Feng Shui and Backyard Metal

Dear Lynn,
I read in your last column that the left rear quadrant of my property represents my wealth sector and that I should avoid placing metal there. My husband has located his scrap metal pile in exactly that location at our home! Our yard is very long, so the pile is visible, but not in clear view, and it’s in a corner with bushes and trees on two sides, with a brush pile next to it. Ironically (no pun intended), he also believes that the scrap metal is valuable, so it does have some connection to wealth. Where would be a better place to locate scrap metal pile or how can I minimize this challenge? — Wondering

Dear Wondering,

There are more issues here than valuable scrap metal in your wealth sector. Your letter is rich with issues. I’m so glad you wrote.

First I want to say that whether you can see it or not, whether or not you are even aware it’s there – metal in your wealth sector is busy undermining it. As you may have read in previous columns wealth (finances, income, prosperity in its most meaningful manifestations) is governed by the wood element. And metal chops wood. That’s the problem with its current location on your property.

Scrap metal is valuable and the most obvious suggestion is to sell it instead of relocate it. If that’s not desirable just now it can optimally be relocated to the children/creativity or helpful people/travel sectors. They are metal aspects. They will be located to the central right and front right areas as you stand with your back to the street and look at your property.

But, space permitting, if you can place the metal in an area that sort of straddles these two sectors do so. It will moderate any excesses vis a vis the “scrap” issue. And if there is any contention around housing it on the property in the first place that too will be kept from negatively impacting these life aspects. Sometimes, too, items come with their own inherent burden and spreading their location over just parts of various adjoining sectors will confuse the chi and neutralize their influence.

Next you revealed that there are bushes and trees in your wealth sector. Good. Especially if there’s a representative evergreen to prevent seasonal financial dormancy. Those evergreens are on the job chugging along for you without “green” lapses. They over-ride the annual apparent death cycle of deciduous trees and bushes.

A fun and effective thing to do is pay a lot of attention to what grows in your wealth sector. Solar/electric considerations allowing, you can put lights in them. In this way you adorn, enliven and “bring light” to the corresponding situation. If you had a large shade-providing tree in the area you could decorate the ground around its base with colorful impatiens. From spring to fall they will proliferate and be building on each other with lushness. They really stand out come fall when most everything is yellow. This delights the tree as well as the viewer. And as I’ve said before – this changes you.

Now for the brush. It needs to be burned. If you can, the ideal place to store and then burn it would be in a central area of the property. The center (again vis a vis bagua overlay) is earth. Fire creates earth (as in ash). Or, safety permitting, burn the brush anywhere in the fame sector or love sector – companions — being located in the central rear quadrant and the right rear quadrant respectively. If you look at a bagua you will see the three “open” (not “broken”) lines and it is the most feminine, yin area from a bagua perspective. Its aspect is earth, the receptive. Fire is earth’s mother in that its next stage is ash, which becomes earth. So you boost this love/relationships area as well.

It isn’t advisable to have just brush in the central rear of your property. You need something with an “upward” quality. Vegetation, trees, etc., provide this. Its fire’s behavior to flame/flair up – be expansive. Any color in the red spectrum is another option here, as are triangular shapes, fire’s signature. Something will probably come to mind that satisfies these requirements that you feel enthusiastic about. It could be a red tree house! And if there’s nothing there – perhaps just a view and no offending features that’s just fine too.

Animals and people are also considered the fire element. If you have squirrels galore out back you’re all set. One exception that would allow the brush to remain wherever it is is if it becomes an inhabited nest.

Dear Lynn,
Unfortunately my shower is in the wealth sector of my house upstairs. I have a bamboo plant in the corner. Will this be enough? What might I put downstairs in the wealth sector? It is the corner of my kitchen countertop. A cabinet overhangs it. I have a wooden cutting board and a silk flower there. Is that enough? I was concerned about the shower upstairs as some books say that having a bathroom in the wealth sector is the worst thing to have. Thank you! — Alexandra

Dear Alexandra,
Usually we start at the bottom and work our way up but we’ll reverse that to reflect the sequence of your questions.

The shower in your wealth sector isn’t necessarily bad – but it’s probably accompanied by the rest of the usual bathroom features. It’s the overall bathroom placement in the wealth quadrant that needs to be addressed. But I’d like to put this much maligned placement in a larger perspective. The gratitude attitude. How great is it that your bathroom is conveniently located in your home? How much ease are you afforded if you need to use it in the middle of the night? It’s inside. Express your appreciation, feng shui the room, keep it clean of course, and don’t worry about it!

The bamboo plant in that corner could not be improved upon – it’s perfect! A floor plant is ideal and a fast growing, water hungry bamboo notorious for its vigorous growth is great. So instead of water draining away its nourishing aspects are fully utilized feeding the bamboo. Dynamic feng shui “adjustment.” Give the bathroom more green – towels or rugs are possibilities.

Downstairs in the kitchen the wooden cutting board is good. The silk flower isn’t too significant but is a boost if you really like it. Don’t worry about the overhanging corner cabinet. And anyway it’s probably made of wood.

Just observe what’s where in various sectors and employ the “do no harm” concept by removing any offending objects. In this case no knives, silverware – no cutting edges in a wood area.

Other ideas: consider changing your perspective spin about the corner to it being a very protected area. Put something you cherish there. Perhaps even just kitchen items that you especially value.

If I were with you I would look at other wealth sectors you have. On the land? In the living room? The bedroom? Check them out and see where something significant – either stable or dynamic – could be introduced.

Dear Lynn,
My husband and I just got back together after a very painful separation and it’s still a bit tenuous. He wants to put a compost heap somewhere and that sounds like more deterioration to me. Should I discourage it? — Loveday

Dear Loveday,
Your husband’s compost inclinations portend a wonderful new phase of your marriage! Compost is great feng shui! You honor the remains of what you just enjoyed by giving it back to its original home – the earth. Locate it in the love sector (rear right quadrant) and feed that nutrient rich stuff to your marriage!

The I-Ching hexagram in the love sector is three open lines: receptive and energetically feminine. What you compost joins the cycles of creativity and nourishment. It’s a happy thing contributing to the earth’s fertility and regenerative behavior. All those scraps and remains of food go to a welcoming site where by co-mingling they enhance each other. A nice metaphor for relationships. The process of degeneration is incorporated into renewal and yields such richness! Although sometimes a smelly brew, it is thankfully, outside and offends no creatures. So feed the earth and not a landfill.

The late Lynn Taylor was a senior feng shui practitioner, teaching and consulting in the United States and Mexico for both business and home environments.