After taking a look at the general overview of feng shui, let’s explore these different facets of feng shui and how they have played out in one particular property. The house I’ll be describing is my father’s home of over 40 years. I’m taking a look at how feng shui has shaped the lives lived in this particular home because I know it so well and got to see how people’s journeys unfolded there, with the range of successes and challenges my father and my stepmother experienced over the years.
My father is a retired mathematician who didn’t give a lot of traditional methods much credence, it’s only recently that I’ve been able to take a deeper look at his home, so I’m discovering the layers of this property along with you. This is probably the most personal article I’ve ever written because it concerns both my father and such a large portion of my own life in witnessing his life. Although I never personally lived in this home, it has been a part of my life for several decades. Some of the events of my father’s home are wonderful, some were more difficult, just as in the lives of everyone else.
Part of the motivation for me to talk about this home is that I can compare it to many homes I’ve worked as a feng shui practitioner which have a similar mix of beneficial and not so beneficial potential as revealed by the Flying Stars/Compass School method. This is a home where deliberate feng shui was never applied, so I can’t say what the effect of that might have been. However, I’ve worked with many other properties with these same or similar dynamics and I’ve seen the difference applying harmonizing feng shui methods can make.
This Southern California ranch style home was built in 1948. A compass reading shows that the back side of the building, called the “sitting” direction, is aligned with 345 degrees, which gives it an orientation of 15 degrees West of due north.
The floor plan shows the footprint of the house, room layout, with an overlay of where the different pie slice directional areas are located. The way of determining where the directional areas are is determined by where the center of the structure is. When I was originally trained in Compass School Feng Shui, or the “Flying Star” method, nine boxes were laid over the floor plan to represent the center area and the eight directions. Three feng shui teachers and different points of view later, I adopted the model I use of the directions emanating from the center of the building in alignment with the face of a compass centered over the building. When investigating which might be more effective I tested both methods on several properties and found that most of the time the resulting remedy placement was more accurate using the centering, pie slice method. It also shows more precisely what the orientation of the directions is relative to the house: if the orientation were to shift slightly one way or the other, that wheel of pie slices would rotate to show even the smallest difference. This is important because the quality of one area is often quite different from another and the zone of transition at the border between two pie slices is narrow.
It should be emphasized that not everything will manifest that is there in potential. Sometimes a background energy is experienced as a feeling only rather than something that plays out as an actual event. What’s also true is that every single building everywhere has a mix of more and less beneficial energy combinations, so this is really just part of the fabric of human experience, or how human experience is reflected in creation. And, two different people of different birthdate, age bracket and gender, who occupy the same or different parts of the same building, can have very different experiences in the same place. In every scenario, however, when I ask people what their experience of living in a particular home has been, or how it’s been in their workplace, what they report is consistent with the general information about potential that I see when I do a feng shui evaluation.
My father has lived in his home for 48 years, 46 spent with my stepmother. In the reading of the house you see a real mix of potentials: good for money, not so good for money, good for academics and achievement, easy to fall sick, and a certain amount of contentious energies. Having a wide range of potentials is common to just about all properties. Let’s see how some of that played out.
Let’s set the scene a little bit first. It matters which areas are used the most because the potentials of the most activated areas are the most likely to manifest. Using a door, walking along a pathway over and over, sleeping or working in a space again and again – all of these activities are like putting water and fertilizer on a plant. This house is modest in size so a lot of it has been in daily use.
Most used areas:
Areas least used:
Life in This House
Here are some of the highlights of the directional energies in my father’s home. These are energies of “potential” only, part of the energetic personality of the directional zones determined purely by when the house was built and its compass orientation. There are more possibilities associated with these combinations, but I’ve listed the ones most commonly looked for and experienced. There are also multiple other influences within this same property which have nothing to do with the compass reading and orientation. Here I list only the Compass School energetics to illustrate how strong they can be and how specific they are.
Practitioners are of differing opinion as to whether the center of a building has much influence. In my experience it has a definite influence on the overall character of experience; it is truly a central energetic reference point.
