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Cemeteries and Other Kinds of Predecessor Chi
Mon Jan 26 2015 |
The vicious fire that destroyed a New Jersey apartment complex caused quite a lot of comment among my colleagues in the International Feng Shui Guild. Of course we’re all relieved there were no injuries, but it was the location of the fire and the fact that this was the second fire on the same location that had everyone buzzing. Seems there used to be a cemetery on the site, which means constructing a building there was a Feng Shui no-no.
One colleague who lived down the street from the site in the 90's remembers an open courtyard with a cemetery, and to make matters worse, an industrial plant that produced toxic chemicals.
In Feng Shui as in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. And the location of this particular complex resonated with me because there are several current cemeteries nearby, plus unidentified ancient Native American burial sites. I find cemeteries to be peaceful locations, and my husband and I have had fun “family-history” trips traipsing through rural cemeteries to find his ancestors’ graves. But would I recommend building on top of one? No Feng Shui way!
In Chinese Feng Shui, a cemetery is thought to have the strong yin chi of death that draws positive chi away from the surrounding homes. That means living near a cemetery could deplete your personal energy over time. Plus, ancestors play an important role in Feng Shui so you want to honor the predecessor chi of their gravesites, not build on top of them.
Predecessor chi is the term for the residual energy in land, structures, and objects. You know how sometimes you go into a building or house and you just can’t wait until you can get out of there because something doesn’t feel right? Or, you’re attracted to one antique but repelled by another? That’s all predecessor chi. Predecessor chi isn’t always negative. I have clients in different parts of the country who say they have ghosts in their houses and like this predecessor chi just fine. But, I’m working with more clients lately who need the energy of the former occupants honored and cleared out before they bring their own positive energy into a space.
A chemical plant creates toxic predecessor chi, and no matter how skillfully the site is environmentally remediated, sometimes it also needs Feng Shui. I’m working with a commercial client who’s building on the remediated site of a former chemical plant. The project is experiencing unexpected snafus and delays, and I can’t help but think that the site’s predecessor chi is still too strong.
The official cause of the New Jersey fire was a blowtorch used in a plumbing repair, and of course there’s no way to ever prove whether the fire had anything to do with a burial site below or the predecessor chi above. But it sure makes me think that some open space needs to be left as that – open space.