The woman who sent me this photo says she and her husband bought the house, intending to live there for the rest of their lives. The central beam you can see in this photo runs the length of the building, with smaller beams branching off at right angles along its entire length.
After only a month of living there she says the deterioration in her health is shocking. She’s had infections, and suffers headaches and memory loss. Her children have also become less well behaved. She’s seriously concerned they’ve made a mistake.
The reason why beams are such a feng shui no-no is because they dissect the energy of a space. The sharper they are, the more acute this effect, which is known in feng shui as ‘cutting chi’. Many people are sensitive enough to feel this on the top of their head when walking under beams, especially the sharper type that this house has. But the real problems start when spending extended periods of time immobile under beams, such as sitting on a sofa to watch TV, sitting at a desk to work, standing in a kitchen to cook, or lying in bed to rest or sleep. Daily prolonged exposure of this type can cause health problems in whichever part of the body is directly in line with the cutting chi. Sharp beams are also known to cause irritation, arguments, disorientation and feeling fragmented.
Low beams, such as the ones you can see here in the photo of the kitchen, accentuate these effects and can feel very oppressive. Spending time standing under them may result in feelings of frustration or hopelessness, and can even lead to depression. It will be very challenging to cook nourishing meals in this space. This is typically a situation where a family tends to live on fast food, takeaways or eating out, because unconsciously they want to use the kitchen as little as possible or avoid it altogether.
In my space clearing workshops, as part of teaching people how to perceive energies in rooms, I show them how to feel the cutting chi that emanates from the sharp corners of furniture or walls. Most people can easily sense it with their hands if they’re shown how. It’s very tangible indeed. And the part of your subtle body structure that is affected by chi (your etheric) feels this all the time, whether you’re aware of it or not.
So what’s my advice to anyone living in a house like this? If you comb through feng shui books you’ll find all kinds of cures suggested, such as bamboo flutes, or images of birds, balloons or angels. The idea is that they counteract the oppressiveness of the beams by inducing an uplifting effect, but I’ve never found them to be very effective, and certainly not with such extensive cutting chi as in this house.
Another solution would be to hang fabric canopies over the beams, but these usually look messy, are difficult to take down and clean, and would be extremely difficult and costly to hang throughout an entire home. A small canopy can sometimes work if the beams are only in a bedroom, but a better long-term remedy would be to buy a four-poster canopy bed.
The only solution in this case would be to cover all the beams with flat panels. Or sell the house and find one that doesn’t have beams, which is probably the best solution of all. In the meantime, I would recommend at least hanging canopies over sleeping areas to get some respite from the beams during the hours of the night.
I’m always very reluctant to give feng shui advice from a distance. There is so much I cannot see from just looking at photos. So before making a life-changing decision of this kind, I would strongly recommend seeking advice from a competant local feng shui consultant who can visit to make an onsite assessment. There is also another article I’ve written on this topic that you may like to read.
More about beams
Beams, beams, beams
Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2011