My father was indeed a serious person, an idealistic scholar with an academic career in applied mathematics that began at age 16. He did well with money. He and his wife had a very “romantic” relationship with the “peach blossom” energy at the center of their lives, although this included aspects that were more troubled, where idealism made actual daily living somewhat disappointing. She fulfilled a traditional home-maker role. In a way each person lived according to a rather old-fashioned ideal of correct life, correct roles. This is an aspect of seriousness.
They did not have skin diseases or heart disease, except for the “broken heart” variety in different periods over the years. The center of the house has a fireplace which was not used. Fireplaces in the middle can be associated with heart issues if fires are often lit in them. In this case it was more of an empty space on a wall which partially divided the major front and back areas of the house. My father and his wife also dealt with a persistent inwardly felt sense of emptiness, or a striving to make something feel complete in their own core. The centrally placed fireplace may have mirrored some of their early life experience, something that was never fulfilled in either of their experiences of family and self.
North: Earth and Metal – not good for money, easy to fall sick, bone or head/brain issues, lung cancer
My father had persistent health issues and depression for a lot of his adult life. Much of what he suffered was finally diagnosed as multiple sclerosis, MS. In late life, the sliding glass door is often used, accenting the potential of the area. My father now suffers from Alzheimer’s as well. The “brain sickness” is central to his current life, but both the MS and Alzheimer’s had a very long onset. His wife also developed dementia in her last years, preceded by her own version of depression. “Not good for money” paired” paired with a large door can simply mean that a lot of money flies out the door, which it certainly does to support his health care.
Northeast: Wood and Wood – good for writing, academic achievement and creativity, good for romance for males, not good for older females
The backdoor was probably the most used of all the entrances. Every part of the NE has been in continuous use. My father wrote several books as part of his research in mathematics. He was also a fine classical pianist. Women tended to be attracted to my father as he was very charming and not above discreet flirting. My father’s wife had many health problems the older she got. All this is consistent with this area’s energies.
East: Metal and Earth – good for young female and male relationships, good for money
The kitchen portion of this area, back hall, and bathroom were in constant use. The dining room was not used much. The outside driveway, however, is on this side of the house, so the daily commute and walking up and down the driveway would also serve to potentiate the energies. It may have helped my father’s marriage when they were younger. It helped to support financial success and stability which except for the occasional stock market fluctuation were never lacking.
Southeast: Earth and Fire – generally auspicious, especially in Periods 8 & 9 (2004 – 2043) good for money, entertainment, arguments between old and young adults
Because of the closed door between the front entrance and the dining room there was less circulation of chi to a lot of this area. The use of the front porch and front yard area helped to potentiate this energy however. The auspicious nature of the area could have gotten more use, but still helped. Conflict between the generations was a factor in the families of both my father and his wife. They rarely entertained and tended to lead a rather isolated life, which was encouraged by the closed connecting door. The overall floor plan allows for a lot of freely circulating energy so that all areas of life could be nourished by incoming chi. However, if doors are kept closed, areas don’t receive this nourishing energy.
South: Wood and Earth – not good for creativity, easy to fall sick, skin diseases, breast cancer, gambling
This area was not used much as a sitting area. My father’s piano was used but it is more located in the SW. Other than activity in the stock market, which could be construed as “gambling”, not all aspects of this areas potential materialized, but that is consistent with its reduced use.
Southwest: Metal and Metal – competition at work, injuries from metal during fights, fighting, robbery involving metal
Academics can be quite competitive as there are many people with a lot of career ambition. Also, interestingly, the two Metal elements in the area energetically can refer classically as two metal weapons such as swords or guns. A few years after my father moved there he took up target practice and kept two revolvers in the house for self-protection. One of them was stolen by a gardener.
