The spiritual connection to the physical world is about harnessing the positive energy that surrounds us through the ancient Chinese art of placement, arrangement and connectivity known as Feng shui (pronounced “fung schwee”). Feng shui literally means “wind and water” in Chinese. The connective flux or the constant state of change between all five elements—fire, earth, water, wood, and metal—urges us to be in balance and in harmony with nature. There is no greater pathway of least resistance to this invisible energy that is constantly circulating, or ch’i (pronounced chee) than through flowing water. To begin by incorporating water into your environment in a harmonious way, it can bring balance into your life.
The placement of water and other elemental materials attracts ch’i. While ch’i does tend to gather in certain places, the proper circulation of ch’i may become obstructed or unbalanced in the places where we live, or the areas of a home or office. Then we may experience the adverse effects in many ways. For instance, relationships with other people may be unfulfilling, health may become impaired, or our finances may suffer. There are many different ways to improve ch’i, and one of the best and easiest ways to introduce the principles of Feng shui into your life is with the addition of water.
Generally speaking, water features are used to stimulate or create wealth or prosperity. Beyond the financial representation itself, richness in the value of life itself is also considered prosperous. Water is represented by several elements in the home such as the colors of black (in the West, black symbolizes seriousness, formality, and wisdom; is also used to increase mental activity and communication) and dark blue (reminds us of nature and conveys a sense of serenity; symbolizes seriousness and dignity). Also representative of water are glass materials, wavy and irregular shapes (symbolizes flexibility, interaction, and adaptability), as well as some household objects: sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets, aquariums, pools, glass items, and plumbing. These colors, materials, and shapes all can be linked with one element or another. It’s important to stress that one element should not dominate over the others. For example, too much fire in a room can cause tension and instability.
In order to understand how water may create prosperity, it’s important to understand the cycles of how the five elements interact to bring balance and harmony. The first cycle is the productive cycle, which is the nurturing cycle where one element produces the next one. The help of this cycle is taken to enhance the positive areas of your home. For instance, fire burns and produces ash (earth) then earth produces metal in its bowels. Metal when heated flows like water and water nourishes wood then wood is the fuel for fire. In the next cycle, the controlling cycle, one element controls the next element. For instance, fire melts metal and metal (axe) cuts wood. Wood then controls earth with its roots and earth restricts the flow of water then water extinguishes fire. Finally, in the weakening cycle, it is exactly the reverse of the productive cycle. If an element produces another element, the former gets weakened in the process. For instance, fire burns wood and wood soaks up all the water. Then water takes strength from metal and metal is extracted from the earth in which earth (ash) is produced from fire.
Since water is both the literal and symbolic source of life, it improves the ch’i more than most other elements. Slow moving water allows ch’i to accumulate, or even be formed. This is where water fountains become essential to balance life’s energies. Depending on the placement of water fountains, they can enhance different aspects of your life and improve mental health.
Water fountains bring the soothing sounds of water into your life and are a good way to bring positive energy into the home. For indoors, place a wall fountain in your office or work area. The soothing effect of running water helps reduce tension, while providing symbolic nourishment to increase your income. The stones in the fountain help stabilize your finances so you don’t spend more as you earn more. For outdoors, garden fountains can be used. Like wall fountains, garden fountains are available in materials that are also appropriate for Feng shui such as glass—(again, symbolizes water), stone, ceramic, wood, and metal. These Feng shui material elements go hand-in-hand with the balance you wish to create in your home.
Birdbaths are also a great addition to your front- or back-yard. Feng shui connects water, which nurtures all life, with money. Birds are also considered lucky, so this cure combines both symbols to increase prosperity.
Here are some additional Feng shui tips to include more water and the cycle of life into your home or office:
* Position a mirror to reflect a body of water. This cure is for people who live near a body of water—a lake, the ocean, a river, or a stream. Water, which nourishes all life, can also symbolically nourish your finances and help increase your income. Hang a mirror so that it reflects the view of water and “draws” its wealth-producing energy to you.
* Install an aquarium in your living room. Aquariums grace many Chinese restaurants and are considered good luck. Because fish are living creatures, they are apt symbols of life, health, and growth, and water nourishes all living things. An aquarium also makes a colorful, calming addition to your interior environment.
* Replace a washer in a leaky kitchen faucet. A dripping faucet in the kitchen, where wealth is generated, can cause money to slowly leak away.
* Close toilet lids. Ch’i flows away from your home via drains, especially the toilet. Closing the toilet lid keeps money from “going down the drain.”
* Close the bathroom door and the shower curtain. By keeping these closed, you prevent ch’i—and prosperity–from slipping away down the drain.
* Hang a glass wind chime in the window of your office or work space. Glass facilitates mental activity and communication, so this is good for people who work in communication fields, computers, or sales.
Feng shui reminds us that we’re living with rather than against nature and it benefits both human beings and our environment. Our lives are affected by our physical and emotional environments. Instead of surrounding ourselves with destruction and obstruction, we surround ourselves with openness, cleanliness, and the understanding of life’s essential elements; we are harmonizing ourselves and balancing our lives.