer house. But there are
many older homes that still have good ch'i, even better than the new
homes which were built against feng shui principles.
Second part of the answer: Houses go through cycles that last 180 years,
broken down into 9 construction cycles that last for 20 years. Once a
house reaches 180 years old, then its ch'i gets renewed, as if it were a
new house again.
Question: What's the best color for the exterior of a house?
Answer: We have eight basic house types, each one associated with a
direction. That direction is asociated with an element, and that
element has a color. If you paint the house the same color as the
element which defines its orientation, then you have an exterior color
that supports the house instead of undermining it. You can also use a
color which is "productive" to the element that matches your house.
As an example: Your house faces East, therefore it "sits" in the West.
The real nature of the house is that it is a West type house. West is
associated with Metal. Metal colors include grey and white. Those
would be good colors for the exterior. Also, since Earth makes Metal
stronger, then earth colors would also be strengthening to the house.
Earth colors are beiges, oranges, and yellows.
What would be a bad color for the metal house? Well, fire melts
metal--so a house that was reddish in tones, or salmon colored, would
not be an ideal color for this orientation of house. Good Feng Shui and Good Neighborhoods - Top
I have found an interesting coincidence with some of the better neighborhoods I
have visited and the better feng shui houses that
exist there. I am speaking of the 4 major house types which are
determined by their precise compass orientation.
Here is one example:
In the Pico/Robertson area of Los Angeles, there is a neighborhood south of
Pico Blvd. called "Beverlywood Adjacent" and it includes many homes that were
built between 1924-1943. Those which are on the east side of Robertson
Blvd. and face east or west are often the house types that are called
"Reversed." This implies a house type that is more prone to money and
health struggles. (Right next to a lot of gang activity as well.) This
neighborhood has never been considered as prestigous as the neighborhood on
the West side of Robertson Blvd. Many of these houses have identical
floor plans and were built in the same period, but the difference in street
alignment on either side of Robertson, makes them dramatically different
house types. If you measure the compass degree on the East side of
Robertson, the homes are aligned pretty much exactly dead-on east (90
degrees) or West (270 degrees.)
Then you go a few blocks West of
Robertson and the street alignment is a little different, where the east
facing houses do so at about 75-80 degrees and West at about 255-260
degrees. These house types are considered inherently good for money and
people. So this 15 degree shift may look almost imperceptible on the
Thomas Map Guide, but it creates two very different house types, consistent
with the general affluence of the neighborhoods they are in.
predictable area is the San Fernando Valley, which is mostly laid out on a
North-South (345-165 degrees), East-West (70-250 degrees) grid. Many of
these homes were built in the 1950's and are also classified as
But when you get up into the hilly areas, with winding
roads, particularly south of Ventura Blvd., the same 50's homes will face
any number of directions, and often end up being better feng shui homes
than the ones in the flat lands. Again, this has nothing to do with the
size of the homes. It is the compass alignment combined with
their construction age.
Another subtle shift takes place between
Culver City streets in a Northeast-Southwest alignment, verses the slightly
different alignment on Santa Monica streets in better
In the fall of 1999, I visited a new 80-home development
near Claremont at the request of the concerned builder. The Asian
buyers were only buying the South-facing houses. I knew that some of this had
to do with cultural superstition that South is a lucky direction. In
this case, there was some truth to the situation, because new homes which
face south are some of the best feng shui houses being built in the
current time frame.