Water Features II: Types of Water Features

Water Features II: Types of Water Features

The point of bringing literal H2O into your space, not just elemental Water (which can be invoked using colors, shapes, artwork, etc.), is to employ the Doctrine of Signatures to create increased flow, clarity, and abundance.

If you have not yet read the first article in our Water Features series, it will reveal how this mechanic works and also the best places for you personally to place a water feature.

Classic Prescriptions

The most common water features that get prescribed by feng shui practitioners are fountains and fish tanks, but there is a very important issue to consider before installing either. It’s the matter of maintenance.

It's better to not have a water feature at all than keep a dirty fish tank or unused fountain.

It may seem like a fish tank is an easy thing to take care of, but to keep them clean, clear, and healthy is more work than most people end up putting in. It’s actually very easy to let fish tanks get dirty or slimy, or even for your fish to die, and that’s not the type of Water energy you want filling your Sheng Chi. If this is likely to be the case, select a different type of water feature.

Not as much can go wrong with fountains, but they still require more maintenance than the average person anticipates when they buy one. They go dry easily and can have issues with slime, algae, and mold. The motors are also inclined to very un-zenlike mechanical buzzing, which can reduce your ability to enjoy the space.

So while fountains and fish tanks are wonderful water features if you have the time, money, and energy to deal with them, they’re not actually the best choice for busy people who won’t end up doing the maintenance.

Alternative, More Practical Water Features

The following water features are less commonly prescribed, but practical and compatible with the modern Western lifestyle. These all require the conscious act of introducing water to the system for it to work and will automatically either turn off when it runs out, or will need to be re-watered to keep the source available for the living thing it sustains. This means the water introduced to this sector will never ‘go bad’, and will be healthy and clear.

The conscious act of re-filling the water sources also brings mindfulness to the process of enhancing your life. The simple act of tending to your water features magnifies the good energy they provide, and the following are much more enjoyable ways to participate in the process than replacing dirty fish water or disassembling a fountain to clean the slime out of it.

Essential Oil Diffusers

The most under-recommended water features are essential oil diffusers. They are small machines that produce a cold mist, used to fill the air with therapeutic essential oils. These have been mounting popularity in recent years and are affordable and widely available. They come in different shapes and colors, which can be used to further enhance the elemental balance of the space.

Essential oils can also provide additional energetic and physical benefits. Certain oils, such as Frankincense and Orange, have been long correlated with prosperity, health, and abundance. They also enhance your ability to enjoy the space and promote feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. Putting a diffuser in your Sheng Chi or Fu Wei is an awesome way to invoke healthy, happy water on a regular basis.

Essential Oil Diffuser


If you use humidifiers, positioning them correctly makes this practical item a natural feng shui enhancement or cure.

Essential Oil Diffuser

 Live Plants

Plants are actually of the Wood element, which is fed by water. Putting live plants, especially tall or fast growing plants, in your Sheng Chi is an excellent way to magnify your good luck and abundance. Putting them in your Fu Wei is good for personal growth and groundedness.

Keeping a bamboo plant in these sectors is a classic enhancement, but it needn’t be bamboo if that doesn’t match your aesthetic. One of the reasons it’s particularly well suited as an enhancement in auspicious Wood sectors is because as house plants they’re often hydroponic. The less heavy and soil based the plant and container; the taller, faster growing, and drawing directly from water, the more supportive the plant will be to the Sheng Chi and Fu Wei portents.

If it’s practical, try to water all your plants so that the water is being poured from the direction of your Sheng Chi (or secondarily your Fu Wei), no matter the location of the plant. This would mean if you’re a Gua 3, you would pour the water so that it’s coming from the South. If this is confusing, learn more about Guas and Lo Shu portents here.

Water Dishes for Pets

Many people have this already in their home, but it’s such a mundane item that they forget it’s a source of water. Your pet’s water dish is a natural water feature that can be placed in portents or directions to help bring prosperity into the home.

Kaitlin graduated from the Golden Gate Bridge School of Classical Feng Shui in 2008, specializing in Geomancy. The daughter of a home builder and structural engineer, she was born with a natural eye for interior design and an uncanny ability to connect with the energies of place.


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