West: Earth and Wood – gossip, lawsuits, accidents, easy to fall sick, “bullfight” type conflict, not good for older females, arthritis
As much as my father and his wife had a romantic regard for each other, they also had some epic conflicts and arguments. They also tended to focus on conflicts or soap opera-type news events in the news, to the point of becoming obsessed by them. Family interactions often had elements of ongoing drama as well. Both of them had a myriad of health conditions in later years.
Northwest: Water and Earth – not good for spousal relationships, easy to fall sick, car accidents, abdominal problems, dominating wife or women
This energetic is common to many homes starting in Period 5 of the overall construction cycles. It can be very hard on marriages or romantic partnerships. Sometimes the woman can be perceived as a “fishwife” or domineering whether or not she actually is that way. It can lead to solitude and isolation. Over the years the two of them were increasingly at odds with each other even though they cared deeply, and finally separated due to unresolvable family issues. She moved away. When they sat in the den, often reading books, they both sat in the NW section, and both slept in it as well. Her separate twin bed was also opposite a large sliding glass window. Proximity to exits can often mean someone goes out into the world easily – or sometimes for good. Of all the influences in the home, this was one of the most potent because many hours in most days of the week were spent in it. It also has a potential for digestive disorders which particularly affected my father’s wife.
The two areas in the back of the house as it appears in the floor plan show extensions on either side, like a very short “U” shape. Every house I’ve worked with with this shape has had major relationship difficulty, and I believe it’s partly due to a propensity for energy to kind of ping-pong back and forth between the two sides. It’s like two people in a debate where the topic never gets resolved. When my father and his wife ultimately separated it was due to unresolvable differences involving health and younger members of her family in particular. The two bedroom doors are also directly opposite each other which can also create a sense of opposition and a feeling of enmeshment in each other’s affairs.
The house is situated on a hill, a gentle alluvial plane descending from the San Gabriel mountains to the north just a few streets behind the house. The energy of the mountains is palpable here. Because this house also falls in a category known as “good for people, good for money”, the mountains in the rear help to reinforce stability and health. And, they are gorgeous, a view to feed the soul.
This brief overview of my father’s life in this home is a mix of successful, stable, accomplished and comfortable, with a lot of personal sadness and difficulty both relationally and in health. I tell you this story so you can see a somewhat typical amount of correlation of what I find in an overview of the Compass School Flying Star energies of a building and what actually transpires. I can’t think of any property I’ve worked with that didn’t have this correlation; this is one of the reasons I’ve come to trust this method of feng shui as a very useful tool for understanding and directing the quality of life thru environment.
I say this often, but it’s important to remember that feng shui does not determine a person’s life although it is a major influence. Consider this, of all the homes on the market at the time when my father was searching, he chose this one. These were the set of energies – along with the visible features of the property – that attracted him. These were a part of the dynamics of life’s potential that he was working with in the journey of his life. Before he moved here he was already someone with a promising academic career, ambition, with an interest in music. He was also already a romantic looking for the ideal love, and the ideal woman in the relationship template of the 1950’s, He already had certain physiological weak points, as did his wife. He already had a way in which he did not trust family, which may have led him to close off the area that would have had direct energetic relevance to refreshing that part of life with fresh, balanced chi.
What a property tends to do is to strongly reinforce a certain state of being, and this is especially true if it echoes dynamics we already carry within us as expectations of life.
What feng shui corrections can do, such as the powerful Five Elements Remedies among others, is to help a person achieve a higher and more harmonious experience of all of that potential. None of these potentials has to happen per se, nor has to be negative, even that which sounds most negative. I have not found that the Remedies alters specifically what is there in possibility, but they can dramatically improve the nature of the experience and in some cases act preventively. What is good becomes greater, and what is difficult can become a gift.
Next I will explore other facets of this property: Issues due to electromagnetic (EMF) problems from the wiring of the house and plumbing, and geopathic stress. Feng Shui truly is a multi-factored analysis. Each aspect of a property has to be addressed for what it is whether it’s a subtle or very pragmatic intervention. Every correction helps the whole. Finally, we’ll take a look at the orchestration of all the different types of correction.
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