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Insights on Water and Feng Shui

Water is one of the most important elements in Feng Shui. In the Chinese alphabet, the character of Feng means "Air" and Shui means "Water". One of the basic principles of Feng Shui is the Five Element Theory. The five elements are: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. When the elements are in harmony, we have a well balanced home. When the elements are properly placed, we can have protection or enhancement of the energies of the year.

water lilies

Water symbolizes the season of winter. Fire symbolizes the season of summer. In Feng Shui, we balance and reinforce the energy of an environment by using shapes, ( rectangle, triangle, square, circle and waves) elements ( wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and colors associated with the area of a home or building. To enhance the energy of water, use the colors black and deep blue along with glass and mirrors.

The placement of water, whether it

is placed indoors or outdoors is very important. A water feature can be placed in the front or rear of the home or building. If the water feature is outdoors, the waterfall should be directed towards the house, not elsewhere. Otherwise the energy would be given away instead of coming in to your space.

Be sure the water feature is kept clean and freeflowing, not stagnant.

Following the Five Element Theory, water features are used to balance and control excessive amounts of the Fire element, exhaust the Metal element or enhance the Wood element. These techniques are called the controling cycle, exhausting cycle and productive cycle, respectively. If there is a fireplace ( fire) in the career area, ( water) the residents may feel that their job is not satisfying and might try to overcompensate and become burnt out as a result.

A friend of mine asked me to look at her house with Feng Shui eyes and notice if anything stood out. Seeing a fireplace in her wealth area, I asked the question: "You have a solid career and a great income, but does it feel like money goes up in smoke?". Since her answer was "yes", one of the things I recommended was to balance fire ( the fireplace) with water. In this case, I suggested the placement of a mirror above the fireplace mantel to help neutralize the fire element. We do the same thing in the summer with our bodies; we deal with heat and thirst by drinking water.

Another application of the water element is that people born in a water year, ( 1962 & 1963, 1972 & 1973, 1982 & 1983, 1992 & 1993, 2002 & 2003, 2012 & 2013, following the lunar calendar. See the resources page of my website.) or have water as their element are great communicators. They are often diplomatic and persuasive, often being sensitive to the mood of others. They are artistic, flexible, and adaptable. They will mostly wear and benefit from items that are blue and black and be most comfortable in clothing that is free flowing. Walking into their homes, I can see the influences of water in every room by choice of objecs and colors.

It is common knowledge in Feng Shui that our walkways, roads and hallways should be meandering gently like a river to allow life giving "chi" to flow smoothly into the home or space. They should flow like water, as water signifies wealth.

A version of this blog was previously published on

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