Feng Shui Book Review: Pure Feng Shui by Joey Yap

Both my parents were schoolteachers, and I’m a great believer in lifetime learning. I’m always looking for feng shui books I’ve never read. I recently got Joey Yap’s Pure Feng Shui which, although it is Compass School, still has some excellent information I haven’t seen elsewhere. In most cases the pictures don’t relate to the text, but if he doesn’t have a problem with that, I’m not going to either. I’m very used to feng shui books with meaningless color pictures. I’m just relieved to see that there are no crushed pillows (see my previous blog post) anywhere in the book.

Pair of mandarin ducks.jpg

Pair of Mandarin Ducks. Wikimedia Commons by © Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0

Yap doesn’t advocate “lucky objects” such as mandarin ducks, but he’s usually even-handed about it: “Most of the New Age feng shui love trinkets are probably drawn from Chinese culture, superstition, or artistic symbolism. Mandarin ducks for example culturally symbolize marital bliss because the ducks swim in pairs. If you buy into this idea, then, logically, you don’t have to use ducks. A pair of any monogamous animals will do—such as lizards, emperor penguins, or vultures, since all these animals mate for life. I have no problem with symbolism, not with the practice of psyching yourself up.”

The Entertainer

Photo by BARRETT STUDIO architects via Houzz


One important thing I learned from this book that I will carry on into my practice is not to have a stove on a kitchen island. If he just said “don’t do it,” I would take that with a grain of salt, but happily he gives reasons: “The stove should always be placed against a solid wall. When you have a stove on an island, it has no rear support, is unstable, and is exposed to sha qi. This is especially the case if the back of the stove faces the kitchen entrance.” Sha qi is the same as shar chi (cutting energy), and in this case I think he means the problematic chi that can circle around an island like a whirlwind.

He also says the kitchen should not be smack in the center of the home. The rationale is that the center should be “quiet, peaceful, and yin in nature. A kitchen is regarded as a very yang feature, and when it is located in the center of the home it causes the qi in the house to be disruptive, resulting in malingering health and frequent illness.” To this I will add that kitchens with windows simply feel right.

I very much like what he says about Landform feng shui, which is the kind of feng shui that I practice: “Landforms can be used to reference external landforms (real mountains, hills, or contours in the land and real water) or internal landforms, which relate to sharp corners, beams, or sloping features within the interior of a property.” Yap is a prolific writer and I will definitely check out more of his books.

6 thoughts on “Feng Shui Book Review: Pure Feng Shui by Joey Yap

  1. Mar says:

    Placing the stove against a solid wall means that the cook will be positioned with their back exposed. Doesn’t this run counter to the principle that we should place ourselves in a commanding position?
    Thank you


  2. clearenglebert says:

    Joey Yap doesn’t seem to take that into consideration at all! I consider it vital. It is possible to have the stove against a solid wall and be in an empowered position—but it means the stove has to be against the entrance wall to the kitchen. That’s extremely limiting for kitchen design! If I had to choose between an empowered position and having the back of the stove against a solid wall, I’d choose empowered position.


  3. Kim says:

    Hi Clear
    I have been enjoying reading 2 of your books on Kindle. Yes, you do pack a lot of useful info in them! I have a few other Feng shui books and have read many blogs on Feng shui but no one else has ever mentioned stripes and strife! and all this time I had an obviously striped rug in the relationship gau!! I have since removed it so will keep you updated on how that has affected relationships for me.
    So anyway. I have a downdraft stove, meaning the fan is below the stovetop pulling air down and out. I guess symbolically thats not good since heat should rise. and it is in the area between fame and relations, but it is in the empowered position as I can see anyone coming from either the front or back entrance. Unfortunately despite having replaced broken items on it there is still a back burner that doesn’t work..is there a fix I can do in the meantime?? Thanks Clear!!


  4. clearenglebert says:

    Maybe it’s time for some tiny dots of red paint. One dot on the burner that doesn’t work, and you say out loud, “This burner is working now.” or words to that effect. Another dot on the downdraft vent while saying, “This vent is pulling air up.” Red is used when NOTHING else can be done. It symbolizes that a change has been made when no change was actually feasible. Of course, fix the burner when you can. And never use this red dot cure when safety is an issue.


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