Opening Feng Shui Window

Let's start with a confession. Although I got the timing right for the opening of Elixir's doors, I had zero time,energy or opportunity to sit down with Terry and have a real discussion about our first window display.

It's true. With all that it took to move from my old office to the new one, the discussion just didn't happen, even though we'd planned on doing this for years.

There are times in life when the flow of events is so powerful that all you can do is surf them and trust the perfection of it all. The beginning of May 2009 was just such a time for me.

In the interests of the educational dimensions of transparency, I thought it would be a good lesson for all of us to let it be as it was and observe what happened.

How did things turn out?

Elixir Feng Shui Window 1 Exterior

Monday, May 11, 2009


7th day of Li Xia

Ji/Yin Earth
Cho/Yin Earth (Ox) Year

Ji/Yin Earth
Si/Yang Fire (Snake) Month

Bing/Yang Fire
Chen/Yang Earth (Dragon) Day

Jia/Yang Wood
Wu/Yin Fire (Horse) Hour

I chose to open Elixir on the 7th day of the solar month of Li Xia. I chose the configuration of the energy of this day to balance my own personal feng shui.

I also chose this day because it was a Fire Dragon day. Since the Tiburon Peninsula is also a Fire Dragon, the opening ceremony created positive sympathetic qi with this location.

To strengthen this positive relationship, I opened the doors of Elixir and treated my first patient here during the hour that embodied the Celestial Qi of Yang Wood and the Terrestrial Qi of Yin Fire. Since Wood feeds Fire in the cycle of 5 Elements, this was a symbolic act of feeding the Fire Dragon.

To further emphasize this relationship of feeding the Fire Dragon, I chose the first patient very carefully. Her personal feng shui is Fire Dragon.

What about the window?

Li Xia means that the energy of summer is just beginning to come up. This year's Li Xia month embodied the energies of Ji in the Celestial Qi and Si in the Terrestrial Qi.

Ji is Yin Earth. It's like a small house, or the soil of a garden.

Si is Yang Fire. It's like the Sun and the sky.

When you break the energy of Si into its hidden Celestial Stems, what you get is Wu, Bing and Geng.

Wu is Yang Earth. It's like a big mountain, or like the Earth itself.

Bing is Yang Fire. Again, it's like the Sun and the sky.

Geng is Yang Metal. It's like a tool. It's also the energy of detail and technical work done with great precision.

The Window

The central feature of the window was Terry's wonderful twig nest with three ostrich eggs. Those three ostrich eggs embodied the quality of Fire that was being born. Yang Fire is big fire. The ostrich is the biggest bird alive today, yet it is grounded because it doesn't fly. Even though it's a bird, it has an earthy physiognomy. So this nest captured the essence of Earth, Fire and the beginning of something big and new in a beautiful and very specific way.

To the right rear was a White Hydrangea. This plant was so magnificent that many people didn't think it was real. I found that very interesting. The white hydrangea changed from white…

Elixir Feng Shui Window White Hydrangea

to green before our eyes over the course of about two weeks!

Elixir Feng Shui Window Green Hydrangea

This reflected a transition from receiving the energy of Ji to feeding the energy of Si during this time.

Next to the hydrangea was a Caladium on the center left. I was happy with this choice as it embodied in a single moment the transition the Hydrangea went through above.

The Caladium also has a Fire-shaped leaf, which brings out more of the Firey quality we were after. It also picks up some of the counter-spiraling feng shui designs that I've set up in the Elixir space.

I want to make a special note here on the use of plants and flowers in feng shui and specifically at Elixir. It's been incredible to observe the motions of the plants that I've placed at Elixir since I've been here. Plants move a lot. Each of the plants that I've placed here has adjusted itself in the most interesting and personality-filled ways…

Elixir's Giant Philodendron

One of the finest plant dances was with a small green orchid that I placed on the reception table. At first it swiveled itself to face the Quan Yin statue in Elixir's waiting room for a few days...

Elixir- Green Orchid Faces Quan Yin

Then it turned to face a small window...

Elixir's Feng Shui- Green Orchid Faces Window

Finally, it spun around again in the opposite direction to face exactly the front door. I wish I had a stop-action film of this entire sequence. It was amazing to behold…

Elixir- Green Orchid Faces Door

This first Elixir window was completed by an herbal sculpture installation by local Zen poetess Sabine Miller…

Elixir- Sabine Miller's Magic Figurines

These three figures have a great deal of wisdom and soul in them. They are precision tools of Earth magic. They found their way into the window several times through different hands. Very oblique, very Zen.

However it happened, I'm glad they arrived. The angle of these figures pulled in the energy of Gen, the Mountain Gua. The apparent motion of the figures created resonance with wisdom on an abstract level and with the towering mountain of Corinthian Island across Main Street. Corinthian Island is a very important influence that I include in Elixir's feng shui calculations at every opportunity.

Terry didn't know any of this on a conscious level as he set up the window. It just came out this way. To me, it's even more satisfying when things come together naturally than if they're planned out too much. In this case it worked out brilliantly.

This month's basic feng shui framework

The basic qualities we had to work with this month were the beginning of summer, Yin Earth and Yang Fire. Secondarily they were Yang Earth and Yang Metal, with an extra emphasis on Yang Fire.

Because of the situation at hand, in the case of Elixir's opening, we also had the energy of a birth.

I designed the entire scenario to balance my own personal feng shui.

How would I express the feng shui of this situation?

Li Xia- summer is just rising. What embodies the birth of fire?

Ji/Yin Earth. What expresses the energy of a small house, or the soil of a garden?

Si/Yang Fire. What carries the energy of the Sun and the sky?

Wu/Yang Earth. Think of a big mountain, or the Earth itself.

Bing/Yang Fire. More Yang Fire, so we need to at least double this quantity in our display. Again, it's like the Sun and the sky.

Geng/Yang Metal. Tools. Detail. Precision.

Discussion about this month's window

This was covered above. The only other point I would add comes from the question of where the energy of Geng resides in the display.

It's in the nest. The eggs are the letting go aspect of Geng expressed in the beautiful context of Ji. Also, the amazing precision of Terry's technique in crafting this nest speaks volumes of Geng. It embodies a level of mastery that can only be achieved through a lifetime of aesthetic discipline.

Take home lesson

Above all, I would say the lesson for this month is that no matter how much you plan, sometimes the wave of events is just too big to do exactly what you want to do. So ride it and observe what happens. Often times this wave is exactly the response from your intention revealing itself.

Back to Elixir's Feng Shui Window Displays Gallery

Elixir's John Mini

John Mini, M.S.C.M./ L.Ac.

Elixir of Belvedere-Tiburon