Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Pets

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How do pets, especially their living quarters (crates/pens, etc), factor into the feng shui equation?

Carlissa K., New York City, NY

This is a great question!  I know a lot of people who are curious about how to feng shui their home for their pets. Since I am allergic to most dogs and cats, I’m not sure I’m the best person to respond to this. But a fellow New York City feng shui consultant that I know, Sabine Millauriaux was kind enough to share her knowledge with us. Sabine specializes in feng shui for pets.

Sabine suggests:

Pets should definitely be taken into consideration in the feng shui equation. Concerning their living quarters, you should follow some basics:

  • Crates and beds should not be in a commanding position or in the mouth of qi, which means not facing the door, but in a quiet place where they can relax, except in the case of a guarding dog (this also applies for outdoor pens).
  • Litter box and pads should not be placed in the left area of any entrance door since this area is one of the purest of the feng shui bagua map (Self Knowledge/GEN) and corresponds to the knowledge, self development part of the room. If possible, they should be placed out of view and never in your way (such as pads in front of the door or in the middle of the room).
  • Play areas with items such as scratchers, playing posts, or wheels may be placed in a feng shui bagua map area that you want to activate since they bring life and yang energy. Having an animal in your house usually brings energy to it (good qi), and your pet can be a very good “tool” to pinpoint what areas in your place and in your life should be taking care of.

Remember you are sharing the same energy field as your pet and, being an animal, it can pick up bad energies (such as residual energy from predecessors) or resonate with any unresolved emotions in the members of the household. So watch your pet, consider its crazy or loving behavior and think about what it tells you about you or your family. It will guide you in how to feng shui your place and have a more harmonious life.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Note:  To locate the areas of your home in which you want to activate, please refer to the Feng Shui Bagua Map here.  New blog post to come soon discussing the Feng Shui Bagua Map!

Q&A Sunday: What is the Best Art for the Bedroom?

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What is the best art to hang in the bedroom?

Magalie R., Los Angeles, CA

Hi Magalie,

Thanks for your question! I remember when you asked if it was good feng shui to have a painting of water in the bedroom. This one seems to be a follow up, as you're wondering what is the best art to hang in the bedroom

There are many times that I go into a single person’s bedroom and see art of single people, or the person's pet. While this is totally fine, usually the single person is looking to meet a partner. In feng shui we would say that by having images of single people you are giving the universe the message that you want to be alone. Now sometimes I see a lot of photos of the pet(s) as well. This may indicate that the single person has no room for a partner as the pet has filled up that spot.

If you want a partner (or already have one), feng shui encourages you to have things in pairs. So images in pairs whether it be people, or two things that are similar but not necessarily identical, give the universe the message that you’re ready to have a partnership that’s balanced and equal with another person. I'm not just talking about image of couples, but perhaps two similar pieces of art in similar frames.

In addition, the bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. Any artwork that is tranquil and nurturing in color and subject matter is ideal, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Pale, muted or dark blues, greens, pinks and purples in art can create a restful mood in a bedroom. If you want to bring in a little more spice and passion, add red artwork to bring in some fire energy.

If there is a particular piece of art you are looking to add to your bedroom, please feel free to submit it for the next Q&A Sunday!

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Q&A Sunday: Numbers and Feng Shui

What is the significance of numbers in feng shui?

Jacqueline R., Cleveland, OH

A few years ago, I was honored to attend a sacred geometry lecture with Robert Lawlor, an anthropologist, mythographer, symbologist and author of several books. The symbolism of numbers goes hand in hand with sacred geometry as well as feng shui. Lawlor remarked sadly that because we have been taught that numbers merely denote quantities, our society has been robbed of a metaphorical language. He further argued that everything in the physical world has three aspects or dimensions, and therefore similarly everything (including numbers) represents symbols at three different levels, and with at least three methods of meaning.

I thought that was a brilliant and very relevant point. So to answer your question, I’ll present the meanings of the most significant feng shui numbers on three levels. In feng shui, each number 1 through 9 relates to a specific area of the feng shui bagua map.

ONE: Path in life, water and career

TWO: Relationships, yin earth and partnerships

THREE: New beginnings, yang wood and family

FOUR: Abundance, yin wood and wealth

FIVE: Health, earth and the center of your life/home

SIX: Benefactors, yang metal and travel

SEVEN: Completion, yin metal and joy

EIGHT: Knowledge, yang earth and self-cultivation

NINE: Recognition, fire and passion

Additionally, nine is the most auspicious number in BTB feng shui. It represents the most complete number. Many feng shui cures require repetitions of nine (such as repeating a ritual nine times, or using a string in increments of nine units). I also receive all my fees in a multiple of nine and in nine red envelopes. The number 108 is a multiple of nine and one of the most auspicious numbers in Buddhism. Malas, which are Buddhist prayer beads, have 108 beads, and many mantras are chanted 108 times.

