Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art that goes back more than 3,000 years. It is believed that everything, such as material items, carries an energy (vibe) that will either positively or negatively affect a person.
The art also grounded in the earthly elements of wind (feng) and water (shui). In Chinese culture, the two are often linked with good and bad fortune and also walks close hand in hand with the Chinese philosophy, Taoism.
Amy Bowing, who has studied the art on her own for the past 17 years, spoke recently at Horizon Health in Pierz about ways to improve the feng shui at home. The number one step, she said, was to declutter.
“Storage bins can be your best friend,” she said.
Bowing said seeing clutter can cause a person to feel anything but harmonic. Even holding onto a material item that is associated with a bad memory can affect a person negatively and said that it is best to get rid of it.
With feng shui also comes yin and yang, symbolized with a black and white circle with a dot of the opposite color in each field. The symbol represents the two, yet at the same time, complimentary energies, Bowing said.
Yin and yang teaches that the direction furniture, doors, windows and more faces represents different aspects of a person’s life. Even when there are people present in the room.
South is associated with fame, southeast with money and southwest with love and marriage.
East stands for health and northeast points toward spiritual growth.
North is considered to relate to a person’s career and northwest to people who are helpful.
In feng shui, colors and materials play a significant role, Bowing said.
According to traditional Bagua maps — a tool that is used to determine the energy in any given space and can also help when arranging furniture or decorations in a room.
The color purple and the earth element wood represents wealth, prosperity and fortunate blessings. It’s also where appreciation and gratitude comes in. With the door or entryway located on the south end of a room or a building, this section would be found in the northwest corner.
Top north of the southern entryway, Bagua maps direct red colors to go. Red also represents fame, a person’s reputation and illumination of success. The earth element is fire and with the two also comes clarity and integrity, Bowing said.
In the northeastern corner of a room or building, Bagua maps advise items that represent relationship, love and partnership to be placed. Earth is the element with a pink color and also signifies receptivity and openness.
The center of a room or building is linked to a person’s or environment’s health. It is the heart of the unifying energy forces and represents balance and vitality. The color is yellow and like the representation of relationships, it is grounded in the earth element.
West of the center lies the representation of group support and strength. Colored green and in the wood element, it relates to family, elders and community.
A person’s joy and inspiration can be found on the east side of the center of health. The color is white and the earth element is metal. It is in this category that creativity, children and the future finds its home, Bowing said.
On the south end near the entry way, colors of blue, black and gray can be found.
Blue represents wisdom, inner knowledge and self-improvement. It also reflects stillness and introspection. The element is earth and is found in the southwest corner of a room or building.
Centered on the south end is the color black. It reflects a person’s career, mission and life journey, along with purpose and courage. The element is water.
Helpful people are often situated in the southeast corner of a room. It can also be unseen travel assistance and represents benevolence and synchronicity. The color is gray and the element is metal.
Bowing said that while following a Bagua map can be useful, it ultimately comes down to an individual’s personal taste.
“If you rearrange your furniture, make sure it’s something that feels good to you,” she said.
Bowing acknowledged that sometimes it can be difficult to find out likes and dislikes about a room.
“Sit down and have a good look around. Find what you like and don’t like, then rearrange it. If you don’t know where to start, another good way is to take a picture of it. A picture tells it all,” she said.
Bowing’s own journey into discovering Feng Shui began when she mentioned to a friend that she wasn’t feeling the greatest.
Since her home was filled with clutter, Bowing said her friend told her there was no wonder she felt the way she did. After learning more about feng shui and applying several of its principles, Bowing is more aware of her surroundings, she said.