Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I give very thorough advice in my books, lectures and consultations, but I encounter new feng shui problems all the time. Here, I’ll be sharing new solutions I come across and answering questions you might have.

If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to (please use the search box at the bottom of this page to see if I’ve covered the subject before), leave a comment here and I’ll consider writing a future blog post about it.

Feng Shui for Gay People

clear_1959familypic

Here I am (kneeling with doll) with my mom & two brothers in 1959.

My mom’s 94 and I recently asked her, “Who else in our family was gay?” She exclaimed, “That gene runs in our family!” I found out that her father’s youngest brother, Perry Twitty, was gay. Also, Perry’s great uncle Hiram Twitty was gay. A little after the Civil War he was last seen (by a family member, anyway) in Mobile, heading for Galveston. Mama said that (almost without exception) gay people left rural areas and went to some town or city. I asked her when she figured out that I was gay. She said it was when I asked for a doll for Christmas.

JustsayIdo

Gay couples can use gender-specific imagery in their Relationship Corners by replacing genders where a mixed-sex couple would be similarly depicted, such as using two bride dolls in a lesbian home. (Photo by Davidlud (Own work), CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I remember asking for that doll. I was staying with my grandmother (Lyda Twitty kept me while my folks taught school at Margerum, Alabama) and my Uncle Bradley was visiting in the kitchen. He caught me off guard while I was going from the den to the dining room. You had to make a brief visit through a little bit of the kitchen to get to the dining room. I was shy and expected to slip quietly into the dining room, and was surprised when Bradley all of a sudden asked me, “What do you want Santa Claus to bring you?” I’d already made it into the dining room, and I turned around and answered him honestly. “I want a doll.” “What kind of doll?” he asked. Even at that young age (I was probably six) I knew better than to continue with honesty, so I didn’t say bride doll—I almost did, but I said “Boy doll.” It was the most macho thing I could think of—this was before GI Joe.

Fast forward to late 1997. Here’s my favorite story from Feng Shui for Love & Money:

In feng shui, you’re using your home and your possessions to give out the message: “Send me the right person, please.” I arranged pink silk lotus flowers in the Relationship Corner of my studio apartment, and two seconds later my phone rang with a friend calling for a date. That quick response may have been my angel poking her elbow in my ribs saying, “This is gonna work!” Six months later I met my spouse. His partner was passing away around the time I was arranging the flowers. When I let those flowers go, I donated them to a church that used them respectfully.

This

This “David and Jonathan” litho by Reuven Rubin hangs high up in the Relationship Corner of our living room. We also have “Lucky Bamboo” in the maroon wall pocket.

That story is a big part of the reason I decided to be come a feng shui professional. I knew from my own experience that feng shui worked, and that I was good at it. I, like many gay men, have an intuitive experience of interiors—and I know that’s part of the reason I have a good reputation for helping people create feng shui interiors that don’t look feng shui’d—they just look good, and feel great, and by golly, that influences people.

The punch line of this article is that there is no difference in feng shui for gay or straight people—how could there be! Different as we may be in some areas, we’ll all still human energy, and that’s what feng shui sets about to influence. That being said, if gay people use gender specific imagery in the Relationship Corner, the two beings should be the same gender, if the different genders are usually visually obvious. For instance, two bride dolls would be perfectly appropriate in the Relationship Corner of a lesbian home. My husband inherited this “David & Jonathan” print from his late partner. We both love it and it hangs in the Relationship Corner of our home.

 

 

 

 

Save

Feng Shui & Grief

Recently, a client called me and I could immediately tell that her voice sounded different. After a few sentences of greeting, she broke down and told me that her bird had died that day. The bird had been her companion for almost two decades. Here’s the advice I gave her:

Our darling cat Camo passed away a few years ago, but my love for her has never faded.

Our darling cat, Camo, passed away a few years ago, but my love for her has never faded.

For the first two months after a dear one has died, put their picture in a prominent, respectful place in the home. If possible, frame the picture and flank it with flowers and low lighting. The idea is to make it look almost like an altar. The reasoning is that if the spirit of the departed one happens to see their image in the home, they would realize that they were loved and cherished and sorely missed. The low lighting should be left on at night because that’s often the time when a spirit might be wandering around. (Yes, feng shui definitely proceeds under the assumption that there are indeed spirits that we can’t see.) For good measure, write the name of the person or pet on a piece of stiff paper and put that with the picture. Handwrite it as nicely as you can; the paper can be plain or fancy, but it should be nice paper. If you have your loved one’s ashes, they can also go with the picture.

When the two months have passed, dismantle the “altar.” The picture can go in a scrapbook or be displayed openly in your home, according to your preference. Ashes can be returned to the earth or water or kept respectfully in your home. Some people put the ashes in a beautiful container, but it’s okay if they are in a simple box. If the ashes are in a closet, they should be on a shelf that is at least as high as your heart, not a low shelf. This is a way of continuing to show respect.

Grief is not to be suppressed. It’s natural and healthy, and with this technique it’s put to productive use.

Save

Save

Feng Shui and the Art of Leaving—The Yin Aspect of Moving

Before you leave, be sure to clean the windows thoroughly.

The future is yang and the past is yin. What is new (for you) is yang and what is old is yin. When a person moves to a different home, the future home is usually what is emphasized. That’s understandable, but the future is built upon the past, so it’s important to give proper consideration to the old home that is being left behind. The basic rule is to always leave a place nicer than when you moved in. That will make it much more likely that the next place you move to will feel like an improvement.

