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Lighting in Feng Shui

Feng Shui, an ancient art and science developed in China over 3,000 years, is now practiced in many countries including India. It is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment, a method of balancing the energies of any given space to get good health and good fortune for people. Feng shui literally means “wind-water” in English and is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics.

In this system the world is divided into five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The five element theory is the soul of feng shui and also forms the basis for prescribing cures for various material afflictions. It presupposes that the chi (universal energy), based on Taoism, exists not only in every direction but also within the human body.

The Chi energy in Chinese medicine is known as the Yin and Yang – Yin expresses feminine energy (passive) while Yang expresses the masculine (active). Both, in a proper balance, are required for a harmonious living.

Let us look at one of the elements in this article: Fire. This element rules the South direction and enhances fame and recognition. The energy of the South feng shui bagua area is better translated as the Light, or Fire Within. This energy of the South feng shui bagua area is reflected in the image you project to other people, how others see you and how well you maintain your own values and identity.

Red, pink, orange, purple and deep yellow are the colors that represent the feng shui element of South.  This means that if you want to keep your fire energy strong, it would be best to avoid blue or black color items in your South feng shui bagua area.

Light is the strongest manifestation of energy and represents the Fire element. Correct lighting is essential to the practice of feng shui in your home. The energy from the sun is manifested mainly as light and heat and both forms of energy are essential for a balanced healthy living. Artificial lighting is a substitute for sunlight and therefore essential in feng shui. Appropriate lighting and its placement is important to have a balanced chi in the home.

A dark room or one with insufficient lighting will have yin energy and is not a good chi. The best way to remedy this is to light up dark areas of the home. The areas in the home which see more activity like the kitchen, study and areas where you read need brighter lighting. The living room or the family room can have subdued lighting or lights than can be regulated with dimmers such that you can regulate the brightness according to the need. Dimmers are also good for bedrooms unless you have the habit of reading in bed, in which case you would need brighter lights or bed side lights for that purpose.

In feng shui, a light fixture over the bed is not recommended as it creates health problems mainly for the liver and eyesight and is generally considered inauspicious. Similarly lights that throw shadows on the ceilings and walls are considered inauspicious as they bring in yin energy and these should be avoided.

Much of the practice of feng shui is based on Pa Kua, an eight-sided symbol that represents the eight directions: four primary and four secondary. The primary directions are East, West, North and South while the secondary ones are North East, North West, South East and South West.

Each of these directions represents different life’s ambitions. East represents good health, West represents descendant’s luck, North brings luck in career while South brings fame and recognition. In the secondary directions, North East represents education, North West brings mentor luck and represents friendship, South East is for riches and wealth while South West is for love and romance.

There are broadly two types of lighting – hard and soft.  Mercury, halogen and fluorescent lights are generally considered hard and are more suitable for shops, offices and to illuminate dark areas like alley ways, porches and landings. Soft lighting is generally preferred for homes and for areas in the home that need brighter illumination use white lights.

So energise the areas as per your needs and aspirations with lights that cover the entire spectrum and what better than white lights as the colour white encompasses the entire spectrum.

Image: By myself (Douglas Whitaker) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com

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