by Carolyn Vinup

What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of positioning and placement. It examines how the energy flows in your living environment. Energy flow is affected by the placement of things and objects within a space. It is the art of creating environments that support our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.Feng Shui means wind and water, the two elements we cannot live without. These two elements can enhance our opportunities for determining our good luck, prosperity and health.Feng Shui’s ultimate goal is to create sacred space within your physical environment thereby improving the luck and abundance in your life.

Brief History of Feng Shui
Feng Shui has been practiced in China for over 4000 years. People began to make observations about their environments. In some environments they experienced tremendous growth and success while in other areas their lives were in shambles. They made a connection between the physical environments in which they lived and how those environments affected them both good and bad. One of the first ways this was used was in locating auspicious burial sites for their ancestors and then they used Feng Shui principles to help locate their homes or towns.Feng Shui is both a science and an art form. Feng Shui consultants observe the patterns that are set up in your physical environment and then interpret their meaning. It combines perspectives from psychology, physiology, ecology and geomancy, philosophy, astrology, interior design, architecture, science, aesthetics, artistry and folklore from India, Tibet and China and plain common sense.

Different Schools of Feng Shui
— Compass
— Land Form or Form School
— Black Sect
— Practical Feng Shui

Why do you practice Black Sect Feng Shui?
I chose to study Black Sect because the philosophy and teachings made sense to me. In my opinion it combines the best of all the schools. It taps into the wisdom and teachings from the past as well as acknowledging the challenges of our current day situations and our need to be flexible.

Black Sect uses the front door of your home or office, as the starting point or the mouth of ch’i. The front door will either be in Wisdom, Life Journey or Helpful People.

What are the 5 principles and why are they important?
When evaluating a space, Feng Shui applies the following 5 principles:

1. Everything is energy and everything is connected
2. A person’s space is a reflection of their life
3. Space should be organized as it is in nature
4. Clutter causes confusion and chaos
5. Stating your desires allows your intentions to come forth

These principles are important because they provide the foundation from which a physical evaluation takes place. When you begin to evaluate the concept of the first principle, “Everything is energy and everything is connected”, doesn’t it make sense that clutter in your home could impact the success at your office?

Who can benefit from a Feng Shui appointment or studying Feng Shui?
Everyone who is open to the benefits of Feng Shui: men, women, mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, relatives, professional associates, business colleagues, corporations and animals.

Who can benefit from a Feng Shui appointment or studying Feng Shui?
Everyone who is open to the benefits of Feng Shui: men, women, mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, relatives, professional associates, business colleagues, corporations and animals.

In what environments can I apply Feng Shui principles?
All environments: home, condominium, townhouse, apartment, houseboat, cabin, tree house, tent, office, business or corporation, retail store, real estate, cars and trucks, educational institutions, government buildings, desk, horizontal surfaces, room by room, personal body and other.

5 Key areas to evaluate a space
1. Front Door
2. Center
3. Bedroom
4. Office/Desk
5. Stove

Where do I start?
Clutter is a good place to start. As you process through your clutter you become aware of all the material items you own. At that point you can begin to make conscious decisions about what items remain in your home or office and what items you should let go. You begin to ask yourself questions like, “Is this choice in alignment with my intention? Does this support what I am trying to accomplish or create in my life”?The answer is either Yes or No. It’s that simple.

Why does placement and positioning mean the same as location, location, location?
As in the real estate market you hear the term location, location, location. Location is important and can play a key factor in the selling of a home or business. In Feng Shui we say placement and positioning play a key role in evaluating how your environment is supporting you.

We do this by evaluating the flow of ch’i or life force energy in a space. We ask questions and make observations. For example, we evaluate the front door; is it easy to find and is it being used very often? The front door represents the first and last impressions we make on others and ourselves. When you enter the home, are you faced with stairs that lead your eye up and down or do you walk into a space that gently leads you into the home?

We evaluate the placement and positioning of the overall physical layout of the environment. How your furniture is positioned and how you have placed your personal possessions throughout your home or office.

Tools that are used in Feng Shui
Bagua, colors, elements, symbols and metaphors, intention and attitude, intuition, subjective and objective observations, mundane and transcendental adjustments and cures, rituals, ceremony and meditations

What is a Bagua? What is a gua?
The Bagua (pronounced Bagwa) is a tool that helps us to evaluate what is happening in your life and in your environment. The Bagua is shaped like an octagon and has 8 sides. The Bagua is an energetic map that is used to identify key areas in your environment that can be either adjusted or enhanced. This tool allows the environment to be divided into 9 equal areas, or guas (pronounced gwa). Each gua holds an energetic imprint that can be reflected in your space.