Five is also auspicious as it represents the five elements or phases. The five elements are earth, metal, water, wood and fire. These elements are related to feng shui philosophy and the bagua map. They create balance and harmony when you have all five present in your environment.

Finally, pairs (or the number Two) are often used in bedrooms for couples. As I've indicated above, the number Two symbolizes a couple and can encourage a balanced and harmonious relationship. If you are looking for a partner, it's also favorable to have paired objects in the bedroom.

Numbers are symbolic metaphors and offer us unique and beneficial ways to look at our environment and the world around us.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Q&A Sunday: A Feng Shui Aquarium

I read about your write-up about Goldfish and Feng Shui on the International Feng Shui Guild website. I have recently set up an aquarium and intend to keep goldfish to attach positive 'chi.' May I seek your advice? Instead of keeping 8 gold and 1 black, can I have 5 gold and 1 black?

Raymond S., Singapore

Hello to Singapore!

Thank you for your question. What’s interesting is that I asked my teacher, Steven Post, a similar one when I first started my feng shui studies. I had only room for a small aquarium, so I asked if I could use 3 fish total (rather than 9 total). 

The ideal set up is 9 goldfish total. It’s especially beneficial to have 8 gold and one black. 9 is an auspicious number in feng shui, as are the numbers 3 and 5.

I also asked if I might use other fish, rather than goldfish, since goldfish need a large amount of space!  But it’s better to use orange goldfish rather than, say, a tiger barb, because orange goldfish have special symbolism in Asian mythology. They can transform into dragons! Steven noted that the black goldfish is a “balance of the normative and exceptional.” Black also represents knowledge and wisdom.

To answer your question, if you don’t have room for 9 goldfish, it’s better to have 3 total with 2 gold and 1 black. Please let me know how it goes! Good luck to you!

For more information, read the previous article here.


Raymond sent in some photos of his new aquarium based on our Q&A Sunday! Thanks for sharing Raymond!

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui in a Small Home

I am living in a very small house with a combination of toilet and shower (too small) on the ground floor. We have the intention to create a proper bathroom (no toilet) on the first floor, but the only room where that's possible is in the wealth & prosperity area of the bagua. As far as I know, this is not the best place because of the downward flow of energy. At the same time, we want to make an extension to create workspace, but this is only possible in front of the front door line. I have a lot of doubts and even consider whether it is better to move.

Corina van T., Holland

Hello to Holland! 

Thank you for your email, and thanks for reading my newsletter!

For clarification, in your small house, you currently have a small bathroom with toilet and shower only on the ground floor. You would like to create a bathroom on the upper floor with a bathtub and sink, but no toilet. However you are concerned because this area is in the wealth/abundance area of your home.

I have a couple of thoughts and comments. First, laying the bagua on upper floors is sometimes challenging. You would determine the layout based on what direction you are facing and where you are located as you make your final step onto the floor in question. So, I would ask you to double check the bagua layout. It’s a little challenging and usually something that an advanced feng shui practioner should advise you on. But if the bathroom must be in the abundance area, or you’re not able to layout the bagua confidently, it is what it is! I suggest balancing the energy with plants. The thought with bathrooms is that there is a lot of water flowing out, which symbolizes loss of cash flow and wealth. By adding plants, you can use this downward qi flow and feed the plants so there’s an upward positive growth.

Your second question is in regards to a work space or office in front of the front door (or “kan line”), which places it outside of the bagua. My teachers have taught that an extension of workspace in front of the kan line (front door line) is fine. In fact, it might be beneficial in two ways. First, you are extending the “gua,” whether the gua is Knowledge, Path in Life/Career, or Benefactors/Helpful people. The extension improves and expands your work in light of the gua it’s in. Second, the office outside the front door can mean you’re out in the world more, and can receive support in this way for your career.

Finally, whether to move or not, well that's up to you. I don’t know exactly how challenging it is there, functionally and feng shui wise, but in BTB feng shui we try to make suggestions so you don't have to move, which can be difficult and disruptive. However, if moving seems like the best positive thing for you, it should be considered. My intuition tells me that the issues that you asked about are able to be worked with :)

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly  “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Question of the Month: Easing Tension at Family Gatherings


Could you suggest easy-to-implement tips on how to relieve tension at a family summer holiday gathering in a rented place? 

Guiliana G., Lille, France


Thanks always for your thoughtful questions that you send in and your diligent readership :)

Yes, tensions can run high during any family gathering, especially the extended ones, like a summer home, or during the extended end-of-year holidays. I have two suggestions for these challenging times. You can do both!

Clear the space with Oranges

Our new Holistic Spaces store launched an apothecary section, carrying room mists. Happy | Orange & Clear Quartz Mist, for uplifting abundance and positivity, would be totally perfect for the summer vacation home or during the holidays, when you have a lot of guests over and family conflicts, to brighten and cheer up your home. or to just lift your spirits :) Oranges are used in feng shui to clear out any negative energy such as family tension. 

