Sunday, December 30, 2018

28. Fire and Water. A Battle in Your Home

Home is the place where we spend the most time in our busy lives. It's the place where finally, at the end of a long day, we can relax and recharge after spending time outside. While resting or sleeping, it is also the time for our bodies to rebuild energy. That's why the Feng Shui of our homes is so important.

In my blog we've talked about the relationship spot, wealth spot and best health spot.  But, sometimes the interior floor plan of our homes can affect us a lot, even our health. Here is what I have heard and learned about making the layout of our homes the most supportive of our good health.

In Feng Shui theory there are two major spots in a home that can create good energies that are important for health. These depend on the existing interior layout and where the kitchen and bathroom(s) are in your home. The kitchen -- obviously this is where you cook and where the stovetop is located. The bathroom(s) -- this is where the majority of running water is used.

So, think about it.  In Feng Shui there are five elements and in the case of the kitchen and bathroom we are talking about FIRE and WATER -- two extreme opposite elements. Since the kitchen is used for cooking the food we eat, it is related to the digestive system and liver. The bathroom is about the bladder and kidneys.

A design trend these days is a layout where the kitchen opens to the dining area and sometimes a great room beyond. Or in a studio apartment the kitchen is often in the same room where we live and sleep. The aspect of this that we need to be careful about is where is the door to the powder room or bathroom. If a bathroom door is directly facing the kitchen and stove area, that will create what we call a "battle between fire and water." If you're sitting on toilet on the toilet and the kitchen stove is visible, how could this possibly affect ones health? 

This layout could lead to a digestion issue and you might end up with diarrhea, food poisoning or even liver and kidney problems. The suggestion is to always keep the bathroom door closed and maybe hang up a Japanese style half curtain if there is an archway or door to the kitchen. You can also place a glass of water next to the stovetop to help cut down damage from the battle between water and fire. These ideas will help to kick out bad energies.

The other situation to be concerned about with the layout in a home is how the kitchen and bathroom line up with your bedroom, which is where you rebuild energy when you sleep. When sleeping in bed you are opening up your mind and spirit in a kind of meditation-like activity. Energies inside or outside the bedroom can easily enter or leave through an open door. With no protection, a bedroom might not be a healthy room in your home.

No matter if you live in a house with many bedrooms, a one bedroom apartment or a studio, if you lie down and can see into a bathroom or the kitchen through the bedroom door, it is not good Feng Shui -- especially if you can directly see the toilet or stovetop. This might cause many health problems, including bladder, kidney, digestion, stomach or liver trouble. Yikes!

What to do? Move your bed, keep the bathroom door closed at all times, put up a screen or place a medium height plant to block the line of vision. That way bad energies from the toilet or stovetop will be avoided.

Want to hear more? I know you do.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

27. May You Have A Long and Healthy Life

Is it only a myth that the Japanese have long held the secret to longevity in thousands of years old tales? In the past three decades, the average age of Japanese seniors has been at the top of the list worldwide. Consistently, surprising numbers of Japanese live to be well over 100 years old.

From ancient times to today, people are looking for a way to live longer, if not eternally. They take rare herbs such as Ganoderma or aged Ginseng. The belief is that these healthful plants can create an energy store in the body that will help to keep us forever young. This theory is the same as Qi Gong meditation, a gentle movement practice that keeps vital energy circulating through the body and brings about healing and well-being.

One of the greatest comic books creators is Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), the man behind the very popular "Astro Boy" and "Kimba" comics.  Both iconic comics characters went on to inspire Hollywood and Broadway with Stephen Spielberg's film, "AI," and the long-running stage musical and animated motion picture, "The Lion King."

Tezuka took 22 years to fully tell his most famous story, "Phoenix," which ran from 1967 to 1989 and featured a total of 12 chapters. Each chapter is an individual story that runs through different eras from ancient history to present day and into the future. Each centers around one enduring topic -- how humans are forever seeking eternal life.

This quest seems never to have changed throughout the course of humanity. But the question remains, why do we want to live longer? I think it's because we don't want to give up everything we've built over a lifetime; and, the opportunity to take pleasure in what we've experienced.

