(This is an article that I wrote in a column for the Sun Daily newspaper).
To the Chinese people, water is associated with wealth. When cash is tight, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase, “Water is tight” to describe the dire cash flow situation!
In Feng Shui, water is also associated with wealth. Hence the belief that water in the right places or approaching from the right directions brings wealth. Conversely, if your water is all wrong, then the consequence is dire. This is of course an over-simplification and in this article I will explain the usage of water in Feng Shui.
Water can be large e.g. pond, lake or river or small e.g. indoor aquarium, water fountain or drains. As we would expect, large water has a greater impact on our luck and this is why Feng Shui practitioners pay a lot of attention to rivers and lakes in the vicinity of the house. For water to be effective, it must be clean and not stagnated. In the case of flowing water like a river, the flow should also be slow and meandering. A fast flowing river and especially one that runs straight can be considered a sha!
The potential of a house can be enhanced by having the appropriate forms at the facing and sitting. Most houses will benefit from having water at the facing side (and mountain at the sitting side). Water in the form of a river or lake can enhance the wealth potential of a house. Even pseudo water form like a field or playground at the facing side works which is why a house with a lake view or facing a playground is more in demand Feng Shui wise.
Water is primarily used as an activator. In Feng Shui theory the “qi” and its quality within and outside the house can be computed using a formula. For example a sector may be good for wealth luck, another good for celebrations or happy events. Yet another may be good for career luck. Activating these sectors with water will increase the luck of the occupants of the house in these areas.
Conversely there are sectors influenced by bad energy. Activating these areas will activate the negative energy and cause bad luck for the occupants. This is why water in the wrong place can cause dire consequence.
From my observations, small water inside the house like an indoor water fountains are rarely the culprit. The problem is more likely caused by the large water body outside the house e.g. river, lake or swimming pool.
In Feng Shui theory, it is favorable if water e.g. river flows in from an auspicious sector and flows out from an inauspicious sector. These auspicious and auspicious sectors are determine from the house facing direction and sometimes other factors such as time.
In urban areas, roads take over the role of rivers and Feng Shui practitioners have to take the flow and traffic of the roads around a house into consideration. The application is the same as for rivers. If there is steady traffic, then there is activation – positive or negative. If there is hardly any traffic, then little activation. If traffic is very heavy and fast flowing like a busy highway, it becomes a sha!
In the Xuan Kong school of Feng Shui, it is highly auspicious in this period to have water in the south-west. Other sectors such as north, east and south-east are also acceptable. So if you are planning to build a huge swimming pool and not planning to seek the services of a practitioner, I would suggest you locate it in one of the above sectors!