Here’s the thing. Feng Shui is a concept that’s very much shrouded in mystery and misconceptions, and some might even say it’s nothing more than old wives’ tales. For clarification, we’ve invited Dato Joey Yap, founder of the Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics and Chief Consultant of the Joey Yap Consulting Group, to debunk and verify a couple of common feng shui myths to clear up any confusion. You’re welcome.
Myth: Some objects are believed to exude negative or positive Qi (or “energy”). Placing objects that have an arbitrarily derived “Oriental” look and feel can activate the power of feng shui.
Fact: Objects, however aesthetically pleasing, can’t do much to the overall feng shui of a property. They’re purely for decorative purposes.
Myth: Having an object with water features such as a fish tank, water tank or jacuzzi above you is a sign of suffocation and danger.
Fact: Water in feng shui can help gather auspicious Qi. If a certain area in a property is known to have beneficial Qi, water would be well suited for that area of the house. There’s no iron-clad policy on whether the water should be above you.
Myth: Numbers can be lucky or unlucky. An unlucky example is the number 4, which in Chinese languages is a homonym of death. On the other hand, numbers like 1, 6 and 8 are homonyms of positive words.
Fact: Numbers don’t have any feng shui effects. The concept of unlucky or lucky numbers is rooted in pure superstition.
Myth: Enhancing the Love Corner of a house (derived from each individual’s Peach Blossom Star together with a Flying Stars chart on the plan of the home) will immediately boost your love life and improve the chances of getting married sooner.
Fact: Feng shui cannot create love; it can only create opportunities. There are, however, types of Qi that can help you become a more pleasant, likeable and attractive person to others.
Myth: Placing a large mirror over the dining table will bring an abundance of food as it’s “doubled” by the reflection in the mirror.
Fact: A reflection in the mirror means nothing because when the food is finished in the real world, it also disappears in the mirrored world. Mirrors can’t do more than just reflect what is present.
Myth: Keeping fish in a pond or tank will help divert bad luck, and rearing exotic fish with “special” markings and colours will help enhance wealth and business.
Fact: A fish is just a fish. While rearing exotic fish is no doubt a worthy pastime, fish (no matter the species or colour) don’t have any effect on feng shui.
Myth: Sitting with your back facing a window in the office signifies a lack of support at work, and sticking a mirror to your computer and placing a tortoise figurine behind you can help divert Sha Qi (bad energy) away from you.
Fact: Mirrors and object placement are not considered primary feng shui prescriptions. If there are actual negative feng shui features like sharp angles pointing directly into your window, simply keep the blinds of the window closed.
Myth: Painting your kitchen, bedroom or living room in bright colours that represent the elements can enhance the room’s Qi.
Fact: Painting your rooms a particular colour has no effect on feng shui. What matters more is where your stove is located in the kitchen or the particular shape of your rooms.
Myth: Relocating or placing your door at odd angles will ward off bad luck.
Fact: This must be avoided completely. Placing your door at awkward angles increases the risk of bad luck or negativity. The best way to avoid Sha Qi or negative Qi from storming into your home is to slow it down by blocking it from sight at the door. For instance, you can cover the front with thick foliage if it’s outdoors, or block it with a screen if it’s indoors.