Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects to achieve harmony in your environment. It translates literally as “wind-water.” Feng shui has long been used to help promote health, relationships, and prosperity, and it works by maximizing positive energy, or chi, in your environment. Feng shui practitioners employ “cures” such as mirrors, wind chimes, and crystals to deflect bad luck; arrange furniture to encourage the free flow of positive energy; and decorate with certain colors to invoke feelings of harmony and peace.
Many wonder if this traditional Asian practice can also increase your chances of getting pregnant. (Comparatively, tons of moms-to-be sure do rely on the Chinese Lunar Calendar to determine their baby’s gender …) Might it work for you? The answer may well be yes.
Traditional Feng Shui Cures
The following traditional feng shui cures have been used in Asian homes for centuries to bring good luck to families who want to have a child:
Outside the home
- Plant a fruit tree—then take good care of it! Fruit trees are an ancient symbol of fertility, and the more fruit your tree produces, the higher your chances of conceiving.
- Remove anything blocking the front door, such as a tree, overgrown bushes, even a car parked in front of your house. The front door is the “mouth of chi,” so blocking the door prevents positive energy from entering your home.
- Add a brass wind chime to your entranceway to welcome energy into your home.
Inside the home
- Keep it “calm”—you might want to put off remodeling the kitchen or starting any other big project while trying to conceive.
- Eliminate “poison arrows,” especially those pointing toward your front door. Poison arrows are corners that make sharp angles, either inside or outside your home, and slash through the power that comes with good chi. If you can’t get rid of them, try to cover them up with plants (this works inside as well as outside).
- Make sure all your plants are well cared for, and get rid of any that have seen better days.
In the bedroom
- Clean up. Clear the clutter from the tops of dressers and pick up the clothes and shoes from the floor. Clutter depletes the positive feng shui energies and thwarts your attempts at conception.
- But don’t clean too much! While the area under your bed should be clean and clutter-free, you don’t want to sweep or vacuum there for fear of disturbing the energy.
- Hang red paper lanterns on either side of the bed to bring a positive influence into the bedroom.
- Put a hollow piece of bamboo in the north section of the bedroom.
- Place a dragon on the man’s side of the bed to increase passion and potency.
- Hang pictures or other decorations in pairs: two birds, two people, two fish, etc. The display of two fish is the symbol of marital union.
- Continue the animal theme and place an elephant—or a group of seven elephants—on your dresser; elephants have long been considered a sign of fertility, and the number seven represents children.
Make It Modern and Meaningful
Linda Varone, a Boston-based feng shui consultant for more than 17 years, says that while many of these traditional cures may help you conceive, people in Western cultures might be uncomfortable with the idea of completely redecorating their homes “to look like a Chinese restaurant.”
Instead, Varone encourages people who do not feel particularly tied to Asian traditions to use symbols with more meaning to them personally. “A photo, a piece of artwork, or a memento might raise your energy more than a traditional Asian symbol,” she says. “I recommend that people use objects that speak directly to them.”
Chart a Course for Children
Varone also suggests that couples superimpose a bagua template over their house or master bedroom and pay particular attention to the child/creativity area. A bagua template is a tool used to map a room or location to see how the different sections of the area correspond to different aspects in one’s life. If you imagine the bagua as a tic-tac-toe grid, the section for children is the right-hand square in the middle row.
“Couples who want to conceive need to look at the bagua map and make sure the child/creativity area of their room is clear of all clutter so they are ready to receive energy in that aspect of their lives,” Varone advises.
Then, they should put a “cure” in that area—a light, a plant, a color. Varone suggests a white flower, since white represents the color of children and a flower symbolizes life. And it doesn’t have to be a rare white orchid; any real flower, a high quality silk flower, or even a photo of a flower would work. Alternatively, you could place a figurine of a baby or family in this area of the bagua.
“The symbol itself is not important,” Varone explains, “but whatever you choose, it has to speak to you. You want to use symbols that are meaningful to you.”
Feng Shui in the Bigger Picture
Finally, while you are seeking to bring a child into your home, you also need to celebrate what you already have. Varone suggests putting up a picture of you and your husband or one of a beautiful, peaceful place to remind yourselves of what you are grateful for.
“Feng shui is more of a guide than a prescription,” Varone says. “It should be viewed as just one of many factors that influence your life and, thus, your fertility.”
Whether you employ a traditional or a modern approach to feng shui, you can use the principles of this ancient practice to achieve a sense of inner harmony and balance in your life—skills that you will need over the long term. Because if you ask any parent, you’ll discover that peace and energy are not only necessary to conceive a child, but to raise one.