When building the new entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney executives decided to shift the angle of the front gate by 12 degrees. They did so after consulting a feng shui specialist, who said the change would ensure prosperity for the park. Disney also put a bend in the walkway from the train station to the gate, to make sure the flow of positive energy, or chi, did not slip past the entrance and out to the China Sea. Heeding the advice of a feng shui consultant is one of many steps Disney executives have taken at the park to reflect the local culture -- and to make sure they do not repeat some mistakes of the past.
The Five Elements or Forces (wu xing) – which, according to the Chinese, are metal, earth, fire, water, and wood – are first mentioned in Chinese literature in a chapter of the classic Book of History. They play a very important part in Chinese thought: ‘elements’ meaning generally not so much the actual substances as the forces essential to human life. Earth is a buffer, or an equilibrium achieved when the polarities cancel each other. While the goal of Chinese medicine is to balance yin and yang in the body, the goal of feng shui has been described as aligning a city, site, building, or object with yin-yang force fields.
That's up to you. Some people love looking outside and seeing life go by; others feel invaded. But if you have a big window opposite the front door, the energy can fly right out the window, so it's good to address that: Use drapes or blinds. Or put something in front of the window, like a plant or a pretty reflective bowl, to bounce energy back into the room.
Any images you hang on your bedroom walls should be inspiring, uplifting, or relaxing. One of the best places to hang such an image is on the wall opposite your bed so that you see it first thing when you wake up and the last thing before you turn off the lights to go to sleep. Don't bring sad or upsetting images into your bedroom, or paintings or photographs that feature just one person: This symbolizes solitude. It's also best to avoid images in which a lake, waterfall, or river is the dominant theme. In other parts of the house, water symbolizes money, but in the bedroom, it may promote financial or relationship losses.
In feng shui, a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind. Even worse, clutter literally sucks up the energy in a space. "You may think you're hiding your clutter, but the closet has as much of an effect on energy flow as anything else," says Whitehurst. If there's clutter somewhere in your home — even tucked away in an attic — then it's also cluttering your head, as well as the rest of your body.
While side tables might seem like an afterthought, Cerrano says there are a number of things to consider when choosing them. “Typically, we want to have two side tables that are close to the same size and height," she says. "It relates to balance and equality—or at least respect—within that relationship with yourself and whoever you’re sharing a bedroom with.”
In feng shui, chi is what we call life force energy: known to yogis as prana. And the front door is known in feng shui as the “mouth of chi.” In other words, it’s the place where blessings and abundance of all varieties enter both your home and your life. As such, abundant wealth, as well as the consistency of your financial flow, correspond with the appearance and condition of your front door. That’s why a clean, bright red door is an iconic feng shui image: red relates not only to prosperity, but also to vitality, success, and general positivity. But you need not have a red door (unless you want one). Just make sure you love the way it looks, it’s clean, it’s in good repair, it doesn’t squeak or stick, it has full range of motion (nothing is behind it), and the area around it (the entire entryway) is also beautiful and uplifting.
Just like making your bed in the morning, opening your blinds before you head out for work may not be engrained in your daily rituals, but it should be: "Opening your blinds and your windows (if weather permits) during the day is a wonderful habit to acquire," says Cerrano. "This is called letting the outside in. It helps to refresh the energy by allowing natural light and fresh air to filter into your bedroom. At night, close the windows and blinds as to keep the fresh energy circulating inside your bedroom when sleeping." Even if you won't be there to enjoy the natural light, let it stream in while you're at work (just don't leave your windows opened and unattended—burglary is never good for feng shui).
Speaking of beds, they should always have a headboard. In feng shui, headboards provide a feeling of support in life. If you have a box spring only, you can get a headboard separately, but make sure to attach it very well to the bed. You don’t want it to wobble! When choosing a headboard, go for one that has soft edges whenever possible. Heavy cast-iron headboards or ones that have bars have that same "cutting" energy you're trying to avoid in such a relaxing space. Instead, I recommend ones that are made of fabric, as they provide a soft, inviting feel. Platform beds are great too, but make sure that the platform has no sharp angles where you could hurt your shins.
Feng Shui divides the vast environment or landscape that is the universe into more manageable units — like human beings and their homes, property, offices, living rooms, and bedrooms. You can’t control the Feng Shui of the world at large. But Feng Shui enables you to design your personal environment according to the same universal principles of energy flow by which planets spin in their orbits and galaxies wheel through space.
Feng shui or fengshui (traditional Chinese: 風水; simplified Chinese: 风水, pronounced [fə́ŋ.ʂwèi] (listen)), also known as Chinese geomancy, is a pseudoscience originating from China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the passage of the now-lost Classic of Burial recorded in Guo Pu's commentary: Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The feng shui practice discusses architecture in terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi.