Floyd and Stove Position

We have a kitchen!!!!!

Yes, a rough stage, but we can cook, wash dishes and we have counters… plywood until the soapstone gets put in, but it’s such progress.

The centerpiece of our kitchen is a fully refurbished O’Keefe and Merritt range, who I’ve not named yet… Ursula, Loretta…

Anyway, stove placement is one of the majors for the inside of the home. Ours faces North – Northwest, which is a very auspicious direction for me and Tom, who are western Gua 8s. It’s complicated, but one universal no-no for stoves is if they are directly opposite the sink. Noooooo-that’s exactly our setup. The cure for this is to place wood between the two-in our case a really, really, really narrow island or something that. 

kitchen before
kitchen wideshot

Destiny and the art of learning something new

This is my first book on the list for my course-there are at least a dozen books in my course list, but I’m chomping at the bit to tackle them. 

In Chinese Metaphysics, your birthdate, time and place plays approximately 1/3 of your destiny. Feng Shui of your home is another 1/3, and the last is your own luck, which is basically your will to succeed in the things that are important to you. 

They do go together, and though I’ve been mastering the Feng Shui piece for almost 30 years now, I finally realized the birth chart is an integral component to achieve real success. 

There is always something more to know. I think my message this week is clearly that there is always more to learn. I heard stories from many of my customers this week as I’ve been back on the road in earnest. There is always more, and if we listen… I mean really listen, there is something to learn from each interaction. 

When the Consultant Consults the Master

2020 has been a year for injuries in our household. Finding myself unable to Feng Shui Floyd, because life is just like that, I consulted a master. Richard Ashworth is a published master who is one of the only world renowned Classic Feng Shui/Bazi masters whose native language is English.

He advised us to move our bed so our heads are facing Southwest. This is to counter the opposing Metal Rat year to Tom’s yin Fire Day Stem.

I know this sounds like Greek…he also said to enter through our true Front door, which is in the Northwest, and much less convenient than our porch doors. Hopefully, this will help curtail the rate of physical injury sustained in 2020.


I’m excited to be studying with Richard to formally learn about Bazi (birth charts) and synthesize this with the classical Feng Shui in his dual mastery program. 

Meanwhile, hold tight for a wild end of 2020, with Mercury Retrograde in full force-it promises to be volatile. 

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. 

Eclipse, Mercury Retrograde, Big Change

Yay! Summer Is here! June 21 marked the Summer Solstice of 2020. The longest day of the year, coupled with a rare Solstice solar eclipse. It is said by some Feng Shui Masters if you observed this solstice solar eclipse outside, you will have 2 years of bad luck. As if we needed any more! The yang of the sun is essentially covered by the yin of the moon during an hour where there is supposed to be light, so it is considered sha chi, or bad chi, to expose yourself to it. I stayed inside!  

Now we have Mercury Retrograde. June 17-July 12. Problems with communication, delays in travel, meetings. Don’t sign a contract or make big purchases. A great time to complete a project, or practice anything with re-Revive, reorganize, review, revisit. 

2020 will certainly be a year that we all remember, but with the Summer solstice, change is in the air (and by change I do not mean COVID) All of this planetary activity gives way to big shifts. The year is more than half over, and we have an opportunity to move in a different direction. Let’s take it, get out in the sun and begin the process of healing. 

solstice eclipse
Solstice Eclipse

Water and Feng Shui

Last Sunday, Tom and I went riding around our house-OKA Henry Cowell State Park. We ended up having to cross the river to get where we were going. Tom rode across of course! I walked in bare feet.

Water is one of the most powerful elements in Feng Shui. In fact, the type of water features that exist  around your home have a huge impact on the Feng Shui of your home. 

Meandering water, like this river is the best water, neither stagnant nor rushing. 

Contrary to popular belief, living next to or above the ocean does not bring good Feng Shui to the home. You may be wealthy enough to buy a home beachfront, but the rushing water creates instability and overwhelm and clashes.

Stagnant water creates inertia, being stuck, and health issues along with it.

The best is meandering water, like this part of the San Lorenzo river pictured below. Roads also represent water so it is best to live next to roads that are curvy with little traffic. 

Meandering Water

And yes, I made it! 

Feng Shui Floyd

As some of you have seen, my neighbor and I have been hitting the cast iron tub in Floyd’s upstairs bath with a vengeance, and a lot of power tools.

The tub is cast iron, metal element without a doubt. Last night, we were watching ATOM, (yes, it’s a science documentary and yes, I love these). The narrator reminded me that iron is the most stable element of all the elements and this is why it is common on earth and elsewhere. Iron is stable, for sure, and tough as well. We’ve hit it with everything we’ve got and still, it’s pretty unyielding. One day, I’ll get to the actual cast iron, and it will be sealed and it will be stunning. 

Metal is a crucial element in Feng Shui, and brings stability and clarity to the occupants of a home. I’m learning in my latest Feng Shui course with Dato Joey Yap, that it’s not about the metal statue, the metal accessories or even the metal tub, but that metal is represented in the West and Northwest as a necessary balance to your property. It is strength, continuity and stability. 

Ensconced By Floyd

Yesterday,  I caught up with my good friend and mentor, Martha Graham. She said something very interesting about my house, Floyd, she said that he has “ensconced us and protected us.”

We have been living in Floyd, a 108 year old hunting lodge, while renovating him since Christmas 2019, and 2020 has been a strange year. 

My partner, Tom, was hospitalized at Stanford for what we thought was COVID, but turned out to be an extremely rare autoimmune disease that was suddenly killing his heart. He had a successful heart transplant at Stanford, all the while with me at home, in Floyd, with our cat, Licorice, unable to leave or visit him because of COVID. 

Our neighbors were wonderful, and watched out for me the entire time Tom was at Stanford. I felt safe in Floyd, even though he’s a bit of a renovation wreck. Even so, Floyd has good bones and good Feng Shui.

We have been spending a lot more times in our homes than we ever remember. Take stock before you venture back out into the new normal and ask yourself how you feel in your home, on your property, about your neighbors, in your neighborhood?  These are all issues that Feng Shui can help support. 

Luo Pan

Many of you know I’ve been studying Feng Shui since 1992, where I was introduced to it while living in Japan. 

As with all knowledge, it is a lifetime of learning. I used to have a Luo Pan (Feng Shui Compass), and over the course of all of the moving we’ve done before landing in Floyd (our current home), that Luo Pan is officially MIA. 

I’ve been searching and finally found a massive Luo Pan with some English translation as well! Now I can see it and I can read it. 

My return to classical Feng Shui and exploration into Ba Zi (Chinese Astrology) and deepening knowledge of Flying Star Feng Shui will introduce some new thoughts and ideas to FSF…stay tuned!

Luo Pan

”Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”

Rodin’s famous sculpture, “The Three Phases,” snapped by me on my walk on the Stanford campus while Tom was getting a routine post heart transplant test. 

If you are an art history aficionado like me, you know that these three are meant to stand at the “Gates of Hell” in Dante’s inferno.

This got me thinking about where we are in the world now. Are we at the gates? Are we already there? Does it matter? 

As we try to hold our center through the waves of effects of this crisis, we can acknowledge that our connection to the world, to nature, and to all external elements has been disrupted, turned upside down and shaken, actually. My message to you; Do not abandon hope; that is what keeps us alive. 

Rodin’s The Three Phases