frequently asked questions
Feng Shui can be confusing to the beginner and quite often, the more you research it, the more difficult it actually becomes to understand and implement in your own home. With so many books and websites offering conflicting advice on the subject, it can be hard to know which is correct.
The confusion stems from the different types or "schools" of feng shui, some of which are easier to understand and use than others. Very often however, the type of feng shui being discussed is not explained and only clear to those who have had professional training. To add to the confusion, in recent years many of the traditional methods have been greatly simplified and mixed up with New Age beliefs, religion and superstition.
The Feng Shui Institute's FAQ's help to clear up common problems and misconceptions, as well as provide a better understanding of traditional Chinese feng shui; the way feng shui has been practiced for thousands of years.
If your Feng Shui question and answer is not here, join the free FSI online forum, post your question and receive advice from an expert.
Q. I've read lots of Feng Shui books and am totally confused. Some say I should overlay the Bagua onto my floorplan and use my front door and others say I should use the compass directions, irrespective of where my door is. Which is correct?
This is a very common question. The type of feng shui you are referring to is a recent invention known as Black Hat Feng Shui and our types of feng shui should help to clarify it for you.
Q. What are the best feng shui cures to buy?
Modern "remedies" such as money toads, dragons, tortoises, Buddhas, wind chimes, Chinese coins and the vast array of decorative items sold online as being part of feng shui are not used in traditional or classical feng shui practise. The feng shui masters of old simply used the Five Elements, colour, shape, light, sound and natural materials such as plants, water and stone, all of which you probably have in your home already. See feng shui cures
Q. I read that a main door too close to a stairway is bad feng shui. What can I do?
Wherever the door is open, warm air from the house flows out and cold air flows in. It isn't actually a problem in feng shui terms, but if you are susceptible to chills or trying to save on the cost of heating, just ensure it is closed after use.
Q. Where should I put my Bagua mirror?
Mirrors are much misunderstood and only used in traditional feng shui to balance an area with the metal element, never to make unsightly features or bad energy "disappear". The recent trend of using small bagua mirrors, either convex or concave, on front doors to repel energy simply does not work and there are better ways of dealing with "sha qi". Using mirrors on toilet and bathroom doors to "push away" bad energy also looks very strange and should be avoided.
Q. Why should I always keep the toilet seat down?
The idea that money flushes down your toilet is a Chinese superstition, but as modern toilets are indoors, they should obviously be kept clean and hygienic. It makes sense to keep the unsanitary air inside the toilet when we flush and not allow any bacteria to settle on nearby surfaces, but that is more common sense, rather than a feng shui recommendation.
Q. I'd like help regarding beams on the bedroom ceiling. I've read that it's bad for health and relationships and that bamboo flutes and crystals can help. Is that correct?
Beams themselves are not bad feng shui but abnormally large beams cause a difference in air pressure, which can affect your sleep. Flutes in Chinese are called Changdi, meaning "to raise" and are said to stop a Chinese person worrying about the beam. Crystals will not change the air pressure, so the easiest way to deal with beams is to not sleep directly beneath them or create a canopy above the bed that will diffuse the pressure.
Q. I have mirror tiles above my kitchen sink as there's no window there. I understand they are very bad Feng Shui, but I've not been able to find a cure. What can I do?
Reflective tiles are only bad if you use them as a looking mirror as the edges are said to cut into your personal energy, or chi. There is no problem if you are using them to reflect light.
Q. I've read in a Feng Shui book that the number four means bad luck or death. Will the figure four in our address have a bad influence on us?
The Chinese regard the number four as bad because the spoken word sounds the same as "death", but actually having an address with a four in it does no harm. Traditional or classical feng shui can be applied everywhere on our planet, irrespective of place, culture, superstition and language.
Latest Feng Shui/Chinese Astrology News
Even more of an IRON Lady?
The appointment of the new UK Prime Minister Teresa May, born October 1, 1956 and according to one source on the internet born at 10:25am--during the Snake hour provides a very rare horoscope, and perhaps one born to govern.
As you can see from her Chinese astrology chart shown right she is a vibrant Yin Metal person born in September—the peak of her element. Metal is associated with government and reform and is made stronger by a rare and special alignment in her horoscope between her Snake, Rooster and Ox.
Interestingly, the previous female PM Margaret Thatcher chines horoscope was also Metal, but was not as strong as Teresa’s. Mrs Thatcher’s chart majored on power and conflict and although Teresa May also has power, her chart is tempered by unity and service to others. This is a point she made clear in her first speech as the New Uk Prime Minister.
Another interesting factor is that she was born in a Fire Monkey year, which matches the annual influence of 2016 and indicates power. This influence peaks at this time and consequently she took control of the Conservative party and the Uk Government.
When the annual Heavenly stem, in this case Fire, matches the day or year pillar it is said to bestow protection, let us hope in her current position this extends to those under her charge; as well as their fellow Europeans.
Although, we remain apolitical we wish her the very best in her new position.
Chinese astrology—life and death of Mohamed Ali
Muhammad Ali—born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, widely regarded as one of the most significant sporting figures in the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring.
He was born on a Metal Horse day and luckily had the fantastic support of the Snake, Rooster and Ox which formed a triple combination or “trine” to give him incredible support.
From his Chinese astrology chart he could best be described as an “iron man”, one born with “Golden Gloves”.
In feng shui this element represents mind, skin and muscles and he took to the gym at an early age. Having his bike stolen from outside at the age of 12, he stated “he was going to whoop the person responsible”. A policeman told him that “if you want to do that, you’d better learn to box”. The rest they say is history…
His day pillar has Metal Horse and in terms of elements is seen as controlling. Consequentially, he would have a punishing schedule and a constant battle between mind and body.
The earth element would have settled this conflict and his feng shui consultant, if he had one, would have recommended this for his home to reduce stress and increase quality of life. This could be in terms of colour, textures, positioning and location of strategic furniture, such as bed, sofa, desk etc. Without it, the fire builds up and causes major stress.
What went wrong?
Sadly he had a complete clash last year in his month pillar which would have severely weakened him. Moreover, the Sheep of last year, which normally has his most favourable element of earth, combined with his Snake and Horse signs to make even more fire. This placed him under considerable stress and duress.
Luckily, in the sheng cycle fire generates earth and although a lot of the Sheep sign had transformed to fire, there must have been a residue of earth that remained and supported him.
This year he had the metal element in February and March that brought assistance, and the Dragon’s earth element of April helped too. However, the Snake month from May 5th until June 5th, brought more fire. Sadly he died on a Fire Dragon Day. He was a truly inspirational character and the world will miss him.
April 4th 2016. Today is the start of the Dragon month in the Chinese calendar. As it’s a Water Dragon you can expect April showers to be prevalent, although in warmer climes, it will probably be overcast. That said, it is also marks a 15 day period pf “Clean and Bright”, making it slightly better than most Aprils.
As Dragon is part of the same group as the annual Monkey sign, it should generally be a good month, especially for those born with a Rat sign in their Four Pillar Chinese astrology charts. You can get a free horoscope here to check.
However, for society this Rat sign is the heart of the group and water related activities, such as travel, communications and timings may suffer as a result. To overcome these problems just review the day you have had, then plan the day ahead before going off to sleep.
Rat days of 12th and 24th should be particularly beneficial and these are excellent for planning future events. As we like to practice what we preach, we are organising a Feng Shui Taster day at SOAS, London on April 24th and will be filming a video of our resident Feng Shui Master teaching on this day. If you book now, you can get a huge Early Bird discount.