Feng Shui cannot provide us with a longevity recipe, it can only suggest how to better follow a life plan which has already been set by nature. There are energies around that can help us better connect with the universe. And, certain energy spots promote good health -- assisting us to live better and stay in touch with the power of the positive.

Here are some healthful tips from renowned Hong Kong-based Feng Shui Master So:

Rat - a music box in Southwest corner

Ox - a red object in the South

Tiger - a glass of water in the North

Hare - a glass of water in the North

Dragon - a red object in the South

Snake - a plant in the East

Horse - a plant in the East

Ram - a red object on the South

Monkey - a few pebbles in Southwest corner

Rooster - a few pebbles in Northeast corner

Dog - a red object in the South

Boar - a music box in the West

These will not help you to necessarily live longer, but could lessen the intensity of illness if and when it strikes. Of course, your family doctor is always the best source of knowledge about your health. And it is important to always get a yearly check-up.

Eternal life may only be a fantasy, but living with positive energy and good health is a reality.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

26. To Live Another Day

Emperor Shihuang, who ruled during the Qin Dynasty (221BC-201BC), is thought to be the leader who unified China through common language, currency and measurements.  During his era of innovation, paper was invented along with the Chinese writing pen, which is actually a brush.

Also, terrible atrocities happened during his reign: a build up of the military, book burnings and live burials of scholars who refused to share their expertise.  Shihuang is also notable for forcing indentured laborers to build China's most famous landmark, The Great Wall.

Emperor Shihuang always surrounded himself with a lot of protection. Under his brutal rule, many people suffered greatly. As a result there were many assassination attempts on his life -- none successful.

He was proud of the improvements he accomplished for the country and felt he could do even more by extending his life. The Emperor asked his alchemist Xu Fu to find a way in which he could  increase his lifespan. Xu Fu spent months and months gathering secret  prescriptions from all over, but nothing really worked. The emperor used to results was highly impatient and started  threatening Xu Fu -- if he didn't come up with any solid answers he would most likely be executed.

One day Xu Fu came to see the emperor and show him a hand drawn map of an island located in the middle of the sea. He explained that in this faraway place people were rumored to live long lives. Maybe they would share the secret if the emperor financed a sea-going expedition to find this utopia. The emperor agreed immediately, had a big boat built just for the voyage and let Xu Fu hand pick 70 young man and woman to go with him.

A few years went by as Emperor Shihuang waited for his longevity recipe from across the sea. But Xu Fu had vanished, never to return. Soon after the emperor died of old age. In his tomb he placed hundreds of terracotta warriors to protect him in the other world.  You may recall when the buried warriors were discovered a few decades ago much to the delight of archaeologists, historians and adventurers around the world.

Did Xu Fu create the myth of an island utopia as an excuse to escape certain death at the hands of the emperor?

In modern day Wakayama, Japan, there's a park which houses Xu Fu Temple. It is a memorial to the Qin Dynasty alchemist's achievements from over 2,000 years ago. This confirms that Xu Fu is not a fictional character from mythology. After he arrived in Japan, the island utopia, it is thought that he and his fellows stayed and naturalized into the society.

The mystery that remains is whether Emperor Shihuang sent Xu Fu to explore the sea outside China for building friendship and trading opportunity. Or, was the voyage actually a secret mission to discover the secret recipe for long life?

May you live a long life.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

25. Fly Me to The Moon, Where I Might Live Forever

A long, long time ago, there was not only one sun and a moon in the sky. There was a total of nine suns at one time. People believed they were the children of God and were all living together in heaven. They were considered to be rather naughty because all they did was hang out in the sky together all day long. And the hot and steamy weather they created was just unbearable. The heat evaporated the rivers, dried up lands, scorched acres of planted fields; and fish and animals were dying.

Hou Yi, a skilled archer, wanted to save his people from suffering under this terrible condition. He called upon his special ability and shot his arrows into the suns. One after another he hit his targets until the last remaining sun ran off in fright and hid away at the edge of the sea.

People were thrilled when the whole world went back to where it was before. They all saw Hou as a hero and showered him with gifts, purses of money and then a big house. He found himself with a dedicated group of followers in the hundreds. Hou felt like a king and people asked his advice on many things.

As the days went by, Hou began to actually see himself as a king, but he did not spend his time ruling or taking care of his people. All he did was eat and drink, and take whatever he needed with no concern where it came from. He became extremely cold and arrogant, and made people afraid of him. He even experimented with a secret medicine that he hoped would give him eternal life.

Hou's wife Cháng é was feeling sad about the change in her husband's personality. She decided to check out what kind of medicine he was making because if Hou lived longer the people would suffer longer.

One evening, under a full moon, she quietly entered his secret room and there she found a cauldron with a fire burning underneath. She opened the lid and  through heavy steam found three little pills that were bright red. She thought this must be Hou's special medicine and she scooped them out. Just at that moment when she had the pills in her hand and was thinking about what she would do, there came the sound of footsteps.

Hou walked into the room. Startled, he demanded to know what she was doing. She panicked, popped the three pills into her mouth to hide them and slammed the lid of the cauldron shut. Hou quickly ran over to the cauldron and pulled back the lid -- no pills inside. He grabbed Cháng é's shoulders and accused her of stealing his secret medicine.  

She was terrified and when she tried to speak up in her defense the three pills slid down her throat. Hou realized what was happening and he tried to force her spit out the pills. But as he started to shake her, Cháng é's body began to float up until it reached the ceiling, then out through the open window and headed towards the top of a tree. There was no way that Hou could catch her.

Becoming lighter and lighter she rose higher into the sky. Left with no other choice, Hou grabbed his bow and arrow. His first shot missed Cháng é entirely. On the second try he came to his senses and recognized that he was shooting at the woman he loved. Heart broken, he just stood in the dark and watched her float away towards the moon and then disappear entirely.

Ever since then, people always claim to see the shadow of Cháng é on the surface of a bright and clear full moon. Now, after we've landed on this cold, hard rock, we all know these are just the shadows cast by the rugged landscape on the moon. But still to this day, bakery shops print the image of Cháng é flying towards the moon on moon cake boxes.

This fairy tale about the beautiful moon is special because it also includes a secret longevity medicine. From ancient times until now, eternal life has always captivated us.

Are there any other stories about the moon that exist in Chinese mythology? Why yes, of course. Other shadows on the moon represent a palace, a big rabbit, a toad, and even a man who keeps cutting down a tree with an axe, although he never succeeds.

But next, let's look at longevity and the Chinese wish for "long life."

Sunday, December 2, 2018

24. Moon Cakes, Holiday Lanterns and The Mid-Autumn Festival

One of the most popular celebrations in Chinese tradition is theThe Mid-Autumn Festival. It's held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Han calendar—essentially it is the night of a full moon. The night generally falls near the Autumnal Equinox (on a day between September 8 and October 7 in the western calendar).

This celebration is also known popularly as The Mooncake Festival. It is observed around the world and is one of the biggest gatherings of family and friends after the Chinese New Year.

This time of year the moon is round, big and bright. Many Chinese travel great distances to be at home with family. During the day they typically gather for a big dinner -- much like Thanksgiving in the United States. Then around midnight everyone sits outside, or next to a window, to observe the full moon and its silvery moon beams. Colorful lanterns in all kinds of animal and toy-like shapes are strung up; and special moon cakes are baked just for that night. 

Some say moon cakes and these festive lanterns were not invented until the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) when the Chinese were planning a revolution against the Mongolians -- invaders who ruled China at the time. The celebration of the moon was an excuse to send secret messages -- paper notes stuffed inside the moon cakes alerting their neighbors to the brewing revolution. Hanging a lantern in front of one's home was a sneaky tactic identifying that Chinese lived inside and not to attack.

The celebration of the moon became a tradition and one that honors ancestors who refused to be occupied by a foreign force. But that's just one Chinese story about the moon. There are many myths and stories about the moon other than just this one from the Yang Dynasty.

