Over the decades I have been asked to write many “Top Ten” Lists, including tips for the bedroom, the kitchen, and the office. People want quick To-Do or To-Don’t list even though classical Feng Shui is more nuanced and individualized than what most Feng Shui fans realize.
Here, I’m sharing a few of the oddest feng shui consulting experiences after reviewing more than 6,000 properties.
Ordinary Vs. Extraordinary
The majority of homes and businesses are rather ordinary, possessing both positive and negative qualities. I have seen extremely bad Feng Shui and extreme architecture, but that is rare compared to the thousands of commonplace situations I have assessed. For example, after reviewing more than 6,000 properties, I have only encountered a triangular shaped house no more than a dozen times. Some of the oddest architecture I have reviewed have been homes in New Mexico, including more than one house designed to resemble a spacecraft.
In my early days of professional practice, back in the mid-1990’s, I had memorable clients who were more peculiar than their feng shui, and I mentioned some of these outlandish experiences in my first book, Feng Shui for Skeptics. I’ll never forget the delusional prostitute who wanted me to suggest bad feng shui applications for her home, to intentionally make her clients feel uncomfortable. I questioned my physical safety and left her home as quickly as possible. In contrast, I have also seen bad people want and benefit from good feng shui!
Another weird, but comical experience was when the publisher of a tabloid magazine answered his door without pants on, while his matronly wife scolded him in the background to get dressed before answering the door.
Eccentricities and Extremes
I have had my share of hoarders as clients, where the sheer volume of clutter and filth necessitated that I talk about de-cluttering and not just stick to my area of expertise.
Additionally, some very nice folks have had unexpected features to their homes, such as: stripper poles, a firefighter sliding pole going from a child’s bedroom to the foyer below, toilets in the garage or in the living room. One doesn’t need formal Feng Shui training to sense when these things are out of place.
One time I had a female client who had a painting over her bed with big bold lettering screaming “Listen to me!” and she wondered why relationships were not going well. Another couple had a painting in their dining room of a Nazi youth fight scene. Even people who are new to Feng Shui usually have a notion that its purpose is to enhance harmony and peace of mind. You would think these people wouldn’t need me to point out that their “conflict art” could be undermining that goal.
One household had an aquarium in every single room of the home. This was not done for Feng Shui purposes; and it should be known that water can be placed in the wrong locations as much as the right locations. This home also had locks on every interior door and closet, and surveillance cameras in each room. The house had many glass display cases filled with watches and sunglasses. I didn’t know if this was legitimate overflow inventory for their business or if these were stolen goods. At the very least, there was some kind of OCD situation going on and /or a very paranoid individual.
I’ve seen homes with a multitude of bad feng shui issues, where no one single flaw is so horrible, but the combination of them all together could yield a bad result. One example was an odd shaped house on a pie shaped lot, narrowing in the back, at the end of a cul-de-sac, backed up to a noisy freeway and a nearby cemetery. These layers of extreme yin and yang energy are not the norm.
The Non-Obvious Nightmares
I’ve also evaluated homes with simultaneous non-obvious challenges, which would only be evident to the trained practitioner. For instance, right in my old neighborhood I had a client with a lovely architecturally stunning home. However, the house was built during the transition between Period 7 and Period 8 (end of 2003, beginning of 2004) and it was impossible to tell when the majority of the house was complete even after reviewing construction permits. Additionally, this same house had two major compelling “facing” characteristics and it was difficult to know if the house faced North or East.
On top of that, the compass reading for the house on all sides was borderline between the sub-sectors noted in Flying Star Feng Shui. If the house faced East, it was right on the line between East-1 and East-2. If it faced North, it was right on the line between North-1 and North-2. Because of the inconclusive compass reading, the non-obvious facing side, and questionable Construction Period, I could have compared up to 16 different Flying Star charts for one single house. This is on par with an astrologer having to reconcile 16 different birth charts to figure out which is the correct one!
Coincidence or Karma
I have also had strange experiences as a consultant, where a certain level of synchronicity seemed more than just a coincidence. Quite often, I show up wearing clothing the same color(s) as the color theme of my client’s home or matching the colors they are wearing that day. I chalk this up to a strong belief that I have a karmic connection with all my clients. That or the Feng Shui “gods” like to play inside jokes with me.
One time I had two clients on the same day, 60 miles apart and they both had miniature golf courses in their backyards. I’ve also been to the same house more than once by different owners who did NOT know each other to recommend me. One of the weirdest coincidences came one day when two ladies called me hours apart and they both had the same unusual name: Fariba! Naturally, when the second Fariba called me, I thought that I was speaking to the first Fariba until a point where our conversation didn’t make sense and we figured out I had been talking to another Fariba earlier!
All told, practicing Feng Shui has been inspiring work, but often amusing and sometimes disturbing.
Kartar Diamond of Feng Shui Solutions® has a full-scale consultancy, including assistance with property searches, design phase and existing homes and businesses. She is the author of three books, 6 ebooks, 36 Cast Study Lessons and more to come. See the books she’s authored or browse through her online Traditional Feng Shui school.