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Feng Shui-ing in the breeze [Jul. 17th, 2004|07:03 am]

I was never really a believer in good and bad energy. Then we bought this house. This house is definitely a bad energy house. I mentioned in an earlier entry that it had five different owners in six years. I think there's a reason for that.

I'm not sure exactly what causes it. Is it the way the original floorplan was divided up into a warren of oddly shaped rooms?  The way some walls are thicker than others, making doors close at odd angles? The bizarre wiring, with panels of switches that aren't connected to anything, and the light fixtures that were installed but never wired?

The first time we saw the house, it was horrible. The entryway and halls were sponge painted  in purple, yellow and orange. The kitchen still had the avocado green, harvest gold, and burnt orange striped wallpaper leftover from the 70's remodel, with the harvest gold stove to match. The living room had industrial brown-flecked textured wallpaper; the middle bedroom had dark fake-wood paneling. Ceiling fans hung so low you had to duck to keep from bumping your head on them. Everything smelled of smoke. The floors were a mess.

It was not without its charms. It had enough bedrooms for everyone. It had a fireplace, albeit one that was so covered in years of soot the hearth was shiny black. It had a huge picture window looking out into the backyard. It had a greenhouse, offering me the opportunity to kill plants more professionally. It had two bathrooms. It had a real entryway. It had an amazing front door. And it was cheap. The current owners, who had been in it for only eighteen months, were getting divorced and needed to unload it quickly as part of the settlement.

So, I went to work. I scrubbed all the walls. I painted until my hands were so stiff I couldn't make a fist. I refinished all the hardwood floors. That's when I discovered the crop circles. In every room, there was a dark circle marked in the wood, as if someone sitting in a swivel chair had spun around, dragging their heels. Only, in some of the rooms the circles weren't anywhere a chair could have been. I shrugged it off.

Middle daughter and I spent an entire day scrubbing the bricks around the fireplace. Under the years of soot, they were a rich deep rusty red. We also scrubbed lime buildup off the bricks to either side of the fireplace. The first time we had a hard rain, I found out how they got there. Following an odd sound into the living room, I discovered that the backyard pond wasn't the only water feature in our new home. Water poured down the walls, pooling on the hearth and spilling over onto the floor. Three visits from the chimney repair company stemmed the tide.

Today, the house doesn't look much like it did when we bought it. Paint, curtains, new light fixtures, a new roof, some new sheetrock in the master bedroom, a new stove, and strategically placed area rugs, and my house looks like a normal house. But it's not. It's still a bad energy house.

It attracts things. Things that like to live in the attic, things that scurry around at night and make odd noises. Careful investigation discovered tiny little skulls in the attic, and more wiring, remnants of an ancient sonic pest control system.. Two years of battle, and the rats were gone, only to be replaced by opossums, which turned out to be even craftier adversaries.

It loses things. Spoons, socks, favorite pieces of clothing, gifts bought in advance, money. Some turn up later, in odd places we never put them. Most don't.

But mostly, it's just a feeling. A kind of malaise. I studied up on feng shui; I moved pictures and hung crystals, but drew the line at bamboo flutes and fans. Friends advised me to burn sage, but knowing my luck that would only start a fire.

I think we've come to a truce with the house; we're not going anywhere, and in less than two years we will have outlasted the previous five owners combined. Our luck hasn't been the best since we've moved here; both my husband and I have lost very good jobs, and there have been other disappointments. But this house also brought us our son, a welcome surprise which more than compensates for minor inconveniences.

Yesterday, I was at Berings and they had Sunflakes suncatchers on sale for half price. I picked up two sage. Because you can't be too careful.


[User Picture]From: sphyr
2004-07-17 07:24 am (UTC)
That's funny stuff. If you manage to start a fire using sage suncatchers, I want to hear that story, too. :)
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[User Picture]From: spinthemoon
2004-07-19 06:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, great, I hadn't thought of that...now I'll have to hang my suncatchers somewhere they can't catch any sun.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-17 09:44 am (UTC)

Oh, Boy...

Mary here. JW's gonna LOVE this blog! She might have some handy hints for you. I've followed some of her advice, & the results were positive; so who knows? Worse comes to worse, you can always call in a priest! ;)
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[User Picture]From: azure_drake
2004-07-18 06:59 pm (UTC)
Have you experimented with indirect lighting and some low maintenance greenery (like plastic ones :P )?

There are some who believe that objects can actaully hold energy and there are some that believe that it's all self induced (ie... you believe there's bad energy so there is) I've found that either belief can be countered. You just have to 1) believe you can counter it and 2) counter it.

