Book Notes: Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui

I don’t know about you but right about this time of year I’m thinking deep cleaning. I’m thinking company is coming for the holidays. I’m thinking about how much longer I can count on warm fall days, for, say, drying curtains and rugs or blankets in the sun. Not much longer, that’s for sure. So I am being certain to capitalize on this time so I don’t miss the gifts of the moment. This is that time of year when I’m eyeing the shed and mentally taking stock of decorations packed away in boxes. I’m haunting home decor shops looking for that oh-so-special tablecloth and the perfect candles for the dining room table that will grace us with their presence setting the tone for the beauty and harmony I always aim to create. I’m taking a closer look at areas that might have gotten the “lick and a promise” as I hurried to complete tasks so that I could get to others. And with this deep renewal I quite naturally reach for a longtime favorite book, which has guided my actions to some extent or other for several years now, and that would be Karen Kingston’s classic book Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui. I have relied on this book for years, and imagine I will continue to do so, as it is such a rich resource and reminder that I will never tire of rereading and continuing to integrate the lessons into my daily life. The girl knows her stuff.

I think one of the reasons I immediately resonated with Karen’s writings is that she was energy sensitive. To have developed one’s energy sensitivity gives one a distinct leg up in getting a grip on one’s environment. The subtitle of Karen’s book leads the way: Learn the Art of Space Clearing and Bring New Energy into Your Life. I can distinctly testify that if one learns the art of clearing out the old outdated no-longer-relevant energies in one’s life, a way is opened for the new, the pertinent, and your life will change. I promise.

What I find particularly fun in feng shui is the concept of the bagua, kind of a map one superimposes in one’s mind over one’s living space,using whatever door you use as the front door as a starting and reference point. Here’s a bagua:

So, standing at the front door (i.e., the door you use to come and go–are you listening?) put this “map” in front of you and then use your imagination to superimpose the bagua over your house. Do you see where the rooms would fall? Now look at the qualities ascribed to that room.

Now here’s the thing. Your mind could easily be saying right about now, “Uh, I don’t believe in this stuff.” And that’s OK. You don’t need to. What I can tell you is this–just pretend you do. Then engage in the process. And see where it takes you. What if the far back left hand corner really does affect your good fortune? I’m inviting you to suspend judgment on the system and Play the Game and see what happens. I’ll tell you what happens to me: I start caring about what is in all those areas. I might put a plant in the far back left hand corner. Or a crystal. Or something that speaks to life. Something beautiful. And so it goes. Room by room.

One of the things I learned early reading this book was the importance of the front yard. I fully integrated in my mind that the front yard is the place where I interface with the community, with the world at large. How am I presenting myself? How available am I? Could I be found, maybe not literally, but energetically? Are there branches blocking the flow? Is there a clear path to my door? Is it inviting?

One of my favorite questions to ask when I’m engaged in a clearing out process was given to me by a girlfriend, Brenda, who was learning about feng shui as well. I never forget it. “Would you buy it in a store today?” Wow. While it’s OK to hang on to things from our past that have sentimental value, does your wardrobe, for example, represent who you are NOW? Because a good part of feng shui is getting current and being current.

Another aspect of “being current” is to be sure that all repairs are completed in your house. Also, try to develop your consciousness to be attuned to those annoying little things that are energy wasters or energy annoyers, like doors that don’t quite close properly, or keys that you must always look for. Or dog water dishes that are too small and thus need filling more often than you’d like. (Yes, I did that.) Streamline, streamline! Ask, “Is this flowing?” If not, take the time to make the adjustment. All those old adages have value. A place for everything and everything in its place. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. It’s true!

Karen offers this perspective about feng shui: “Feng Shui offers hope. It offers the means to reconnect and bring the sacredness into our lives.” What a worthy endeavor, and what better time than now?

