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This article is written by Mark Ainley, feng shui consultant with senseofspace.com. Mark shares wise and invaluable insights into the feng shui energetics of mirrors in your home – from specific styles and shapes of good feng shui mirrors to their best placement and even best numbers. Enjoy!
Why are mirrors called the aspirin of feng shui?
Mirrors are among the most popular traditional feng shui decor items applied as feng shui cures. Once rare and quite expensive, mirrors are now easy to buy in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, one should pay attention to some specific feng shui guidelines in order to avoid overusing (or misusing) mirrors.
As much as they can provide support of good feng shui energy, when improperly used, mirrors can also have negative consequences that affect, among other things, your sleep, your body image, and even your thought patterns. Feng shui has many deep layers, all of them affecting your well-being; these 7 feng shui guidelines will help you understand the deeper effects of the feng shui use of mirrors in your home.
Here are 7 feng shui guidelines to consider when using mirrors.
Your mirror reflects your self-image – literally. How you observe yourself physically in the mirror impacts how you see yourself in your consciousness. As a result, it is important that your mirrors be clean and untarnished. Decoratively-tainted or distressed reflective surfaces can prevent you from seeing yourself clearly by superimposing ‘flaws’ on your reflection.
Beveled edges are also best avoided, as these can fracture your image and reflect you in multiple disjointed parts. A clear, clean mirror is good feng shui and helps you better see and appreciate your brilliant self.
A mirror should be placed high enough to fully reflect the tallest person who will use it (this includes potential partners if you’re single). Mirrors that cut you off at the head level can leave you with headaches or disconnected thoughts. If a mirror is positioned too low, you have to stoop down to see yourself – not a confident posture! – and if a mirror is too narrow, you might think you’re taking up too much space and therefore could lose confidence or develop a negative body image.
It is best to avoid face-only mirrors – ideally, both your full head and torso should be visible (women, in particular, should see their bust reflected). Mirrors that are high enough and wide enough so that you can see yourself without feeling crammed in, will help you envision yourself harmoniously connected to your surroundings. And feng shui is all about being in harmony with your surroundings!
Small decorative mirrors – the ones that are too small to reflect your whole face or even your head – are best avoided, as these can leave you feeling “cut up” and can make it challenging to keep things together. When placed horizontally as decorative trays, however, small mirrors can be an excellent feng shui accent, as they duplicate whatever is placed on them. Use them to hold candles, coins, or other decorative items and you will experience more light and glow around your display. Starburst mirrors are also best avoided unless placed so high in a room that they don’t reflect people but rather add light and brilliance to a room.
Mirrors basically show something that is not in their actual physical location (because reflect everything they face). Obviously, this can be a bit disorienting, so big mirrors are best limited to one wall per room. Without 3 solid walls anchoring your self-location, it can be confusing when more than one wall reflects images that are not actually there.
Additionally, you should ideally have not more than one mirror per wall. More than one mirror can lead to second-guessing yourself (if you need to check on yourself again and again, it means your first self-assessment in the mirror wasn’t enough). And definitely avoid placing mirrors opposite one another so you don’t get that endless “hall of mirrors” effect.
One mirror per wall per room is all you need!
Because mirrors energetically duplicate what is in front of them, they can be used to reflect anything that you would love to see more of in your life: a collection of books, a favourite work of art or object, a bowl of fruit, a beautiful view, or some treasured photos. It is not good feng shui to reflect less inspiring items such as your garbage, your toilet, a pile of papers on your desk, or the laundry basket.
When you consciously duplicate what brings you joy, you magnify this energy in your home and in your life.
Many feng shui consultants speak of a mirror opposite the front door of a home reflecting fortune back out the door. There is some truth to this, but the reality of it, as I see it, is more logical and simple. When you walk into your home and right away see yourself in the mirror, you can startle yourself because of the unexpected movement in front of you. You can also see some of what you are leaving behind you outside the door.
These two factors take some of your attention from being fully present in the space that you are entering. Because it is convenient to have a mirror near an entrance to check your appearance before going outside, I suggest to place it on a wall next to the door or on any other wall so that it does not immediately reflect whoever is entering the house.
Traditional feng shui tells the colorful tale of your spirit being startled when seeing itself reflected in a mirror placed opposite the bed. Once again, the truth, as I see it, is more straightforward. Mirrors reflect light and movement that are not actually in that location, both of which can attract your attention and startle you when you are in a less alert state while slumbering.
All of my clients that had mirrors opposite their beds have reported improved sleep once they opted to either move the mirror or cover it up at night. Most people don’t have an issue with a mirror in the bedroom which doesn’t reflect the bed. If you have mirrored closet doors, you can install a curtain rod above them and draw the curtains at bed time to energetically quieten the room, then draw them open again during the day.
Of course, there is much more to using mirrors for good feng shui – from their best placement in your home according to the 5 feng shui elements to specific shapes for specific bagua areas. However, these 7 guidelines will definitely help improve the energy in your home even before you consider the specifics of the bagua of your home.
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