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Water in Feng Shui
by Sarah Van Arsdale
August 1, 2010


Practitioners of Feng Shui are guided by several aspects of the ancient philosophy: an awareness of ch’i (the life-energy force), a deliberate arrangement of the physical world in order to promote internal harmony, and a consideration of the five elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.

The challenge in writing a short article about Feng Shui is that every part of it is an intrinsic part of the rest; it’s difficult to cull out any one piece and keep the idea intact.

And yet, common practice dictates that to discuss something so complex, we must take it apart. Before we dive in, we must remember that the five elements are all necessary in a home’s design; there isn’t any one that’s better, and there is none that you want to remove from your life entirely. The important thing is to have all the elements working together in harmony.

With all that in mind, let’s consider the role of water in Feng Shui, and particularly in the home.

One thing that water can do is complete a home’s layout if it isn’t in a perfect square, the preferred shape for a home. Let’s say you have an L-shaped home; in the corner where the additional room would be to make it a square, you can place a water feature, such as a fountain, to complete the square.

By adding a water feature to the prosperity corner—that which is the left hand farthest corner from the entrance door—you can help bring prosperity into the home.

Near the entrance door, you can place a water element on one side to draw in good luck. But do not place water on both sides; this can bring bad luck. Also, you should place the water element facing in so that the luck is drawn into the house. Facing out will encourage good luck to flow away from the home.

Reflective surfaces also represent the water element, so if you can’t use actual water, you can use crystal, glass, mirrors, or any images of water or aquatic life, such as a painting of a pond. Water is also represented in form, with a wavy or asymmetrical shape, or in color, with black, charcoal gray and midnight blue bringing in the water element.

You may be doubling your good fortune when you bring in fish along with water, whether you bring in live fish or images of fish. In Chinese, the word yu means both fish and success, so the two have become linked in meaning.

Just as with everything else in your home, you should keep the water crystal clear and clean. Water left to stagnate or dry up will come to represent stagnation in your life, and you don’t want that. Instead, make sure the water reflects the clarity you want in your life, and allow it to bring the elements in your home into perfect balance.

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