Question: I am confused regarding dried flowers/cut branches. I have several wreaths and branches. Should I remove all of them from my home? Is there any place in the home these are OK?
Answer: First of all, now that the holidays are here, I’d like to say that if you have some dried arrangement temporarily (let’s say a month or less) adorning your table or front porch, I don’t think the chi boogie man is going to come out and get you over it. If you like the look of a temporary arrangement like that and your energies (AKA your life circumstances) are holding strong – go for it. The idea is to always be mindful of what you do have in your house though, so you can make adjustments as soon as you have a desire for something different in your life.
Now, let’s talk about the permanent stuff. First of all, step back and take a quick review of you and your family’s life. If it is going perfectly, with everyone healthy, happy, and harmoniously living in the world, and your home happens to be filled with dried flower arrangements (and has been for years), then by all means – carry on. Remember, “If it ain’t broke, I don’t fix it.” You must have some MoJo going on over there that must be counterbalancing all the dried stuff, so I don’t even want to mess with it.
But if life isn’t perfect and you have chi weaknesses in your bagua somewhere, you may want to consider doing something about the dried stuff.
The chi that you want to attract and encourage to stay around within your home is vibrant, lively and in it’s thriving state. The chi that you do not want in your home is chi that is weakened, “sleepy,” disintegrating, wilting, dying, or seemingly dead. Dried flowers, pampas grass reeds, pussy willow stems, eucalyptus branches, wood shavings, wilted fresh flowers in stinky, stagnant water, moldy and damp fireplace wood, plants with a lot of dead or wilting leaves on them (snip those leaves off!), and (dare I go here?) pet ashes and people ashes all are things in their “diminishing state” in the “circle of life.”
“Preserved plants,” like those palm trees you see in some public places where they look real but they have been injected with something to stop their growth or death, seem to test OK. (Seeds usually have an essence within them that is vibrant and therefore also makes the cut.)
Yes, I have actually done experiments on this (as it is such a touchy subject) and I have observed that when dried stuff is removed, there is a definite chi improvement. (I get a lot of people resisting feng shui because they desperately want to keep their potpourri and crispy, crunchy arrangements.)
I invite you to experiment on your own. Remove all dead or dying items from your household and lot and track the way life goes for the next few months. If things don’t improve, you either have something that was counterbalancing the dried stuff or you have something else keeping you down (because you should see improvement.)
Stuff that counterbalances dried up, dead stuff: living things (animals, kids, plants, and heck, I’ll even throw fresh vegetables and fruits in here!,) moving items, fresh air circulation, natural light, and bright, lively colors.) Since I’m not lucky enough to see all of your homes, you’ll have to be the judge of this. Remember, feng shui is a guide, based upon years of observations of actions and results.
One last thought, think about what you are willing to allow in your home. I usually lump dried flowers in the same category as kitty litter boxes, toilets, trash cans, dust, dirt and clutter. These are all potentially negative or chi-weakening items. I usually say, if you have to have them, and you have any control over their placement, put these items in a gua that is working very well for you (and might be able to “take the hit,”) and not a gua that is already suffering from weakened chi. (a gua being the part of the home that is associated with a part of your life in the feng shui map, the bagua.)