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Feng Shui for the Rest of Us: Basic Numberology


Along with colors and arrangement, one thing to consider when designing a room is numberology. Numbers have specific meaning in Feng Shui, and items used in certain quantities will affect the Chi, or energy, of a space.
It is easy to understand that in decorating a room, one item alone in a room has a different feel than a display of a group of items. In a normally busy room such as the living room, less may be more. In a quiet room such as an office, groups may encourage or inspire. In Chinese numerology and Feng Shui, this idea is expanded to include associations with Yin amp; Yang and the Five Elements, as well as the eight areas of the Bagua.


The basic reason for defining numbers as “lucky” or “unlucky” is because of their spoken sound. The number 4 sounds in Cantonese like the word for “death,” and so is unlucky. In turn, the number 13 is unlucky because its digits add up to 4. The number 8 sounds like the word for “prosperity,” so a number ending in 8 is lucky, and a combination of 8s (888) extremely so.

When used in design, the application of numbers coincides with Yin amp; Yang and the Elements. The numbers are 1-9, as represented in the Luo-Shu Grid, or “magic square.” Even numbers are Yin in character. They slow energy and add stability to an area. Odd numbers have Yang characteristics – they add energy and contrast, and promote fun and creativity. The use of both even and odd numbers in decor balance a room. Two matching pillows complete a single couch – three is too busy, and one lacks the needed effect to make the couch seem inviting.

Each of the numbers 1-9 have specific meaning as well as associated Elements.

1- indicates solitude and is associated with the Water Element.
2- is intimate, indicative of partnerships and relationships, and has Earth qualities.
3- as in Trinity, represents the union of man, Heaven, and Earth, or of body, mind, and spirit. It is an active number, inviting Fire energy, but also has Wood qualities.
4- promotes stability and safety, using Earth or Wood energy.
5- social and creative, it encourages excitement and has Earth qualities.
6- is familial, as Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, Mother, oldest Son and oldest Daughter. Its element is Metal.
7- is spiritual in nature and encourages meditation and intuition using the Metal Element.
8- promotes abundance, and like the eight sides of the Bagua, harmony. It reflects the Earth Element.
9- represents completion, and also the beginning of new journeys. It falls under the Fire Element.

Applying numbers to a room in these various groupings, either by furniture arrangement or other decoration, will affect the aura of a room and can balance uneven energy levels specific to a place or to a need in your personal life. The proper usage of groupings can pull or push Chi in the needed direction and make your home feel more inviting.

Feng Shui Chic, by Sharon Stasney
Chinese Numerology, www.handresearch.com/numerology

I know you want more tips on decorating your home. For my next post, I’ll be writing about the important ideas for dining room, including some tips on how to properly look for your perfect

wooden dinnerware.

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