Susan Van Meter
Home is where your heart is - What is Vastu Shastra?
Can you believe we spend around 98% of our time in our homes and workplace! The buildings we create and spend much of our time should provide the harmony, balance and peace we all crave.
Our home really is our sanctuary and can give us the key to serenity, harmony and well being.
Vastu Shastra is the ancient Indian principle for the study of architecture, it’s meaning is literally, the science of architecture.
Pre-dating Feng Shui, Vastu is an ancient set of principles dating back to around 6000 B.C created to bring together the relationship between nature and architecture into all of our buildings. It is a spiritual practise as well as one based in science.
Due to the recent pandemic, some of us are fortunate enough to have had time to hit the pause button and reflect on what truly matters. We are all deeply connected with nature and need to respect and honour it as nature allows us to create calm out of chaos.
Our modern lives are stressed, create adrenal overload and burnout. We need the benefits of Vastu Shastra now more than ever. It is an antidote to the fear based society and beliefs many of us have adopted in our society. We have become disconnected from our natural environment. I am not saying we all should start camping out, far from it, but consider that perhaps we have been chasing things that do not nourish our souls.
We can design our homes with careful thought about the location of certain rooms to gain the maximum benefit, with beautiful objects, fine furniture and the latest smart technology, but we can also make considered and informed choices, choosing natural fabrics that remind us of nature; linens, and silks, sustainable woods and stone, and surrounding ourselves with objects that have a personal perhaps even intimate connection to. These powerful connections can remind us of our relationship with nature. The benefits of this will protect our health and well being.
Our homes tell a story about who we are and how we like to live our lives. Surrounding ourselves with objects that we have an intimate connection to, the use of colours that can calm or stimulate us and change our moods, show people who we are, and there is nothing more relaxing and welcoming than to feel this when you walk into a room.
Our homes can still be beautiful, luxurious and glamorous but we can make them work for us. This is where the principles of Vastu come into play.
I’d like to share the three basic principles with you to create your sanctuary and a more balanced home life, filled with serenity and joy.
(Please note this is a huge subject and there are many other factors to be taken into consideration, such as the Dosha's, I will not touch this subject now as this blog will turn into novel that challenges War and Peace!)
The three principles consider:
To honour the 5 basic elements of Air, Water, Earth, fire and Space.
To respect nature and all forms of life.
Celebrate ourselves and our own unique personalities and characters.
The 5 elements and their placement in a home, are the foundation principles for the organisation of areas and functions within your home and can be applied to any type of building, home, office, etc.
Let me explain the 5 elements and their meaning. Each of the elements are located in a specific space within a building based on the earths geographic cardinal orientation: in simple terms, North, South, East West. Please see diagram.
AIR - Life, Prana in Hindu, or the breath of life. It is life force, action, implusiveness. Located in the North West Quadrant of the quadrant.
EARTH - Strength, heaviness, wisdom and knowledge. Located in the South West Quadrant
WATER - Flow and cosmic energy, the moon and tides. Emotional and cherished objects. Located in the North East Quadrant
FIRE - The cycle of life. Re-birth, awakening, passion. Rythmn and energy. Located in the South East Quadrant
SPACE - Think of the womb, central to the middle of a room, with freedom to move in either direction.
As I have mentioned, this is a huge subject and we have only just touched on it here. If you are interested in wanting to understand this in more depth, I am quite happy to discuss how you might like to apply these principles of design and organisation of space and objects to create a home that is your sanctuary, shows who you are and how you love to live. Feel free to contact me here.
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Images used from Shutterstock.