Home, charmed home

The an­cients used re­mains of the dead, but you don’t have to go quite that far

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

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

WAYNE LEIDENFROST / POSTMEDIA NEWS SER­VICE

Above: An im­age of Ganesh hangs over Ray James’ door. Be­low: Con­stan­tine Anas­ta­sopou­los stands be­low his horse­shoe.

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