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.
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.”
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.