Love and blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

16 Responses to “Book Notes: Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui”

  1. Wow! What a Fantastic post, mom! So inspiring!
    Thanks for giving us so many great tips and things to think about!
    Love you,

  2. I like the concept of feng shui and only wish I knew more about it. It makes perfect sense that clearing space is a good thing — honestly, think how good you feel when you “purge” a closet. I’m in the process of clearing out the spare bedroom, which has been used as a storage room-come-bedroom for ages. I may try to find this book — thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  3. WOW!! We are definitely going to check this one out from the library (add to ever growing list: check!). We did the bagua exercise and found out some fascinating things! Our fame and reputation as well as our wealth and abundance regions are exactly where our garden is!! Then, the marriage and romance is where the bedroom is. Our library and general chill-out room is the knowledge and self-improvement section. Center health is where our dining room is (roughly). Our piano is where the creativity section is but I’m thinking we can do more to develop that. There is also a lot of clutter in that general area that I can definitely see should be cleared up. Same goes for the career and life path.

    What an insightful and motivating post. We’ll let you know what happens once we get those other zones worked out a little better. Seems like the Universe sent us this post right now to give us a reference point for starting our winter projects. How exciting! Thank you!!

  4. I love this book too – and dip into it year after year – always finding something different resonates with me each time.

  5. Hi, Antonia! Thanks for the good feedback! I’m glad you found it inspiring! You have this book, right? It never goes out of style! Love, Mom xoxo

  6. Hi, Nancy, Good timing, then! FYI, you will find there’s a second book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, equally useful. I find the first one the What’s It All About and the Why–the foundation for the work.And then the second book is How, the very pragmatic. They are excellent companion books. I’d recommend them in that order, but use your intuition as your guide for which works for you. The image of the purged closet is the perfect example–then think of adding LIFE to it! Kathryn xoxo

  7. Hi, Guyz!! It sounds like you are intuitively in a Happening Scene! (No surprise there!) Wow! What an exciting discovery–and how FUN that your garden is in the fame and fortune areas. You bring up a good point. If your house doesn’t fall into the neat quadrants, you need to ask yourself, “What IS in that area?” If it’s a “dead space” by feng shui principles you need to “fill it in.” In your case, you did beautifully! Bravo! Have fun with it! Kathryn xoxo

  8. Hi, Karen–sounds like you do what I do. Refer back for refreshers! I’m about to do that again! Kathryn xoxo

  9. Hi Kathryn,

    Thanks for the book recommendation and the bagua exercise. If I am doing this correctly, I think my garden is in the family and friends quadrant, which is exactly where my husband and I spend almost every summer evening and do all of our entertaining.

  10. Hi, Susan,

    It sounds like you are making excellent use of that quadrant! Kathryn xoxo

  11. Most interesting and inspiring post Kathryn. You know I practice the art of Tai Chi and Qigong and Feng shui is there as well it’s all about improving life by recieving the positive Qi, it’s a way of living. I find the Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui is the hard bit an there I and we all have a lot to do. I certainly will try to get hold of that book. Thank you dear Kathryn. / LOL Tyra

  12. Hi, Tyra–I was not aware that you practice Tai Chi and QiGong. I’ve taken classes in both disciplines. I’m more a yoga person, though. Yes, receiving that flowing Qi is the goal! And surrounding oneself with that same flow. I think you will find Karen’s books helpful. She’s English, and spends half her time in Bali. I bet you would love her work! Let me know! Kathryn xoxo

  13. Always delightful to visit your welcoming site, dearest Kathryn, and might be practicing without knowing (scrambling like a squirrel cleaning closets & garage, painting, sharing good stuff, and organizing cupboards, which I find most energizing). My mother’s words haunt me ~ “Your house is only as clean as its dirtiest corner!” I will rely on your wise words and refer to your concept of the bagua further. Thank you dear friend for sharing. Hugs.

  14. I often find conflict trying to clear away the old to make way for the new. I live with a clutterbug. It evens out. I keep him from being buried alive and he helps me not get rid of everything. I need clear spaces and lots of light especially since I’m somewhat affected psychologically by the gray winter weather. I find candles warm and cheerful and am always buying them.

  15. Hi, dear Joey! Good to see you here this morning. Your mom’s adage is a new one on me. If feels a bit weighty, I have to say. For you? As for Karen’s book, Joey, you would love it. What it would give you is the energetic WHY. You’re already doing it. I’m guessing Karen’s work would reframe the foundations upon which some of your actions rest and add new meaning. Let me know! Love, Kathryn xox

  16. Donna, Donna, get thee to a bookstore and buy Karen’s second book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui. You must, my dear. And read to or with your clutterbug partner. There is an urgent impulse behind this message. Let me know what happens! 🙂 Big hug. Kathryn xoxo

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