Chinese believe that the moon is ying to the sun's yang. Ideally, these two energies show up in a balanced way and can be applied to almost everything in the universe: people, relationships, jobs, nature, design and on and on. Ying represents the shadow -- or hidden -- side of things and is considered female and its energy comes with a negative charge. Yang represents the the face or presented side of things, is male and has a positive charge.

People think the moon has an unexplainable energy and power that controls nature and living things. Science tells us how the moon's gravity field affects  ocean tides especially when it is full. And, as we all know, there are many superstitions about the full moon -- especially its influence on people acting abnormally or having difficulty sleeping (that's me). 

Would you like to hear one of the most famous and enduring moon legends in Chinese mythology?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

23. Bringing a Lucky Cat into Your Home or Business

Nowadays, no matter where you are in the world, you may see a Japanese lucky cat on the front desk of a store or office. This is especially popular in businesses throughout Asia and many, many people display a lucky cat(s) in their homes. 

How is it that this cute white ceramic cat has become so popular outside of Japan? Expected to bring magic energy to its owner, the cat typically has one paw raised and the other usually holds a gold plate with Japanese or Chinese characters -- these often signify money or good luck. Many people throughout Asia and beyond believe this lucky charm figurine can bring about good fortune and create luck for its owner.

Be sure to refer to my previous blog where I wrote about the origin of the legend of the Japanese lucky cat. If you are trying to buy one online,  or you are lucky enough to be in Japan, you will find they come in many colors and a variety of styles.

What do these choices signify? From what I've learned, the original lucky cat comes in a few specific colors and they do have different meanings. Those with extra patterns or fancy designs are nothing more than gimmicks to increase sales.

First, let's start from the raised hand --

RIGHT hand up, that means beckoning money.

LEFT hand up means welcoming people or customers.

BOTH hands up is beckoning luck.

There is also another indicator: RIGHT hand for home, LEFT hand for business. For me I care more about which hand attracts money rather than if it is the correct hand for home or business.

Now about color:

WHITE, lucky in everything.

GOLD, beckoning fortune and gold.

PURPLE, longevity.

PINK or YELLOW, beckoning romance and love.

GREEN, academic success.

BLUE, blessing for the home.

And the last two:

RED, beckoning health.

BLACK, kicking away evil energies.

Hiroko, a Japanese coworker of mine, gave me a black lucky cat when I was scheduled to have eye surgery. She said the black lucky cat gives healthy life. I think the black one can do the same as the red one -- beckoning good health while it kicks out bad energies. Including sickness.

And, one final variation: if your lucky cat comes with a little bell, that helps to kick away bad luck and negative energy as well.

Very important -- whether you place your lucky Cat in your home, business or both, it must always face towards the outside of the building -- either the front door or a window on the front of the building.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

22. Japan's Beckoning Cat

In Japan during the Edo era (1603-1867), a man was walking by a temple when suddenly a cat jumped out and started to wave at him. He followed the kitty into the building and, just after he stepped inside, rain started falling. It turned into a heavy downpour so he figured he would stay put until it let up.

The rain didn't stop. It actually turned into a big storm with thunder and lightning so he had no other choice but to stay in the shelter keeping dry and safe. He lost track of time and at one point realized that the friendly cat was no longer there.

The storm finally passed and the man headed out of the temple towards his home. That's when he discovered that the storm had turned into a disaster of flooding and mud slides that were now covering homes with and people buried inside At that moment, while surveying the damage, he realized that the cat waving at him had actually saved his life. The legend of the beckoning cat spread throughout the country. And now, to this day, people think that petting a kitty in a home is a blessing and can bring good luck.

That's the legend behind the Japanese ceramic cats with one waving arm that can be found in many homes and businesses. This myth has transcended cultures and is now popular around the world.

From ancient times until now, people believe animals have special characteristics that allow them to receive or connect with a particular energy from nature. And there is the common belief that animals can foretell catastrophes such as an earthquake or a damaging storm. People often report how cats and dogs act strangely or panicked; how all the birds flew away one evening; or horses run around in circles until exhausted.

