Friends and Helpful People

So maybe we haven’t been able to see many helpful people in person recently, but, luckily, they don’t have to be with you to be helpful.

The Helpful people area of the bagua is located in the Northwest. Metal is usually the element associated with this area. 

If you find yourself lacking in the helpful people and friends area (also sometimes associated with travel) then you may be short of metal. 

To bolster your metal and your helpful people army (after all, armies carry a lot of metal, right?), then you can wear metal, ride in or on metal, hang out in metal structures, and hang out in the northwest part of your home. 

Be aware of those who are really being helpful at the time you need-helpful people come and go and are helpful at different times for different purposes. 

Think about your goals and who might help you reach them, pick up your metal phone and connect.

Here Comes the Metal Ox

2021 ushers in the year of the Metal Ox and we bid adieu to that Metal Rat that literally plagued us in 2020!

metal ox
Metal Ox

The Metal Ox year should be one of recovery and renewal. Things will not change overnight, but it should be less volatile than the Metal Rat of 2020. The Metal of this year is not as sharp or as antagonistic as the Metal element of 2020, but the events of this year have already put into motion change for the coming year.

To prepare, sage your home and workspace on Dec 21, the Winter Solstice. Sage is an antibacterial (yay! but better for you than hand sanitizer) and you should use white sage-they are often sold in bundles and there are even sage kits in abalone. Open your doors and windows-hit every corner of every room. Keep it lit, but embers burning only, which creates a strong smoke.

white sage
White Sage

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. 

Bending Metal in times of great stress

Many Classical Feng Shui practitioners predicted a year of worldwide turmoil and widespread illness of the lungs for this Metal Rat year; if we’d only known! This Metal Rat year is Yang energy, whereas next year, 2021, the year of Metal Ox, will be Yin Metal energy. Yang Metal is associated with loudness, combativeness, fighting for rights, rebellion, escalation. 

This is all part of the cycle. That is not to say that anyone knew any of these specific events would occur, and simultaneously, but it was known that it would be a year of drastic change.

The Yang metal of the first half of 2020 will eventually give way to yin metal, more introspection and absorption of the events occurring currently. The hope is that this will allow for constructive analysis and definitive action to heal and advance our higher goals.

If you have too much metal in your life=aggression, anger, fight, inflexibility, you can add some fire element to decrease the feelings. Animals represent fire, so they are helpful to calm too much metal. If you lack metal, you may lack focus, be undisciplined, or suffer from substance abuse. Adding earth, or, of course, metal, will help strengthen metal element in your life.

Metal’s properties are pretty spectacular; it can change form, bending and flexing far more than one can imagine. That is what I imagine when I visualize the world during this time, bending metal. We are being tested to the breaking point, but the metal will keep bending and will not break, nor will our resilience or spirit.

Knowing When To Move On

We cannot fix everything; I think this is the collective acknowledgement of 2020. The year of the Metal Rat is directly opposed to me, the Fire Horse. I was told it would be a year of struggle. Yes. I’ve been fighting this tub for well over 2 weeks trying to get it to the cast iron color I love. I’ve changed course. The legs went to a sand blaster for refinishing, and the tub is going to be color matched to my favorite Hinkley finish, Aged Zinc and painted. Done.

In life, and in Feng Shui, you must pick you battles. I’ve learned it is the big picture, the land location, the forms, the safety of the space and the health of the Property’s earth, not the color of the tub that matters. Don’t waste time on things you don’t want to do if you don’t have to. It’s been a hell of a year so far. As the late great Winston Churchill said “if you’re going through hell, keep going” there is no other option. 

Make your place feel safe; it has been your refuge more often than not in the last couple of months. Don’t waste time or money on things you do not need. In this case, I’m letting my perfect version of this tub…accept, adapt, repeat.

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? 

Isn’t it romantic?

This year, in the year of the boar, it is important to add the element metal to the romance and relationship area (Southwest sector of space) to neutralize the bad energy from this star… so if your love life is fizzling-add metal.

Are Lights Feng Shui?

I get asked this a lot, being in the Lighting industry. The short answer is yes, Lighting is Feng Shui, sometimes good and sometimes bad.

Light equates to fire element, which is good in the south direction of your home. But most lights are made of metal, sometimes wood, sometimes crystal (represents water) sometimes ceramic (represents earth).

The best fixtures are often a mix and encompass several elements which are most auspicious in certain areas of the home. We will delve deeper into what is best in which part of the home in the coming weeks but here are some examples of lighting fixtures that are a good balance of elements to energize good chi in your home.

Are Lights Feng Shui