Feng Shui For Everyday: Foreclosure And The Wealth Sector
I live in Lyme, Connecticut. Our home is surrounded by forest and it’s beautiful and I don’t want to leave it. My husband insists we sell it because everyone in the family has had Lyme disease, some more than once. Also our income since moving here has decreased alarmingly and we are struggling financially. When we bought this place we were very optimistic because the sellers were giving us such a low price — an unbelievable price really — in the aftermath of bankruptcy and in lieu of foreclosure. Now we know why. My sister-in-law said, “Try feng shui.” I’d like your opinion as to whether or not it could actually help. — Ingrid
Oh dear. It could help a lot — be transformative even. When you buy a place being sold because of financial decline you inherit, and then occupy, the same downward spiraling frequency. You’ve purchased a distressed territory. If you aren’t aware of this as a problem to be corrected, your life could become bizarrely disastrous. The property has a life of its own and, in my view, may have purchased you — to heal it. That’s necessary and quite possible to do unless you unknowingly collude with the ill health of the place. Ultimately, in this situation, ignorance isn’t bliss for anybody.
There’s an upside and a downside to foreclosed property. Those losing their home have fought and lost, most likely, a protracted battle. And this kind of situation wouldn’t have been limited to financial challenges. The stressors of worrying about money affect many aspects of life and can erode relationships and health. Depending, though, on ensuing circumstances for these sellers, there can be some relief with their loss — their final letting go of selling a house before foreclosure.
When your bid at the foreclosure auction is accepted you are presented with a wonderful opportunity. At its most basic, you’ve acquired a home at a price you can afford. This, Ingrid, is where your particular story begins.
Major space clearing is indicated. Underlying challenges still exist but the accumulation of negative, fearful, traumatized emotion on this property needs to be released and allowed to move on. Space clearing is a big topic. There are many skilled practitioners and helpful books about this, and most feng shui practitioners have space clearing in their skill set because it’s so often necessary. It is absolutely essential in your case. My gut reaction to your letter is that outside assistance would best turn this situation around. You need industrial strength space clearing first.
Next, an assessment of negative trends and deficiencies of your property needs to be defined and addressed. To help you understand new ways to observe your home, I offer the following general rules/guidelines.
Don’t buy properties with distorted boundaries or odd shapes such as indentations or severe angles along one or more sides. The same rules apply to the buildings on it. Go for squares and rectangles. They are stable and balanced. If you’re unsure, a property lot or building well suited for a healthy, happy life won’t feel jarring in any way. Balance is the supreme foundation. What you do when you build on it is up to you but there will be a strong energetic underpinning of support at your base. When you inhabit a place that is excessively irregular or gratuitously dramatic the features that originally seemed enticing will quickly become challenges.
In terms of the bagua, a diagnostic tool super-imposed on what is being analyzed, the area most predisposed to vulnerability in this situation is the wealth sector. To identify/locate this area do a bird’s eye view of your property and/or building and/or rooms within it. Observe most closely the rear left quadrant of everything: land, house, condominium. Base your orientation on the main entrance to what you actually own or occupy.*
Is the space cut out? Does what you’re viewing have an indentation in that area that creates an absence? This is a gross over simplification, but if that area is “missing” — doesn’t exist — there is a vulnerability in the corresponding life aspect: financial health. It’s important to be able to identify this sector. Start with the largest sense of the overall property, and work your way down to the smaller scale of the footprint of the building and the rooms within it. Scrutinize each. Clean and enliven where possible and remove anything that suggests decline such as wilted flowers. Clear out any clutter because it’s stagnant.
Also, since this is considered a wood aspect, remove offending metals. (Your sword collection here will chop down your tree of wealth!) Floor plants inside and trees and plantings outside are good here. No wispy spider plants dangling and jostled by every breeze. Make the area strong. You can use pictures of health, vitality or growth. Imagery that suggests luxury is great. A waterfall (actual or image) presents the quality of effortless, continuous flow of life enhancing water. I guarantee you that in households of relatively similar financial circumstances, when you compare the household that succumbs to foreclosure versus the one that prevails the former has a missing wealth sector in some or all of the most significant places. Your wealth is everything that you hold dear — what’s most precious to you. You can change your home; you can change your office. And in so doing what you are actually changing is yourself.
Whether you want to hang on to your house or are the new owner, the same principles apply. When the relationship between dwelling and dweller disintegrates, a new relationship with tremendous potential is born. You are both custodian and co-creator.
It was as a result of foreclosure that I was first introduced to feng shui. About 25 years ago a single woman in an alternative occupation of modest income and no other financial means purchased a single family home in Cambridge, MA. Not a condo, but a substantial freestanding dwelling. I found this remarkable, and further inquiry revealed that she’d bought it for a low price at a foreclosure auction. For a house warming present someone had given her a feng shui consultation. Before moving into her new home, the consultant visited it and pointed out all the issues she needed to address to avoid the same fate: missing wealth sectors, dead trees on the property and layered manifestations of neglect. The home was dying. My friend became its caregiver and comfortably resides there to this day. As for me, her helpful feng shui consultant became my first teacher.
* Note about “main entrances”: The main entrance is the one the architect intended — even if you don’t use it. Its energetic blueprint existed before your house did. For all diagnostic purposes involving the bagua this will be your orientation. Inside, the main entrance to rooms with more than one door is as follows. Use the door that is largest. If there is no size difference use the one most frequently used. If there is still no difference select the door that is closest to the main entrance. Using this main entrance seems counter-intuitive to many people who come in the kitchen door off their driveway, for instance. These commonly used doors affect you in a conditioned response sort of way. I mentioned this in a previous column by likening it to Pavlov’s dog. The kitchen entrance tends to stimulate consumption. The living room suggests social life. If you first come in to a library or study most probably the place will house at least one person who values knowledge and education over other life themes. If you are first presented with a bathroom that will probably always be your first at-home destination.
A friend of mine who knows about feng shui said the reason I’ve been having money problems is because of a large, metal, canister-shaped garage I had erected in the left rear quadrant of my property. Can you elaborate? What can I do about it? — Alison
If you can live without it, honestly, in the long run, you’ll come out ahead by removing it. I am assuming you’ve read the previous question and answers. First, the metal works against you in that wood area. Secondly the canister shape — arches represent the signature shape for metal; wood would be column shapes, for example and water, wavy, etc. So this is doubly detrimental. If, instead, you had erected a garage made of wood you would have added a structure to your wealth sector and boosted your financial life. In this case, though, the opposite effect has been created! If you can’t remove it, paint it blue, green or red. If that seems too outrageous, just paint the garage door. The blues and greens represent wood and you need that there. The red (fire) melts metal so it helps control the metal’s negative cutting influence. Evergreens planted in the area would be great. Compensate for this challenge in every other available wealth sector where it’s practical and/or possible.
Money and finances is a topic that frequently comes up in feng shui consultations. For example:
“Dear Lynn, I am having some money challenges. Will chimes in my wealth sector help?”
“Hi Lynn. I’ve read that a frog with a coin in its mouth located near your front door will assure prosperity.”
These “cures” may have some slight influence in your favor but I would probably not suggest the first one and would never suggest the second one. It trivializes feng shui and dilutes its more meaningful potential. More basic expressions of form, as well as balance, vitality and overall harmony affect you more powerfully. We are hard-wired for survival. Where would we be today if cavemen had sat with their back to the cave’s door?
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.