As Holidays go February may be best known in the West for St. Valentine's Day (Eastern Orthodox Churches acknowledge this in July). There are a few explanations around exactly who the man Valentine was but, it is widely understood he was a Catholic Priest from Terni Italy who was martyred for helping followers of Christ wed during a time when Christians were being persecuted. How, …….........romantic ??
In the modern and commercialized West, February 14th is a date that people either dread or loathe for obvious reasons. So, with the purpose of all things Feng Shui in mind, let's agree that February is a month to focus on the heart. And this month finds my heart broken.
We lost the glue to our Family and the sweetest, most loving women on January 27th. She really was all things to everyone. I have no idea who I am going to send pics of my dog or the dinner I made to now.
No one will ever make me feel as beautiful, smart or capable as she could. For all of these reasons and then some, I don’t feel motivated to regurgitate the same ol' Valentine's Day , find yourself a mate, information that is so popular this time of year.
Instead, I find myself asking; how can Feng Shui help us when we experience loss ?
Before you stop reading I would like you to consider that we all experience loss. Be it from a break up, a job, a pet or a family member, our health and mobility, and so on. No matter the cause of loss we all feel and acknowledge things in varying levels of intensity. Some of us stuff and ignore, some compartmentalize, some plow through every emotion like a stampeding elephant. There is no right or wrong way. However, regarldess of how you process, the profound shock of any type of loss, can create a reverberating energy that will take on a life of its own inside of any space you inhabit.
Creating a gathering place and going to that spot with your emotions can help you feel what you are feeling and honor your loved one or your situation.
This place can become the territory you cover when you express yourself and work to determine the next steps of your journey. It might even be helpful to schedule time in this space to address what is going on inside at different intervals. I find this helps me not have an unexpected grief bomb during work or other activities.
Be it an intentional altar, an area in your garden, or a photo on a shelf or table, find a way to honor your loss.
After losing a job for instance you might want to use the knowledge and skills gua to showcase the textbooks or self help books that you are focused on as you launch your next career bid. This serves as a foundation and display of your personal growth and development. I have a reading area with seating next to a bookshelf in this spot in my home. An empowered arrangement tip is to use book holders/stands to place the objects or books that contain the information or symbolism of what it is you want to work on. I use the book stands and turn them so the book covers face outward as a visual reminder.
If you wish to create an altar after the loss of a loved one, put it either in the family or supportive people gua (you may also consider the love/relationships area). Center yourself and set an intention of reverence and joy. Ask that your loved one support and guide you. Be mindful of the ruling element in the area that you are working in when selecting the items that you want to use. (Wood for the Family/Ancestors Gua and Metal in the Supportive People). Some tips for encompassing the ruling elements are as follows;
Water - (Career and Success)
My favorite item to use here is an electric essential oil diffuser. The motor keeps the water moving and mist flowing which activates the gua. You can research the oils that best support your goal in this space. Alternatives are to use black, dark blue or gray colors, a bowl of water set on a mirror, a fountain, any wavy shaped items in the complimentary colors above.
Wood - (Prosperity and Family/Ancestors)
Plants, flowers, wood decor, column shapes, blue and green colors
Fire - (Fame and Love)
Candles, lighting, triangles, shades of red from light pinks to deep burgundy.
Earth - (Knowledge/Skills and Health Center)
Fabric, horizontal and square shapes, earth tones in browns , tans and yellows, blues, greens.
Metal - (Travel and Supportive People and Creativity and Children)
Stone, crystals, metallic decor, photo frames, curved shapes, coins, arches, silver, gold, metallic or pale pastel colors.
Be sure to work with these items in balance with their natural contructive and destructive cycles.
A tip for using the Bagua map:
While standing at your front door and looking inside, you can locate the Love and Relationship Gua in the back right corner and the Family/Ancestor gua in the center left side of the grid. Skills and knowledge area is at the bottom left corner.
Stack the map like a lego if you are using it on multiple floors. If you wish to go room by room my method is to hold the map the same way by standing at the entry of the room, looking inside.
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we deeply love becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller