Feng Shui By Judith Ryan


January 5, 2011: Did you know the clocks ticking away in your home or business right now can be your best friend or one of your biggest foes according to Feng Shui? A clock lets you know the time and delegates how much of it you have. Knowing what time it is can make you happy or it can make you anxious. Just stop to consider not only how much energy and emotion you get but also give to this simple mechanical object! Each occasion you glance at it, it’s not just giving you information. It’s also adding or subtracting to positive chi flow within you.

What other object in the home can get you to start running around like the rabbit in Alice In Wonderland because you’re late? The clock keeps you mindful that time is the one thing in the universe you can never get back. It also helps you maintain your schedule. Because they wield so much power in our lives, their placement should never be considered a simple “moving object cure” in Feng Shui.

One of the prime rules in Feng Shui is if something is broken, either fix it or throw it out. Where clocks are concerned, not following this rule can really come back to bite you. If it is broken, things will literally freeze in the area it’s placed in represents. Time will stand still. So, if things have been stagnant in your life lately, maybe you should check to see if your clocks are running correctly.

Conversely if a clock is running fast it can cause chaos in your life. You can be too much “ahead of your time”. Others, your family, friends, loved ones and employer will not see you in sync and you can miss out on a lot of opportunities as a result. The heart is often referred to as one’s “ticker.” More than once, I’ve had clients report to me that when someone in their family died, one or all of their clocks stopped at the exact time of the person’s death.

My father had a hobby of making wall clocks from odd things. He had one hideous creation of a timepiece surrounded by a dead fish’s jaw. It literally symbolized his heart in the jaws of death. To add to the horror, he hung it in the Fame gua of his bedroom. This gua rules the heart. He would always laugh off any suggestions to take it down. After he was rushed to the emergency ward and had quadruple bi-pass surgery on his heart though, it was soon taken down.

One of the most common mistakes I see doing Feng Shui analysis is the placement of clocks on a wall. They should never be placed so high that you have to strain your neck to see them. To experience a greater sense of ease, control, and be in the flow of life, hang the clock at eye level. Otherwise, time and a balanced existence is always out of reach.

If a clock is the first thing you see upon entering a room, you will always feel short of time. Guests walking into your home will not feel welcome. They will experience restriction upon entering. It informs them they are late or early. They also will feel a sense of limitation as to how long their visit should be.

A clock in a business should never be in a prominent position. If customers see a clock, they get overly anxious, irritated and will be less likely to shop in the store again. Have you ever wondered why they don’t have clocks in the casinos in Las Vegas? It’s because they want the patrons to lose all sense of time. When customers feel free, they spend more money gambling.

Clocks are metal objects in Feng Shui. Therefore, they should be placed in the metal and water guas – children, helpful people, and career. Because metal chops wood, hanging a clock in the family and wealth guas will cause stress in these departments of your life. Timepieces are methodical and accurate. Placing a clock in the correct gua brings structure and rhythmic harmony to the area.

Only one clock in the bedroom is allowed. It should be battery powered. If you have to have an electric clock, keep it as far away from the bed as possible. Too much electricity in the bedroom creates harmful electromagnetic fields. Eventually it will prove to be extremely detrimental to your health.

The Chinese consider it an insult for someone younger to give someone older a timepiece as a gift. It symbolizes to the elderly person their time is running out.

Each week one question from a reader, which is pertinent to the subject, will be answered in the blog. Please send questions to Judith@FengShuiByJudithRyan.com


December 3, 2010: While Feng Shui may be about moving your “stuff” to a better place, sometimes the biggest object to move is yourself! Last week I was on the phone with a good friend who has followed my Feng Shui advice for at least 15 years.

Years ago when I did the first analysis of her place, I suggested she do a “cure” with one of her kitchen’s entrances. When you walked into her home, you entered the living room, which was very large and lovely. However, right thru the room, upon taking the first step into the home, you would see her kitchen stove. This, of course, was hurting her finances. After I suggested various cures, she readily opted for the one to have the kitchen entrance sheet rocked to create a solid wall, and eliminate the view of the stove entirely. Within one month she unexpectedly received a bonus check from her employer for $10,000.00.

To me, someone willing to go to the time and expense of a project like this indicates a person who wants change in their life. However, that’s not always the case. For many years she has gone back and forth with making another needed change in her living room, which was the color.

For years my suggestion was to paint it a muted, light shade of pink. Please note, not Barbie pink, but beige-pink. I determined the correct color after analyzing her personal element, placement of the room in the bagua, and what color she needed for her aura. There’s actually a lot to go into with color selection. Color is energy and emits different frequencies.

For years she fought the pink. She painted in various shades of brown, beige, and white. None made her happy with the room, its energies, and some aspects of her life. She even tried accessories in every color of the rainbow, but never gave pink a chance.

Finally two weeks ago, she relented, bought the exact shade I suggested and painted the room herself. The result? She said the room has never felt as good. In fact, right after she purchased the paint, before she even started to paint the walls, she received an excellent omen of good things to come. She received a letter from an elderly aunt’s attorney in FL. He informed her that the aunt wanted to give her, while she was still alive, a family heirloom diamond ring.

Yes, miracles can happen after Feng Shui adjustments and cures. However so many times, I will suggest needed changes to clients and sometimes they are not readily followed thru.

