Ch'i and Sha Ch'i
One of the fundamental Feng Shui consideration is evaluate whether a home has, and can attract, sufficient life giving ch'i. Ch'i can be defined in the broadest sense as "energy," more specifically as "vital life force," and what some may label "good vibrations." As not all vibrations are inherently positive, one of the main challenges of Feng Shui is to identify and resolve environmental features that are dangerous, and which can undermine one's health and well-being. Whether real or falsely perceived as real, negative factors in the home or surrounding environment are referred to as sha ch'i.
Sha ch'i is when life-giving ch'i is taken away. When the ch'i is noxious, stagnant, or hostile. For example: A life threatening situation such as a gunman pointing a loaded weapon at you is quite clearly stress producing. The rational mind has no problem interpreting this kind of danger, and the need to get the adrenal glands 'fight or flight' hormones pumping.
Though some forms of danger are clearly real, to the subconscious mind, even a statue of someone pointing a bow and arrow at you will make you uneasy. Eventually you will either come to terms with this symbolic aggression and relax. Or you will alter the environment to suit your comfort zone. You will either sit or stand out of the range of imagined danger, or perhaps move the statue so that it points in a different direction. This is one of the primary goals of feng shui: to modify the environment so that it is less aggressive, more relaxed, more harmonious and ultimately more life enhancing.
As you walk around your home, notice if there are any ‘hidden arrows' in the external environment aimed at your home. Consider if there are roadways, neighboring fences and roof lines ‘shooting' at your front door. Trees or utility poles directly in front of the front door and large mountains or buildings towering above the home are also considered to be ‘attacking' and therefore harmful to the inhabitants. And if so, consider planting a hedge, erecting a fence and or placing a small oval or octagonal mirror to ‘deflect' the poison arrows.
Do the same inside your home. Walk in the front door, sit in your favorite chair, sit up in bed and look around you. The harmful effects of these so-called ‘hidden arrows' inside the home can be felt as sharp-edged furniture on either side of the bed, or that block your easy passage in and out of a frequently used room. Even cactus, pointy-leaf dracaena, or other plants with knife-like foliage can be felt as ‘threatening'. And if so, cover points and edges or change sleeping or sitting locations. Keep the images and the objects soft and safe to the touch.
Feng Shui Creates Harmonious Homes Inside and Out
My book, Choose the Best House for You, The Feng Shui Checklist is the easiest to use in evaluating everything concerned with siting, construction, and room configuration. Other books teach the Bagua Template, which is a technique to describe how we unconsciously map our living or working space. What you may have heard about when people talk of their Abundance Areas, Relationship Areas, and so forth. This branch of feng shui is most concerned with the symbols and images we surround ourselves with. There is also the traditional Compass School approach, which aligns a structure and its inhabitants with the earth's magnetic field and, like acupuncture, brings balance by restoring the nurturing cycle of the Five Elements. We will discuss some of these topics in future issues.
Until next time, wishing you good health and great good fortune.
Elliot Jay Tanzer is a teacher of meditation and metaphysics, a professional astrology specializing in Astro*Carto*Graphy Maps to assist in relocations, and a feng shui practitioner now living in Temecula, CA, and available for consultations throughout southern California. He has lectured at many Whole Life Expos, astrology and feng shui conferences and metaphysical societies. Read more about his books, and his Article Archives at his website: www.ElliotTanzer.com. He can be reached at: 310-281-6798, or et@ElliotTanzer.com.