It’s the season of the witch — when we decorate with death and cover ourselves in costumes — but what if our Halloween home decor is inviting the ghosts of bad vibes to take up residence?
According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, how we decorate our homes, on the daily and for the shadow-centric occasion of Halloween, can negatively influence our health, wealth, and general well-being.
What is feng shui?
Feng shui (meaning “the way of wind and water”) is the ancient Chinese art of arranging an environment with the intent to harmonize the flow of energy within it.
Feng shui springs from the Taoist belief in chi, the essential life force that inhabits all matter. Chi is made of the dual elements of yin and yang, and balancing these elements imbues a space/person with a positive energetic flow that brings luck, love, hearty health, and absolute abundance.
Feng shui practitioners will often use a bagua map to divide a living space. Bagua translates to “eight symbols,” and the map is likewise divided into eight separate areas, centered around a square that functions as the energetic heart of the environment. These eight areas correspond to different areas of life — including love, career, knowledge, and creativity.
Many feng shui rules concern the placement of items near doors and windows, where chi enters and exits.
The feng shui of a space is altered by adding or removing objects and materials, all of which are classified as one of five element types: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.
Feng shui expert and interiors therapist Suzanne Roynon recently partnered with Martin Seeley, founder and CEO of MattressNextDay, to explain the drawbacks of Halloween decorations and explore how to combat the baddies with the sheer power of thoughtful design.
Move black decorations to rooms you use the least
Black is the power color of Scorpio, the zodiac sign that rules spooky season.
Synonymous with death, the hue is heavily featured in Halloween decorations, which Roynon argues should be used sparingly, as the dark tone can bring up intense emotions and consume vital energy in any space.
“If you’re using black-colored decorations, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time, consider relocating them to less frequented areas. Black is associated with water energy in feng shui and can trigger heightened emotions. Using it sparingly can help maintain a more harmonious atmosphere,” she said.
Pro tip: Never paint ceilings black. Feng shui practitioners maintain painting a ceiling black is akin to placing the dark clouds of misfortune above your head. No, thanks.
Keep your lanterns lit — but burn with caution
Great news for pumpkin people — the carved totems are a thumbs up in terms of feng shui, as they add intrigue and a vital dose of masculinity.
“Light is a central component of feng shui, influencing the overall ambience of a room. For Halloween, embrace the opportunity to introduce a playful and protective element by strategically placing pumpkin-shaped lanterns and Halloween-themed lights throughout your home,” Seeley explains.
“These bright lights infuse ‘yang’ or masculine energy into your living space, serving as a barrier against the dark ‘yin’ forces often associated with Halloween, including ghosts and spirits of the deceased. The whimsical charm of pumpkin lanterns not only adds a festive touch but also encourages any unwelcome apparitions to seek their haunts elsewhere. Just remember to exercise caution with open flames and never leave them unattended for safety’s sake.”
Attractive and effective? Like a hot plumber, folks, we just love to see it.
Decorate your door, but don’t use dead flowers
Feng shui underscores the importance of a front door that bears welcoming vibes.
While a dried flower wreath can be both beautiful and seasonally apropos, the effect can be grim.
“When decorating your home, place special emphasis on your front door. Naturally, this is one of the first things a guest sees when they visit your home, so it’s a great way to help create positive energy from the get-go,” Roynon reasons.
“Avoid using dried flowers, which symbolize stagnant or ‘dead’ energy, and can also encourage spiders. Instead, incorporate symbols of new growth, like berries and acorns, to emphasize positivity and rebirth rather than decline.”
Throw a little evergreen next to your raven’s skull to amp up the chi of your entrance, or reach for the faux stuff when creating a floral frame for your front door.
In feng shui (thought not in the realms of punk rock), ’tis better to be fake than dead.
Declutter under your bed
It’s not monsters under your bed that can cause nightmares, it’s the bad vibes of psychic detritus, old electronics, and collective clutter.
“The space beneath your bed is crucial, as it operates in a passive ‘yin’ state during restful moments. Items stored there may symbolize subconscious blocks affecting your daily life. For example, mementos from past relationships tie you to the past, hindering new beginnings,” Roynon shares.
“Work-related items, such as paperwork, keep your mind preoccupied with to-do lists, and storing luggage or travel-related items can perpetually keep you on the move, hindering your ability to find a sense of stability in your home. By keeping this space uncluttered, you can create a clean and harmonious energy flow, which contributes to a more restful sleep and improved well-being.”
This means keep the space below where you sleep clear of everything — but especially boxes of Halloween decorations, Ouija boards, broken sex toys, letters from your ex, and last year’s tax return.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the star
Move your mirror
Mirrors have long lent themselves to horror, with iconic films like “The Shining,” “Us,” “Poltergeist” and “Candyman” showing us the devastating potential of reflective surfaces.
Within our own homes, the misplacement of mirrors can be a recipe for fitful sleep and spooky dreams.
“According to feng shui, placing a mirror directly opposite your bed can trigger nightmares, insomnia and other sleep-related problems. The belief is that, during sleep, the soul leaves the body, and waking to see its reflection can be unsettling, leading to night terrors,” Seeley notes.
“Instead, position it to not reflect your bed, or use it to showcase a pleasant window view for positive energy. This arrangement also brightens the room, encouraging an energetic start to the day.”
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.