Dear Jenny,

Could you tell me if pets are good Feng Shui?

Actually, pets are natural batteries of Ch’i and they can bring the loving spirit out in just about anyone.  It is well known that bringing pets into hospitals and retirement homes strengthens the health and well-being of patients and residents.  As is always the case in Feng Shui, the key is care.  When pets are treated with love and dignity, they bring tremendous energy into a home.  Keep pet homes fresh and clean to ensure the health and vitality of your pets, as well as the quality of Ch’i flowing through your home.  Keep cat and rabbit litter boxes extra clean, dog runs and horse stables need to be kept clean as well.  The Ch’i is also enhanced in and around your home by inviting wild birds to visit your balcony or window.  The more urban your domain, the more important it is to invite nature in.

A superb enhancement to any environment is the addition of an aquarium.  An aquarium with 9 living fish is ideal.  It demonstrates using all 5 of the elements, providing perfect harmony. In the fish tank there should be 8 gold fish and 1 black, the 8 fish symbolize prosperity and the 9th abundance.

What about plants?  Are they good Feng Shui?

Plants are superb Ch’i enhancements when they are healthy and vibrant.  They help us to stay connected with the wonder of the natural world, while providing us with a sampling of nature’s variety and beauty.  They also supply us with clean air.  Choose plants with a friendly appearance, such as those with rounded leaves or a generally soft, graceful appearance.  Plants are often used in Feng Shui to soften the sharp angles and corners found in furnishings and architecture.  Healthy vibrant plants improve Ch’i.  When a plant becomes diseased or unsightly, don’t spend too much time trying to nurse it back to health, replace it as soon as possible.

Silk plants, as long as they look healthy and alive, are viable substitutes for living plants.

Fresh flowers add color and sensuality to most rooms and provide great Feng Shui.  Although, flowers are not good to have in the bedroom, they actually deplete the room’s Ch’i.

Dried plants and flowers are not recommended to enhance Ch’i.  They often lose their vibrancy, after a short time.  Potpourri is also frowned upon in Feng Shui.

I am going to be putting together a dinner party for some close friends, are there any Feng Shui rules that have to do with the seating of guests at a dinner party?

The practice of placing guests of different genders next to each other is excellent for ensuring good yin and yang balance.  Round tables are always preferred to rectangular tables, but rectangular tables are better than T-shaped or L-shaped arrangements.  If the number of guests is higher than the number of chairs you have available, it is better to make it a buffet dinner rather than adding chairs in order to have a sit down dinner.

Is there any special seating plan that I should consider for my dinner party?

Some suggestions of what NOT to do:

  • Never seat anyone at the corner edge of a square or rectangular table or directly facing a protruding corner
  • Never seat anyone directly facing a toilet door
  • Never seat anyone directly underneath an overhead beam

*Another piece of advice when entertaining friends is never to serve coffee or tea in a cup with a chipped rim or drinks in a chipped glass.  Drinking from a cup with even the smallest chip brings bad luck since this symbolically cuts the mouth.  And that negatively affects one’s speech so that what you say will get you into trouble.  The Chinese believe that drinking from chipped cups and glasses or eating from chipped bowls causes one to suffer bad luck in one’s livelihood

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