Punk Fui: Feng Shui for the rest of us

Feng Shui is an ancient, venerated art form whose practitioners study with masters for years to perfect their understanding. Punk Fui is something that I made up by reading a book on Feng Shui in a weekend and trying out some experiments. I mean no disrespect to actual Feng Shui practitioners by putting forward this DIY approach. Nor in any way do I want to suggest that I understand the deep and time-honored science of Feng Shui.

That said, as a brief explanation, the central idea of Feng Shui is to treat your environment as a living organism; in order to keep this organism healthy, energy needs to circulate throughout the environment. This energy is called chi. When it is in balance it is referred to as sheng chi. When it is depleted or overactive it is called sha chi. The point of Feng Shui is to create sheng chi and expel sha chi. The point of Punk Fui is to do this with purchases made at a dollar store.

The first step of this process is to create a "reading" of a home using direction of the building and Chinese astrology of the inhabitants as a data set to determine color and furniture positioning. The process is highly personalized. There is a great book that teaches you how to do this (see sidebar). Suffice to say that each Punk Fui reading I have done has taken three to four hours and lots of graph paper and colored pencils. In the readings I have done for "clients" (read testimonials throughout article) I have given such stunning advice as: "you need to make your room more like a cheap rococo bordello..." and "I think a monkey picture in this corner would really improve your love life."

What I offer here are some quick tips to help bring auspicious energy into your home.

The Basics

In Punk Fui, like in Feng Shui, decorating is dictated by common sense. The first principle is you should always feel comfortable in your home. It should be a place you love to be. Whatever you need to do to achieve this will create sheng chi.

Mirrors and plants are very auspicious. Mirrors activate the chi. Place them so they bring beautiful views into your home, I don't think that putting them on the ceiling above your bed counts. Plants also attract chi. Unless they are dying. If you can't take care of plants then try fresh cut flowers. Make sure that you don't have any rotting, dying organic matter in your house as this brings in sha chi (no duh). In decorating use odd numbers.1 Odd numbers are lucky and also make nice arrangements. For instance ever notice how hard it is to arrange two flowers but how easy it is to arrange three? This is what Martha doesn't want you to know. She odd numbers her whole house!

The nastiest thing in the world is clutter. Clutter makes massive amounts of sha chi, so clean up! Piles of newspapers,2 old bottles, wadded up clothing is not cool. You are causing confusion and negative energy in your life. The parts of your house that are cluttered correspond to unresolved things in your life (see the corners section). Here is the caveat however: one woman's clutter is another woman's neatness. So put on your clutter meter and figure it out for yourself.

The Entrance

The way one enters a home is essential to creating sheng chi. If you are lucky enough to have a foyer it should be kept clean with easy places to hang coats, put away shoes and possibly be decorated with fresh flowers and a mirror.

From the front door you should never be able to see directly to the back door or an open window. This will let the chi rush out of the house through the exit way causing you to lose money. To remedy this, hang a curtain or place a ba gua mirror on the door or window. A ba gua mirror is a special octagonal framed mirror that is said to dispel bad luck. If you can't find it, buy a small round compact mirror instead.

For those of us who live in apartments, often there is no foyer. At the very, very least, buy a doormat that is wider than your doorframe. This brings good fortune.

The Corners

There are two very important corners in your house. The money corner3 and the marriage corner4. If you are standing in your front door facing into your home, the money corner will be the furthest most left corner. Imagine the walls as invisible and locate the furthest left corner of your home, not the left corner of the room you are standing in. If you repeat the above process you can find the marriage corner in the right most corner of the house. If you live with roommates and feel that your room is your true space, you can stand in your room's doorway and locate those corners in your room.

Both corners should be well maintained. You should place objects and pictures that remind you of these themes. If these corners are by windows, you may want to place plants there. In the money corner be sure it is a plant with large coin-shaped leaves. If these corners fall into closet spaces, keep these closets tidy with garments neatly folded. You may want to pin a picture in these closets just to keep it on your mind. Also it is good to put a TV in one of these corners as it makes you focus a lot of energy there. Especially during a show like Gastineau Girls when you are muttering and cursing under your breath.

The Living Room

In general the living room should feel like an active (yang) space in your home. To make it comfortable never position a couch facing the doorway. The guest will always feel confronted by the person sitting on the couch. Never place a couch with its back to the door. Sitting this way makes you feel vulnerable as you can not see who is coming in. Anything else is great, lots of plants, mirrors, colors, and flowers are great ideas.

The Kitchen

Keep your stove top burners clean.5 This brings money into your home.

The Bathroom

Leaking pipes means that money is leaking out of your life. If this is true in your house, call a plumber.

The Bedroom

The bedroom should be a sanctuary where the chi is very quiet (yin). It should be about sleeping and getting busy. Do not have an office in your bedroom. Do not have a computer there. Do not eat in bed. Do not have a TV in this room. This is confusing for the yin energy and creates sha.

Some people feel that it's bad to put stuff under your bed, that it creates sha. Some people feel that if you have clothes and linens under your bed neatly folded that they retain the energy you give off as you sleep and that this creates sheng chi. All I can tell you is do not do what I do.6

Do not position your bed so that you are directly in line with a doorway. Chi comes in through the door and if your bed position intersects with the doorway it'll cut across you as you sleep and cause discomfort. If you want to be with somebody make sure that you can walk around both sides of the bed. If you want to be alone, push your bed into the corner.

Well, that's all the tips I can give you. Best of luck and may you have plenty of sheng chi.


Read It

Feng Shui: Step by Step
By T. Raphael Simons
Three Rivers Press, 1996

"My love corner worked too well."

"I thought what she did looked great, but then I didn't get any for months! What's up with that?" Cindy G.

"My living room looked like a shipwreck until she came over."

"She's able to translate this ancient esoteric thing into something accessible for tragic urban people who need lots of help. I was also pleased with her flexible terms."
Ms. Johanna Burke

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