Usually when someone calls to make an appointment, they have one specific thing they want to see manifest in their lives, which impelled them to try Feng Shui. Yes, they would like to have a good balance of energies in their space, but there is always the one specific objective to be attained. We all want the carrot at the end of the stick. However I can’t even count times when the cure for their specific goal was the last they implemented!

A good example is another one of my clients in Connecticut. Many years ago he hired me to analyze his place because he couldn’t get the VP job he was seeking. All the suggestions I made for his home he did quickly. However, he instigated an almost unattainable quest in finding the perfect fountain for his career gua. Nothing he saw fit his specifications (not mine, please note!). They either made too much noise; he didn’t like the shape, etc. As you can see, he deliberately set-up his own blocks with career. After months on the quest, he finally bought a fountain, installed it, and voila, was offered the position of vice president in a large Fortune 500 company.

This leaves me to believe we sometimes desperately want something but other internal forces can hold us back from getting it. It could be we are just not ready for it. Our Higher Self may delay us until it intuitively feels right to proceed. Or it can be psychological. We do not feel worthy, so we delay the good by not taking action.

Any way you view it, things will not change until you change. So if your space has been evaluated and you are dragging your feet with the changes, maybe you should ask yourself why? Do you feel the timing is off now to meet "The Prince" because you are not over Mr. Wrong? Maybe you truly want to get a different job but enjoy complaining about the current workplace more. You should examine the root cause of your lethargy. It can be extremely revealing and might be the key in obtaining your desires.


November 5, 2010: Just as it is almost next to impossible for us to honestly see ourselves objectively, it can be doubly difficult for us to judge our home’s initial impact on others! Why? Because we become so accustomed to all the sights, sounds, and smells of our home. They become second nature to us.

Sometimes, maintaining harmony and balance can be lost sight of in living our lives. Homes, like people evolve over time. Sometimes we make changes in our station in life, but we do not include our home in the metamorphous. Also,we may have taken on some nasty habits like clutter. Or we get lazy and learn to live with things needing repairs. After awhile we become oblivious to the defects and learn to live with them.

So what you think others see and feel upon entering your home may be a totally different reality from what they actually do. Someone entering your home for the first time, especially, will notice all the mess, clutter, and needed repairs. Just ask any realtor if you have any doubts.

Since feng shui espouses you can change your life by changing your space, it’s of utmost importance that we always try to keep a handle on our surroundings. Therefore, I’m suggesting you do a self-evaluation of your home at least twice a year and ask maybe two friends to independently judge the place too. If you schedule it seasonally, it’s easier to remember.

You and your friends will not be judging the place on good or bad feng shui. What you will be doing is getting everyone’s first impressions and feelings on entering your space. You are not asking for psychic input, but feeling input.

Also no cheating with this test! You will be the loser if you do. The evaluations are to be done during a NORMAL day, not a day after you’ve spent cleaning. “Au natural” is the rule.

It’s really great if you can perform your personal assessment when returning from an extended trip. However, if you don’t have any travel plans, the next best suggestion is to get out of the house for a couple of hours. Leaving preferably in the morning and returning mid-afternoon before 3:00PM. This way, you’ll be able to see the space in sunlight.

An excellent idea to achieve the greatest results is to go to a large body of running water like an ocean, a river or a stream. For those who don’t live near any of these, take a trip to a local shopping mall or town’s square that has a large fountain.

Being near a large mass of running water is a quick and easy way to clear your aura of undesirable energies. All of the major religions and mystery schools advocate cleansing and rebirth by water. The ocean is symbolic of the Great Mother. All life has sprung from her. Since mothers always want the best for us, why not ask the Great Mother for direction and help? After you return from a leisurely day, you can take the test.

When I went to Catholic school, the nuns would always tell us to put our “thinking caps” on. For this test, you are going to put your “feeling caps” on. How the home feels is of utmost importance. If you start to view the space using an intellectual process or start thinking about it, you’ve missed the whole meaning of this exercise. We want to analyze what type of atmosphere is prevalent.

Taking the test, you are to imagine that you are visiting an imaginary friend. You’ve never been invited to their place before and you are eager to see how they live. You haven’t met them in person, maybe just chatted on the phone a few times. This is a great opportunity to see what they are about.


1. What is the first impression on seeing the home or apartment building?

2. What type of person would live in this place?

3. When you enter the inside, what is the first thing you see?

4. What is the first sound you hear?

5. Is there an aroma or smell that is apparent? Is the air clear and fresh?

6. Did you spot anything that needs to be repaired, is worn out, or dirty?

7. Since you never met them before, what does the place tell you about their age, health, financial status, and emotional health?

8. Do you feel comfortable or ill at ease?

9. Would you want to be friends with the person who lives here, and why?

If you haven’t cheated and really imagined yourself in the home for the first time some of the answers can be a shocker. Maybe you’ve gotten so accustomed to the smells you never notice how stale the air actually is. Yes, the rug is stained, and you’ve been meaning to clean it for the past couple of months. These are typical examples of what people find after taking the test. Things obvious to you before can morph into a part of your natural surroundings, all creating bad chi.

However, the purpose of the test is not so much to discover what’s wrong with your place. It’s to find out who lives in your place! Beyond the normal feng shui rules of keeping things clean and clutter free, it’s an excellent way to discover you! Maybe you want to achieve certain goals and what’s been holding you back is that your home does not reflect the goal attained. I do not mean by having pictures of fish hanging up or other feng shui cures, for example if you want to become wealthier. What I do mean is that your space lacks a sense of abundance in the colors, smells, textures, and furnishings. Would Donald Trump live in a place lacking a sense of grandeur? The same rule holds true for all the departments of your life. If you want to advance in career, does it feel like a successful businessperson uses your office? You must BE in order to BECOME.

When you have friends take the test, do not ask them in advance. Just do it in a casual way, but ask them to be totally honest. Don’t set yourself up by asking someone who is incapable of being objective. Their impartial responses should reflect what you want to achieve. If not, then some changes are in order.

Good luck with the test!


October 25, 2010: In many ways the autumn season presents us with more feng shui chores to do than any other season of the year and allows us the least amount of time to accomplish it! Since we’ll be spending more time indoors soon, it’s vital to have our entire chi, both inside and out, flowing correctly. Plus any outside adjustments have to be made pronto.

Yes, it is the time of the harvest. However, to achieve good feng shui, you can never sit on your laurels too long. There is always more planting to do, regardless of the season. Feng Shui is the Art of Placement, but placement as an Active Art. As your goals change, so should the redirection of chi. Always remain current, focused, and aware of maintaining a positive energy flow.

Remember it’s your last chance to paint anything outside before it gets too cold. Put off painting needed items and you’ll be forced to live with the consequences until the spring. For example, if a red door is your needed element for success, not painting it now will delay the correct influences for months. Don’t doom yourself to mediocre or bad luck because of laziness.

Dried leaves and dead foliage are interpreted as stagnant energy in feng shui. So they should not be allowed to accumulate. Rake them up as often as possible. This doesn’t have to be a boring chore either. It can be easily turned into a rewarding spiritual experience. When you are in the process of raking, see the dead leaves as negative energy, which you’re now sweeping out of your life.

Remember if the outside is enticing, good luck will want to enter your home. So besides just getting rid of dead foliage, plant some beautiful flowers that will bloom for the fall and into the winter.

Want an outstanding choice for your fall garden? Then get chrysanthemums. They put on a show stopping display of brilliant color and are considered good luck by the Chinese to boot! Pansies are extraordinarily hardy and will stay in bloom all thru winter’s coldest months. Kale and ornamental cabbage plants will last thru quite a few frosts. The cabbage plant is especially good feng shui. Its rounded shape is symbolic of coins. The purple hued ones particularly so, because purple is the money color.

If you have a deck or balcony, they should also be included. Areas such as these, tended to the whole year, can make a big difference with attracting good fortune.

Plus, don’t forget to plant bulbs for the spring. By the time we’re coming to winter’s end, many of us think the warm weather will never materialize. Knowing that your tulips and daffodils in March will soon bravely sprout-up and announce the arrival of spring can do a lot for your psyche.

Also, don’t ignore your feathered friends. A harsh winter can mean starvation for many birds. A good birdfeeder, kept full, can reinforce a high chi factor on your property, and save some wildlife too. Want more money? Put the feeder in your wealth area. Want your kids to do better in school? Put the feeder in the knowledge area or whatever area you want energized.

Another way to preserve positive energy outside is to position some pinwheels in strategic positions. Dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs are notorious as bad feng shui. This is because the chi goes to the spot but doesn’t circulate. Homes on cul-de-sacs are famous for adding to the nation’s divorce rate. However, pinwheels or a small windmill will keep the energy circulating and maybe eliminate the need for a divorce attorney.

Additional lighting outside can raise the vibes too! Solar lights are a very economical way of adding to your home’s beauty and good-luck. Imagine how welcoming it will feel, when you’re returning from work in the dark.

Let’s not forget our potted plants outside either! They served us faithfully during the summer months and should be taken inside now for next year.

While many stores are selling beautiful door wreaths, don’t be tempted to purchase those furnishing bad luck. Yes, the dried flowers, corn, and grasses artfully arranged may appeal to you. However, feng shui eyes see them as dead vegetation. They will only bring dead energy into the home. Remember, the front door is extremely important. It is the mouth and it breathes in all the energy, which will circulate thru the home. Do you want it breathing in loss? A more appropriate choice would be a decoration of ribbons, bells, or silk flowers. Just take a stroll thru a crafts store and you can get some fantastic ideas for making your own displays.


September 23, 2010: In China most of the feng shui masters are quite horrified with our Western practices of treating a dog as a member of the family. To them, it’s like having livestock live with you. However, they are not alone. Few cultures outside of the United States and Europe understand our close bond with dogs. The master I studied with, Lin Yun, never voiced any objections with having either dogs or cats. What he did object to was not including them in the analysis of the space and making some needed corrections. Dogs are not the culprits of bad feng shui. Owner’s who are unmindful are!

Anyone who has owned a dog knows the instant the pet was brought into the home the place was never the same again. In exchange for their care, you get back unconditional love and a faithful companion, who will protect you and all family members. Dogs change the chi level in a space by instantly energizing it and filling it with love and devotion.

They’re great for our health too, though you might want to debate this the next blizzard you take the pup out for a walk. On the whole, they get us to exercise by taking them for walks. We also develop our socialization skills by meeting new people in the process. It’s a medical fact people who own a dog live longer than people who don’t. Petting them lowers our blood pressure too. We all know about seeing-eye dogs. But did you know dogs are also trained to help autistic children and can be trained to warn owners of pending seizures? They are truly marvelous spiritual beings, which serve us in so many ways. The least we can do is assure them of the healthiest chi flow in the home. Remember all living beings in a space are affected by its energies, not just people. If a space has unhealthy energy, you usually find the plants being affected by it first, then the pets, and lastly the humans. Our pets defend us in unseen ways as well. If your space is filled with excessive negative influences, your pet’s health will suffer before yours. They make great barometers of chi, but sometimes at a tremendous cost to their own health. So, don’t fault your dog with being lazy if he doesn’t bark at noises. Twenty-four seven he is protecting you on a psychic level. While cats instinctively go towards negative areas, dogs are the opposite. They scout out the positive areas of a space and pick those spots to lie in. While you may have a fit finding your dog sprawled across the clean couch, at least you can be reassured that the couch is a good chi spot. Conversely, is he refuses to use his comfy new bed in the spot you’re insistent on, it maybe because he doesn’t like the vibes of the spot. Try moving it to another locale in the room and see what happens.

Please be mindful that the first impressions others have of your place will always affect the flow of chi. If someone sees a “beware of dog” sign outside your home, they will instantly be filled with fear and apprehension. Even if they don’t come in, they are still sending “fear” to your home. I would tell a client to keep such a sign outside only if it’s truly warranted.

While we’re discussing the outside, we must get into the less delicate topic of dog poop. Quite frankly, there is no good place for a dog to be doing his business. However, I would try to keep him from taking care of business in your wealth and relationship areas. When he does do his duty, clean it up! For example, an unhealthy pile up in the fame gua can turn your reputation into you know what. The same rules apply for walking the dog. It’s bad karma to leave a mess on someone’s property.

When someone enters your home and they are greeted by loud barking and are jumped on, it’s bad manners and bad feng shui. Train the dog to behave!

Dog toys messily scattered all over the house tells the Universe the dog is in control. A good friend of mine, Linda, has her golden trained so well that Tammy keeps all her toys in a basket and only takes them out to play when told to. While I honestly doubt my saluki and most dogs are as obedient as Tammy, try to keep a handle on their stuff.

Dog crates should be in a discreet place, out of view, if possible. It’s not the best message to see a cage when entering a home for obvious reasons. The same goes for dog leashes. Try to place them in a closet or a container, not out in display.

Colors emit strong energies. Keep this in mind when purchasing beds, collars, and leashes. Red is the most yang color and is invigorating. It’s a great color for an instant energy boost for an older dog’s leash. However, on a frisky, aggressive dog, it will make them more so. Red is not the best color for a bed either. It is not relaxing and placed in a crate can add to feelings of confinement. Pink is love but in a bed can make them nervous. Try a nice soothing green, blue, or turquoise. Yellow, brown and crème will make them more grounded. Purple will make them feel like royalty and more spiritually based.

Planning on getting a dog? Make sure to do some research on the breed. Making the best match for you and your family’s personality, adds to better chi flow. Look into good breeders and rescues make excellent pets. Please steer clear of pet stores. Most of their pets are from puppy mills. If you want to do something very patriotic, there are thousands of dogs placed in shelters by our country’s service men and women. Think of how comforting for them it would be to know, while they’re fighting overseas, someone cared enough to adopt their beloved dog, good chi all around!


August 24, 2010: Since correct feng shui encompasses all who reside in a home, the next two blogs will be about some of the most important members of a family - the pets. Often forgotten about in books on the subject and sometimes even by professionals analyzing a space, they are family to those who share their lives with them. Because I feel there is so much info to delve into, I am writing it in two parts. Since my Siamese cat Zeus is sitting on my desk as I am writing this and I don’t wish to be attacked, cats rule. We’ll go into cats specifically. Next week’s blog will be devoted to dogs.

One of the first things I do upon entering a place commissioned for evaluation is to always ask if they have pets. Why? Because your pet will tell me volumes about how you are spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. Also I can tell if the energy flow is good or not, just by spending a minimal amount of time with them. Sound a little bit fantastic to any but die hard animal lovers? Not really according to recent reports by the scientific community. In more and more research they conduct on pets, be it a cat or dog, they are forced to the conclusion that there is a strong link between one’s pet and one’s self. We’ve all seen the similarities between the physical appearance of a person and the type of cat or dog they’ve picked and laughed over it. You know, the guy with a wrinkled pudgy face with a bulldog or the woman with long flowing hair with the Afghan hound. Besides the somewhat physical similarities, they do take on a lot of our personal idiosyncrasies and sometimes it’s not too complimentary. Any home I’ve gone into where the occupants are nervous, hyper types always have nervous, hyper pets. Calm pets usually reside in calm environments.

Pets definitely pick-up on our energies and respond according back. They also are living barometers as to how the chi is flowing in a space. Watch the next time your cat or dog goes to lie down. Unlike a human, they will not just plop themselves down. Instead, they will circle, sniff, and fuss before finding the right spot. This is because they are so sensitive to the flow of energy; they only want to be in a good spot.

Now this is where dogs and cats differ greatly. A dog will gravitate towards a spot with positive energy flow; a cat will actually gravitate towards a spot of negative energy. Tests have concluded that cats instinctively go to areas of negative energy and geopathic stress. Furthermore they thrive on the electromagnetic fields generated by TVs, stereos, computers, etc. So while you’ve been lead to believe all these years it was just the heat generated by electrical equipment they loved, it was mainly the negative energy. They seem to flourish on the areas other beings get sick on.

