Feng Shui, as most of us cosmopolitan coast dwellers know, refers to the Chinese art of placement in the living space. But did you know the literal translation of Feng Shui? It means wind and water. In the Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health.
Thus, good Feng Shui is associated with good fortune and bad Feng Shui is associated with bad luck or misfortune. This ancient Art and Science began over 3,000 years ago in China. It truly is a complex body of knowledge that has been developed over the centuries with the intent of aligning and balancing the energies of any given space either in the home or in the garden.
One beautiful aspect of this practice is the belief that when you practice Feng Shui, the participant becomes immersed in the understanding that the earth and surrounding landmarks are alive and filled with Chi, or life force energy. Not unlike Luke Skywalker’s “force.”
Yin and Yang, the dark and light energies, as well as the five Feng Shui Elements are some of the basic aspects of this art and come from the discipline of Taoism.
Typically, the main tools used in a Feng Shui analysis of your home or garden are the compass and the Ba-Gua. The Ba-Gua, or energy map of your home, is divided into eight areas. Although the garden is considered part of the house, you do not consider it part of the home Ba-Gua.
Each of the eight areas or directions has a color and life area associated with it.
The North side of the home, from a compass reading of 337.5 degrees to 22.5 degrees, is considered the life area of career. The Feng Shui element is water and its colors are blue and black.
The Northeast portion of the home, from 22.5 degrees to 67.5 degrees on the compass, is dedicated to the Feng Shui element earth. The colors for this area are beige, yellow and sandy brown. This area focuses on spiritual growth and self-cultivation.
Located on the east side of the house, between compass readings of 67.5 degrees to 112.5 degrees, is the Feng Shui element of wood. Its accompanying colors are brown and green. This is the focal point for health and family.
With a southeast compass reading between 112.5 degrees to 157.5 degrees, you will find the life energy area of money and abundance – a key location! The element and colors here are the same for health – wood, brown and green. It seems that Benjamin Franklin was on track: healthy, wealthy and wise.
A south compass reading between 157.5 degrees to 202.5 degrees is home to the Feng Shui element of fire. Not surprisingly, the colors are red, orange, purple, pink and bright yellow. The life area or energy focus here is fame and reputation. A more clear definition of this would be translated as the light within you.
Southwest energies lie between 202.5 degrees and 247.5 degrees on the compass rose. The Feng Shui element here is earth. Life energy here relates to love and marriage. The energy colors are also brown and sandy yellow.
A west compass reading between 247.5 degrees to 292.5 degrees places you in the life energy area of creativity and children. Metal is the element here, and the colors associated with this energy are white and gray.
The final life force area in the Ba-Gua is the northwest where you will find between 292.5 degrees to 337.5 degrees, the energies of helpful people, blessings and travel. The Feng Shui element is metal and white and gray are the colors.
Water flowing to the house for health or as a fountain should be placed in the east.
A Zen rock garden or stone sculpture of love or beauty would benefit you in the northeast and southwest focusing the earth element.
All these elements are reflected in a balanced garden. Go ahead and try them.