Feng Shui: Not Such Hooey
by Marjorie Dorfman

page 2

The water element in Feng Shui is very powerful. There are two types: still and moving. Still water is associated with tranquility, peace, intuition, profound understanding, natural and acquired wisdom. It literally exemplifies the old adage "still waters run deep." Moving water is dynamic, bustling, "going places." It is often associated with such activities as networking and communications, and is considered a symbol of a healthy cash flow. A healthy life needs both types of energies (especially the cash flow) as each fulfills its own essential functions.
feng shui waterfall
Moving water is associated with water fountains, water falls, paintings or photographs of water in motion. It is symbolized by pale blue or light aqua, the colors of rushing water. Still water is found in a brandy snifter with a flower floating graciously within it, goldfish bowls and paintings of lakes, ponds and pools. Dark blue, indigo and black are associated with this kind of energy. Consider too, that stagnant and still water are not synonymous and do not proffer the same energy. Stale, fetid water is negative. Be sure that if you use fish bowls or flower arrangements to change the water regularly so that they are always fresh, clean and clear.

Instincts are important when deciding which items represent your own individual "water element." Tradition is not as important as the "inner voice" that no interior decorator can give you. Colors are very personal. If something says still water or moving to you, trust your feelings about it even if you don’t get wet.

Gardening is another important aesthetic consideration for Feng Shui. Chinese gardens developed from the art of Shan Shui, which literally means "mountain water." Shan is yang, hard, still, sublime, vertically developed, close to heaven. Shui is yin, soft, movable, horizontally developed, close to earth. Shui embraces Shan, Shan surrounds Shui. Gardens, like all landscape, reveal an attitude that needs to be gently restrained and understated. This enables a more intimate experience and sense of fitting into the environment. Land is not considered a source of profit but rather that which encompasses humility and respect for the forces of nature and heaven.

feng shui templeThroughout Chinese history, geometric forms have rarely been placed on holy land, which is often seen in Western countries. Only in the Chinese Emperor’s gardens were such shapes acceptable because they symbolized respect for the natural forces of heaven and earth. Life and landscape are inextricably linked. Things on earth depend and rely on each other. A landscape is a living thing, a process of communication, a matrix of feeling. The philosophical conclusion in understanding the world is what the great thinker, Laozi called Naturally So.

And so it would seem that there is much about heaven and earth and humanity that we in the western world can learn from those in the east. But as an English man named Shakespeare succinctly put it in Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, my dear Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Did you know . . .

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