FengShuiknown as an Ancient Chinese science that has the ability to bring prosperity, health and happiness to those who use it. CT speaks to a Feng Shui Consultant to gain some insight on this age-old practice and its links to Ancient Egyptian traditions.
With many Cairenes turning to yoga and meditation to seek relief from the daily grind, we rarely look beyond our own bodies to understand how modern life affects our livelihoods.While regulating our own energies is commonly accepted to improve health and prosperity, improving the health of our homes and workplaces is often overlooked.
According to FengShui Consultant SohaEid, FengShui is the process of balancing the energy around you in a way that matches the universe; it literally translates into wind (feng), water (shui).Unlike others, though, Eid’s interpretation of FengShui is rooted in local traditions and heritage.
“FengShui has been preserved over the years by the Chinese,” says Eid. “But the science of aligning your space with the universe has its roots in Egyptian civilization as well.” She explains how many Ancient Egyptian rituals passed down for generations have resonance with Chinese beliefs about FengShui.The tradition of throwing salt at weddings to ward off the evil eye, the use of a copper mortar and pestle to remove bad energy, and the color green to symbolize good health and abundant wealth in temple wall paintings are insightful links between FengShui practices and Egyptian civilization.
“Salt removes negative energy from the air and from our bodies,” she says. “The sound created by the mortar and pestle break the electro-magnetic waves in the air. The Ancient Egyptians understood this and they practiced it.”
“Feng Shui is not mysticism or rocket science,
but it is about aligning with nature,” says Eid
The symbolism of the phoenix, which figures strongly in Ancient Egyptian art, represents power, a good reputation and success. Even Ancient Egyptian temples and tombs, which have endured for thousands of years, were built in alignment with the directions that govern longevity, says Eid.
“FengShui is not mysticism or rocket science, but it is about aligning with nature,” says Eid. “For example, the South is hot while the North is cold and windy, so if my house is balanced according to these principles, it will be in line with the universe.”
Even large corporations like Microsoft and HSBC have turned to FengShui to create harmonious workplaces and increase productivity; clients like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have made FengShui popular in the West, says Eid.
“Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations understood this innately,” says Eid. “They often referred to it in more casual terms – they would say that a house or an office has a “’atabahelwa’ (a good doorstep), and there is some truth to that. We have disregarded a lot of that wisdom because of our education, but these traditions have been with us for thousands of years.”
As the art of being in harmony with the universe, FengShui is deeply rooted in understanding the geographical alignment of your space. A floor plan and a compass will help you position your home or office.Understandingwhat the different directions represent helps you make adjustments to improve your life. And while some FengShui remedies may incur a great commitment of time and resources, others can be as simple as moving accessories or furniture around.
But it’s not a quick fix for a failing business or a torn home, stresses Eid.
“FengShui can’t fix your life. But if you are doing everything you can to improve your business, career or relationships, and still have no luck, rebalancing your space can help. Sometimes the connection between a floor plan and the décor of a place tells a lot about the troubles that people face,” she says. “FengShuican play an important role in improving your profits and success.”
Once a floor plan has been drawn and the directions determined, Eid divides the home or office into eight sections, each aligned with a direction and an element. The South represents fire and summer; hot and elemental, the South region of your property represents fame and reputation. Eid recommends putting personal photos, images that symbolize fame or success, and maybe a few red cushions in the South.
Conversely, the North represents winter and water;water – a strong symbol for money– represents your career and finances. She recommends liberal use of the colors blue and black, as well as strong water symbols like mirrors or fountains in this section of the house.
The East represents spring; green and leafy, the East is represented by the wood element and the color green.She recommends putting plants,symbols of health and family photos in this section of your home, as it governs family relationships and health.
The Southeast governs wealth and is one of the primary reasons that many clients turn to FengShui. Green objects and strong wealth symbols in gold and purple are ideal for the Southeast section of the house. For the more adventurous, fountains or images of water are also good to nourish the wealth aspect of your home.Eid recommends avoiding strong reds (fire) and white (metal) in the East and Southeast sections of the house.
The West, on the other hand, is represented by the metal element and the colors white, grey and silver, and governs creativity and children. The Northwest – also represented by the metal element – governs helpful people, travel and blessings. According to Eid, this is a good place to put images of travel and mentors.
The southwest, northeast and center of the house are represented by the earth element and the colors brown and yellow. The northeast governs education and knowledge, making it ideal for symbols of education or wisdom, while the southeast governs marriage and romance.
FengShui Cycles & Symbols
Symbolism is key in FengShui; and while much of the literature on FengShui recommends the use of symbols that carry strong meanings in Chinese culture,Eidrecommends only using symbols that are relevant to you.
“It is not a matter of blind imitation – I have to believe in the remedies
and the solutions and adapt them to my culture”
“The most important thing is how you relate to a symbol. The symbol should carry meaning for the people who live in the house and it should be placed with the correct intent.”
Understanding the cyclical relationship between the different elements is important when adjusting your space; the basic idea is that polar opposites should never mix. In Feng Shui, there are two cycles that govern harmonious living – one is creative or conducive to alignment, and the other is destructive. In the creative cycle Water (North) nourishes wood (East/Southeast), wood burns to create fire (South), which in turn creates earth (Southwest/Northeast), and metal (West/Southwest) is mined from the earth.
In the destructive cycle, water puts out fire, fire melts metal, metal cuts wood, wood burdens earth, and earth stops the flow of water. Thus, having strong water symbols in the south of your home may be harmful to your fame or reputation, while a strong fire symbol in the North of your home may be bad for your career.
Eid recommends making changes during the full moon; this includes re-organizing furniture and clearing the energy in your space. According to her, these three days are the beginning of a cycle and represent the re-construction of the universe.
“Even if I’m not re-arranging furniture, I try to move it around
a little to re-arrange the energy,” says Eid.
De-cluttering is a key remedy in FengShui; de-cluttering includes clearing out unused closets or rooms in your house that may be blocking the flow of energy and organizing storage closets. Eidstresses the need to get rid of clutter underneath beds.
“Clutter represents obstacles to your opportunities in life. If you’ve had something for a year and haven’t used it, then you probably won’t and it will end up being an obstacle to something new,” she says. “De-cluttering encourages you to give away unwanted clothes or items that others can benefit from, which helps to circulate positive energy,” she adds.
Crystals and fish are two common remedies used to dispel negative energy. But the key, says Eid, is proper placement and relevance to the homeowners.
“Spraying salt in the corners of the house or under beds helps to get rid of bad energy,” she says.
Eid claims that adapting remedies for homes is very different than remedies for offices.
“In offices, the priorities are different, so we focus on the South and North regions,” she says. “It’s important to have a strong wall behind you while you are working. People often put a picture of their boss behind them, which is good if the boss represents stability and success. You could also put images of rocks or a mountain behind you to give you support.”
While books and resources on Feng Shui are based on the Chinese tradition, Eid insists that we should not treat it as a foreign or imported phenomenon; she stresses that learning about Feng Shui helped her to understand a lot about Egyptian traditions and Ancient Egyptian civilization, and has translated many of these insights into Arabic on her website www.arabicfengshui.com.
“I realize that little things my grandmother used to tell me were actually right, I just didn’t understand them,” she says. “Egyptian civilization is full of Feng Shui practices, we just don’t always see them for what they are.”