Cats have the ability to absorb the negative energies in a space and convert them into positive energies. Maybe this is one of the reasons why they were worshiped in Egypt as deities. The ancient Egyptians would go to the temple, have their negative energies absorbed by the cats, and walk out with cleansed auras. When I was doing research in Egypt many years ago, I was amazed to find cats having the run of some of the best hotels. This probably goes back to ancient knowledge forgotten over the centuries and now practiced for unknown reasons.

Stroking a cat lowers a person’s heart rate. Those suffering from high blood pressure have experienced dramatic healing results as well as those suffering high stress levels. They are little healing balls of fur.

Please don’t jump to the conclusion that if your cat sleeps on the bed with you that it’s a negative energy zone. They may just want to cuddle with you. However if you move the bed and the cat still wants to be where the bed was before, then it probably is a bad spot.

Many years ago a male astrology client of mine confessed he had great difficulty in relating to women. He was quite attractive and had a tremendous job but terrible luck with women. This was all because he did not understand or know how to relate to a female. He was born in an Asian country and his youth was spent on school and then climbing the corporate ladder, leaving hardly any time to date. My advise to him may sound odd to others. It was to get a pet cat. Because cats are the archetypical form of a female, I felt if he could study the cat and learn to live with one, he would understand women better. Within six months he met a nice girl and their relationship led to marriage.

Recently I had a client show me a book and the author claimed it was bad feng shui to own a cat or dog. If the person already had one, they were advised to - get this cat lovers - take the cat outside on a harness to do their business. Love to see her try to get one of my three Siamese in a harness and have any skin left on her body! The author obviously knows nothing about cats.

Which leads us into a discussion of the ominous litter box. They are not good feng shui. Though if you examine Chinese beliefs on bathrooms for people, they are considered bad feng shui too. Would you go without a toilet in your home for yourself? Doubt it. So why should your cat have to go without one either?

There are cures for people’s toilets and there are also cures for cat’s litter boxes. Cats need not risk their lives by going outside to relive themselves so you have better luck.

Try if at all possible to not place the litter box in your wealth and relationship guas. Keep the box clean. This will not only make the chi better but also make the cat happier. I’ve been to too many homes where the boxes appear not to have been cleaned in days. That borders on cat cruelty. They are the cleanest animals on earth and abhor filth. The anger energy they must emit having to tolerate this is probably off the charts. Happy pets generate happy energy throughout the home.

A good suggestion for litter boxes is to put them in a spot which allows the pet some privacy. In my home I had a hole cut in a closet door, installed a little curtain over the hole, and put the litter box in the closet. Besides giving them privacy, it keeps my dog from going into the box to retrieve what she sees as tasty treats. Disgusting but you know how dogs are!

If the cat has a bed, keep it out of the direct mouth of the door. Traditionally this is the death spot and you want the pet to be around for a while.

I have encountered a number of clients over the years that keep the ashes of their dead pets in their homes. Once in a workshop my feng shui Master Lin Yun went into great detail about why this was an extremely negative practice a lot of Americans do. If you’re guilty of this infraction, find a suitable place to scatter their ashes. Besides not having their animal spirits inhabiting your place, you will be releasing their souls so they can incarnate again. When I lived in Edison (NJ), I actually had a nutty neighbor who kept dead pets’ ashes under her bed. As a result over the years she had to go on anti-depressant medication, developed agoraphobia, lived in a filthy house and had numerous health and weight problems. However she would still not part with the ashes when I explained to her that her situation was a result of this action.

Finally do not become a hoarder. While cats are social beings, too many in one household can inhibit their healthy development and yours too.

Due to the startling amount of home foreclosures in the United States, so many cat and dog owners are being forced to give up their pets. If you want to create better energy in your home then maybe this is the time to look into adopting a pet. Can you think of any finer way to practice compassion than saving a life?


August 16, 2010: During the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten a multitude of requests from readers who own townhouses and apartments. They’ve all petitioned me to devote one blog to their situations. Since they are not allowed to paint their doors, they’ve all wanted to know if there is something they can do to make their places more chi hospitable. My reply is of course, "While it may appear you have less leeway to make feng shui changes than people who own stand-alone homes, that is not really the case. You can make some major adjustments to the entranceway. They can all be low cost and not so obvious to everyone in the development too. Sure you don’t want your place confused with a Chinese restaurant."

Please always remember intention. It’s an extremely critical factor in all feng shui adjustments. If you are positively not legally allowed to paint, etc you are somewhat let off the cosmic karmic hook. Also if you live in an apartment building, the exterior of the building will of course have some impact on you, but not 100%. This is because you don’t own the building. Due to this fact the owner inherits the main bulk of karma, whether they live in the building or not. But you are responsible for the appearance of your apartment’s door and objects around it. However also keep this in mind, if you can paint, etc to correct the energies and won’t due to laziness, you are NOT off the karmic hook. All the chanting and visualizations will not change a thing if you’re just lazy. It shows lack of intention if you are able and just look for an easy way out.

If you’re looking for an instant lift, the right doormat in front of your space can make a tremendous difference with attracting good luck. Yes, even if you live in an apartment, I still strongly urge you to get a doormat. Why? Because it claims ownership of the place you’re renting or leasing. It becomes your home, not just a temporary space you pay rent for each month.

