FENG SHUI & STAIRCASES
BY JENNY T. LIU, M.A.
Ms. Li has been reading about feng shui. She asks me if it is true when stairs run in line with the main door, it causes money loss. Many people ask about this and I always tell them that this is not necessarily true. First, we must understand what a staircase is before we can know how it affects us. Staircases are made up of many steps, each protruding out as a potential source of danger. When we are not careful, it is easy to stumble or hurt ourselves on the steps. Staircases are also vertical shafts that penetrate through each floor, making a "hole" in the building, especially in high rises. In feng shui, staircases are known as a source of sha chi or potentially harmful or degenerating energy. Therefore, in order to understand what effect it has on us, we must know the residents' birth elements and where the staircase is located. Different people and different stair locations have different effects.
When the stair's mouth lines up with the front door, the influence it has on the residents is not necessarily money loss. For instance, if the resident is born under the dui or the metal element and their door opens to the west the stair's sha chi placed in this direction may cause this person to have respiratory problems or love affairs because the lungs and adultery are associated with the dui or western metal frequencies (from the Yi-Jing or Book of Changes). If the stair aligns with a door that opens to the south or fire energies, its negative energies conflict with the fire frequencies. The resident may likely suffer circulatory problems because the heart is associated with the south and fire. However, if the person involved exercises daily and maintains good health, they may not suffer these problems at all. Apparently, looking only at the staircase is not enough to make a logical conclusion.
In feng shui, the house is analogous to the body. Having a staircase at the center or "heart" of the house is like having a hole pierced or knife stuck in your heart. The residents may feel stressed living in this type of environment. However, this stress may not affect every house member in the same way. For someone who is born under the wood element sleeping in the northwest room, the staircase in the middle of the house may cause them to have headaches or get tired easily. This is because the wood frequency is associated with the liver energies while the northwest is associated with the metal element and the head energies. When these energies are interrupted, they do not function normally. Abnormal liver energies causes one to be prone to temper, stuffiness and quick exhaustion. With or without the staircase in the center, there is already a tendency for headaches and easy exhaustion when the two conflicting energies of wood and metal come together. With the staircase's sha chi compounding the effect, the negativity or symptoms may be worse.
Likewise, when the front of a staircase is aligned with a bedroom door, the effect it has on the person living in this room varies depending on his or her birth element and the location of their bedroom. For instance, if a person born under the gen or northeast earth element sleeping in the northeast room has a staircase directly in front of his or her door, the staircase's negative energy interrupts this person's gen related energies, resulting in arguments, back tension, low energy or sinus allergies.
If this same person had their bedroom in the north which is associated with the water element, having the staircase's opening pointing straight into their room brings a negative source of water frequencies that conflicts with the person's gen or earth frequencies. When earth energies encounter water energies, there is a higher chance for the person to commit adultery, suffer dizziness, back stress, or nasal congestion. Again, these are potential effects, there are other factors to consider before making an accurate conclusion about how the house's feng shui actually influences a person's well-being. In some apartments, there are staircases that cross right over a door. As mentioned earlier, depending on the resident's birth element and direction of the door, there are various possible effects. If the door is opened to the east and the person living inside is born under the kan or water element, having the stair's sha chi suppressing their door or eastern energies places stress or interrupts the associated liver energies. The results of weak liver energies are easy tiredness, emotional agitation and mugginess.
Because the staircase is where people go up and down, the energies are constantly moving. It is best to locate it on the left hand or masculine side when one enters the house. The masculine or "dragon" side contains the energies that guard the constantly changing or moving energies of family relationships, personal activity and health. Placing the staircase, which is also an active source of energy here, puts similar energies together to enhance harmony. To minimize the sha chi of the staircases, they should not be straight, rather they should be curvaceously embracing the energy that comes in from the front door. For safety, they should also be wide and well lit.
Therefore, like Ms. Lee, we need to question "general" rules in feng shui. Because generalities are obviously not always true, they tend to bring about skepticism towards feng shui. We must be careful about what we read and hear piecemeal. Like a jigsaw puzzle, we need to put the pieces together to get a bigger picture that better represents reality.
For those who have studied feng shui in depth understand that there are many levels of feng shui few generalities can be made without misleading people into thinking that the same rule applies to everyone. We are all different and are affected differently by our feng shui. The more factors taken into consideration, the more detailed and accurate the feng shui analysis. Remember, staircases are only ONE factor in feng shui and as you can see, there are numerous variations and conditions to be considered. There are 60 factors involved in making an accurate conclusion about the feng shui of your house and its effect on you.
If you would like to learn more, contact Jenny at (818) 282-9829 or see her Website
Return to the November/December Index page