Leave in place any hidden feng shui cures such as tiny mirrors, because (if they stay in place) they will benefit the future resident. But the main thing about leaving is to clean the old home thoroughly—and I mean thoroughly. This is not just politeness; it’s a way to insure that the new home will be satisfactory. Leaving and arriving are like the yin and yang sides of the same coin. If the yin part is done well, the yang part will fall into place nicely.

Here I am installing a tiny mirror as a feng shui cure. It’s exposed, so remove it when leaving. If you are selling a home, never leave obviously oddball things around. They say to potential buyers, “Something is wrong here.” Renters should probably remove visible cures in order to get their full deposit back.

Here I am installing a tiny mirror as a feng shui cure. It’s exposed, so remove it when leaving. If you are selling a home, never leave obviously oddball things around. They say to potential buyers, “Something is wrong here.” Renters should probably remove visible cures in order to get their full deposit back.

I have no intention of ever moving from our Kona home, but I’ve moved many times in my life. My mother told me that she moved a good bit while she was pregnant with me, and that is considered to be an indicator that the offspring will move around a lot. Even before I practiced feng shui, I intuitively knew that it was right to clean the old home—not just for the deposit, and not just for the good karma—but because it felt right to do that to a place that had sheltered me.

Once you’ve left the old home and are arriving at the new home, introduce yourself (full name) three times, and also express verbal gratitude in whatever way feels appropriate to you. If a name comes to you intuitively as the name of the home, feel free to use that name when referring to your home. I recommend Carole Hyder’s excellent book Conversations With Your Home for anyone who is moving (and also for those who are staying put, like me).

Save

Save

Save

Save

Is Clear Englebert Your Real Name?

This is my school picture from 1960 when I was about 9 years old and still called Bitty.

Well, yes it is. It’s on my driver’s license and Social Security card, but it’s not on my birth certificate from 1951. I was named Clarence after my maternal grandfather, Clarence Twitty, and my middle name was Robert after my father, Robert William Englebert. But nobody called me either of those two names because they belonged to other people. When my parents brought me home from the hospital, they introduced me to my two brothers as “Little Bitty Bob” and thereafter I was “Bitty Bob” or just plain “Bitty.” I was Bitty all the way through the fourth grade, but when I transferred to a larger school I felt that I should have a more official name. By that time my grandfather had passed away, so it seemed okay to take that name—but I never identified with it. It always seemed like my grandfather’s name, and my family still called me Bitty.

In 1980 I was living in rural Tennessee, and my neighbor—a dear friend from high school—was also a lawyer. He mentioned that in Tennessee it only cost $5 to change your first name. He did the paperwork for free, so it really did only cost $5 for me to get Clear for a first name. I liked Clear because it kept a little bit of Clarence, but it felt more like me.

clear_circa1979

This photo was taken by my friend Roy Simmons, in my solar underground house in Tennessee, around the time I legally changed my first name to Clear.

The main feng shui concern about first names is that they be spelled as ordinarily as possible—otherwise some chi energy is going to miss you. If a person’s first name is spelled oddly, it’s a bit like having the front door of the house on the back side.

It’s probably a good thing that I changed from Clarence; otherwise people might confuse me with my colleague Clarence Lau, the number-one Compass School feng shui consultant in Hawaii. Hawaii is the only state to have its governor’s mansion feng shui’d and Clarence Lau is the one who did it. I admire him because he’s brilliant, and I’m quite pleased that we frequently see eye-to-eye on feng shui matters. On one occasion, we were discussing Hawaii’s capitol building and we both agreed that it has tragically bad feng shui.

Feng Shui & Holiday Decor

By Daderot (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is an apsara, a Hindu or Buddhist spirit, similar to what Western cultures might call an angel. It has no Christmas association whatsoever and thus can be displayed year-round. Photo by Daderot, via Wikimedia Commons.

Decoration for holidays that occur near the end of the year, such as Christmas & New Years, should not be on display in homes before December 1 nor after January 15—end of story as far as feng shui’s concerned. Don’t I wish!

How often I’ve had to explain to people that their Christmas angel (or Christmas angel collection) shouldn’t be on display in July! They’ll say, “Oh, it’s not a Christmas angel. It’s just an angel.”

By World Journalist (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This nativity angel painted by crèche artist Bill Egan is one of those that someone might try to justify as “just an angel.” It’s not. Photo by World Journalist, via Wikimedia Commons.

Unless you can identify the angel as a particular angel with their own Old Testament name (such as St. Michael), it’s probably a Christmas angel. An exception is a guardian angel picture (with children included) for a child’s room.

Angels from non-Western cultures are fine any time of year because they are never associated with Christmas.

Items associated with a long-past holiday hold you back in the past and stymie your progress with future projects. The items are not a problem if they are put away in a box that’s labeled. Just don’t keep any holiday items on display beyond about two weeks past the holiday. That’s any holiday, any time of year.

Photo by www.personalcreations.com.

Live or faux greenery (that’s actually green, not dried) is suitable for all times of the year, and looks particularly nice during the Christmas season. Photo by www.personalcreations.com.

The good news is that fresh evergreen plant material, which is so appropriate this time of year, is fine in feng shui. The only plant material that is a problem in feng shui is old dried plants and flowers—like lei or wedding bouquets. If you are keeping them for sentimental reasons, box them and label the box.

Save

Save