10 Feng Shui Blunders: Common Booby Traps and How to Avoid Them

The results simply refuse to materialize and you are on the verge of giving up. LILLIAN TOO explains some common ways people go wrong with feng shui and offers some suggestions…


Very often people expect feng shui to work like magic. Usually they hear about feng shui from someone who has had some amazing experience with the practice and they immediately expect the same result can happen for them like someone finding a soul mate within a month of getting their sleeping direction changed; or someone expecting her first baby as soon as a pink crystal lotus is placed in their descendents corner of West. Surely if feng shui can land a dream man or cause someone to have a baby after years of failure, feng shui must also be able to help them!

The problem of setting high expectations is that there will always be the possibility of getting disappointed. Be realistic and be relaxed about getting results. Get your feng shui done the best way you can and then forget about it. Let the energies rearrange themselves to bring you what you want… the more relaxed you are, the better your feng shui will work for you.


Worse than high expectations is expecting immediate results. You cannot expect the energy of your home to change immediately; if you do, you can sometimes get disappointed and the more you agonize and wait for results to “happen”, the more you will be disappointed. Feng shui must be done with a nonchalant confidence. It is this non-obsessive expectation that usually gets good results. When you understand the cycles of time that affect change, you will also come to realize that depending on when feng shui changes are made, how long it takes for feng shui to show results can vary for up to nine months…



These days feng shui has become so popular that there are so many so-called feng shui “experts” that one can end up having too many expert opinions!

Often when you are not careful, the consultant you bring in to help you does not have enough experience, or is not fully qualified, or worse still, is simply a charlatan out to take advantage of you. That is when you could find yourself changing one feng shui master for another until in the end you would have consulted so many experts you are left confused.

You might even lose faith in this wonderful practice, which will surely be a shame. So if you are looking for a feng shui expert, look for someone who has good solid experience or get a practitioner who comes highly recommended by someone whose judgement you respect. As with any profession, there are genuinely good practitioners and there are fakes. Do not consult too many experts – get a good book to read so you know at least some basics. This way you will be in a better position to judge whether something recommended makes sense or not.


Just as harmful as having too many “experts” is when you get sidetracked by well-meaning amateurs whose knowledge of feng shui is wholly inadequate. Incredible as it sounds, I know so many of my friends who have been side-tracked by the loose remarks of people who really have so little knowledge of feng shui. Do not allow such folk to deter you from treating feng shui seriously.


Do not get carried away by clever sounding “Chinese” terminology. Just because someone throws out clever-sounding phrases that make it seem like they understand this esoteric science does not mean they know the complete formula or know how to apply theoretical feng shui. Often, the applications of feng shui are as challenging as learning the methods of analysis. Taking directions, determining facing directions and deciding on which formula to use for instance can often be so challenging that mistakes of method and judgement can be made. I have discovered that those who are too hung up on terminology do not really appreciate the depth of feng shui analysis; their treatment can be superficial in that they overlook other inputs which can sometimes change the equation.


If you are looking for a feng shui expert, look for someone who has good solid experience or get a practitioner who comes highly recommended by someone whose judgement you respect.


Another thing that can go wrong is when you do not use an accurate compass or you take the facing or sitting directions incorrectly. In fact, this “mistake” accounts for more than 50% of mistakes. Remember that feng shui can be quite technical when it comes to taking directions, so you need a good compass and you need to be careful when taking directions. Be mindful where you stand and how you hold the compass. When the directions taken are inaccurate, your whole feng shui application could be flawed.


The practice of feng shui can sometimes be challenging enough to tempt you to overlook certain important steps. If you are using a difficult formula, for instance to design a good auspicious water flow around your house, you must be fastidious and very careful to include all the important aspects of the formula. You cannot skip the hard parts, as doing so renders the water flow you build invalid. It will not work when the flow does not pass your front door, or does not pass the door in the correct direction!


Another common myth amongst those who are insufficiently well informed about feng shui is the belief that anything “classical” or “Chinese” must be more accurate and thus superior. Nothing can be further from the truth! This is because there was a period of the Ming Dynasty when feng shui was out of favour and many Taoist feng shui masters had to go underground. The Emperor’s court even ordered fake feng shui books to be written to fool practitioners. It is said that soon after the Forbidden City was completed in 1419, three of its main halls as well as the quarters of the Emperor’s concubines burned to the ground. Historical gossip has it that it was severely wrong feng shui that caused lightning to strike the buildings, thus razing them to the ground.


Those who want to get everything right in feng shui are in for a disappointment as it is simply impossible to get everything perfect! In fact, one of the skills of the experienced feng shui master is that he/she knows that there are always tradeoffs involved when choosing between formulas. It is not always possible to tap into all of one’s good directions and locations, so you always have to choose between options. It is better to not be too much of a perfectionist!


Finally, remember that good feng shui is almost always about good common sense. When an expert recommends something which does not seem to make sense, do not throw out conventional wisdom. Going against your better judgement usually causes you to make quite severe mistakes.