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Myths and misinterpretations

Feng shui has been gaining popularity for some time now. Nevertheless people are often sceptical of this knowledge. This is possibly due to a lot of rumours and urban legends that have grown around feng shui, leading to its reluctant reception. I would like to comment on some of the misunderstandings and inconsistencies that are often related to fashion and superstitions.

The fact that we cannot perceive something through our sense of taste, smell, vision, hearing and feeling does not automatically mean that the phenomenon does not exist. It merely proves that it is beyond the reach of all of our senses. Take the magnetic field, for example, or ionising radiation.

Feng shui is depreciated as a science by many erroneous interpretations of its assumptions and practical applications, as well as by incorrect information about the matter. On this page I wish to dispel some popular myths associated with feng shui:

  1. Feng shui is not a religion.
    It is also not associated with any Chinese spells, spirits or deities. Neither is feng shui based on superstitious beliefs. True classical feng shui is based on a science dealing with the laws of nature and their influence on human life. It is just the interpretation of the collection of knowledge that is slightly different from the standards that are accepted in European culture. Take the example of a tree growing right in front of a house door. Common sense suggests that it blocks the view of the road for somebody leaving the building, or that someone entering can be hit by a falling branch. Feng shui interprets it as disturbance of the free flow of energy into the house. Both approaches agree that the presence of such a tree is inadvisable.
  1. Feng shui is not just about interior decoration and furniture arrangement.
    Indeed, feng shui does provide guidelines concerning where to place and how to orient your place of work, leisure or sleep. It does take into account the furniture shapes, communication paths and energy flow, door and window placement etc. It also considers the beneficial directions of persons that are to use the room. It does not, however, replace the services of an interior designer.

  2. Classical feng shui does not deliberate about decorating rooms with various items, especially luck-bringing figurines. Frogs, ducks and other animals are symbols characteristic of Chinese culture, not feng shui. You may just as well place an angel for luck or any other symbol that you associate with good thoughts. The application of symbolic items has only become an aspect of feng shui in the 1990s and has nothing to do with classical feng shui.

  1. Feng shui does not deal with colours, although they do affect persons in their vicinity. A throng of dull shades such as black or dark blue oppresses the mind and may lead to losing motivation and inspiration. Too vivid colours on the other hand may result in excessive agitation and hamper concentration and rest. The key in selecting colours is – as always – the balance of yin and yang. Remember to keep dark and dull (yin) colours balanced by bright, vivid (yang) tones. Classical feng shui does not recognise the concept of "luck-bringing colours".

  2. According to feng shui, numbers do not matter.
    It is no secret that the number "four" in Chinese is pronounced similarly as "death". However, this does not mean that using specific numbers will bring the results associated with their pronounciation.

  3. There is no wealth sector in feng shui.
    Nevertheless it is recommended to use outdoor features including landforms, compass directions and the mutual interaction of elements to support the acquisition of wealth.

  4. There is no love sector in feng shui.
    Applying feng shui rules does not automatically make your dream prince(ss) knock on your door. However, feng shui can facilitate finding a life partner – often within a very short time. No figurines etc. are used for this purpose in feng shui.

  5. When do you use bells in feng shui?
    That's only when you want to use the power of metal as an element in its yang form. Bells are used because they are metal and emit sound, which is associated with movement; and movement is a yang property. In this case the metal element on its own – without sound – will not bring the desired results. Instead of bells, you can also put up a chiming clock with a metal pendulum.

  6. In feng shui, nothing is permanent.
    Classical feng shui takes into account the influence of the place, time and environment. Each feng shui assessment of an apartment, a house or an office considers the residents or staff that will use the venue. There are no standard solutions.