While you’re on a quest to purchase the perfect mat, two factors are extremely important to keep in mind. The first is color. You want the mat’s color to be in elemental harmony with your door. Remember: water creates wood, wood creates fire, fire creates earth, earth creates metal, and metal creates water. No escaping the basics. You can go to my past blog on color and match up the right element for harmony. A good example is: a white door with a green mat will spell trouble. Changing the mat to yellow or brown to the white door will spell happiness. This is because metal (the white door) is created by earth (the yellow mat).

The second factor in buying the right mat is appearance. I’ve seen so many tacky mats throughout the years I could scream. What you may think as humorous, another person may not. So joke mats are out. Christmas is in December. I’m writing this in August. Yet I still see Christmas mats and decorations in front of places. People will either think you’re daft or the place inside is total a mess. Do you really want a mat announcing to all the people passing in the hall or your home that you have kids? Yes, a kiddy mat might look cute but do you want a pedophile to start staking your place out? Please keep all kiddy art inside. While a big “welcome” or your name might appear classy, it does create negative energy. With both people are either stepping all over your good intentions or your name. This goes for all good luck symbols too. People trampling on pictures of flowers will also be trampling on your blessings.

I hope this week's blog has helped a lot of my readers with apartments, townhouses, and even stand alone homes. With the season soon to change, doormats should be on sale at a lot stores. Have fun shopping for your feng shui friendly mat!


August 9, 2010: Anyone who lives in New Jersey as I do cannot adequately put into words the disappointment felt this summer over our gardens. The past winter we had was especially brutal, with blizzards and exceptionally cold weather. What got a lot of us thru all the snow and ice was the thought of the spring. With its arrival we could go outside, plant, and watch our beautiful flowers bloom. However, it hasn’t turned out the way we wished it. Yes, the spring did come and we planted. But this summer has been horrific for gardeners. We went thru about six weeks of little, if any rain. If having a drought hasn’t been difficult enough on the plants, we’ve also had intense heat wave after heat wave. Needless to say our plants, shrubs, trees and flowers have quite literally been fried. The result has been a lot of really bad feng shui on a lot of people’s yard’s too.

Yes, it is discouraging to tend to half-dead vegetation in the summer. To a true gardener, the flowers and plants are children. We carefully place them in the ground, water them, and pray they will grow to their full potential. However, if you get caught up in your misery over “ what could have been”, you will be hurting yourself on three levels. On the purely physical level, it will look just down right un-kept and spooky with all the dead stuff. On a feng shui level, good chi will avoid the place like the plague but bad chi will feel very welcome. On a spiritual level you are giving up on the symbolic promise of renewal one taps into from tending to the soil.

So as much as it may not be too much fun, now is the time to get out there and start cutting down the burnt flowers, cleaning up the dead leaves, and pruning all plants which look half-dead. Last Sunday I had to throw out all the dead boxwoods on my balcony. Better to discard them than to have negative energy lurking.

While you’re at it in the steaming heat, any tree stubs you have on the property should be tended to. In feng shui they symbolize death. They should either be dug out or a much cheaper option is to just cover them with a potted plant or growing vine.

Any vines growing on your home is a big no-no. Your home and its condition are representative of your physical body. Vines growing on homes will suffocate the house, giving you breathing problems and bad skin to boot.

Birdbaths are not really feng shui friendly. This is because water equates to money. If you have stagnant, dirty water in the birdbath, your finances will become like the water. If you must have this feature on your property for ascetics or compassion for the birds, you absolutely must keep the water sparkling clean by emptying and refilling it everyday. The same applies with fountains. Yes, moving water is great feng shui. Dirty moving water just brings dirty chi your way.

Sometimes what I have written about can sound very simplistic. When I explain it to clients during appointments, I will get the “Yes, I know it has to be cleaned-up, but give me some quick cures for such and such”. However, no matter what you may read on another site or hear from someone else, there is NO getting around the basic fact that feng shui is a spiritual process and holistic. You are one with your place. There are no magic cures that will allow you to disregard the basic care and tending to your soul’s relation to God and your home.


July 26, 2010: The “face” your home presents to the world can be compared to a woman. She can either attractively enhance her natural beauty by using the right make-up and clothes or look like a potential candidate for “What not to Wear” by being sloppy and ill put together. Right attention to detail can win her compliments, many suitors, and the prince. If however, she has a sense of apathy over her appearance, she’ll be lucky if she even gets the frog to knock on her door. It’s basically the same way with feng shui. Your home can either attract over-whelming good chi or lack the ability to successfully draw good luck. Why sit out the dances in your life when just making some changes can fill-up your dance card?

This week we’re going to learn how to get the “wow” feng shui factor for your home’s shutters and window boxes. It can change the chi level from being a plain Jane to a seductive siren who lures in auspicious energies.

The past couple of weeks we’ve explored the importance of having your home the right color. We’ve also gone into the correct color to paint the exterior of your abode and the front door. This week we’re embarking on the quest for the little details, like the shutters and window boxes, frequently not included in feng shui analysis, which can get your home’s chi meter up.

Again we first have to return to the Creative Element Cycle: water creates wood, wood creates fire, fire creates earth, earth creates metal, and metal creates water. It all begins and ends with the successful understanding and implementing the very Cycle of Life.

Windows in feng shui symbolize the eyes, so it is like putting on eye make-up. The right shade can be utterly seductive, while the wrong shade or application can make you look like a clown.

