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Feng shui to the fore
by Charles Chan
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Honey Lim Han Ni
Web project manager, Sovereign Insurance Co
Assunta Girls School, Petaling Jaya;
University of Western Michigan
Auckland, New Zealand
Ask Honey Lim about feng shui and she has lots of interesting things to tell you.
Like the fact that she’s a weekend practitioner of this ancient
Chinese science in a land where the “dragons” are very ong (potent in
Hokkien) in some places and where people perhaps know more about
hobbits than how the elements of Earth, Metal, Wood, Wind and Fire
affect their lives.
She’ll tell you too how sorting out her feng shui problems enabled her to find her Mr Right.
A niece of renowned feng shui expert and best-selling author
Lillian Too, this former student of Assunta Girls School in Petaling
Jaya and business management graduate from the University of Western
Michigan, United States, now lives in Auckland where she’s employed as
Web project manager in Sovereign Insurance, New Zealand’s largest
During the seven years she has been in New Zealand, Lim, 29, has
also been actively involved in spreading greater Kiwi interest in feng
shui through her website and by holding workshops in Auckland or
Wellington “to clarify a lot of things”.
Unlike Australia where it is already a very big thing, feng shui is
still very young in New Zealand and a lot of people write in to her
website asking questions.
“It is difficult to answer questions from so many people so it is easier to hold a workshop to clarify all the confusion.”
“It’s also more important (to have these workshops) here because of
the Southern Hemisphere. There are books out here that say Southern
Hemisphere feng shui is different when actually it is the same.
“There are quite a lot of confused practitioners in New Zealand who
seem to feel that you have to flip the paqua (hexagram) and do all the
things differently when you don’t have to.
“These people who say the southern hemisphere feng shui has to
change are using Western science to support their theory but feng shui
is not a Western science. It is an Eastern science and the paqua is not
a blueprint for the way the winds move or the way the sun rises.
“By coincidence in the Northern Hemisphere, the fire element is in
the south because the southern part is warmer but that’s not the reason
that the fire element is in the south.”
Clients who have benefited from her advice included New Zealanders,
Chinese and some Indians who are drawn to feng shui because they have
something similar called Vastu Sastra.
She tells of a Greek woman who lives in an apartment where the feng
shui was not good for her husband who was having serious job problems.
“When she sent me the floor plan of her house, I immediately knew
what was wrong because the kitchen was located in the north-west of the
Lim explains that the element metal is in the north-west and is
good for the man of the house. “If you have a kitchen there, it
introduces the element of fire which destroys metal in the elemental
cycle, and it actually destroys the luck of the man.”
As the kitchen and bedroom were next to each other, she suggested a switch so that bedroom is relocated to face the north-west.
“She took my advice and changed the configuration of her apartment.
Almost immediately after that, her husband was offered an amazing job
and he became very famous and highly respected in his profession within
a very short time.”
In another case, she advised a woman whose husband was cheating on
her to put some crystals under the bed. “She wrote to me that shortly
after she had done this, her husband left his mistress and went back to
Getting her feng shui right helped Lim to meet her man.
“For all my life, I’ve lived in a house where the bathroom is in
the south-west which depletes relationship luck. A lot of problems
concerning marriage or women who can’t find boyfriends can actually be
attributed to south-west problems. I’ve seen many such cases.
”So it’s just my karma that all my life until in my early 20s, I
kept moving into houses that had this problem, and there’s nothing I
could do about it.
Lim, who is pregnant with her first child, finds the feng shui of
Auckland with its undulating landscape and gentle winds very good.
1998, after graduation and holding a job in the United States, I knew I
had to do something. Oh dear, if I kept on living in these problem
houses, I was never going to find somebody to marry. Like that,
die-lah!” she says with a burst of laughter.
Her urgency was influenced by an astrologer who told her years ago
that her marriage phase was between 1998 and 2004 and if she failed to
find someone, the next marriage phase would be when she is in her 40s.
“I looked and looked for such an apartment and I could not find one
within my price range and so I had to cough up more money to rent one
“I finally found one but had to pay more but it was worth it. This
one had the main door facing my Wood direction, had no south-west
problems, and I could activate my wealth sector.”
Within a short period of moving into her apartment, Lim met Patrick
Tay, then working as economic and financial planning advisor to former
NZ Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.
“He lives in New Zealand and he’s Malaysian and I was then living
in the United States. So the chances of us meeting were practically
zero. But I was very good friends with his aunt. I had these free
tickets to go to Hawaii. I wanted to take her along with me but she
suggested I should go with her nephew whom I’ve never met.
“She said her nephew was visiting the United States and said I
should arrange it with him. So I called him but he had no intention of
coming to the United States at all – she was just having me on.
“But in that first conversation, we talked for a very long time, we
got along very well, and over a few months, we e-mailed each other .
Finally he decided to visit the United States to visit his auntie and
that’s how we met.
“After we met, things went very well, we carried on a long-distance
relationship for two years. That was very silly because phone bills
were very expensive. So I moved to New Zealand but in between I
returned to Malaysia to help out with my aunt’s company.”
They got married in 2003 and now Lim is blissfully pregnant with their first child.
Lim says Patrick, 32, who now works in the Auckland City Council as
economic planning strategist, became a believer in feng shui after
Lim’s interest in feng shui was stoked in the early 1990s when she
read the first of many books written by her famous aunt. But long
before that, she already had a deep interest in metaphysical things. “I
was already into tarot reading, astrology, I-ching ... all these New
Age things which I found very fascinating.”
Lim says she would like to devote 100% of her time to feng shui “not just necessarily on consultation but to teach.”
Her ultimate goal is to open in New Zealand one of her aunt’s World of Feng Shui franchise shops of feng shui products.
She is toying with the idea of writing a coffee table book on feng shui aspects of famous New Zealand buildings and landmarks.
“The contours of the land in Auckland are very gentle and
undulating and the wind is very, very gentle. Auckland has very gentle,
wizened dragons ... that’s very auspicious, very ong.
“The kind of dragons that are a bit more muscular, tightly fitted
together, like those in Wellington, where the wind is very aggressive
are also auspicious but not so auspicious as Auckland’s. In
Christchurch, it’s all flat, in some cases there are very few mountains
and not so much energy. The energy there is good but not so ong.
“Parliament has very good feng shui; that’s why New Zealand has such a powerful government and Opposition.”