So, you want to understand feng shui? Here’s a step-by-step guide

guide to feng shui

The term feng shui is regularly tossed around in everyday conversation. While its colloquial popularity has certainly increased in recent years, (particularly with all this bad energy constantly manifesting), do any of us truly understand how to master the art of feng shui? If like me, you're looking to inspire a dose of positivity, you simply need to look to our beginner's guide to feng shui below for a place to start.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that examines object placements and how they affect a home’s energy. The discipline is guided by a five-element system, which finds its roots in the Taoist philosophy – a Chinese philosophy that signifies the fundamental or true nature of the world. Naturally, the five elements are deeply based in the cycles of nature and how they intertwine with one another to maintain balance. These elements comprise of earth, metal, water, wood and fire and each are associated with certain qualities, colours and shapes that help enhance these qualities.


Relating to the spaces of self-care, boundaries and nourishment, the earth element is heavily grounded and stable, enhanced by shades of brown, orange and yellow. The element focuses on areas of health, knowledge and partnerships.


Metal possesses the qualities of joy, beauty and precision and efficiency and generally manifests in the areas of kind and helpful people as well as children. White, grey, and metallic colours, as well as circular shapes, represent the element.


The water element represents deep wisdom, and a deep connection to the world around us. It presents itself in shades of black to very dark blue, taking form in wavy or curvy shapes and delivering prosperity in your chosen career.


Like the branches of a tree, wood signifies renewal, growth, healing and vitality. Its aligning shapes include rectangular and columnar shapes and naturally, it sits within the colour palettes of green, blue and teal.


Speaking to qualities of passion, inspiration and visibility, the fire element is carried by colours like red and bright orange and is known to be represented by triangular shapes.

These five elements are at the centre of every feng shui practice and principle, informing the basics behind every intention. Although there is a lot of depth to unpack in the practice of feng shui, below are 10 simple changes you can make to your home and living space to help expel bad juju.


Clear the clutter

One of the foundational rules of feng shui is a strict no clutter policy. This is because energy, or as it is referred to, Chi, should be free to flow through the space. Clutter disrupts this flow and in-turn generates negative energy, whereas decluttering has the opposite effect. Look here for some tips on clearing up your space.


Never hang mirrors across from the front door

Due to their reflective nature, mirrors placed opposite any doors in your house are said to bounce any positive energy that enters your home straight back outside. Which, no brainer, is clearly bad feng shui.


Don't position your bed in direct alignment with doors

Your bedroom, particularly your bed itself, should be treated as a place of rest, which is why it's never advised to place your bed in direct alignment with any doors. This allows for a constant flow of energy to enter the space, which can be disruptive when trying to rest.


If it's broken, fix it

For anyone still hoarding broken furniture or objects in their home with the intent of fixing them or discarding of them, now is your calling. A broken item is a sign that something else in your life is, or will soon be, broken, representing suffering and unworthiness.


Fill empty spaces with plants and greenery

As the wood element suggests, filling the empty spaces within your home with plants and greenery will generate worth, renewal and growth – three things we're desperately craving in the year ahead. They're also the perfect source of natural energy.


Fix leaking taps

Aside from the environmentally concerning impacts of a leaking tap, feng shui philosophy believes that a faulty and dripping tap means that you are slowly leaking all your abundance and happiness.


Create "Chi" in your home

As we now know, Chi is the feng shui equivalent to positive energy, and traditionally takes form in curved and rounded shapes. Therefore, it's recommended to inject more of this in your home – think round coffee tables, curved walls and mirrors.


Cherish natural light

Airflow and natural light are two very easy and important steps you can take to harness more feng shui in your home. Aside from the obvious of making your home feel fresh and clean, these tips also promote the flow of new energy into your space.


No electronics in the bedroom

Experts have been telling us this for years, but as it turns out, there's also a feng shui theory behind the 'no electronics in the bedroom' rule. Going back to the idea of rest, it is believed that the presence of electronics in your bedroom while sleeping prevent any opportunity for you to entirely unwind – which isn't exactly untrue.

If our guide to feng shui has inspired an overhaul of your spiritual energy, look to our rundown of the 10 healing crystals we swear by and what they can do for your wellbeing.


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