We don't know what they are sensing that causes their odd behavior. But it seems that they can instinctively sense threatening energies.  A skill that we humans do not possess.

You can believe me or not, but many times I have seen dogs howling at nothing. Or chasing the air with a strange kind of growling.

About ten years ago when I visited with a friend in his historic home in New Jersey, I sensed something like a lady's hoop skirt moving up the stairs. I wasn't sure what I was encountering since there was no one else in the house except me and my friend. At that moment, I noticed that the kitty resting in my lap was also intensely staring at the staircase. It was obvious that she saw or sensed something inching along the steps too.

Maneki-neko, the Japanese lucky cat is often referred to as the welcoming cat and the literal translation from the Japanese is the beckoning cat.  Are you ready to buy one for your home?  Let me ask: do you think you know how to choose just the right one for you; do you know just the perfect spot to place it?

In my next blog installment ...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

21. Tiger Kitty

A neighborhood kitty keeps hanging out on my patio these days. She's a tabby with dark brown stripes and I think she is very beautiful. She started coming to see me this past February, or maybe it was March. Since then she visits twice almost every day: in the morning and again in the late afternoon. She likes sitting outside where she watches me through the sliding glass door. A friend said she might be a familiar (like a guardian angel or animal guide) who comes to watch over me. Or maybe she is trying to give me a secret message. I wonder.

There are many cat lovers, and also many who do not love cats. That could be because cats can mysterious. Some of us love a good mystery, other's hate the uncertainty. Maybe it's are fascination is because of cats curious nature, not to mention their big glowing in the dark eyes when they look straight at us at night. Especially intriguing are the black cats that are often tied to bad luck or unfortunate stories.

In the Chinese dream dictionary good things will come to you if you dream about a tabby. If one walks into your home that can be a predictor of good things coming to you within the next three months!

The western dream dictionary is very different from the Chinese. In the west dreams are considered more a reflection of what's behind your brain. Dreams explain the truth from the bottom of your heart; feelings that you might not be able to express in the waking world. For the Chinese, dreams are signals that foretell: a special energy channel bringing you messages. That's why some meanings of dreams can be really strange. For instance, if you are surrounded by poo in a dream, congratulations!, You will soon have some extra money in your pocket!!!

Let's come back to the kitty. Some of you may have learned in history class about ancient Egyptians worshiping cats. They were treated as the most respected idols.

In contemporary cultures, people are still very fond of cats. They play a key role in many comics and cartoons; are popular brand products; and they even show up prominently in crime novels. Cats are often found in unlikely circumstances in present day Japan. it's a sign of how crazy the Japanese are about cats.

For instance: in Kinokawa, Japan, a small town south of Osaka, the train station had appointed Tama, a calico cat, as Chief Officer.  During her lifetime she was officially in charge of the station where she just hung out everyday.  Her exalted position drew thousands of fans from all over to come who would come to meet her or follow her online. Currently in charge at the station is Nitama (translation: second Tama), who once served as Tama's apprentice.

But there is another story that I would like to share about cats in Japan. More to come ...

Sunday, November 4, 2018

20. Global Warming and Feng Shui

A wise man once said, "Waters are running and running from the mountains but the total volume is always same, never more or less. Mountains stand still throughout time and do not seem to change, but actually they keep growing because of the greenery. Both have been releasing the same energies over millions of years."

Today we are facing global warming which very well may affect changes to your environment soon: for better maybe, fingers crossed; or worse, the scientists are worried.

  • Glaciers melting at an alarming rate threaten the level of the ocean, its temperature and water sources for billions of people in locations around the world.

  • Cutting down hundreds of square miles of trees reduces the respiration rate and the release of oxygen into the atmosphere.

  • The raw materials that we depend on so heavily from nature are finite and their decimation could lead to global chaos.

  • Combined with the extraordinary growth of our human population, the wise man's words above are facing a daunting challenge.

How do we bring Feng Shui principles into all of this? Underlying all the concepts of Feng Shui is balance. Especially balancing the five key elements: gold, wood, water, fire and soil. Based on his or her calculation, a Feng Shui master is tasked with finding which elements in your life are out of balance, Then they help to raise your energies in a particular area so you will be in balance again.

