Images can be very powerful, we all know that. They can be of great help with expressing a desired quality of energy when the real objects are not available, not suitable or cannot be placed well in your home. For example, you might not want plants in your space for whatever reasons, but you can always go for images of lush energy – no constant care needed, always fresh! The same principle applies to images of water. If fountains are not to your (or your home’s) liking, you can use images of clear (and ideally moving) water as a wealth feng shui cure. High-quality wall murals work wonders in most spaces.
For example, when I think of a lifelong love partnership, I can come up with many images, none of them being the Mandarin ducks (the traditional feng shui representation of love & marriage). This is because I have no cultural or emotional connections to this image. However, for many Chinese people, the image of Mandarin ducks will genuinely speak of devoted love because there is strong cultural lore connected to this image. This means that approaching feng shui in an intelligent way and with a good dose of healthy discrimination is the cornerstone of successful feng shui work.
So what is feng shui and why is it so difficult to understand it? Well, for one, feng shui is a very, very old art and science. Its history goes back thousands of years. That is really, really old, which means really, really easy to misinterpret. Because feng shui is such an ancient body of knowledge, it has also been fully “steeped” in cultural stereotypes. This makes it very important to distinguish between the culturally specific expressions of energy and the very essence of any given form of energy.
Feng Shui is a term composed of two Chinese words: feng (wind) and shui (water). Wind and water are the two natural elements that flow, move, and circulate everywhere on Earth. They are also the most basic elements required for human survival. Wind — or air — is the breath of life; without it, we would die in moments. And water is the liquid of life; without it, we would die in days. The combined qualities of wind and water determine the climate, which historically has determined our food supply and in turn affects our lifestyle, health, energy, and mood. These two fundamental and flowing elements have always profoundly yet subtly influenced human individuals and societies.
It should come as no surprise that natural light can make us feel happier and more positive. "Mirrors in feng shui are like aspirin," jokes Benko. "They're prescribed often to treat many ailments. They're a quick adjustment when you want to expand a space, and bring in more light." The key here is to be very mindful of what the mirrors reflect. Is it a stack of bills (i.e. more clutter) or a beautiful view?
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home, according to feng shui, because it's where we seek restoration, balance, and peace. It's also the place of dreams. In feng shui, the items you place between your mattresses have an energetic association with your intentions. So yes, you can make money (or find true love) in your sleep. Use sensual fabrics and fluffy pillows to promote relaxation and don't store things under your bed — shoes, suitcases, books, pictures, and files are too energizing for restful slumber.
Everyone appreciates the benefits of beautiful, comfortable living environments; America’s billion-dollar interior decorating industry attests to this fact. However, Feng Shui takes the approach that your surroundings affect not just your level of material comfort but also your physical and mental health, your relationships, and your worldly success.
The astronomical history of feng shui is evident in the development of instruments and techniques. According to the Zhouli, the original feng shui instrument may have been a gnomon. Chinese used circumpolar stars to determine the north–south axis of settlements. This technique explains why Shang palaces at Xiaotun lie 10° east of due north. In some of the cases, as Paul Wheatley observed, they bisected the angle between the directions of the rising and setting sun to find north. This technique provided the more precise alignments of the Shang walls at Yanshi and Zhengzhou. Rituals for using a feng shui instrument required a diviner to examine current sky phenomena to set the device and adjust their position in relation to the device.