Modern Feng Shui For Better Living


The Chinese Encyclopedia (Sinica) defines feng shui as “The external and visible signs of the heavenly Yin and Yang; the art of arranging the human environment to be aligned with the Ch’i (Universal vital energy)”. Feng Shui is pronounced “Fung Sway”.

Sketch of a sofa


This art and science of Feng Shui is based on:

1. The principle of balance of the two modes of energy; Yin (passive, descending, calm) and Yan (active, rising, aggressive).

2. The five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal).

3. The eight polarities and forces of nature described in the I Ching or “Book of the Classic Changes” (heaven and earth, fire and water, lake and mountain, wind and thunder).

4. Lunar astrology

5. The eight cardinal points and the nine numbers (9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1) of the Magic Square of Saturn.


Five Element Chart


The Ch’i always flows in a circular motion based on the universal motions of the planets and is found in humans, animals, and plants. When this vital force (Ch’i) does not flow adequately, many obstacles can be manifested such as poor communication, loss of money, confusion and health problems. Using the technique of this science and art we can improve and help the better flow of Ch’i in the different areas in the house. Following are some general rules and tips for the proper alignment of specific areas of the home.



Straight lines must be avoided! Pathways from the street to the house should be in meandering (wavy) lines. Circular driveways should always be larger in width at the beginning and narrower at the end. Tall trees should not block the main door of the house. Structural fountains can take the Ch’i away from the entrance. In the Eastern cultures, fountains were never used, but ponds and waterfalls were used. Ponds and structural fountains can also be used on the side of the main door or on the Northwest side of the house. Wind chimes can also be hung at the NW side of the house or in trees, but never near the front main door.


chinese character for Chi

The Chinese Ideogram For Chi



When the foyer is in a small area, mirrors can be very disruptive for the Ch’i. It is recommended to have a landscape painting and a small plant (plants represent the element of wood which moves the Ch’i constantly and in all direction.) If there is a direct view from the main front door to the patio, the Ch’i will escape from the house taking away the good energy flow and good fortune. We have to allow the Ch’i to circulate inside the house continuously. If there is a direct view to the patio or backyard, then tall plants may be placed between the main door and the windows or door to block the view. Also, a wooden screen or divider may be placed with a plant to block the view.



For Eastern cultures, the kitchen is the sacred area of the house, because the food is prepared and cooked for one’s nourishment, and that food was bought with money. the kitchen should never be visible from the main door. the kitchen should be protected from visitors! In the United States, and, particularly, here in Manhattan, the kitchen is the meeting area of the house. If we can not avoid visitors in the kitchen, then we should have plants on the counter or in the area close to the cooking space. The colors, green and/or brown are recommended as well as the element of wood to balance the fire and water. All the plants should be real live ones, not silk or plastic!



The element of water can take Ch’i when it is too exposed or enhanced. For instance, the door of the bathroom must always be closed. The colors red and yellow, as well as candles, should be avoided in the decoration of the bathrooms. Only candles, with a base in wood or surrounded by plants, can be used in areas where the element of water is so powerful.


Bedroom Feng Shui



No mirrors in the bedroom! In the Eastern cultures, mirrors are never used because of their bouncing effects which can alter and confuse the Ch’i. When mirrors are placed in front of the bed or in the back of it, this can produce insomnia and will weaken the health and communication between the couple. The best place to have mirrors is in the bathroom because there is plenty of water flowing. Mirrors can also be used inside the closets. To prevent the bouncing of the Ch’i, it is convenient to place a plant nearby or in front of the mirror. The bed should never have the head under a window.


For better results in using these earth sciences, the analysis should be based on the astrological individual data of the person/persons living in the area. Once we identify and know the elements and characteristics of the individuals, we can proceed with application on the living or working area.


If you would like to discover more about Feng Shui and how it can help you and your surroundings, please feel free to give Will LeStrange a call… He is always happy to answer questions and help get you on the right track.

Will offers Feng Shui consultation and Design Services in Manhattan and throughout the New York area



What is Chi?
A Quick Journey Through the Feng Shui Ba Gua

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