Fu Dogs, yin and Yang


I love when I learn something new; today was no exception. My Feng Shui master and I were discussing different symbols used in Feng Shui and their efficacy. He mentioned Fu Dogs and their yin and Yang properties-even they are balanced. 


I never noticed this before, but one of the Fu dogs has a pup under her paw;  she is the female protecting her pup. The male dog has a globe under his paw, which signifies control over his domain. Together they are balanced and are said to protect a space in a balanced yin Yang way. 


Fu dogs are one of the items people use to protect their home. I suspect they’re  not very influential as a Feng Shui cure or element, but they are pretty cool! 


These are my Fu Dogs (above). They are red and they reside in the Southeast on either side of our double doors. 

What Element are Crystals in Feng Shui?


I love crystals and have them in every shape, size and color around the house. Now I have to hide them from our cats, who think they are toys. 


My Bazi master, Richard Ashworth, says I can benefit from crystals as they represent the element earth, and evidently, I need more earth in my life. 


I understand this because they exist in earth and often make up what we see as earth. 


But there is another contender for element of crystal. I read somewhere that in Feng Shui, crystals are metal element, because the earth creates/produces them and they need to be extracted from the earth. This makes sense to me as well, as they are mineral composites yielded from the earth. 


So which is correct? Maybe they are somewhere in between. Some people correlate element to color, so maybe clear crystals are metal and garnet is fire because it’s red. So confusing, right? 


I’ve sort of settled on earth element, because they are solid and are often part of the earth and most Feng Shui texts identify natural crystals as earth. 


There is that part of me that wonders about the metal component, and I’m still working it out.


What do you think? Earth or Metal?

February, Yang Wood and Offices


Remember my office reveal last week? Well, my office has a lot of it! Wood holds the promise of Spring and February, the Tiger month is charging toward Spring and growth. Wood inside an office or home in the form of flooring, furniture and baskets is Yin, whereas the tree outside and the growing flowers are Yang as they are alive. Wood inspires ideas. 

What’s the difference? Yin wood is more subtle and does not have as strong an effect as Yang wood-Yang wood is more powerful and not as much is needed to change the balance of our elements.

Each of us is a mixture of the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. 

I’m told that I need more Yang wood, and luckily we have a bunch of redwood trees growing outside. I also need wet earth, so I should garden, that or roll around in the dirt during a rainstorm. 

Getting the balance right is not easy! I love my office, but it looks like I need more earth there too. 

Feng Shui and Textiles


I was visiting one of my accounts this week, Phillips Lighting and Home in Modesto, and we were chatting about creativity that has stemmed from the pandemic. Creative people like these women need an outlet, and the most recent happens to be weaving on looms. These beautiful textiles are examples of the efforts. 

textiles


Textiles can represent a few different elements in Feng Shui. If you use the material, it could be fire because the material is mostly wool. If you use the colors, we have a multi, with greens and purples -wealth, yellow and peach in the middle-health, and blues and greens which is Career and helpful people. 

We often are drawn to colors that we need or colors that are our predominant element. 


Which are you drawn to? 

Elements and the Visible Planets


I learned today that the 5 elements integral to Feng Shui come from the five observable planets we can see from Earth with the naked eye. It makes sense that what was observed is the basis for science thousands of years ago. 

Interestingly, this month is the easiest to see all 5 planets at various times from sunset until sunrise, depending on where you live. 

The element planet connection is also likely based on colors-Mars looks red, Mercury has a blue hue, Jupiter, browns and greens, Venus looks golden, Saturn is considered earth. Jupiter is 木星 (Mùxīng), the Wood Star. Mars is 火星 (Huǒxīng), the Fire Star. Saturn is 土星 (Tǔxīng), the Earth Star. Venus is 金星 (Jīnxīng), the Metal or Gold Star, and Mercury is 水星 (Shuǐxīng), the Water Star.

Stay tuned for more elemental information, and be sure to try to spot the planets this month if you are able. 

Balancing Elements


Tom and I both grew up in Palos Verdes. We are back, staying with Tom’s parents as we were evacuated from our house in Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 


It’s scary to leave your home not knowing if you’ll see it again, having to choose what to take and what to leave behind. 


In the Santa Cruz Mountains we have a lot earth and wood, some water and some metal. Right now we are heavy in wood, fire obviously, and earth. Wood produces fire, fire feeds earth and eventually, earth creates metal. 


In Palos Verdes, we have a better distribution of all the elements. It’s by the ocean, so lots of yang water, earth, some wood and some metal. Physical fire is weaker here, but Palos Verdes is in the south, which, in Feng Shui, is the direction of fire.


Though we love living in the forest, we are mindful that, with this imbalance, comes a cost. We are happy for the reprieve from the fires and smoke, and know that when the earth is out of balance, so goes nature. 

Dog days of Summer, Feng Shui and pets


We are prepping…for a dog! Said dog must be cool with cats, as Licorice is going strong at 18+. It’s time. What do dogs, and pets in general have to do with Feng Shui? Feng Shui is about the home, where it is, the forms and elements surrounding it, timing, and who occupies the home. If your kids are of the furry variety, they also affect the energy of the home. The 4 legged kids are usually Yang Energy. We began discussing Yin and Yang energy a couple of weeks ago, so I want to give you some Yin Yang perspective regarding your pets.

Fish are yin, if you are wondering. Fish=water=yin when it’s still water.

Animals are associated with the South, and Fire element, making them Yang. They add good energy to homes, but it’s all about balance. Too much of a good thing becomes a problem if your pet’s health and your health suffer. No hoarding! How many is too many? If you have 30 acres, you can spread the love, if you have a 400ft studio in New York, think small and one.

Post your pets! We’d love to see them.

Licorice the cat
Our cat Licorice

Gardening


During COVID19, we are living in Palo Alto, our new neighborhood. I’m kind of obsessed with my new neighbor’s gardens. Gardening activity is up now as it is solitary and deemed safe. 

Gardening is an earth element activity. Earth offers stability to the inhabitants of the home. If things feel unstable, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say we all feel this way, then gardening is a great activity to get grounded, reduce anxiety and enhance this element for your property. Pick what you love and what will work in your climate. 

Earth


We recently rescued these from our kitchen demo of Floyd. They were clearly handmade, and everyone who saw them seemed to love them. 

They are ceramic and represent the element Earth. In Classic Flying Star Feng Shui, my birth element, or core element, is earth. 

In Feng Shui, Earth people demonstrate stability, strength, being centered. Earth people are sociable, agreeable and want to “belong.” They are the peacemaker and are reliable, nurturing and supportive. 

In applied Feng Shui, Earth can do the same to a space, but too much Earth can bog one down, creating slowness and an inability to move forward. 

Kitchen Ceramics
kitchen ceramics 2

Birds and Feng Shui


These two guys are straight from Floyd’s entry. Another great gift from our generous new, old house (108 mighty years) named Floyd.  They were on piers and were literally toppling over. 


Wright Lighting and Fireside, I’m putting you on notice because I’m bringing these two in for a lighting makeover, STAT.


They are metal but are, or were, fitted with sockets and bulbs, a fire element, and meant to light the driveway. They are also animals, which are considered a fire element in Feng Shui. 

Metal and fire do different things to wood in Feng Shui. They each are a pretty severe way of quelling wood, or killing wood. But, when you have a house that is made entirely of wood and is literally in the woods, you need extreme balancing. We do not want to encourage too much fire, but rather cut the wood element down to scale in small ways, a little at a time. 

These two will be restored to their former glory and act as fire and metal guards for the wood house, and give it the balance it thirsts for.

Now, what to name them?