Feng Shui of Your Kitchen
By Denise Linn, co-author of The Mystic Cookbook
There are Two Rules for Feng Shui of Your Kitchen.
If it feels good, it’s good Feng Shui.
If it feels bad, it’s bad Feng Shui
A Bit About Feng Shui
The Chinese word “Feng Shui” refers to an ancient art developed over 3,000 years ago in China, however in ancient cultures throughout the world, there were various forms of this mystical art form. This system teaches how to balance the energies of any given space to assure the health and good fortune of those within.
- “Feng” means wind and “Shui” means water. In Chinese culture, gentle winds and clear waters are associated with good health, thus good feng shui came to mean “good fortune,” as good health is the greatest fortune one can hope to achieve. Feng shui is based on the idea that the land is alive and filled with “Chi,” or energy and the principle that we can harness that energy.
In feng shui, the kitchen is considered one of the most important rooms in a home, as it is the place where the food that nourishes and sustains us is prepared. The kitchen represents the true heart of the home. It’s believed that when the feng shui of the kitchen is in balance, good health, prosperity and abundance will follow.
Following a few simple feng shui “rules” can help elevate this life-force energy in your home. However, some feng shui tenets can be confusing, especially as the experts and books don’t always agree with each other. So how do you know if you have good feng shui in your kitchen?
Remember, if it feels good, it’s most likely good feng shui . . . and if it feels bad, it’s probably bad feng shui. If your kitchen feels great to you every time you enter it, and if your health is great and your abundance is flowing (in feng shui, the kitchen has a direct relationship with one’s prosperity), then you have good feng shui. Don’t change a thing. However, if it doesn’t feel fantastic to you every time you step into your kitchen (or if you’re having financial or health challenges), then you might consider making some feng shui changes. (See my books: “Sacred Space” and “Feng Shui for the Soul.”)
Only make a feng shui change if it feels good to you. Some suggestions are common
sense, some come from traditional feng shui cures, and some are under the category of
superstition, so look at any feng shui suggestions with discernment. However, feel free to experiment. Even if a change seems unconventional, you might consider trying it for a while, and if things improve, keep the change; and if they don’t improve, disregard it.
Energy Up Energy Down
Every object in your home will bring your energy up, take it down, or be neutral, even if you are not aware of it on a conscious level. You can use the exercise below to explore how each item, and area, within your kitchen makes you feel.
The Energy Up/Energy Down exercise is a powerful one that can be employed in every aspect of your life, not just within this exercise.
First method: Close your eyes, relax, and imagine yourself walking around your kitchen. Visualize yourself picking up a variety of items in your kitchen. Notice where your energy seems to go up, and where it goes down. Do some items make you smile and others give you a sinking sensation? This is the answer to what stays and what is gotten rid of in your kitchen and throughout your home and even your life.
Second method: Actually walk around your kitchen, staying in touch with your intuition and how your body is reacting. Notice where you feel happy and up…and where you do not! This is an excellent tool to use in de-cluttering or rearranging your kitchen.
The Kitchen As Heart of the Home
The preparation of food is an act of the soul, it connects us to the great cycle of life and reminds us that we are dependent upon the abundance of the earth to survive and thrive. Within the kitchen this relationship is ritualized throughout the day, every day, as meals are prepared, shared and consumed. This room also symbolizes your health, abundance and financial resources because the kitchen is where you connect with what sustains you and keeps you alive.
In earlier times the kitchen was the center of the home as the family gathered around the stove to keep warm and talk while food was being prepared. Even today people will often spontaneously migrate towards the kitchen while at a party or gathering. Perhaps this is because the atmosphere of a warm, inviting kitchen subconsciously recaptures a nurturing communal feeling.
The ideal kitchen, from any standpoint -not just in regard to feng shui— is clean, light and airy, and full of free-flowing energy. There should be excellent lighting (halogen or incandescent lighting, rather than florescent, is recommended) and, preferably, plenty of natural sunlight. If possible, have lighting on levels, such as under-counter lighting for local areas, task lighting, and overhead lighting. Fluorescent lighting is not ideal, as it may cause eyestrain, headaches and stress to the energy fields of the body. If you must use fluorescent lighting, invest in full-spectrum bulbs.
Cheerful, vibrant colors are best for the kitchen, as they convey a sense of health, happiness and vitality. The best feng shui colors for a kitchen depend on the tastes, goals, and desires of the people in a house. Although some feng shui systems recommend particular colors for the kitchen, pick the color that makes you feel good and is a good backdrop for the meals you prepare. Of course, if you are unsure about what color to use, white can provide a perfect backdrop for other color accents to work with your particular kitchen. White allows the food and your accessories to shine and come to the forefront.
Add splashes of color with decorative bowls filled with ripe fruit or colorful vegetables. A white ceramic container filled with your colorful cooking tools will catch the eye and add more color and zest.
Living things are another excellent manner in which to increase energy flow. Fill vases with fresh flowers and lush greenery. Grow your own herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender or whatever you love in your choice of pots on your windowsill. Pots of fresh herbs growing by the window, ropes of dried chili peppers, onions and garlic, bunches of dried herbs and flowers are excellent to have in the kitchen. Not only are they beautiful to look at and useful, they also celebrate the abundance of the earth and ground and connect you to the source.
Set up your kitchen in a way that’s comfortable for you to work in and allows for easy workflow and energy movement. Make sure the items you use most are accessible and items that you rarely use are stored in shelves or cupboards. Have a stepstool handy if you need access to items that are stored out of reach. This is all good feng shui.
Surfaces should be clean and free of clutter to allow for ease and efficiency in preparing meals.