Harmonize the Family

Another feng shui adjustment is to activate the three harmonies of family-wood in the entire home, whether that be the rented vacation home or your home where you have many family members visiting you. If you also have family issues in general, activating the three harmonies of family-wood will also be very effective to perform in your bedroom.

The three harmonies of family-wood can be activated by locating three green living plants or 3" round mirrors in each area indicated on the image above. The mirrors can go on the walls, or the plants can go on the floor, wall or on a stand. Green plants are the most effective, because they represent the wood element of kindness, flexibility and open-heartedness. 

These three areas also relate to Chinese zodiac animals: Rabbit, Goat and Pig, which also relate to feng shui bagua map areas: New Beginnings, Relationships and Benefactors. Finally, it all ties back to support the family, because they also represent Family, Mother and Father.

I hope this brings some ease, understanding and joy into the holidays of all of my readers.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our “Question of the Month”.  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Question of the Month: Cures for Slanted, Beamed Ceilings

Could you please suggest a simple cure for an office desk placed in the prosperity area, under a very slanted beamed ceiling?

Giuliana G, Lille, France

Dear Giuliana, thanks so much for your question. A desk in the prosperity area is a pretty good place to start. The prosperity area is related to abundance and wealth. I actually have my working desk in the prosperity area also. However, the slanted ceiling with a beam is challenging.

In feng shui philosophy, slanted ceilings may cause unwanted accidents and trouble. Beams may create increased pressure above your body and compress the qi. Both are undesirable results right? 

There are a few ways to adjust the situation. The beam may be painted to match the ceiling so it visually disappears. Another option is to hang red string along the beam. Or you can drape a beautiful fabric to cover the beam, while also leveling out the sloped ceiling. The slope can be remedied with living plants or lights that can lift the qi of the space. 

My intuition tells me that the fabric and plants may be the best option for you. In addition, you can strengthen the prosperity area of your desk by placing a plant or citrine in the prosperity area of your desk.

Thank you again for your very thoughtful questions!

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our “Question of the Month”.  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Question of the Month: Decluttering with Feng Shui

Can you explain/describe the Remove/Move 27 items in your home method? I have read different ideas like discard 9 items a day for 27 days, 27 items for 27 days etc. I am cluttered and need to clean! I was hoping for your insight.

Maria S., Yonkers, NY

Hi Maria, thank you so much for your question!

The adjustment to remove or move a particular number of items for a specific number of days comes from the idea that by moving or removing items, you can stir up the qi or energy in your home. If there is no movement, the energy of your space as well as your inner and outer lives may be stagnant and/or stuck. Since you mentioned you have clutter that needs improving, this does sound like a good adjustment for you.

As for the numbers, BTB feng shui philosophy places much luck and auspiciousness to the number 9, and multiples of 9 such as 18 or 27. My intuition tells me that you would benefit from discarding 9 items a day for 27 days. See how that feels, wait 3 days and start again! The numbers are not arbitrary and I usually prescribe the numbers based on the particular client. You can’t go wrong if you discard 27 for 27 days, or discard 9 for 9 days, or even 9 for 81 days. My teachers have taught me that the more challenging the effort, the greater the results while finding balance in what is actually the effort level that you’re ready to exert. 

Finally, remember clutter isn’t always negative. Read my article here.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our “Question of the Month”.  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

Question of the Month: Fu Dogs

I found one male fu dog at a store and bought him, thinking of him as a rescue dog because he was alone without a partner. Now I hear he is bad luck. What should I do?

Rhonda T., Flagstaff, AZ

Rhonda, thanks for the question. I am not an expert on Fu Dogs so I reached out to my teachers Steven Post, Katherine Metz and a fellow feng shui consultant Gwynne Warner to help answer your question regarding these traditional guardian lions from China. 

To answer your question: Steven, Katherine and I agree that “it depends”.

Fu Dogs in China and their predecessors in the ancient Near East have a very long history. They are mythical creatures, heavenly guardians believed to have the ultimate protection and power to ward off evil spirits, silently watching over homes, temples and businesses.

Fu Dogs are usually are placed in pairs, male and female and, historically, they come in twos as protectors around the world. As for your question, whether one is bad luck, it depends. If you feel concern that your Fu Dog might be lonely or unbalanced, that feeling might make you unlucky. If you feel that your Fu Dog is a strong protector, that Fu Dog, especially if empowered with that thinking, would not be an unlucky influence. But in general, I would suggest you do not use the single Fu Dog as you would the pair. It does not have the same effect on its own.

As a note, Fu Dogs are generally seen as outdoor feng shui adjustments. If you choose to place a pair indoors, opt for a location near your entry, most especially if your door faces stairs or an elevator.

by Anjie Cho

Thanks for reading our “Question of the Month”.  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!