I wanted to share a guide to beginners on how to properly prepare your home to utilize feng shui principals in helping grid your home with crystals. This step-by-step guide includes outside links to sites I use on a regular basis when determining factors in my own home. I have studied Lillian Too's practice, and will be offering advice from her many books and tools she offers. Please check out her work! Below, you'll find the beginner steps to determine how to grid your house or apartment:
STEP ONE: DETERMINE YOUR HOME'S DIRECTION
The direction your home faces is an important one. This will determine your home's grid, so you can establish where your lucky and unlucky spots are in your home. First, determine where your front door is. This may be obvious and may be the door right in the front of your house. But if you use your side door almost exclusively and you have a sign on your front door saying "please use side door," I would suggest using your side door as the "front" of your house. Conversely, if you're in an apartment (where I began most of my feng shui days!) don't use your actual front door; use the door to the building.
So yes; your back door could arguably be your "front door". But if you're always coming in through your back door because let's say you park your car in the back, but your guests are always coming in through the front door, the front door is still your "front palace" because you're telling people to use the front door and not the back. You're just using the back out of circumstance. Where as someone who chooses to elect their side door as the front door is guiding everyone to that location.
Now that you've determined which door to use, stand in the doorframe looking out into your yard (don't face into your home) with your trusty iPhone and open up your compass app. (There are many apps you can use that are free but the iPhone has a built-in compass) Give the phone a figure-eight wiggle to activate it, and plot down the exact degree of the direction you're facing. This will tell us which way your home faces. So if your phone says North 53 degrees, write that down. In feng shui, there isn't just one North direction, there are a couple, as there are with each direction. You may be East 1 or East 2, or Southwest 1 or Southwest 3, etc. My home FACES North 2, at 352.5 degrees to 7.5 degrees.
NOTE: The direction your home faces is called facing in feng shui, and the back of your home is called sitting. So my house sits South, and faces North.
STEP TWO: DETERMINE YOUR HOME'S PERIOD, the flying star method
The year your home was built matters! But what matters more is when its last update was. You really want to keep your home current with updates, keeping it in the current period. This isn't absolutely essential, but a good practice to keep in mind. If your home is a period behind, it's merely losing energy and isn't as full as vitality as a current period home. Keeping your home current can be as complex as updating your roof, or as little as slapping on a fresh coat of paint throughout your house. A big kitchen reno counts, and so does putting new baseboards on through your home. You're updating your home.
The period your home is in determines where your lucky corners are. Each period lasts 20 years, (so don't worry, you can update your home every 20 years and not every month!) but you can imagine the wear and tear a home experiences over 20 years, and why a mini facelift is important. The last period began in February 2004 and will continue until 2024. Our current period is 8. In order for your home to be in period 8, it will have needed to have been updated after 2004. Anything before that would put you in Period 7. It's not bad to be in Period 7, it's just a different calculation. Period 7 homes had updates between 1984 and 2003.
Still in a Period 7 home? Here's some ideas on how to update to a Period 8 home. But remember, by updating you are disturbing the energy in your home, so renovate with care, caution and precision.
• Update at least 1/3 of your home's heaven energy: change the roof, paint the ceiling, etc.
• Update at least 1/3 your home's earth energy: change the floor, garden, build a deck, etc.
• Update your home's humankind energy: change the front door; new door? New paint?
There are nine periods in total, for a total of 180 years. In the current period of 8, the number 8 becomes very strong, vigorous and lucky.
Now that you know your home's direction and period, you can find your flying star chart. CLICK HERE for a list of all Period 8 homes (and HERE for all Period 7 homes!) to find yours. Look for which direction your home FACES, right down to the specific degree.
STEP THREE: UNDERSTANDING YOUR FLYING STAR CHART
I've created an image of my current home's chart to help you get a better understanding of the numbers you're looking at in the links above. The centre number is the number of a specific room in your home, while the two tinier numbers are your mountain (left) and water (right) stars. Please note that your front door may not be in the centre of your home like the image below, but I'm just acknowledging it's somewhere on that North 2 facing wall, the direction my home faces.
What are mountain and water stars? These are lucky corners in your home. You activate these corners by keeping them free of clutter and by placing images of mountains under your mountain stars (or crystals, trinkets or any other earth/mountain energy) and images of water under your water stars (or fish tanks, fountains or any other water energy). Since we're in period 8, the number 8 mountain and water stars are VERY lucky/auspicious so you want to be sure to activate them in your home.
Since some areas in your home are not as auspicious, (2, 3, and 5 are not auspicious), you won't want to focus on them, but give great attention to the lucky areas, (1, 6, and 8). When good mountain stars are imprisoned, goodwill is locked up - so let that goodwill out! Whatever period your home is (7 or 8) this number is also lucky. However, if your home is still in Period 7, it is losing energy and not as full of vitality. Maybe it's time for an update! Until 2024, 8 is super super super lucky. Number 9 is magnifying, be that good or bad.
NOTE: In your Flying Star Chart, if your mountain 8 star is in the front of your home, it is said that the mountains are blocking your home's energy. Don't activate the 8 mountain star if its in your front palace - the front of your home. Just let it be.
STEP FOUR: YOUR HOME'S BLUEPRINT
Now you may need to bust out the arts and crafts, meaning a ruler, grid paper and a pen. You're almost there! And this part is so satisfying. You're going to want to draw a rough blueprint of your home. You can be as meticulous as you'd like, but I never measure the size of my rooms. I eyeball them and roughly sketch out the shape of my home and the walls inside (though I do have an arts background, I don't think you need to be an artist to create your home blueprint effectively). If you're anal - go ahead and measure. Create another blueprint for any other levels you have.
You then place the Flying Star Chart over your blueprint. I always sketch my flying star chart right onto my blueprint, labeling my living room a number 9 (and partial 1, 4 and 8) and my kitchen numbers 6 and 7. You may need to stretch your Flying Star Chart into a more rectangular figure to make it fit into your home (this is real life and not everyone's house is a perfect square). But if you do have an irregular shaped house, you may find that you actually have corners missing, and that's totally normal. Your Flying Star Chart and combined blueprint will look something like the figure below.
As you can see, thanks to my front bay window, I'm missing the mountain and water stars, 2, 9, 9 and 7. However some people's homes may be missing entire room numbers depending on the shape of their home. You can also see that my front door is not in the centre, but actually to the right or east side of my house, but my home still faces North 2.
Since feng shui is such a vast subject, this post is meant to act as a guide to get you started on your feng shui journey. Congratulations! There is a lot to know so if you're interested, I recommend hunting down Lillian Too's 198 Feng Shui Ways to Transform Your Life. It's an easy, effective read that you'll love.