A Rat Tale of Good Fortune

mag-fs rat tale fortuneThis issue of Feng Shui Journal was about the position of the ba-gua map that corresponds to the trigram for Heaven. I wrote about a friend born in the year of the Rat, and how enhancing the Heaven area of her home made a huge difference in her life! Try this in your own home and office, and see what happens.

Feng Shui Journal

Summer 1999, Vol. 5, No. 2
Pages 22, 24, and 41


The Heaven area of the ba-gua represents people who assist us, as if they were angels sent from heaven. Feng shui embellishments to this gua can increase reciprocity in relationships, philanthropy, helpful people, qualified staff, good neighbors, volunteers, and networking opportunities. This gua also corresponds to opportunities for travel. If this gua is incomplete or missing, there may be illness, difficulties with employers, and lack of vitality. If this area is larger or there is a projection, it brings empathy and concern for the less fortunate.

Examine the condition of the Heaven gua in your home and workplace. In this gua place images of high spiritual beings who can assist you, such as a Buddha statue, angel pictures, a bust of leadership person, an embroidered dragon’s head, or a picture of a dragon which symbolizes leadership. A fountain or aquarium is superb in this gua. Pictures of friends who can help you are fine, but baby pictures are incorrect in this gua because a baby needs to be fed. Crystals and wind chimes are very good in this area to attract positive helpers. A computer here can help find travel information or other networking resources.

In my feng shui practice, I notice that the Heaven gua is often neglected. Clients are more interested in the Wind wealth gua and the Earth relationship gua. But it was in the healing of the Heaven gua that transformed the writing career of my friend Donna Gillespie, author of the internationally best-selling historical novel THE LIGHT BEARER.

Donna received a $100,000 cash advance for THE LIGHT BEARER while she lived with her husband in a beautiful apartment in San Francisco. The apartment had wonderful chi that helped create financial success. Big picture windows brought in much natural sunlight, the expansive views of the water included the bay and the ocean, and the apartment was located in Pacific Heights, the wealthiest community in the city.

Donna was content during the twelve years spent researching and writing THE LIGHT BEARER. She brought to life the story of a Germanic tribeswoman who fought of the invading Roman legions. The book was a success when published in the U.S. and became a best seller in Europe, especially Germany. But along with success came a divorce.

When her divorce was finalized, Donna moved to a studio apartment. After her move, she wondered why she received little media attention and why she was lonely. She assumed that she would flower once away from her demanding husband. Seeking an answer, Donna asked me to feng shui her studio apartment.

The one gua in her apartment that was completely neglected was the Heaven gua. A large storage closet was located in this gua. It was so full that the door could not close. The closet was filled with boxes of junk that she never unpacked after her divorce. Boxes spilled over into the water career gua in entrance, closing the mouth of chi of the front door. I had to slide between boxes to enter.

Donna was so overwhelmed by her boxes of junk that she didn’t want to sort through them. With my assistance, she went through the boxes and donated almost all of the contents. Most of the junk was clutter that she just grabbed and stashed into boxes when she hastily moved away from her husband. The useless junk in the boxes brought back bad memories, such as curtains that she never liked from her ex-mother-in-law who never liked her. Once the boxes of clutter were removed, Donna finally felt relieved that her marriage was over. Up to that point, she was unable to be at peace about the break-up of her marriage.

After the contents of every box was examined and almost all of it donated, Donna organized the closet and was able to close the door. She bought new padded hangers for her clothes and new storage boxes for winter sweaters. She hung a decorative oval mirror on the outside of the closet door at eye level to expand the space and attract light to the gua.

Within a month of cleaning out the closet, Donna was contacted by San Francisco Focus magazine and featured in an article about Bay Area writers. We gloated over the success of feng shui and the instant result of cleaning out the closet. But a travel opportunity came to Donna which neither she nor I had foreseen:

The translator of the German edition of THE LIGHT BEARER invited Donna to Europe for a series of book signings in Germany. While in Europe, she was offered book contracts for two more novels. These events corresponded to the challenging astrological aspect of the planet Neptune opposite her sun in Cancer. This resulted in her writer’s block that lasted for a year. We did the feng shui improvements just as Neptune no longer effected her flow of creativity. Her writer’s block ended and her European tour began.

