Life By Design: Good Luck, Feng Shui

Mention Feng (Wind) Shui (Water) to people who have tried it, they will regale you with anecdotes of how they landed their dream job by




honoring their Career Corner, or got a long awaited marriage proposal once they woke up their Love Corner.  Mention it to the skeptics and you usually get a response not fit to print. 


Millions of Asians subscribe to the practice that often takes the place of shrinks and interior decorators.  The somewhat superstitious are convinced that you could change your fate via your environment. 


I have been a practitioner for more than a decade, having been trained by Feng Shui Master Queng Duc for two years.  Whether you’re buying it or not, Feng Shui is about two things:  Knowing how to manipulate your destiny through the placement of objects, and knowing how to pinpoint what you want to change.


With the Chinese New Year around the corner, believers are hedging their bets.  

Is there a lot of arguing going on in your house?  Maybe your Family Corner has a broken appliance sitting in it, or the dirty clothes hamper.  Have you been stalled in your job, not moving forward?  Maybe your Career Corner has blocked Chi (energy).


Knowing what you want to change in this New Year is the first step.  A Feng Shui practitioner would create what’s called a Bagua Map of your home.  Depending on your element, Earth, Fire, Metal, Wood or Water, furniture may be moved, or items taken away.  With Feng Shui, less is more.  Of course you can also bring in the goods: The Ancient Asian Secrets to boost your good fortune.   


Frogs.  Turns out the three-legged frog is the traditional pet of the Chinese God of Wealth.  If you happen to have frogs or toads in your garden or even an aquarium, great.  Any inanimate frogs should be facing a main entrance in the northern, or Career Corner.  I remembered our cement frog on the patio that had a leg missing since one of the kids dropped it off the deck.  I recently moved it to the north entrance of the house where I see it when I get the mail, undoubtedly good news will be delivered soon.


Ox. An accumulation of wealth is what the Ox brings you.  A statue like the ones sold at Pearl River should be placed in the Southeast corner of your house.  With any luck this is your den or library where you can place the Oxen on shelves, like bookends.  Let’s not violate any design codes even if it does mean prosperity for the whole family.


Fish.  So next time you’re at the Carnival, let your kid win some gold fish, preferably three.  We have a small pond in the back yard with goldfish that are currently sleeping until spring.

That said, if keeping things alive in your house is a problem, you could hang a picture of a Koi Carp on a scroll to bring good fortune to your home or business.  A quality scroll can be lovely, framed properly so that the art is taken seriously.


The Horse. Fame and success!  The Horse is particularly good for business woes as it is known for its speed and endurance, and two of them are great for partnerships of

any kind.


The horse is considered to have excess energy (Yang, Fire element), so you would want to balance it with Water, which destroys Fire.  Right now you are considering putting your little fish tank next to your Horse in your Southwest Corner for luck in social situations, or your Northwest Corner for an upcoming exam, or presentation.

I have two large terra cotta horses with mounted stone warriors perched on a tall piece of furniture.  Discreetly dynamic.


The Money Cat.  I know the Money Cat is supposed to attract opportunities, and that its beckoning paw tells you wealth is arriving, but I’m hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t look like it belongs on the counter of a noodle shop.   These cute kitties could be pawned off to a small child in the home, and placed in the Southeastern Corner (Wealth Sector) thereby creating no harm no foul design wise.  If you feel uncomfortable leaving your Wealth to underage family members, stick The Cat in the child’s Northeast Corner; Inner Knowledge Sector.


The Crane.  Not everybody is obsessed with money, fame and success.  The humble crane is here to bring you health and happiness, not to mention wisdom and the longevity to use it.  Most fortunately it is considered bad Feng Shui to cage any birds-stunts your growth psychologically-so the crane should be placed in the South Corner of the room in image only.  I’m voting for a subtle silk throw pillow with an antiquated crane surrounded by traditional lotus.


The Elephant.  Who isn’t a lover of these purveyors of strength and prudence?

With the trunk raised, the elephant has always symbolized old age wisdom.  It is recommended that the elephant sit in a place of honor, like on a shelf or mantle.

I’m a fan who has stuck an elephant key chain on my son’s school backpack, and on desks where work is done.  Preferably the shelf is in the North to create career stability.

Just don’t place an elephant in your entryway facing the front door.


So as the Metal Tiger New Year begins, start by knowing your element, and your Zodiac animal-it is determined by the year you were born according to the Chinese calendar. 


Pick one or two areas in your life that you would like to change and know where these areas are in your home.  You may be surprised by what suddenly looks cluttered, or dull or uninviting.  Changes usually occur within the time it takes for you to think that they might.           

1 Comment

  1. This was very good. Problem is, now I’m going to have to rearrange my whole house. And buy something on four – or three – legs. I have not one of those animals! At least now I know what I’ve been doing wrong all this time.

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