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Feng Shui

Looking for Love? Try the Southwest Corner in Yellow


Question: I have had difficulty attracting and keeping a suitable significant other. Is there some element of feng shui that I can try in my home to help?


Via e-mail

Answer: You're not the only person wondering about this. Linda in Gardena asked about finding "better companionship" and Anonymous in Los Angeles wanted to know if feng shui could be used to "attract one's soul mate."

The answer is yes, but.

Yes, there are ways feng shui can help lure that certain someone you're longing to know. But before you begin using feng shui, you must pay attention to who you are and what you have to offer.

Your personality, your way of responding to other people and your ability to be genuinely and generously interested in them will matter more than any mystical assistance you call upon.

Are you a good listener and an empathetic friend? Do you have a sense of humor about yourself in addition to your ability to laugh at the world in general? Are you fairly comfortable with who you are?

In short: Are you good company and fun to be with?

If you're fine on all those counts, and your grooming habits are fine (don't forget to check your teeth for spinach after lunch!), then go ahead with feng shui.

Your bedroom is the place to start because it has the most powerful influence on your personal life and is vital for creating potent feng shui relationship enhancements.

Get out your compass and find the southwest area of the room. If your southwest corner harbors an overflowing laundry hamper or the chair on which you toss clothes, books, old pizza cartons or other debris, clean it up.

That could be part of your problem. Turn this part of your room into place of beauty and serenity.

In classical feng shui, the southwest governs relationships of all kinds, from business and romantic partnerships to the bond between a mother and child. The number 2 (as in partnership) is symbolic here also.

Yellow is the corresponding color, with that general southwestern spectrum from rich cream to deep, sunset orange.

Keep it simple as you think about ways to incorporate this significant number and these colors in your southwestern corner. You might add a vase with two yellow tulips.

As a higher-maintenance enhancement, but a deeply symbolic one, consider a pair of canaries.

You can incorporate important photographs, paintings or other art. Numerous men and women have told me they've had excellent results from using romantic images from art. Gustave Klimt's "The Kiss" comes immediately to mind.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you enjoy looking at and living with. Give it a few weeks and see what happens.

In a future column I'll be discussing relationship enhancements for the office.

The Sign of 4 Is the Word for Death

Q: We just bought a new house and will be moving in a couple of weeks. Here's the deal. The house's address is 4153. A four, in numerology, is a number for both death and wealth.


Via e-mail

Answer: Interesting question. Just after I read yours, I received a second e-mail, from Kristina, asking about death and the number 4 and numerology.

In much of feng shui, numbers have significance based on Cantonese language and custom. For example: You are right about number 4. Many Chinese wish to avoid homes with addresses containing that number because si, the word for "death," is the same as si, the word for "number 4."

Number 8, on the other hand, sounds like the word for "prosperity" and is considered very auspicious. Eight is used on happy occasions, especially at weddings, where large red 88s convey wishes for double prosperity to the bride and groom.

Apart from these language-related customs, there is significance to numbers in the practice of classic compass-school feng shui.

The Lo Shu "Magic Square" is a grid with nine numbers arranged as on a tick-tack-toe diagram, with 4, 9 and 2 across the top, 3, 5 and 7 across the middle and 8, 1 and 6 across the bottom.

Any way you add these numbers--vertically, horizontally or in a diagonal line--they total 15, the number of days it takes the new moon to become a full moon.

These numbers can be used in combination with the ba-gua, the octagonal feng shui chart to delve more deeply into the secrets of feng shui.

They are used to calculate auspicious dates and even one's lucky direction, although the calculations are complicated and tedious. Luckily, they're done for you every year and published in the Chinese annual almanac, the Tong Shu, which you can probably find at a good bookstore or your local library.

If you'd like to know more about the magic square and its uses, see Lillian Too's book, "Applied Feng Shui."

Algebra Surrenders Its Mysteries to Proper Chi

Q: I am a middle school math teacher. Perhaps you have insights regarding the placement of furniture in a classroom to promote higher student results.


Mission Viejo

A: I don't remember much about my middle-school math, but I do remember how important focus and energy were to learning it.

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