Home, charmed home
The ancients used remains of the dead, but you don’t have to go quite that far
side of the door, they have the ability to discover the intentions of those who come into the house and blunt their effect. Tang dynasty generals Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde guarded their emperor’s door against a ghost that had been harassing him into sleepless nights. The emperor had so blissful a rest that he had effigies of the generals hung outside his doors so the real ones could get on with bigger battles. Qin with his sword and Yuchi with his baton have adorned many an oriental entrance ever since.
Natural elements are another traditional element of protection against lurking misfortune. Feng shui practitioners and believers put great faith in the powers of plants and stones in directing fortune around your front door. With an eye to resale value, Vancouver real estate project marketer Bill Szeto consulted a feng shui landscaper when he remodelled his westside garden. The resulting West Coast fusion of azaleas, dwarf maples and a curving slate path leading to his door seems to have worked. Though he hasn’t tested the house’s resale value, Szeto says he has been blessed with good fortune in the seven years he’s lived in his home.
Jade, lavender and running water at the entrance to the Langley home of garden designer Brenda Ormond keep the path clear for positive energy. Ormond warns, however, that an open mind is as important as a clear path. No matter how much protection you have, you must believe that you are lucky and worthy to receive good fortune, she says.
There are even adventurous spirits who choose to bring a new translation to a door charm’s ancient custom. Some time ago, North Shore school teacher Emily Skarlicki was charmed herself — by a bejewelled mezuzah she saw for sale in Moule. Neither she nor her husband is Jewish, so rather than placing the customary Hebrew prayer inside, they wrote their own blessing for the mezuzah and placed it in a decorative frame on the wall by the front door. They touch the mezuzah as they leave the house to invoke a blessing on the day, and when they come home, to bless the house and their time together. It appears to have worked for the happy couple — which really is charming.
— Postmedia News
Above: An image of Ganesh hangs over Ray James’ door. Below: Constantine Anastasopoulos stands below his horseshoe.