Feng Shui For You And Your Cat, by Alison Daniels. (Watson-Guptill Publications)
I admit it – I opened this book with the mild trepidation of a person happily bogged down by modern-day practically and spiritual wariness. Was I expected to believe that rearranging my furniture, burning incense, and filling bowls with rock salt was going to persuade the “power that be” to find favorably on my family and me? Would dangling crystals from strategically positioned windows ward off negative energy?
Every naysayer needs a cajoling voice, someone to click the left brain into the off position and jimmy the hatch on the feasibility floodgates. Alison Daniels was my mahatma, enlightening me on the fascinating world of feng shui while filling me in on my very own purring practitioner’s role in the ancient art of energy management.
Daniels aptly introduces feng shui as, “the ancient Chinese art of harmonizing the environment to create the best circumstances in which luck can operate.” Chi – the electromagnetic energy force that flows throughout the universe – creates a yin and yang which, in laymen’s terms, translate to restive and rushed. Yin and Yang, in turn, create tao, the ultimate state in which both energies are in harmony. Here’swhere your cat puts the meow in tao. Not only does he inherently promote sheng chi (the good stuff), but he’s also a formidable foe in the face of sha chi (the bad stuff), converting the latter into more positive energy and thereby benefiting you, the home’s inhabitant.
In addition to outlining the feng shui decorating principles of sparse furnishings, curved line, and natural light, Daniels suggests studying where your cat routinely sets up shop. Armed with his favorite haunts, you can then compare them to the provided illustration of the pa kua, the octagonal compass that identifies the eight enrichment areas within your home, such as wealth, love life, career, and family. Is he frequently curled up on the sofa in the southwest corner of your home? Ignoring your cryptic kitty’s incessant presence in this particular corner is a spiritual faux-pas punishable by a stagnant love life. Or if he tends to hang out in the northern corner, perhaps he’s hinting that your career could use a little attention. Auspicious home and garden design ideas that will remedy any corner lacking in its intended enrichment are included throughout.
Despite the book’s entertaining and persuasive initiative into feng shui, Daniels herself admits that the recommendations should not be taken to literally or seriously. Experimentation with an open mind is encouraged and, if you’re still not convinced of the plausibility of the ancient art, “all you have to lose is clutter.”