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Posts tagged ‘5 elements in feng shui’

The Lucky Bamboo

Bamboo is being used more and more in our western society in building products, such as flooring and cabinets.  We are also seeing sheets and clothing made out of this readily renewable resource.  To welcome in Spring,  I wanted to talk about the benefits of using Lucky Bamboo in your home, as a way of energizing growth and abundance into your spaces.  Imagine my surprise when I did my research on the plant and found out that it is not actually in the bamboo family.

The Lucky Bamboo is a Dracaena sanderiana, and is a species of the genus Dracaena.  It is a member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa.  It has become popular as a household plant because it can survive in many indoor conditions and requires little regular maintenance.  Keeping it in indirect light is best as direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow and burn.  Lucky Bamboo also does very well when its roots are kept in clean, de-chlorinated water.  For more information on the care of lucky bamboo, check out this article: http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/newsletter-july-2003/

Although not a true bamboo, in Feng Shui, the resilient Lucky Bamboo  represents the Wood and Water elements, which relate to growth, success and prosperity, yet also demonstrate flexibility.  If you add a red ribbon tied around the stalks, you have added the Fire element, and further increase the positive flow of energy or chi in the room. Other ways to add Fire is to use a red pot or one with an animal motif.  You can find many Asian stores selling Lucky Bamboo in pots decorated with frogs, turtles, elephants and dragons.  When planted in a round (Metal), ceramic (Earth) pot, you have incorporated all five Feng Shui elements – a perfect addition to any space for elemental balance.

Lucky Bamboo is a wonderful addition in most areas of a home, particularly in the Health & Family and Wealth & Prosperity guas.  I have several Lucky Bamboo plants throughout my home.  The plant, pictured below, is in the Health & Family area of our dining room.  It is in a place of honor, along with two beloved family heirlooms – the hand-carved wooden bar it is sitting on, which my mother won playing Bingo when we were stationed in the Philippines, and the porcelain Buddha on the right, which was a gift to my dad that symbolized our family (my dad was bald and there are five kids in our family). The other Buddha was a gift to me from my mother.  Having the Lucky Bamboo there brings a wonderful balanced energy to those memories, now that both of my parents have passed.

There are many good locations for a Lucky Bamboo because it brings in nature and a balance to most spaces. Living and family rooms are great locations.  Consider placing one on your office desk – in the Wealth & Prosperity area (the far left corner), with the intent to bring in more financial success to your business, or in the Health & Family area (left side in the center), to bring in new growth and opportunities.  Just be careful not to go crazy and place them everywhere, or you may become overwhelmed with too much new activity all at once!  Intentionally place one and see how the energy responds.  The one room I wouldn’t suggest putting a plant in is a bedroom.  It could produce more yang energy than you want for sleep, especially when near the bed or in a small size bedroom.

A Lucky Bamboo plant makes a great gift.  Offer it with the intention of it bringing wonderful new energy, growth and success to the recipient’s life – perfect for a housewarming or birthday!  You can also give one to someone who is recovering from an illness, surgery or accident, with the intention that it represents healing and new strength.  Be sure the one you purchase is healthy, has room for water in the pot, and that the roots aren’t dry.  I recently went to a large home improvement store and found that the pot was too small and the rocks on top were actually glued together so you couldn’t water the plant – not good Feng Shui for the poor plant!  Just because they sell Lucky Bamboo does not mean that they are treated well.  A florist shop or grocery store may have the healthiest ones around.

If you don’t own a Lucky Bamboo yet, buy one.  If you honor it by treating it well, you will be blessed with many years of beauty and wonderful energy!

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Decorating for the Holidays

Energy is building as we decorate our homes for the holidays.   Our living room has been in disarray as tubs of Christmas decorations are brought up from the basement and gone through to decide what gets used and what stays in storage.  We moved to a new home 3 months ago and are deciding where the decor from the other home fits into a different floor plan and yard.  Fortunately, I am blessed with a very patient and talented husband, who adapted and modified!  As we’re putting things out, I’m drawing upon feng shui principles to maintain balance and harmony in our home during this busy time and throughout the upcoming winter months.

The 5 elements we strive to balance in feng shui are wood, fire, earth, metal and water.  Although all of these elements do not need to have equal standing in a room, all need to be present to create a supportive, balanced, and welcoming environment.

The wood element comes into play with greenery (real or faux trees, wreaths and boughs) and supports the fire energy (think of wood being added to a fire to keep it fed). It is important to us, as humans, to bring the energy of wood into our living spaces so we can keep the feeling of new beginnings that comes with the promise of Spring, especially during the ebb of life energy that comes during Winter.

The fire element brings warmth and energy to a space, especially important during the cold, dormant winter months when there is not a lot of activity or growth going on.  Fire includes people and animals (including art and photos), anything red or shades of red (burgundy, maroon and even orange) not to mention lighting, candles, fires and anything that is triangular or pyramid in shape.

To complement the fire and wood energies, add metal with accessories & decor that are made of, or imitate the look of gold, silver, bronze, etc.  including ornaments, garland, oval, circular or arched items, and white or pastel colors.  Black, Navy or other dark colors, mirrors, glass and wavy patterns cover the water element, as well as all water features such as fountains and aquariums.  The earth element is anything ceramic or brick, earth-toned colors such as terra cotta, rust, browns or yellow and all square or rectangular items.

Practice viewing your home through ‘feng shui eyes’ to see where all 5 elements are represented and how the rooms feel to you.  Does each room honor the items you choose to display or is there too much to take in and no place for eyes to rest?  I enjoy looking at my collections when they are grouped together, such as my Santas on the fireplace mantle.   They make more of a statement than spreading them throughout the rooms.

When it is time to take down the holiday decorations, which can sometimes be a downer, consider keeping more fire and wood elements around through the cold winter days to keep your energy and mood uplifted.  Red candles and greenery may be just what the doctors would order, if they looked through feng shui eyes!

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