Feng Shui and the Neighbors

West Meets East ©Caroline Patrick 2001 • 10-29-01

Many questions come to me from my website www.fengshuiartistry.com. Here is a familiar query.

Dear Caroline,

Do you have any advise concerning nasty neighbors? How to ward off the harmful and toxic behavior that a nasty, harassing and verbally abusive neighbor can excrete? We moved into a beautiful brand new and prestigious neighborhood in Solano County. We love our home and the community but for the past four years, our next-door neighbors have been the worst mean spirited family that I have ever met up with and I have traveled all around the world. What can I do beside constant prayer and a strong faith in God? These people are very jealous and are always trying to provoke a fight. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

Thank you, Gail

P.S. My mother told me about your website and I really enjoy it. Thank you!!


I always advise equal time devoted between the time given to prayer and meditation. Meditation is listening, prayer is asking. God usually softens the heart of the one asking so they can understand the fear of the other. What would God do? It is no accident that you were drawn to a certain neighborhood with strange neighbors. It could be a reflection of ourselves on some level. Past anger? God answers prayers in ways we don’t understand. What are they jealous of? These are symbolic clues to the compromise. The answer to your prayer could be to love thy neighbor. That is the hard part! Caroline

Nine days later I received another e-mail from Gail.

Thank you Caroline for your advice on the nasty neighbor. Coincidentally, I am currently fasting and praying for God to perform a change in the hearts of my next-door neighbors. They have caused so much unnecessary problems (yelling profanity and flipping us off when they see us taking an afternoon walk or working on our property; spreading malicious gossip to other neighbors, etc.) There is no peace for us. When working in our yard, I ignore them and in my mind I sing or pray to myself. I refuse to let them intimidate me. They torment our Golden retrievers to the point that our dogs only bark angrily at them and are friendly to complete strangers. These neighbors try to provoke fights every year by chopping off a beautiful crepe myrtle bush that I planted four years ago. It grows several inches every year over the easement that divides our property line. When you look at the two houses side by side, you can see a drastic division just in the landscape and half of a large crepe myrtle. Because I love to garden, it was always my intention that our property could flow beautifully from one yard to the next. When we first moved in and they saw me gardening, they told me that they would not mind if I planted a tree in the middle of the property lines. I thought that was an odd request and even at that time instinctively knew that it would be a bad idea just in case there would be problems with the tree later on. I did not want to be responsible. So I instead planted a beautiful crepe myrtle in their favorite color, which they said was purple, on our property. Now every year they hack off one side of this beautiful bush just as it is blooming bright purple flowers in the summer months. They tore down a fence that horizontally connects both property lines in the front of the house that the builders of the property put in before homeowners moved into their homes and replaced it with an ugly gate that looks like spears. It is a dark, drab color. My husband calls it the "gates of hell" because it is so ugly and very disturbing to look at, like something you would see in a landscape of a horror movie.

I used feng shui to offset this. From our house, we can see their horrible gate as we look outside our window and into our side yard where we have set up the dog area with an enclosed fence and gate with lots of plants. It is located in the family area of our house according to the bagua. I found a large green outdoor patio umbrella at a garage sale for $10.00. I set it up in this area and we can no longer see the ugly gate and the dogs have shade and protection over their dog igloos and dog area. I feel that our dogs get the full blow of our neighbor’s hate and anger but there is no other place on our property for the dogs to live. They are two beautiful, friendly, loving golden retrievers. I worry about them. Our oldest dog, Harley, has to be pushed and carried into the dog area. He does not like being there and I know it is because of the bad vibes. So, every day we walk them and I let them run around in the garden with me while I plant or water so they can have a little bit of happiness throughout the day.

I appreciate you sending me your reply. I have had a wonderful time improving our home and garden using feng shui techniques. I have seen a wonderful change in my relationship with my husband and daughter and in myself. There is so much more to do as far as improving our property with feng shui. Between practicing feng shui and getting ideas from Martha Stewart, I am having a great time providing a sanctuary and happy place for my family to live and entertain guests.

Another aspect of feng shui that is interesting to me is that our front door faces southwest. It is located in the Knowledge are of the bagua. Our front door also faces a large post that holds up our house but one sharp corner of that post faces the front door. Should I put large plants there? This area also faces most of the front yard and area where we see those nasty neighbors. They spend a lot of time looking at our house from their driveway and walkway. We have a beautiful tall window that I like to look out of and on to my garden area which is also located in the Knowledge area, but when I look out there, I can also see them and they are always facing our house and giving dirty looks. We can see the hatred in their faces. I would like to plant fast growing evergreens that would screen our garden area so that within a year we will not be able to see our neighbors and they will not be able to see our every move when we go in and out of our front door. Then I can look at my garden and appreciate it fully.

As far as saying a prayer for these neighbors, it has taken me years to get to this point to want to include them in our daily prayers. So I appreciate your advice on trying the "prayer of love." Thank you for thinking of us. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and advice and look forward to meeting you soon.

Sincerely, Gail

Dear Gail,

Thank you for your question. Before purchasing any property you should always check the neighborhood and predecessor chi of the home and community. Why do they behave so badly? Is there a property dispute over barking dogs or partitions? What sets the tension? I always like to see the location and speak to the client before making a call on this one.

From my experience both the houses and personalities are in conflict. I would evaluate your home by laying the bagua over the floor plan of the house, garden and other land to see where the strengths and weaknesses exist. Homes tell about your life. Mirrors are sometimes used in certain ways to push energy back, but can sometimes cause a rebound effect if the reasoning isn’t taken into consideration.

Best of luck, Caroline

Caroline will offer a four-week acrylic and oil class in Vacaville at the McBride City Center in Vacaville, starting Mondays in January. Upcoming classes include Feng shui fountain making for prosperity and tranquility. Check www.fengshuiartistry.com and click on moongateschool for times and details.

Come into the shop — Caroline’s Arts at 129 First St. Suite K Benicia and let Barbara, Paula or Caroline answer your questions. Open 1-5 daily, closed Monday.

Karen Kingston’s last Bay Area workshop is scheduled for November 4 at the San Mateo Marriott. For more information check www.spaceclearing.com.

Caroline Patrick is an Artist, Herbalist and Feng Shui Consultant. She combines these three talents into a unique practice.