by Carol C. Wheelock
I'm not sure how to orient the bagua on my house. Is the mouth of chi my front door or the door I most often use?
Holly L., Lebanon, NH
The mouth of chi is very important because it is the main way that chi, or energy, enters any space. Although there are some feng shui practitioners who feel otherwise, I believe very strongly that the mouth of chi is your front door as the architect and/or builder intended it to be.
What is significant is why people don't use their front doors. In New England many people use the weather as an excuse to enter through other doors. There's mud season, snow, wet boots, etc. to consider. Most homes are still designed so that the functional mudroom is near the back or side door (although I have been in a few homes lately that have the mudroom near a regularly used front door). The front door tends to lead to a more formal entry, one that does not lend itself as easily to the fall-out of the elements.
I believe there is more to it than that. While I do acknowledge that there is a practical consideration, especially in inclement weather, I also believe there is another more subtle reason. In New England, the front door is traditionally used for guests or formal occasions. It's as though the front door is reserved for others and that we are not good enough to use our own front doors. So we wait for others to show up and use it a few days out of the year. When friends and neighbors do come to visit, they frequently use the back or side door. Consequently, the front door sits there unused.
Many people enter their houses through cluttered garages. The feng shui adage "What you first see most affects your chi" is very relevant here. If you enter through a space that is cluttered, filled with unfinished projects, and other reminders of all that you have to do, you will automatically feel overwhelmed before you even get into your house. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary. Honor yourself and enter through your front door, even if it means parking your car and then walking around to the front. You will be surprised how differently it feels!
The front door tells a lot about the people who live in a house. Sometimes the formal entry gets used for storage. A front door that is blocked on the inside often symbolizes an unwillingness to let the new in. This can refer to people, ideas, opportunities, and more.
Looking at the front door from the outside is also very significant. Is it clear where the front door is? Is there a clear path to the door? Has vegetation been trimmed so that the front door is visible? Is the eye drawn to the door? What attracts you visually will also attract chi. Is your front door attracting what you say you want in life?
Feng shui is about flow and energy. When a space in your house is not used, there is no flow there. The energy around unused front doors tends to stagnate. Whenever I go to a house with an unused front door, there is always some kind of problem that involves a lack of flow of energy to some aspect of the residents' lives.
The front door is also significant because it determines which way the bagua is oriented. For those who are new to feng shui, the bagua is a template or grid that is superimposed upon any space. The areas of the bagua correspond to areas of your life: prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships, creativity and children, helpful people and travel, career, self-knowledge and introspection, health and family, and the center which reflects your feeling of balance and is represented by the tai chi (yin and yang) symbol.
When you superimpose the bagua on your house, the front door will fall in self-knowledge, career, or helpful people. If your front door is in the center of your house, it is in the career area and will affect career opportunities and whether or not you are doing what you are supposed to be doing in life. If the door is to the left, it is in the self-knowledge and introspection area. This is about taking the time to know yourself, spending time with and for yourself, self-reflection, and personal growth. If the door is to the right it is in the helpful people and travel section. This will impact your support system and travel opportunities
A clear path to the door, sturdy steps, attractive plantings or decorations, and a functioning doorbell or knocker are the first steps to attracting good healthy chi to your front door and, therefore, to your life. The second step is to keep this area free of clutter on the inside. The third step, which may be the most important, is to use the front door!
If you are still convinced that it is too inconvenient, make a commitment to use it at least once a week. When you go in and out that door, do so with intention. Keep in mind what it is you are inviting into your life by using that door. Remember to express gratitude as you notice a shift in energy.
Carol C. Wheelock, M.Ed. of Feng Shui Vermont is a certified feng shui practitioner who has studied in the United Sates and China. She practices Black Sect or western feng shui. Carol does private consultations for homes, schools, libraries, and businesses; clutter counseling and clearing; spaces clearings; phone consultations; presentations; and teaches workshops throughout the United States. She also does personal clearings.