These are some of the frequently asked questions I receive from readers. If you have a specific question, please submit it to Ask Karen Online.
1. Does the front door always land in the Career Gua?
No, you can enter the home or office in one of three guas: Skills and Knowledge, Career and Life Path, or Helpful People and Travel. It depends on if your front door is to the left, in the center, or on the right-hand side of the front facade of the home. But, in the style of feng shui that I practice, it will always be one of those three.
For example, if your door is pushed all the way over to the left of the house because, say, the garage is taking up the right side of the whole house, then you’d be entering in the skills and knowledge gua.
2. What if I can’t figure out how the bagua lays over my whole house because it goes in so many directions and is such a weird shape?
Either have a feng shui practitioner come out and figure it out for you or really pump up each room. And how you do that is you lay the bagua over each room by aligning the skills and knowledge, career, helpful people side of the bagua with the wall that the door is on and go from there. Add enhancements and balance the elements in that particular room, and then go on to the next room. If you have each room super pumped up you’ll be less affected by the home not being totally feng shuied.
3. I share an apartment with other individuals. Can I just feng shui my bedroom and make things happen?
Yes. Each room can have the bagua overlaid upon it. If that is the part of the living domain that you can control, then do it up and “make things happen!”
4. Do garages count?
If the garage, or any portion of it, is behind the plane of the wall where the front door is located, then that part of the garage is inside the bagua and you count it as part of the energy field of the home. If the whole garage is sticking out in front of the wall that the front door is on, then I usually don’t feel it is a part of the home’s bagua…but don’t throw all your junk out there just yet! It is a part of the bagua of your lot – so keep it clean too!
5. I feng shuied my home, but still no change. What am I missing?
Perhaps you’ve missed feng shuiing your thoughts! Here is a great process to use. Let’s say you want prosperity. (You can use anything here – and the more specific, the better.) Now, say out loud, “It is possible for me to be prosperous.” When you do this, listen for what your inner voice is saying to you at this point. Does it say, “Yea, right…I’ll never be prosperous.” or “Yes it IS possible darn it!” You have to get you inner voice in shape if it is not speaking the truth about what you want. (More on this in a bit)
Next, say to yourself, “I am capable of being prosperous.” and do the same thing with the inner voice. And finally say, “I deserve to be prosperous.” with the same inner check.
If you can’t shake those negative inner thoughts try this. Get three friends together, and get them to stand around you. Each one of them is in charge of saying one of the above affirmations. One says “It is possible for you to be prosperous,” one says “You are capable of being prosperous.” and the last one says “You deserve to be prosperous.” Have all three of them touch you at the same time and repeat their sentences over and over for a while until they fee you’ve received the message. They usually “feel” that they are “done.” You will see results with this I assure you.
And if you don’t have three friends, simply say to yourself over and over, “Prosperity and I are one.” until you actually believe it. In reality, everything is one, so you and prosperity are one, you just don’t perceive it that way. What you normally perceive in this world is really the illusion. Good luck!
6. My garage makes up one whole side of my house. Does that mean three whole guas are in the garage?
Depending on how big your home is in proportion to the garage, you very well may have three guas in the garage. In this case, I’d make sure that garage is a pleasant, happy and uncluttered! I’d also probably make sure those three guas are sufficiently pumped up in each of the other rooms of the house.
7. Do I have to put things in the exact corner to have them work?
No, as long as it is somewhere within that gua. When I say, for example, “the prosperity corner,” I am referring to the whole gua (this one just happens to have a corner associated with it.). When you overlay the bagua on to your home, think of it as if you were drawing a big tic-tac-toe board over your home so that there are nine squares. If you know which square is which gua, then you can place an enhancement anywhere within that square for upgraded feng shui.
8. What if my rooms inside my home don’t line up with the guas?
Rooms don’t have to line up. You can have a situation where half of one room is in one gua and the other half is in another gua. Having walls cut through guas is common. Its how you enhance that gua that is important. And if you are confused by this, remember, you can strengthen your feng shui by making sure each room is properly feng shuied.
9. Does burgundy count as “red?”
Yes, anything in the red family counts, but take a look at the color you are using to see how it makes you feel. If it is a pale or muddy, or putrid rendition of a color, be sure it is not affecting you that way.
10. My desk is an “L” shape. How do I feng shui it?
I would concentrate on the main part of the desk you face first. Usually, where you are sitting is the career area of the desk. If you have a return that runs along one side of you while at your desk, you can either leave it “outside the bagua,” or bring it in by adding a mirror of top of your main desk facing the return portion.
