Feng Shui is a Chinese term that means "the wind and the water." Pronounced fung shway, it's the ancient Chinese art and science of correct placement. Probably more art than science. Basically, it's all about life force energy, called chi, and how it flows through a house or office. According to Chinese philosophy, when the wind is soft and the water calm, it brings harmony in your life.
Practitioners of feng shui believe that if you arrange your furnishings in a proper alignment with nature and decorate in a certain soft manner, it will attract harmony, prosperity and good health into your life.
Vera Marie Kostelnik, a feng shui consultant, gives the following tips in the July issue of Feng Shui News.
A bubbling water fountain near the front entrance sets a tone of tranquility for guests.
Plants soften corners.
The color red brings good luck.
A tank of nine goldfish near the front door increases prosperity.
Soft colors, candles and flowers create a peaceful state of relaxation.
A crystal hung in a long hallway creates better energy flow.
Objects in the bedroom should be placed in pairs to increase marital bliss.
The bed should be in full view of the door, but not with the foot of the bed facing the door.
In the kitchen, using all stove burners increases the flow of money.
Placing a mirror behind the stove doubles the income.
Bamboo flutes hung from exposed beams counteract oppressive energy.
Mirrors expand the perception of space.
In my little part of the world, in the Ozarks of north-central Arkansas, we have our own special way of aligning and decorating our dwellings. Instead of feng shui, we call it bumpkin shui -- the art and science of functional and casual country living.
Bumpkin shui doesn't usually require a consultant; it's mostly common sense. Beside, most of our local consultants are busy in other fields of endeavor, such as pest removal, septic system unclogging and taxidermy.
Some of the local bumpkin shui rules are as follows:
A straight path between dead cars near the front entrance sets a tone of tranquility for guests.
Piles of trash in corners eliminates corners.
Any color you can spell brings good luck -- all three of them.
A tank of goldfish near the front door provides visitors with a handy snack.
Fly paper hung in a long hallway creates a no-fly zone.
Soft colors, candles and flowers keep the cats from multiplying.
Objects in the bedroom should be placed downwind to increase marital bliss.
The bed should be in full view of the door, but not blocking the chickens from coming in and out.
In the kitchen, using all stove burners increases the odds of a grease fire.
Placing a mirror behind the stove provides a more panoramic view of a grease fire.
Raccoon pelts hung from exposed beams prevents tooth decay.
Barnyard fumes after a rainstorm expand the perception of space.
So bumpkin shui your surroundings to live a long and fruitful life.
You never know -- it may actually work.