Based in the study of metaphysical energy, Feng Shui is the art of optimizing the energy flow in a given space. The words together mean "wind water", both of earth's flowing elements. Since approximately 4000 B.C., practitioners have maintained the belief that our life energy, or Qi (chi), is mandated by the environment--that we are able to influence Qi in our living and work spaces by affecting our surroundings, most commonly arranging the orientation of furniture and decor. Likewise, that is what we're emulating when arranging a Zen garden. When you notice things aren't going your way, or bad luck seems to loom over you like a heavy cloud, it's probably a good idea to first declutter your whole life and ensure your areas are void of mess, both spiritual and physical--especially heavily trafficked areas, such as your bedroom, living room, and front and back entryways.
We covered some of this (as well as color/ elemental magic) on our blog last Lunar New Year, but what about when we're not in the business of rearranging the entire interiors of our homes, or decorating our belongings in green, red, and gold?
We can certainly harmonize energy in smaller, simpler, every day increments. Tidy and dust small spaces; your desk at work and your bedrooms are the best places to start. It's optimal to do this every so often, but more so at the beginning of the new year, as to help slough off the residual energy of the last year and encourage positive new cycles.
Here are some everyday tips and tricks for Feng Shui "cures":
Carry crystals. Do some research, pick one that resonates with you. When crystals are on or near a person emitting a lower frequency of energy, the stone encourages the being to match their higher energy. Amethyst is good for improving intuition, and Rose Quartz will help flourish love and heart healing. Black tourmaline is a protection powerhouse, and Clear Quartz is good for clarity of mind. Selenite is my personal favorite because it is a beam of liquid light, helping banish feelings of anger and regret. Lastly, Jade, perhaps one of the stones used most frequently in Chinese ritual, is the perfect harmonizer. Stones and crystals, depending on the type, are the cheapest and most powerful in their raw forms. You can easily find them in any New Age shop, or on Amazon.
Binge bamboo. Although plants in the home generally attract good luck, Bamboo is the only true feng shui plant because of how little sunlight it needs. Tiny pots of bamboo can be found in most grocery stores or florists around this time of year, even in the western world; grab a plant on your way home from work and place it in the center of your living space, whether that be the kitchen or living room. If you can't find a bamboo plant, any plant will do. The faeries in our homes love new plants...
Mandarins are for good luck. While you're at the grocer's picking out your bamboo bambino, find a bag of oranges--mandarin, if you can. In eastern culture, oranges are said to bring prosperity and longevity.
Food is the cure. Eat with your family and friends. The spiritual importance of sharing meals is often overlooked; it's easy to get caught up in life and grab a bite on the go, but once in a while, make an effort to sit at the table to dine with your loved ones. Ancestral magic is more powerful than we think.
Be one with nature: specifically, water. As mentioned above, feng shui translates to "wind water". Consider finding a river or creek-bearing garden or safe hiking trail near you and go for a walk. Being near trickling water, the sound of it, the very spirit of it, can help clear any energy blockages in and around us.