You can paint your shutters to match the door’s color, as long as it was painted according to the Creative Element Cycle. Another suggestion is to take the next element in the Creative Element Cycle. So let’s say your home is wood and you painted it green. Then you painted the door red because wood creates fire. Want a different color for the shutters? Well, what element does fire create? If you said earth, you’re correct. So painting the shutters brown, yellow, or beige would be in keeping with the cycle.

Window boxes should be in a creative relationship with the casement color and never the same color as it. The very worst choice you can make is to have them in the Destructive Cycle. For example if the window casement is green, paint the window box black or red, because wood (green) feeds red (fire) and is nourished by water (black).

Live in a condo or townhouse and cannot by law paint the window boxes? An excellent cure is to plant flowers the color you need to add to the Creative Cycle. Example: You need the color yellow to keep in the Creative Element Cycle’s flow; Plant yellow flowers. If you do have the window box the correct feng shui color, you can up the energy more by planting the right flowers in it. Pick them based on their color and make it the next color in the Creative Cycle. Example: Window box is (fire) red; Plant (earth) yellow flowers. Fire creates earth.

Well, think I’ve given you all enough chores for the next week! Yes, feng shui IS work. But if applied ardently, you will reap big dividends. Please click into my web site next week as we’ll be discovering even more secrets to make your home better.

This week's question from a reader:

"Am planning on painting the front door according to your Creative Element Cycle. What I would like to know is, does it matter what matte the paint is? Also, love the blog. Makes sense on so many levels."



Amanda, that’s an excellent question! The front door should be a shiny high gloss. The higher the shine factor, the better the energy. Think of a smile. The prettiest ones have bright shiny teeth showing, not dull teeth.


July 19, 2010: Two weeks ago I was up in Westchester County, New York performing a feng shui analysis for a new client. Before we got to discuss the color of her front door, she proudly exclaimed she knew I would be very impressed with her bright green door. After all, she read in a book because her home faced east the door should be green. Much to her amazement, I had to inform her it was the very worst choice she could have made. Why? Because her home was white, which is the metal element. Her green door was the wood element and metal chops wood. Instead of the green door being a blessing for the dwelling, it was more akin to a curse. Doors are mouths to the dwelling and it was consuming all their good luck. I asked her to think back to when she had the door painted and what had transpired in her family’s life since. Quite reluctantly she said it was painted green in April. Well, I said to her, wasn’t it in May that your husband got laid-off from his job? One of the reasons they turned to a feng shui analysis was his inability to find another job. She got quite upset realizing it was after the door painting so much started to fall apart in their lives and so quickly.

Fortunately I assured her she could not only restore the good luck they had but also improve it from what it was originally by just repainting the door. This time I told her to paint it black. This is because her white (metal) home creates (water) the color black. The elements would not only be in harmony but in a creative sequence. She did have some hesitation over the color black due to its association with mourning. However, I corrected her on the meaning of the color. In all major religions except Christian and Jewish, white is used for mourning, not black. Black increases depth to the mind and it is the color of sophistication. Think Chanel or any black-tie event. It also symbolizes money to the Chinese. Bright shiny black is the color of the door at 10 Downing Street.

Plus I told her years ago I had a client who was 100% against taking my advise about painting his door black. Only after 10 months of failed negotiations to sell his company did he relent to my suggestion. He said what else could get worse. He might as well do it to pacify me. Well it got better, not worse, and to the tune of $17,000,000.00 which he soon sold his company for.

So if you really want to get your life on the right track, paint your front door to be in harmony with the color of your house using the Creative Element Cycle. Last week we went into depth matching up the colors to their true element. Always remember: Water creates Wood, Wood creates Fire, Fire creates Earth, Earth creates Metal, and Metal creates Water. Pick the color for your front door based on the element’s color your home creates. Magical things will start to unfold in your life when you incorporate feng shui principals into your life.

In next week’s blog we will be covering shutters, window boxes, and roofs. Please tune-in for more!

This week's question from a reader:

"Very interesting blog, I am learning a lot! If my neighbors are only in sight on one side, say 300 yards away and the rest of my house is surrounded by woods, does the color of their house really matter? I am asking because there is only one neighbor. Do the colors of the cars parked in the driveway of my home affect things?"



Kristen, thanks for the compliment on the blog! If your neighbor’s house is not visible from yours standing outside, then its' color will not have much of an impact on yours or your relationship with them. The colors of your cars will not influence the energies of your home. However, their color does have an effect on you personally due to other factors. In the weeks ahead we will get into feng shui color choice for your auto. It’s determined by different factors.

Posted on: 2011-01-11 15:14:45. Comments


July 11, 2010: If you want your life to take off rapidly in a more positive direction, get your paintbrushes out. After this week’s blog you will be armed with accurate info and be able to pick the very best Feng Shui-friendly color for your home. Having the right color outside is an extremely important and unfortunately overlooked factor with most Feng Shui analysis. How can you get the best energies flowing inside if you’re unable to entice them in to begin with?

Last week you learned how to ascertain your home’s true element. Regardless of what your building was constructed of, its shape determined its element. Even if your house was made of cement, if it winded around in circular contours it was considered a water house. Huge NY City skyscrapers made of stone you discover are wood. As you can see, you must always employ imagination to its fullest if you want to be able to navigate correctly in the ancient Chinese art of placement.