11. I’m going to build a new home. What’s the best location for bathrooms?
I usually suggest placing them somewhere on the line between guas, so they are not totally in one gua or the other. I would also think about any areas of your life that are weak and try to avoid placing them in the gua that is associated with that life situation. And overall, I usually don’t suggest them to be in the family gua or in the center of the home.
And as long as you don’t have the toilets in yet, I would spray paint red around the stub outs for the toilets and sinks with the intention that your good ch’i not go down the drains. So, when they are mounted, your enhancement is already there!
12. I don’t like pink. Is there some other color I could use?
In guas where there is one of the five elements associated with it, you could use the color that “creates” that element (see “elements” in this site.) If not, you could stay in the family of the color you need.. For instance, you could use both red and white where pink should be. Also, don’t forget, you can hide the color if it doesn’t fit your decorating style. Place some pink in the back of a closet or under the furniture!
13. I did my enhancements six weeks ago and I don’t see any changes yet. And when I do see the changes, how long will they last?
I usually give people three months to see massive changes, although in some cases, they come while I’m doing consultations. If you feel like you’ve done it all and nothing has changed yet I would suggest doing one of these:
1) I would add something to the skills and knowledge gua and ask to be shown any additional things that could be done (sometimes the obvious things are right under your nose) and be aware of the “signs” when they are revealed.
2) I would write down what’s going on in life right now, so you have something to compare it with later. Sometimes, things change seamless. Some people expect to be hit with a bolt of lightening to know that change has occurred.
14. How do I overlay the bagua onto an “L-shaped” house?
It depends on which way the “L” swings. If there is a portion of the home poking out in front of the plane of the front door, then that part is not counted as part of the bagua and you have to bring it in (see book for how to do that). If the L is created by having a piece of the rear house extend out beyond the rest of the rear of the house, then you either have an enhancement or missing pieces back there. Here’s how you figure what is out of the home. If the width of the extension across the back is less than half of the width of the whole rear of the house, it is an “addition to that gua.” If the portion that pokes out is more than half the distance of the whole rear of the house, then the part where the extension is not, is a missing piece. Boy, this is hard to describe without pictures! I hope it makes sense!
15. What area of the home corresponds to depression?
My husband has been going through a bout of it and I feel as if I’m headed in that direction. Is there a specific area to concentrate on or would a general type of feng shui cure be helpful. I read your recent newsletter and thinking about what you said, I often feel that I feel drained in the house and sure enough a couple of my drains are slow-moving and slightly clogged. I also sometimes feel a heaviness in the house like the house is weighing down on me and have had trouble pinpointing what to work on there.
I would work on Family, Health/Center and Creativity/Children. Intend that the family area heal anything in the past that may be causing this. Intend for the health area that you find the perfection of the now. Intend that the Creativity and Children bring your fun, lightness and happiness in all you see and do. I might also look into any parts of the physical home that mimic the words you choose to describe your situation. If you say the house is weighing down on you, look to see if there is any places in the home or around the home that is literally doing that…like with low ceilings or perhaps a very heavy textured ceiling. Look into getting more space between the top of your head and other items like the ceiling and beams and bunk beds on top of you or overhead lights that hang down too low.
16. Is the bagua chart applicable to each room or just to the entire house?
It is applicable to each room, to each plot of land, and to each piece of furniture. It is also applicable to yourself if you choose…these methods can be applied to anything with physical boundaries.
17. I don’t understand how the color red is supposed to be placed in some areas to stop chi from escaping (such as around the trash can), but be placed in other areas (such as prosperity or relationship) to help “fire” up the energy. How does the color red serve as a STOP in some places and a GO in others?
With your intention, of course! Red has the vibrational capability of doing both, and it is up to you to suggest which one you want it to actually do. If that is not a good enough answer, let’s say “It just does.” 🙂
18. Do I include a front and back balcony in the bagua or can I make them their own separate areas?
If they do not have a roof or enclosure on them they are probably not in and I would treat them individually, especially if they poke out beyond the home in front of the front door.
19. My house is an open plan because it is a wheelchair house. My rooms do not have doors and only a curtain on the bathroom. The rooms all have more than one entrance and usually my husband will use the one most convenient for him and I use another. Do I double the baguas in the room or which doorway do I use?
Use the doorway that either seems to be the “formal” doorway, or if you can figure out which room door a guest might use if they just came into your home through the architecturally intended front door use that one. If all else fails, choose one and give it all the intention you’ve got!
20. In your book, on page 152, you suggest 2 great ways to gather the ch’i to start. One of them is accumulating change for 30 days and then giving 10% of it to charity. Is this paper money change too?
I meant only coin change for this ritual.