The Bagua can be applied or superimposed over the blueprint of your home or office or to any horizontal surface such as a kitchen counter, a dresser, a table or a desk.

In Feng Shui we say the Bagua is the compass inside your heart. If you are experiencing some area of your life that isn’t working or moving in the direction you were hoping for then this tool can be used to evaluate the areas of concern.

What are the 9 key areas or guas?
There are 9 areas or guas that are represented on the Bagua
1. Life Journey/Career
2. Wisdom/Knowledge
3. Family
4. Abundance
5. Fame & Reputation
6. Partnership
7. Creativity & Children
8. Helpful People
9. HealthIn Black Sect Feng Shui the front door always lines up along Wisdom, Life Journey or
Helpful People.

Why is the color red so important in Feng Shui?
Red is considered a lucky color. It is associated with happiness, luck and fame. It can initiate energy to move quickly.

What is Ch’i?
Feng Shui is based on ch’i (pronounced chee) or life force energy. Ch’i is in constant movement. It pulsates through all living things giving them life and vitality. The flow of ch’i throughout your environment and physical body impacts every area of your life. It can influence your health, relationships, decision-making abilities, opportunities and outlook in life.

What is Yin and Yang?
Yin and Yang are complementary opposites that depend on each other. Together they create a sense of wholeness or one. Yin and Yang make up all aspects of life and matter.
Yin and Yang reminds us that our physical and emotional environments are in a constant state of change. The story goes that in darkness there is a tiny spec of light and in the light there is a tiny spec of darkness. It reminds us that our life and physical environments are in a constant state of movement.

Yin is dark, female, inside and passive.
Yang is light, male, outside and active.
Why is the number 9 so special?
This number represents the fullness of heaven and earth, completion, power and success. It’s also considered to be a mystical number because when you multiply by 9 the sum of the two digits equals nine. (For example 2 x 9 =18 and 1+ 8 =9)

What is the Red Envelope Tradition?
Practitioners or consultants receive payment from an appointment in a red envelope.
It is considered lucky money. It honors the tradition of sharing sacred wisdom and information as well as protecting
the consultant.

What are the 5 elements?
1. Fire
2. Earth
3. Metal
4. Water
5. WoodFire is red, Earth is yellow or earth tones, Metal is white or silver, Water is black or dark blue and Wood is green.

The 5 elements are another way to evaluate your physical environment. The item or objects shape, color and material it’s made of are evaluated. When all 5 elements are represented in a space it is in balance and has harmony. It just feels right!

What are the main Cures and Adjustments used in Feng Shui?
Examples of cures that can be used in Feng Shui are mirrors, fountains, lights or candles, wind chimes and bells, bamboo flutes, crystals, plants and flowers, aquariums, rocks or statues, color, aromatherapy, incense and sage, pictures and animal totems or the 5 elements.

Examples of adjustments might include a handout with a meditation or making some physical change in the environment. When we do this, we perform a ritual called the three secrets of reinforcement.

How do you make an adjustment?
You need to get clear about why you are making an adjustment. Do you want something to change in your life or in your living space? We use the 3 secrets of reinforcement to do an adjustment.

What are the 3 secrets of reinforcement?
Body, Mind, Speech
— The body is the physical object
— The mind is the visualization of the change you want to make
— The speech is connecting to spirit and then vocalizing your intention through either a prayer or the 6 true words

What are the 6 true words and what do they mean?
Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum
This phrase is called the Jewel in the Lotus Mantra. It implies the blossoming of a lotus flower revealing a jewel in the inner most part of the flower.

What is a Mudra?
Any physical gesture made with the hands that connect you to spirit. Feng Shui uses many different types of mudra’s. The prayer pose with hands folded together, waving, heart-calming, planting, moving hands up into the air, open palm, hands moving toward the ground and expelling are examples of Mudras.The expelling Mudra dispels negative energy. You place your first finger and pinky finger straight up. Then you place the middle finger and ring finger against your thumb. Then you flick the middle finger and ring finger forward nine times.

What is a Mantra?
A chant or sounds that are repeated over and over again for a specific number of times. The 6 true words Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum are an example of a mantra.Carolyn Vinup is the president of Creating Sacred Space, a consulting firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she is a certified Feng Shui and sacred space consultant, space clearing facilitator, sound healer, teacher, speaker and healer.

Carolyn Vinup and Boyd Sibley produced a meditative music CD titled “In the Name of Hope-Sacred Space”. The music takes you a journey for opening and clearing the chakras. The CD is priced at $18.00 and includes shipping and handling.Carolyn can be contacted by phone at 952-934-1853 or by
e-mail at carolyn@carolynvinup.com