Each of the five elements in Feng Shui is represented by their own colors.

WATER COLORS: black, dark to medium dark gray, navy, dark blue

WOOD COLORS: green, light to medium blue

FIRE COLORS: from the lightest pink to the deepest red, purple

EARTH COLORS: tan to deep brown, yellow, peach, orange

METAL COLORS: white, metallic colors, silver, light gray

Since you’re now able to accurately identify your home’s true element, you can match up the correct color choice for the body of the building. However, before you run out to Home Depot for the paint, there still is another factor you must take into consideration. What color your neighbors’ houses are on both sides of yours will also have a strong bearing on color selection. If you’re not armed with this info, you could create a lot of friction with them or they could sap your good luck.

To determine this we go back to the Creative and Destructive cycles from last week.

CREATIVE CYCLE: Water creates Wood creates Fire creates Earth creates Metal creates Water.

DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE: Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal chops Wood, Wood upheavals Earth and Earth obstructs Water.

Therefore if your home is the wood element it would be correct to paint it green, which is ruled by wood. However if a neighbor's home were red (fire), he’d be feeding off your color. This is because wood creates fire. Your home would be consumed by his place. So picking the element’s color, which creates your home’s element, in this case water, would be the correct choice. It would strengthen your home’s energy and put out their fire, because water creates wood and extinguishes fire. Painting your home a deep gray would be the Feng Shui friendly choice.


July 5, 2010: Ever paint your front door or made some other changes to your home or office on the advise specifically given in a book or web site on Feng Shui? Then you waited and waited in expectation like a kid for Santa, praying he’d deliver the gift of auspicious chi. However you got the Grinch instead and he brought you a sack full of bad luck? If so, you’re not alone. So many times I’ve heard this scenario from people who are inquiring about my services. They know Feng Shui works. After all, they reason, everything did change dramatically after either painting the door, or room, or adding the addition from advise in a book, but the changes were bad - not good. They just don’t know what went wrong. Hopefully in my blogs I will be able to clear up a lot of erroneous beliefs and fallacies on the Ancient Art of Placement and get the chi flowing in a better direction in your life in the process.

We’re going to start with the beginning articles dedicated to a weekly series of treatises covering what most sites have excluded in proper depth- the front of the house. As a Feng Shui Master, I am continually amazed at the lack of emphasis placed on picking the right color for the exterior of one’s home. There are hundreds of sites claiming to help you pick the best color for the front door. However, little or any correct info on starting out with the right color to begin with on the house itself. A Feng Shui friendly exterior’s aim is to entice the auspicious chi to enter the building.

This week we’ll learn how your buildings shape is the key factor in knowing what element it is and what the Five Elements are. Next week we’ll learn how the surroundings and your next-door neighbors’ houses impact the color choice too.

If you’re thinking right now that the cost of painting the entire house is beyond your current budget or that your townhouse rules would prohibit it, don’t worry. Once you learn to correctly evaluate the exterior, you can make corrective color cures without having to paint the entire outside of the house. We will spend one week going into corrective measures for houses that cannot be painted. Of course, if you are planning on painting or purchasing a new home, you will be able to make the very best Feng Shui choice.

After picking the most auspicious house color, we will advance in the weeks to come on learning the most fortunate colors for your home’s driveway, bottom trim, shutters, front door, garage door, window boxes, roof, and then proceed on to lucky landscaping tips.

What determines the building’s element is the Five Elements. The Five Elements are: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Each of them are represented by it’s own color, shape, texture, pattern, and compositional materials. When you master the elements, you can create a truly harmonious Feng Shui space. Each element helps create and support another element. Conversely, each element can drain or destroy an element. The two cycles of life are called the Creative Cycle and the Destructive Cycle.

The Creative Cycle is as follows: Fire creates Earth (ash), Earth creates Metal (minerals), Metal creates Water (when cold water is in a metal container it condenses on the outside), Water creates Wood (trees need water to grow), and Wood creates Fire.

The Destructive Cycle is as follows: Wood growing in the ground upheavals Earth, Earth dams and constricts Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts Metal, and Metal chops Wood.

If a cycle is Constructive or Destructive, it does not denote positive or negative energy as in our Western viewpoint. Instead to the Eastern mind, it is simply the cycle of life and recycling of energies.

To truly master the concepts of Feng Shui, you must become like a child and let your imagination take control.

WOOD BUILDINGS: If you look at a tree, you will see that it is tall and upright. Therefore, tall, straight buildings, columnar structures, and even soaring skyscrapers made of stone and cement are all considered wood buildings.

FIRE HOMES: Flames are pointy. Steeply- pointed roofs, spires, and similar sharp roofed structures represent fire element buildings.

EARTH HOMES: The ground is flat. Consequently, earth element buildings are square, boxy, with flat roofs.

METAL HOMES: Metal’s shape is round like a coin. Buildings, which have domed or rounded roofs or are circular in shape, are metal.

WATER HOMES: Water has no shape and every shape. Buildings that have bizarre, complex shapes that are more rounded than angular are water.

Now that you can correctly analyze the type of house you have, you know what element it is. Next week we will study your home’s surroundings and your neighbor’s homes and discover the impact it will have in your correct color choice.

Each week one question from a reader, which is pertinent to the subject, will be answered in the blog. Please send questions to Judith@FengShuiByJudithRyan.com

Posted on: 2011-01-11 15:07:58. Comments