21. What is your feng shui advice for people who have cremation remains in their house?
It is amazing how many times this subject has come up with both pets and human cremation remains. It is usually a very touchy and very personal subject when I have to discuss the topic. But, from a feng shui standpoint, I believe that it is better that the remains be spread somewhere outside of the home. Now, that advice usually comes with a long conversation, so if it sounds harsh, then perhaps the timing is not quite right and you are not ready to let go. But someday there will be a time when it feels necessary or acceptable. The memories of the person or pet are not held in the box, they are held in your heart and soul so letting the ashes go will not lessen the impact of the experiences you had.
Some people say they don’t want to know what I think about having cremation remains in the house when they read my book and find out my feelings about dead flowers. So, I say to them, to be gentle with themselves and know that perhaps it is not time yet for them to let go for some reason. But letting go of the physical remains can feel great too! You can write a special ritual and perform it to pay respects in your own special way. You can either choose something that is akin to your religious beliefs or you can pay homage to the cycle of life – knowing that creation and destruction are one and there is no end to either.
I hope my little discussion here has made this potentially “bad” sounding news easier to hear. Please let me know if you have objections to this so we can feel complete with our conversation.
22. What is a cure for a gun safe in the family gua that can’t be moved?
I would add fire and water element to the area. I would also enhance the family gua of every other room. Another thing to do might be to run red tape around the cabinet with the intention that the gun energy be confined to the cabinet only and not in your home. Or finally, I would get rid of the guns and review what the motivating factor was in having them at all…….
23. Do some objects like ornamental knives, daggers, etc. actually create negative energy between a couple when presented with such things?
Yes, they can. I would definitely remove the dagger or any other weapon from the bedroom or anywhere in the house at least for a while to see if things can turn around if you are having relationship trouble. That is too powerful of a symbol of violence and mistrust and defensiveness not to be affecting you on some level.
24. How do you treat stairs in the family section? Is there a way to balance the “up and down” effects that the stairs symbolically have in the family aspects of life?
Keep pictures hanging level and not stair-stepped like the stairs and possible hang a crystal above the stairs in the center of the case. I’d also enhance the family gua of every room in the home to further enhance this gua in life.
25. What cure can help a bunk bed for a girl who doesn’t like sleeping in the bottom bunk?
If you have to have them, you should place a mirror face up just below the top bunk (so if she is in bed facing up she sees the back of a mirror.) But mirrors break and such, so I would suggest possibly draping material with stars and moons and “up stuff” like that billowing down a bit from the bottom of the top bunk. The material also serves as a way to “erase” the “beams” created overhead by the slats of the upper bunk.
26. Could the bathroom door be a problem in line with the bed or does only the main door to a room count? If it could be a problem, would you use the same cures as for the main door?
Yes, it counts, and yes, cure it the same as the other door.
27. How do I complete a missing piece in my home when the corner of the missing piece is a concrete driveway?
One thing to do in this case is to paint a red line where the corner of the home should be. If that is too aesthetically unpleasant, I would suggest enhancing that particular gua in each ROOM in the home. For example, if the prosperity gua is missing in the home, enhance the prosperity gua of each room in the house. Believe it or not, enhancing rooms can be more powerful than doing the entire home. Think of it like this. Your bed is the closest thing to you for 8 hours a day…so that is pretty important to get right with feng shui. Next closest to you in bed is your bedroom. The nest most effective space is the home, and then the lot, then the development, and so on. Your rooms have a powerful influence on you: Master Lin Yun says it is more powerful than doing your whole home.
28. Where is the best place for the trash can in the room?
My suggestions for things like trash cans, kitty litter boxes, and other not-so-pleasant but necessary items is to place them in the part of the room (the gua) that is exceptionally strong for you and avoid the guas that you feel are not working so well in your life.
29. At one point your book says that you will “explain later” on where to place things on your desk, but I didn’t find it. Can you help?
The title of the sub-chapter that I believe you are looking for is “Ancient Tech Meets High-Tech” and is found in the book on page 155.
30. What can be done to counteract a toilet in the prosperity or relationship gua – and in my case both?!!!!
I always suggest the following. Find the cures that work for you:
1. Counterbalance all the downward energies in bathrooms with items holding earth and fire element energies.
2. Place a mirror face up on top of the toilet tank with the intention of reflecting the energies back up.
3. Hang a crystal above the toilet with the intention of dispersing the ch’i before it goes down the toilet.
4. Place plants that have an upward movement or shape to them, like Sansevieria (“Snake plant” or “Mother-in-law’s tongue”)
5. In addition to the ch’i re-directing, place your symbols or other enhancements in the bathroom for either prosperity or relationships (or whatever gua this happens to be in.)
6. I always suggest enhancing the prosperity and relationship guas of every ROOM in the house to make up for this not-so-great symbol in that gua of the house.
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