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Layers of Landscape (Real Estate) Feng Shui
By Faith Ellis
It is just perfect here in Sydney. We have had whales in the
harbour; the sun is shining after long awaited, glorious rain that had
the decency to come on a week day and night and refresh everything. The
days are getting longer, the plants are starting to bud and I am
getting that spring-cleaning feeling, so all is well with my world and
I trust it is just a great for all of you.
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who write to me, I love to
be of service so please keep those interesting emails coming.
The other night my partner and I attended our first bridge lesson.
For those of who don't know, bridge is a card game with a very definite
set of rules aimed at clear communication. You play with a partner and
aim to communicate the depth and strength of your hand, by using
specific techniques. This got me thinking, if bridge is about
communication, what is feng shui (FS) about? I think FS is about
interpretation and like bridge it has many layers that can initially
seem very confusing and overwhelming. Like bridge, if you put the time
and effort into learning FS principals, you can unravel its mysteries.
Again similar to bridge, even at the most simplistic level of FS you
can practice, have fun and experience positive results! Start slow and
build as you gain knowledge, experience, success and confidence!
Traditional Chinese landscape FS is one modality of FS where layers
are relatively easy to understand and interpret. The overall aim in
Landscape FS is for your home to be located in an armchair landscape
that surrounds and supports the dwelling and its occupants. The hills
or back of the chair provide support, the arms of the chair are
represented by smaller hills and a small mound at the front can
represent the footstool. We all love a nice comfy armchair to flop into
after a tiring day, with a footstool to rest our tired legs and feet.
The home is a material reflection of the owners, so the armchair
landscape should symbolise the nicest, most comfortable, favourite
armchair and footstool, whatever that means from the occupants
What are the basic layers of Landscape FS and how can we interpret
FS wisdom established in primitive times and project them and their
relevance into modern times?
Layer 1. Look at the surrounds of your home, the topography and try
to interpret what messages the layout of the neighbouring buildings,
landscape, streets, traffic flow etc., contain. For instance,
traditionally houses were built with mountains behind and a watercourse
in front, with hills on either side for protection. This was perfect
for primitive, primarily peasant cultures of a feudal nature. Today we
are far from primitive or peasant and though the feudal part is
probably subjective, expecting hills to protect us from waring
neighbourhood countries is pretty futile with today's modern arsenal.
So what do we look for in modern times that might still offer similar interpretations?
1. Buildings or tall trees can replace mountains behind a home.
2. Smaller trees/shrubs or again buildings can replace the hills.
3. Roads can replace watercourses.
How is your house situated from this armchair perspective?
Layer 2. The front of the home should have an open space with a
small hill/mound. The space allows chi energy to come up to the home,
slow down flowing over the small hill/mound, meander around the space
before entering into the home. This ensures the energy is not too
strong, but just the right strength for humans to handle and tap for
their benefit. The small hill also add protection should the
watercourse become out of balance and break its bank. An open area
ensures no enemy can sneak up to the front of the home and attack
In modern times those of us lucky enough to live in stable
countries are unlikely to get attacked from neighbouring countries, but
burglary is a huge worry, especially for city folk.
1. Most homes have lawns out the front and apartment blocks have open spaces, normally for parking etc.
2. Earth garden mounds with shrubs, to ensure privacy for the home
dwellers and to mark the territorial boundaries, normally replace the
small hills. Houses belonging to wealthy people often replace front
gardens with brick, security walls.
3. If the road is very busy (like a fast flowing stream always at
risk of overflowing), people protect themselves by placing high hedges,
garages, fences or brick walls between the home and the road.On top of
this, at least here in Australia, we fit modern, security aluminium
roller-shutters to the front windows and security fly-screen doors
outside the front door.
* It is interesting to note that where there is fast flowing
traffic there is normally a higher crime rate, talk about yang energy
out of balance! What FS interpretations can you make about the front of
Having gained an overview of the basic landscape of the property, we are free to start delving a little deeper.
Layer 3. Look for the four celestial animals of traditional
landscape FS and the rules that govern them. The four celestial animals
1. Green Dragon
2. White tiger
3. Red phoenix
4. Black tortoise.
Some basic rules that govern all this are:
Lillian Too's books
As you stand inside the house
looking out; the green dragon should always be on the left (L); the
white tiger on the right? (R), the phoenix in the front and the black
tortoise at the back of the home.