Every object you use to prepare meals should be visually pleasing, in good working order and full of soul. The tools you use in your kitchen are not only utilitarian, they should also bring joy and light as you use them. The feel of a sharp knife as it easily slices a ripe tomato, the ease in which you can crush garlic when using a quality garlic press or the feel of well-loved wooden utensils in your hands as you stir and mix–these all contribute to the energy of the meals being prepared.
Please do not be tempted to hold onto scratched and dented pots and pans with handles that are hard to grasp or wooden spoons that have seen better days unless you absolutely love them. Some pans do seem to have a soul, and you should hold onto these.
You may also wish to pass on to someone else appliances that are rarely, if ever, used and that are taking up valuable space, energetically and on your countertop. Say goodbye to those late-night “As Seen On TV” purchases that never really lived up to their promises.
The Importance of Your Stove
In feng shui, the stove is considered the most important element of the kitchen. Since food is cooked there, it represents life force and nourishment, but also it’s an energy generator. In traditional Chinese feng shui, both the stove and the food cooked on it are connected to finances and abundance. In fact, the stove is considered to have more impact on wealth than any other part of the home. The stove is also believed to affect your vitality, physical health, marriage, family harmony, personal protection from legal entanglements, and many other areas of life. You can see why the stove is deserving of attention and care.
In feng shui it’s believed the cook should be in a “commanding position” while working at the stove, preferably facing out into the rest of the kitchen or room. However, in most kitchens the stove usually faces a wall. The popular and time-honored Feng Shui “cure” of hanging a mirror against the wall behind the stove to reflect the energy back into the room can be employed. The decorative practice of shiny, reflective back-splashes may have originated from this cure. If the kitchen is very small, strategically positioned mirrors can expand the room and add to the feeling of abundance. Any reason why mirrors are placed behind the stove is to symbolically double the burners. (The number of burners is thought to represent the amount of wealth so if normally there are 4 burners, with the additional of the mirror, it now looks like there are eight burners.
A stove should not be placed by a window, as the wealth energy is said to be able to escape easily out of the home. A microwave is often placed above the stove, this is also not considered ideal feng shui, as it suppresses the energetic flow of energy in the kitchen.
Cooking islands are usually excellent solution as their central placement allows the cook to remain in command of the kitchen and oversee what is happening throughout the kitchen.
Additional Feng Shui Tips for the Kitchen
• Make sure your stove is clean and isn’t surrounded by clutter. A dirty stove is thought to deplete energy and drain finances. The burners are most important, but a regular cleaning of the oven and broiler is also recommended.
• Use all of the burners. Only using one or two burners may suggest you are not utilizing the full potential of the abundance which is available to you.
• Broken burners should be fixed immediately. This applies to anything on the stove
that doesn’t work, such as the oven light, fan, clock, oven hinges, or cracked or broken
• Don’t leave empty pans on your stove, as this is believed to symbolize a lack of abundance.
• In Tibetan feng shui, the burner in the far left position is considered the most important, as it symbolizes prosperity. Make sure you use this one occasionally.
• The stove shouldn’t be right next to the refrigerator, if at all possible. (If it is, then put
something made of wood, or a photo of trees, on the refrigerator to soften the effect of this inauspicious placement.) The reasoning is that the cooling properties of the refrigerator symbolically dampens the warming aspect of the stove. However, the fire energy becomes stronger when wood is added. Thus, the picture of something wood balanced this energy.
• You shouldn’t be able to see the stove from the front door. This is considered very
inauspicious. If so, hang a wind chime, curtain, round-cut crystal, or a mobile
between the door and the stove.
In the kitchen there is natural conflict between Fire and Water. The oven, stove, microwave and toaster represent Fire. Water is represented by the sink, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. If the oven and sink are on the same wall, they should be separated by counter space if possible.
Take the garbage out daily. The garbage should not be immediately visible when you enter the kitchen. Place the garbage can in a pantry or under a sink.
• Keep counters as clutter free as possible.
• There shouldn’t be any obstacles to movement in the kitchen. The cook should be
able to maneuver quickly and easily throughout the kitchen.
• Generally bright, vibrant light is much better than dim light, and halogen or
incandescent light is better than fluorescent.
• Toilets are considered inauspicious and shouldn’t be facing the kitchen. (If so, place
a curtain or beaded curtain in front of the door and keep the door closed.)
• In traditional feng shui, an aquarium shouldn’t be in the kitchen because the water
element symbolically puts out the fire element of the stove.
• Knives shouldn’t be left out on the counter, especially if they face toward anyone
entering the kitchen. Put them away. (However, in a butcher block is okay, if it feels
good to you.)
• If there are multiple doors into a kitchen or if, in fact, the kitchen is a passage
between rooms or if it’s an open kitchen, the “chi” may be too fast, and it may be hard to hold on to money, or there may be discord between family members. As a suggestion, place wind chimes, mobiles, or faceted crystals in the doorways. Visualize peace and prosperity as you place these objects.
The most important key to great feng shui in your kitchen is paying attention to your intuition. It’s always the best guide, no matter what the feng shui “rules” are.
Denise Linn is an internationally renowned teacher in the field of self-development. She’s the author of the bestseller Sacred Space and the award-winning Feng Shui for the Soul, and has written 16 books, which are available in 24 languages. Denise has appeared in numerous documentaries and television shows worldwide, gives seminars on six continents. With her daughter Meadow Linn–a noted speaker, writer, and chef—she has just written and released The Mystic Cookbook: The Secret Alchemy of Food (Hay House). This gorgeous and empowering book is filledwith luscious recipes, stunning photos, imaginative meals and magical wisdom, that open a portal for you to embark on the sacred journey from nourishment to nirvana—and to harness the hidden dimension of food. Visit www.theMysticCookbook.com for recipes, a guided meditation to connect with your Kitchen Angel and more.