The first time Cyd Alper-Sedgwick, my Feng Shui consultant, met our house, Sistine, it was cold and cloudy outside – typical February weather here in southern Ohio. Collars turned up, we walked the property, then stood at the top of our driveway, and looked down at the house, me clutching a notebook and pen… Sistine sits slightly below street level, which is apparently not great Feng Shui (vulnerable to the negativity of the rest of the street flowing down.) She’s also at the center of a cul-de-sac, another undesirable position (stagnant energy,) and part of her Bagua map (a sort of blueprint that divides a space into nine sections, with each representing a different aspect of your life) is missing in the back, since the garage extends beyond the rear wall of the house. The missing piece happens to overlap in the Wealth, Fame and Love sections of our map – lovely, right? Thankfully, Cyd practices the Black Hat school of Feng Shui, which is the most Western of the Form schools, and she never tells anyone, “You need to move.” She says there’s a fix (or ‘cure’) for everything.
She went on to tell me that the front door is known in Feng Shui as the Mouth of Chi, where the energy of the Universe flows into your home and thusly, into your lives. Alas, it was not all bad news… Sistine’s front door is not directly in line with the street – that’s a good thing – owing to the cul-de-sac. And the door itself IS level with the street, so that helps offset the fact that the house is not. Sistine is a tall girl, and she uses her height to her advantage! She’s also nestled into a hill that curls behind her like a protective shroud – a “sleeping dragon,” Cyd called it, and that is an auspicious thing to have (we can thank Frank Lloyd Wright for popularizing that concept.) Then there’s the storm run-off ‘creek’ that flows in front of Sistine, actually through a big pipe that is buried under our driveway and front yard. Though it does not always flow, Cyd told me that when it does, it moves any stagnant energy, and that’s a positive, too. Lastly, Sistine faces East. Feng Shui believes all life originates in the East, with the rising sun. Happy dance!
We then discussed our front porch and entry, which was not, at the time, very appealing. As a family, we enter our house through the garage, so we rarely use the front door. Owing to that, Sistine’s Mouth of Chi (which is in her Career section, per the Bagua map) boasted a long-broken doorbell, a faded paint job, an absolute void of character and a cramped and dated foyer – and I use the term ‘foyer’ VERY loosely. Cyd said a house is in pain when it is in disrepair… cue the guilt! I scribbled some messy notes and wondered how much work it would take to ‘cure’ our sickly situation. She suggested we start with the following:
• Add color to the mailbox at the top of our driveway, our two lamp posts, and our front porch (blue, black, and red are the desired colors here, as they represent Career/Soul Purpose)
• Put wind chimes on both lamp posts, to help keep the energy active
• A large black door mat, since black is one of the colors for Career, and bigger is better
• Keep the porch light on 24/7… knowing this would not sit well with my frugal Guitar Man, I started brainstorming ways to keep light out there, to attract positive energy and change
• Add a water fountain or bird bath to act as the corner of the ‘missing’ section of the house, since Water (blue color) represents Wealth (which you want ‘flowing’ to you)
• Repair or replace the broken doorbell
Next, we moved inside, where Cyd told me she would map our house on three separate levels. As Sistine has an added-on sunroom, a former garage-turned-family-room and a new garage added on to that, she has three different levels, so each got their own Bagua map. We worked through the interior, and Cyd offered fixes along the way, including:
• Add plants to our already-green sunroom (this is the Family section, and plants symbolize the Tree of Life, so the green color is good)
• Paint our burnt-orange dining room blue (for Wealth… this room is in both Career and Wisdom, where we do not want Fire, which the reddish color represents)
• Add red towels or other red items (Fire) to offset the Water element (can bring things to you, but can also drain them away) in our laundry room and downstairs half-bath, both of which are in our Fame section (can mean Fame as we all know it, but also your integrity with the Universe)
• Regularly dust and re-organize the shelved books in our music room (these can generate negative energy if they sit unattended for too long)
• Add small, inconspicuous mirrors to our family room windows (to ward off negativity coming at us from the street)
• Move photos of Dragon and Peach to the center of our family room from the back (they were in the Relationship section, rather than the Children section, where they belonged)
• Add two red candles to the Relationship section, and light them each night
• Address an ongoing plumbing issue we’d been having with drains running slowly (i.e. ‘stuck’ energy,) particularly in our laundry room (overlapping Fame and Health sections – eek!)
Some positive things we had going on were:
• The color of our music room in the center of the house, which is a bronze yellow, and also the color of our laundry room, which is a lighter butter yellow… these rooms overlap in Health, where earth tones are desirable; we also have brown Flor carpet tiles in the laundry room
• A large framed print of an angel playing a lyre hanging in our Helpful People section, as well as some photos of family members who have left us
• An antique mirror with hooks, on which we hang coats, hats and backpacks, by the door to the garage; Cyd loved this, and said the mirror helps move the energy around the room and reflect back what comes in from the windows at the front (I just need to be sure to declutter it regularly… ummm, working on it…)
• TONS of animals hanging around our home… a fox, a coyote, hawks, owls and other birds, squirrels, chipmunks (aka Guitar Man’s mortal enemies), rabbits and a plethora of deer (we even had a beaver pass through once,) Cyd assured me that animals bring good energy, which I already knew intuitively… I feel that energy when they visit, and it makes me happy to see them and know they feel good here, too
As we wrapped up for the day, I took a few final notes and Cyd chatted briefly with Guitar Man (who’d been watching football while we moved about the family room, discussing objectives and cures.) I walked her out and waved as she drove off in her red Mini Cooper, my mind already planning. Now it was time to begin addressing our many challenges… and hopefully move some energy and make good things happen.