Before I did the feng shui corrections for Donna’s apartment, I knew what to expect. Donna was born in 1948, the year of earth Rat. Rats are natural hoarders. They especially like to keep items purchased at bargain prices, even if they never use the items. In addition to the Rat tendency to hoard, Donna is also an earth personality type. The earth personality type tends to create clutter. Little wonder that Donna’s closet was so full that she couldn’t even close the closet door.


You can determine your Taoist element personality type simply by knowing your birth year. (Note that if you were born in late January or early February, the following information may be inaccurate because Chinese New Year begins the second new moon after winter solstice, not on January 1st. Refer to the lunar calendar in the Taoist Astrology section of this web site for your accurate birth year.) Start to observe the element personality type of your feng shui clients and see how their element is represented in their home and work environment. The element personality type can also be determined through pulse diagnosis with an acupuncturist.

The FIRE personality type year of birth ends in number six or seven. Yang fire is red. Red years end in number six: 1906, 1916, 1926, 1936, 1946, 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006, 2016, etc. Yin fire is purple. Purple years end in number seven: 1907, 1917, 1927, 1937, 1947, 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007, 2017, etc. The home environment of a fire personality type is to possess different types of objects. Fire types are eclectic individuals who enjoy decorating with the unique art pieces that they find. Their very interesting homes and offices are places to display their treasures from around the world.

The EARTH personality type year of birth ends in number eight or nine. Yang earth is yellow. Yellow years end in number eight: 1908, 1918, 1928, 1938, 1948, 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, 2008, 2018, etc. Yin earth is gold. Gold years end in number nine: 1909, 1919, 1929, 1939, 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 199, 2009, 2019, etc. The home environment of an earth personality type is to create a very comfortable environment. They love a cozy home and are not content if comfort is lacking. Thick rugs, stuffed furniture, and fancy or ornate decorative elements are found in the typical earth residence. Such homes are often very inviting and guests do not want to leave. Earth types tend to collect too many objects and create clutter. When imbalanced, an earth personality collects and hoards excessively, acquiring material goods to create a sense of security. In these instances, clutter must be reduced.

The METAL personality type year of birth ends in number zero or one. Yang metal is white. White years end in zero: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 2010, 2020, etc. Yin metal is silver. Silver years end in number one: 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931, 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011, etc. Metal personality types strive to create order in their environment. The home and office of a metal personality type is a perfect, impeccable, and ordered room. Metal types prefer clean, minimalist design and dislike waste and excessive frilliness.”Form follows function” exemplifies the metal sensibility.

The WATER personality type birth year ends in number two or three. Yang water is black. Black years end in number two: 1902, 1912, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1952, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002, 2012, 2022, etc. Yin water is gray. Gray years end in number three: 1903, 1913, 1923, 1933, 1943, 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003, 2013, 2023, etc. The home environment of a water personality type is a dark, cool room because they are content in a basically yin environment. They require at least one room in a home that is painted in darker colors and is a quiet cool place for rest. Their bathrooms can be transformed into nurturing environments for healing baths. Fountains enrich water types as part of interior or exterior design. Care must be taken since excessive water can cause melancholia.

The WOOD personality type birth year ends in number four or five. Yang wood is green. Green years end in number four: 1904, 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004, 2014, 2024, etc. Yin wood is blue. Blue years end in number five: 1905, 1925, 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005, 2015, etc. The home environment of a wood personality type is filled with lush houseplants. They appreciate lush plants and fresh flowers because growing things attract lovely chi and exemplify the wood principle of growth and expansion. If one born in a wood year is unable to maintain live plants, fine quality silk flowers and outstanding quality artificial plants can be used. Do not use dried flowers because their chi is dried up.

The elemental personality type based on birth year:

METAL birth years end in numbers 0 and 1.
WATER birth years end in numbers 2 and 3.
WOOD birth years end in numbers 4 and 5.
FIRE birth years end in numbers 6 and 7.
EARTH birth years end in numbers 8 and 9.