If the waters and mountains are off balance because of global warming, we can imagine there very well might be a chain reaction in your Feng Shui readings.  Good for business if you are a Feng Shui master. But for the rest of us ...

It's not just global warming, it's global WARNING.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

19. Feng Shui -- The Energies of the Natural World

When a Feng Shui master goes to a client's home or business for a consultation, he/she is not just checking out the energy spots inside, but also considers the environment outside. This is because they believe that the energies from the exterior surroundings may affect the Feng Shui.

The majority of people live in metro areas where there are all kinds of buildings in different shapes and sizes. Not to mention highways, flyovers and public transport. If a rock or plant can make a difference in a Feng Shui energy, why not buildings and roads? Those living in suburbs or rural areas may face mountains or bodies of water.

What exactly do the words Feng and Shui mean in Chinese? The translation is wind and water! This helps to explain how important a role the natural environment just outside your door plays in the energy of your location.

In Feng Shui theory, water signifies wealth. Mountains are about people. What does this mean?

Hopefully you remember that I previously noted how Chinese believe water means money. So, wherever there's water running outside the area where you live could determine if it is a wealthy spot. Whether it is positive or negative depends on what type of water is running outside -- the ocean, a clear or muddy river, a huge lake or just a still body of water.  All will make a difference in the outcome.

Mountains can vary with trees, grasses and rocks and also provide a living space for numerous animals and birds. That's why they are thought to affect the people in your life as well as family members and even the general population of a community.

These different settings can determine whether a location is good or bad for you.  Actually, you can probably sense this yourself. Consider the difference in the feeling between rocks and stones or beautiful greenery with oxygen emitting trees that are so bound with humans' survival.

An important part of the concepts underneath the thinking of Feng Shui is that  it is based on nature.  As we face uncertainty with the threat of global warming, maybe we just need to be sending our love energy to mother earth at this challenging time.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

18. Tree Energies: Lucky, Evil and Some Specifics

In my grandparent's generation, it was taboo to grow a papaya tree in front of one's house, And, they warned me to never, ever, stand underneath a papaya tree during a full moon.  They believed evil spirits liked to hang out around that tree. As I understand it, the explanation had to do with the shape of the papaya fruit. In nighttime shadows the fruit looks like a head hanging down from the tree.  Eerie.

I've certainly had my share of unexplained experiences and one story stands out in my memory.  It was while I was attending college for design. A few classmates and I spent Easter weekend at the cabin of one of our friend's family. It was situated in a valley and there was a papaya tree just outside. Uh oh.  Susan, one of our classmates, began yelling that she saw a large size rock moving all by itself towards the tree. And, she insisted she heard someone knocking next door, but the rest of us didn't see or hear anything at all.

Was the papaya tree sending bad energy to Susan and Susan only? In Feng Shui theory all trees have energy -- some good, some bad. It depends on the interpretation and how the energy is utilized.
In Malaysia there's a similar superstition about banana trees, Malaysians believe spirits live inside these trees. It's the same in Japan where many people worship nature and think many evils come from trees. These evils can appear in human form and often as someone familiar, although dead.
In Hong Kong's New Territory, due to a fast growing population and rapid land development, the government is rebuilding many of the smaller, original villages. There is always a struggle with the local residents and at some times there have even been protests. Why? Because in the course of reconstructing a village, the community's Feng Shui tree was removed!

A town's Feng Shui tree is thought to bring good luck, health and prosperity from one generation to the next. And, it's more than just protection. There's a very famous 'Wishing Tree' in Hong Kong's Lam Tsuen-Tai Po. People write down a wish on a piece of red paper, tie it to an orange (versus a rock) and throw it up into the tree. The story is that the higher one's wish is hanging on the tree, the faster it will manifest.

Of course, there also trees or plants that send out negative energies -- like the bamboo blossom I mentioned in a previous blog. And remember the Iron Wood Tree from blog number two.