The dragon should always be higher than
the tiger. If the (R) side of the property is higher than the (L),
balance up with dragon plant pots or a light
The tiger or (R) of the property should
be peaceful because if disturbed the benevolent tiger could turn
destructively on the occupants. Therefore ensure there are no major
structures and or busy streets located on this side of the property.
The tortoise (hills/trees behind the
property) supports the occupants. The shape is rounded like a tortoise
shell, not sharp and pointy.
The phoenix represents opportunity. A
low red brick wall or better still, a raised flowerbed of red flowers
is excellent to encourage opportunity to continually knock on the front
door and ensure abundance. As this represents a footstool the shape and
size should reflect this imagery.
contain excellent pictorial examples of these celestial animals and how
they can be reflected in the landscape. For further clarity in this
area I recommend you read one of her books, either buy one or access
one from your local library.
Layer 4. Shar Chi or poison arrows are likened to a warrior's spear
being hurdled directly at our heart. In traditional FS they are
believed to attack the heart and soul of a building and its occupants
and as such need to be avoided at all costs. They are caused by
anything sharp that points directly at the front door of the home. We
don't want a Shar Chi spear killing the positive chi energy before it
can enter the home and enhance our life successes do we now? Some
examples of poison arrows are:
1. Sharp ridge ends of roofs.
2. Modern architectural structures that have pointed shapes/corners aimed at the front door.
3. Roads heading straight for the front door.
4. Flyovers whose concrete edges become arrows aimed at the front door.
5. A footpath that heads straight towards the front door.
6. A sharp edged (square sided) light pole whose edges aim at the front door.
7. A Bagua mirror hung outside a neighbour's home and facing your front door.
By planting shrubs or placing some sort of barrier e.g. pot plants,
fence, wall etc. between your home and the Shar Chi; you form a
protective shield for your home.
Layer 5. Look for anything else that might not be auspicious to the
occupants of the home. Most of these make commonsense when pointed out,
but are not always taken into consideration when purchasing a property.
Try to avoid
- Having a prison, cemetery or police station opposite your home.
- Sharp, pointy angles from objects and structures pointing directly at your front door.
- Too much traffic flowing past your front door, the chi energy will rush straight past and not come into the house.
- Soil that contains no sign of life like worms or healthy plant life.
- Land that is flat, bleak and /or barren.
- Water behind the property as water symbolises money and you want that in front of you not behind and therefore in the past.
The further away from your property you can track excellent FS the
better. Thus, from a FS perspective, a city that is situated in an
armchair environment is likely to be more successful and offer more
opportunities than one that isn't. An Australian example is the capital
Canberra compared to Sydney. Canberra isn't sighted on a natural
watercourse like Sydney.
The natural watercourse that was there, the Murrumbidgee River, has
been seriously curtailed by being dammed and its flow has now been
controlled and drastically reduced. As more water is being added via
manmade lakes etc., Canberra is becoming more self sufficient and
successful, but it still struggles for recognition compared to its
larger, more successful counterpart and it still tries to cling to
government for support rather than being self-sufficient and so
independent. This is a huge shame as traditionally Canberra was a
meeting place for indigenous Australians and as such is a very
spiritual as well as beautiful place. By comparison Perth is situated
on the famous and beautiful Swan River and continually goes from
strength to strength, even though its isolation from the other major
states is significant and could have been thought of as a deterrent to
Look at your area of living choice and see how the FS of the area
might be reflected by its prosperity and success. Before you move or
invest in real estate, why not undertake some FS detective work, check
out the city, suburb, and property and see if you can find one that
supports your success by providing at least one armchair to support you
through life. If you are looking for further tangible proof that this
all works in reality, check out Hong Kong. Even the Chinese take over
hasn't overturned the excellent FS energy that manifests in this very
Good luck, have fun and don't forget, even if your property isn't
perfect, anything filled with love is guaranteed to flourish, so love
and appreciate what you have, give thanks and then ask; "how does it
get any better than this"?
Fond regards till next time.