Did you know the ancient Chinese system of Feng Shui can benefit your animal companions?
You might think Feng Shui applies only to humans, and that it won’t do anything much for your animal companion. Not so! Dogs and cats are just as sensitive to energies and environments, if not moreso, than we are. This means the Feng Shui principles you apply in your own space can have a profoundly beneficial effect on them.
Feng Shui is a science that’s at least 5,000 years old. It began in China and was used to pick out gravesites. The better the site, it was believed, the more auspicious your descendant’s fortunes would be.
Literally translated, Feng Shui means “wind and water”. It’s the balancing of these two elements that helps create good “chi” or energy in your space. There are three schools of Feng Shui.
1. The Form School is the oldest. It uses geographical formations in the placement of a building.
2. The Compass School uses a lo-pan (compass) to help calculate auspicious directions.
3. The Black Hat Sect or Bagua School is the “Western” version used primarily in North America. This school uses a Bagua board (translated into an eightsided figure) that is divided into nine Life Areas. After you align the board with a home or room’s entryway (more on that later), you can determine which Life Area you want/need to “activate”, using colors, elements, shapes or personal objects. This is the school I will be referring to in this article.
The Bagua board
Above is a Bagua board showing the colors, elements, shapes, and items for “cures” for each Life Area. Use this board to determine where in your home or a particular room each Life Area is located, and what changes are needed in that area to improve the relevant aspect of your life, and/or your animal’s.
The bottom three areas (Knowledge, Career, Helpful People) are aligned with the entryway wall of a home or room. In other words, you can only enter a room via one of these three areas. The Wealth area will always be in the far left corner of the space, and Relationships in the far right.
Feng Shui is about moving energy effectively throughout a space. Make a drawing of your home’s floor plan, including the furniture. Then take a pencil and, without taking it off the paper, start at the front door and go in and out of each room, moving around furniture to determine traffic flow. This is how energy moves through your space. If you find a room has too much furniture, or the furniture is blocking a door, move it!
Applications for animals
How can Feng Shui help your animal companion? As mentioned earlier, dogs and cats are very sensitive to their environments and to energy. They can subconsciously detect imbalances in your space. Too much clutter, too many chemicals, or blocked doorways can all cause energy to become stuck and/or toxic. Watch where your dog or cat hangs out, and which areas he avoids. This could give you a big clue as to what areas in your home are “blocked”, and can also validate Life Areas of concern for you.
Stuck or toxic energy can also manifest as anxiety, depression or other ailments in both people and animals. In dogs and cats, signs can include excessive barking for no reason, unaccountable fear, unwillingness to go for a walk (when he usually can’t wait), inside marking or an unwillingness to use the litter box. (Of course, when these behaviors appear, it’s important to first rule out medical problems with a trip to the vet.)
Try these animal Feng Shui cures:
• Clean and/or de-clutter your animal’s space and/or any area he shies away from.
• To help with bonding, add pink to his collar/leash. You can also add pink to his bed or bedding with blankets or monogramming to promote a positive relationship.
• For food or water dishes, use metal or anything made from the earth element (e.g. ceramic, stone).
For a balanced space, you ideally want a mixture of all five elements of Fire, Wood, Water, Metal and Earth. For Feng Shui purposes, you feature or use more of the element relating to the Life Area you are working on. For example, if you have a dog in training school, add the Earth element to the Knowledge area to help enhance his learning ability. The Earth element could be represented by an attractive stone or crystal, a house plant in a terra cotta pot, a clay sculpture, etc. There are three cycles of elements in Feng Shui:
Productive, mitigating, and destructive
You can use the actual element, or a representative shape or color – see the Bagua board for guidance.
Productive Cycle: (increase/pump up)
Use: Earth to increase Metal, Metal to increase Water, Water to increase Wood, Wood to increase Fire, Fire to increase Earth
Mitigating Cycle: (the “go between” for conflicting elements)
Use: Earth between Fire and Metal, Metal between Earth and Water, Water between Metal and Wood, Wood between Water and Fire, Fire between Wood and Earth
Destructive Cycle: (what you use to stop/decrease an overabundance of an element)
Use: Earth to decrease Water, Metal to decrease Wood, Water to decrease Fire, Wood to decrease Earth, Fire to decrease Metal.
Only use this principle if you are confident in your knowledge of Feng Shui; otherwise, get a consultation from a Feng Shui practitioner.
Feng Shui is an effective tool for creating a healthy, balanced space for you and your dog or cat. Using the five elements, colors, space planning and personal items, you can implement “cures” to help activate Life Areas and improve the health and happiness of everyone in your home, human and animal.
DeAnna Radaj is the owner of Bante Design LLC, an integrative lifestyle design company that fuses Eastern and Western philosophies. She is a nationally recognized speaker and author and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows.. DeAnna is also an avid adventure traveler and an exhibited nature photographer, and lives in Milwaukee with her dogs.