On a more positive note, a special kind of tree that is very popular in Asia is the  Kirin tree especially among business owners. The belief is that this tree can help to generate enough money that a person can become wealthy.  The Kirin Tree can be grown in a pot or even as a bonsai and it's very easy to maintain. One word of caution, it cannot be kept inside a store or home. Only outside.  Inside the tree will create disagreement and arguing between one's business staff or family members.

That means don't place a Kirin Tree at the zodiac wealth spot in your residence or business! Got it?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

17. The Energies of Trees

Having packed everything in preparation for the move to a new house with his partner, Honda takes one last look around the old house. His eyes finally fall on the little tree in the backyard, whose species he has never known. So many memories come back to him: when he was just a kid and planted the tree together with his parents; watering and caring for it until it grew into a fine specimen.

Why not plant a similar one in his new home? But, he doesn't know the name of the tree and is unable to find another like it. Ah ha.  He decides to dig up the tree and move it to the new residence he will be sharing with his partner.

The first six months at the new place, the tree does fine. But then leaves start turning yellow one by one. Honda's partner suggests that maybe the tree has to get used to the new location. Day after day the leaves fall until they are almost all gone from the tree.

Around the same time, Honda's partner is hurt in a terrible hit and run accident while walking home. The injuries are serious and the partner is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Between running to the hospital, home and work, Honda barely checks on the tree until he realizes it appears to be dying. At the same time his partner doesn't survive the accident and passes away in the hospital. Honda is sitting in the yard and remembering all those days and years with his partner, when he notices the tree. It too has died.

A short while later he is chatting with a friend about his partner's dying at the same time as the tree. His friend tells him that removing the tree from the old house to the new was a big mistake. It only brought about bad energies; not just from where they were living before, but especially to a new and unknown environment.

Honda believes that the tree predicted what would happen from the falling leaves to the finality of dying and almost exactly at the same time his partner passed away in the ICU.

Intriguing, yes. But for Honda a very sad experience. One wonders if there is energy between humans and plants. Why not?

Trees are the same as all other living things on earth. They breathe the same air, drink the same rain water, grow from the same soil, and are affected by the same energies all around us.

Some Feng Shui masters believe that trees share many traits with humans and are just a different form of our species. That is quite a concept. But, throughout history, trees are often given human traits in literature and movies.  Remember the angry apple trees in the classic film, "The Wizard of Oz"?

There are hundreds of stories and myths about trees from traditions around the world. The question then is: how does Feng Shui look at the energies of trees?

Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

16. Keeping Your Wealth Energy Spot Activated

Have you determined the location of the treasure spot in your home to grow wealth energy yet?  And based on the Feng Shui master's suggestions, is the lucky charm of your Chinese zodiac birth year helping to keep your wealth energized?

Here are a few more tips:

For those of you using a music box, choose one that winds by hand rather than one that runs on electric. One that makes metal clicking sounds is best and be sure to play it at least once a day.

The suggestion of red objects is obviously very broad. You don't really want something out of character in your home that might bring about a superstitious feeling.  Match the object to your own home decor style. Something like a little couch pillow, lamp shade or vase all work well.

The other lucky charms come from nature:

Plants—this can be any type of live, green plant, but a Feng Shui master will advise that you purchase a small Chinese lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) and grow it in water, not soil. For the Chinese water means money. A plant that grows in water helps to absorb wealth energy.

Believe it or not, it's all up to you. The rest is just from nature.

Water—fill a glass with clean tap water and refill when it begins to evaporate.

Stones—just choose a couple of small pebbles from your garden outside. Or you can always find decorative ones in a floral or new age gift shop. Do not use crystals. Those send out an entirely different energy.

All of these lucky charms -- a plant, water, stones, even a sound or color -- can raise energies when located in the right spot. And, these locations in your home will not change no matter where you live or if you move your residence.

These energy spots stay fixed from year to year. The only exception is when the energy spot in your home happens to be in a bathroom. Then we have to change the yearly wealth energy spot based on the yearly zodiac animal sign during lunar new year.

Again, Feng Shui cannot change the bigger plan for your life; but it will help to open up more doors of opportunity in good times and cushion the challenges of bad times.