Feng Shui is in popular culture sometimes portrayed as a superficial and superstitious practice of placing mirrors and various trinkets to bring about good luck. But there is far more depth to the practice than the few diluted and misrepresented quick-fix ideas that have circulated amidst the general populace. Let’s examine a few of the tools often overused and misused in Feng Shui.
These 8-sided wooden blocks with a round mirror in the centre are said to deflect negative energy when placed above a door. I wonder about the worldview of those that feel that they need to ‘protect’ themselves from any potential ‘negative’ energy rather than stimulating and cultivating more nurturing energy. These mirrors are aggressive and basically concentrate the energy of the eight areas of the bagua into the mirror to ‘attack’ anyone or anything that is in front of it or that moves by it, be it positive or negative. I not only don’t recommend these objects, I suggest you get rid of them if you have any. Plants, chimes, art, and other uplifting and colourful objects can be used to appropriately balance the energy of an entrance. Use Feng Shui to create a space that has inherent balance and peace rather than as a way to ‘protect’ from ‘harm’.
A lot of Feng Shui books suggest placing faceted crystals hung from a string in a variety of locations – at the end of a hallway, at the base of a staircase, above a toilet – to slow down or cleanse energy. While the movement and multi-sided nature of these crystals can indeed accomplish this, it is important to recognize that crystals function at their best when light shines through them. Placing them elsewhere sets a tone of wasted potential. If you want to fit into the best circumstances in your life, everything in your space should be optimized as well. Put these crystals in sunny windows where they will bring moving rainbows into an otherwise static space. I don’t suggest hanging anything above in the air above a toilet; however, artwork on the wall above the tank draws your attention (and therefore energy) upwards. At the end of a hallway or bottom of a staircase, a light-toned mat or area rug or expansive artwork can down any excessive energy flow more effectively than a hanging crystal.
Mirrors opposite beds
Feng Shui lore speaks of not placing a mirror opposite your bed lest your spirit awaken in the middle of the night and surprise itself. I’m not clear why your higher consciousness would be startled by seeing itself – this seems to be yet another example of traditional practitioners communicating concepts through a colourful historical tale – yet there is some truth to the practice of which this story speaks. The fact of the matter is that you might startle yourself with the mirror: as you move in the middle of the night, there is a reflection of that movement in another part of that room, and as your cognition is not as clear when sleeping or awakening from a slumber, it is easy to think that something is moving elsewhere in the room, which can indeed be unsettling. Because you want bedrooms to be as restful as possible, they should be less stimulating during sleeping hours – but mirrors are stimulating by nature. I suggest having any mirrors either placed so they do not reflect the bed from the perspective of whoever is sleeping there or covered at night. If you have closeted mirror doors, you can place a curtain rod above them and have curtains that you close when sleeping and then open during your waking hours.