On some level you've done that by being stubborn, remodeling, and not giving up... Now you just have to push it the rest of the way. Figure out were the troubling and dark spots are and illuminate them with something positive.

Or you could just move... :P

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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-18 08:38 pm (UTC)

Mary again...

Write JW, or e-mail her. She may have some good advice on "handling" the house. ;)
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-19 12:00 am (UTC)

Is This The Thing That M. Night Whatshisface Is Filming About?

Mary's friend, Kes, aka JW here. Um. This is a way interesting and potentially dangerous situation you've got and ignoring it would not be the best idea in the world. And it might not just be the house, it may be the house AND grounds. Clearing such a place (in many various ways) is almost always the first reaction, but when you say that you may have reached some sort of a truce? Were I a spirit, so summarily dismissed, I'd be miffed.

Were it me, I would do my darnedest to find out every scrap of history on the house and grounds; who built it, decorated it, what sort of sets of people lived therre, what were their lives like, absolutely everything. Knowledge is power. There are about ten thousand other things you can try later, but I'd try this first. Really.

And as far as odd things happening there, think of this: how many things do the living in their daily lives that make sense? Maybe those no longer "living" in a true "physical" sense, lose their train of thought, are attracted to certain items that remind them of their earthly lives, maybe they don't even realize they've crossed over. Maybe they CAN'T cross over for whatever reason. Lost, nowhere to go (and of course, no male ghost worth his ectoplasm would ask for directions, doncha know...) That's so sad. IMHO, communication would be a good first step.

Of course, if I were a character in a Stephen King novel/short story (I should be so lucky...) with this attitude, I'd also probably be the first one to BITE IT in a particularly nasty way. Real O. Henry

Anyway, I'd try communication before bell, book and candle or cedar and sage smudge sticks and sea salt.

(darling of "Dark Shadows")
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[User Picture]From: spinthemoon
2004-07-19 06:36 pm (UTC)

You mean I'm being haunted by Bruce Willis? Oops, wrong film...

I really don't think it's a Presence. If it is, it's one with remarkably little presence. Which would be fitting...the world's laziest woman being visited by the world's laziest spectre.

All I know about the house is that way back when it was owned by a couple that did pottery, because there's wiring for a kiln and a lady once knocked on our door looking for the place where she once took a pottery class. Someone who knew them said they were very nice.

Oh, and I know that the immediate owners before us had no taste.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-19 11:02 pm (UTC)

Re: You mean I'm being haunted by Bruce Willis? Oops, wrong film...

Of course, I'm no expert. (I still want to do the novelization, though.) A small spectre could be one of a well-loved domestic pet (as I type, my kitty Faramir is lurking at me behind my flatscreen...) But as it was stated originally to be "bad energy"...??? I don't know. What I *do* know is to stay out of it now.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-19 01:46 pm (UTC)

From Kes Again...

Um. You don't know anyone with a methane probe, do you? (The things I learn, watching "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit".) Any possibility of an old undocumented "family cemetery" or anything like that? For the longest time, outlaws used to go "Hell or Texas", so...? And supposedly the Powers That Be In Texas kept their Best & Brightest in the Texas Rangers to fight the Commanche, rather than be drafted into the army of the CSA. In short, I think many things are possible here. And I will testify personally that I have experienced objects and places that can "hold" either positive or negative energy, but maybe that's just me and surely its not the same for everybody.

For example, I'm "superstitious" about a certain book, "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson. I won't stay in the same place with it overnight. I don't even like being in the same *room* with it. It's a very good book, of course.

"And whatever walked there, walked alone."

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From: (Anonymous)
2004-07-19 02:33 pm (UTC)

As A Gaggle Of Epileptic Geese Do A Conga Line Over My Unquiet Grave...*


That *was* just a reflection in the glass in the photograph of the new-and-improved house, which looks fantastic, BTW, *I* wouldn't move, having worked *that* hard on it.

But it *was* just a reflection, right? Yeah! Sure-sure!

(as paranoia sets in...)


*to the tune of "The Banana Splits" Theme Song, in case anyone was wondering.
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[User Picture]From: spinthemoon
2004-07-19 06:40 pm (UTC)

Re: As A Gaggle Of Epileptic Geese Do A Conga Line Over My Unquiet Grave...*

Yes, it was the camera flash.

(Snorky was my favorite. I really, really wanted to grow up and join the Sour Grapes Bunch because they had cool boots.)
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-07-16 07:30 am (UTC)

You do need a witch's ball ...

Hey Tinzer here. Lovely piece, I enjoyed it. Have you ever researched the history of your house? I should mine. I do know there were a few deaths in mine, and one murder.

See you on the board, Linda
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