Feng Shui of Shoe Placement
By Bill Russell
We have energetic ties to our shoes. They cover our feet through the day and display the body language messages of our foot movements and positions. When we remove our shoes, our feet are still intimately tied to them at our deep inner levels of awareness. They are symbols of our feet and, as shamans know, our inner awareness does not distinguish between a thing and a symbol of the thing. Our habitual foot positions affect how we deal with life situations. Likewise, the longer our shoes are set in a certain position when we take them off, the stronger we will be influenced by them. The shoe arrangements illustrated below shown below represent some of the positions in which we may arrange them after we take them off. In Fig. 1, shoes are removed and set to rest neatly side by side, facing forward. They indicate a vitality of poise, readiness, alertness and focused attention. A person with this kind of attitude is ready to take on any challenge when they get up in the morning and put on these shoes.
If we change the pattern of Fig. 1 and set the shoes wider apart (Fig. 2), they establish a more grounded and stronger energy influence. Consequently, we will feel that way when we wear the shoes.
When we store our shoes overnight with the toes pointed inward (Fig 3), we are setting ourselves up for a day of self effacement, weakness, hesitation and indecision.
Now look at the placement shown in Fig. 4. We feel uncomfortable, unbalanced, vulnerable and disordered when we set aside our shoes in this pattern. Would you want to carry that feeling the next time you wear the shoes?
A more extreme situation is represented in Fig. 5. Here, we have taken off our shoes and tossed them aside in a pattern that adds chaos and confusion to the energies of Fig. 4.
Fig. 6 establishes an energy of not knowing whether we are coming or going. Don’t store your shoes overnight this way to impress that disorienting pattern on you if you want to have an effective day the next time you wear them.
Shoes left overnight with their toes pointing outward as in Fig. 7 confer an energy of goofiness, eccentricity and instability. This pattern is a good arrangement for a clown.
Setting your shoes aside with both turned slightly outward and the right shoe much farther ahead of the left, Fig8, establishes the energy of “putting your best foot forward” or “striding boldly ahead.” A person putting on these shoes is ready to march through any obstacles the day has to offer.
In Feng Shui thinking, we are strongly influenced by the placement of objects in our environment. This evening when you take off your shoes, give some thought about how you will position them overnight and how they will make you feel tomorrow when you wear them.
If you doubt the effects that shoe arrangement can have on your vitality and experience, take off your shoes and have someone muscle test you while you are looking at the shoes arranged in one of the unsupportive patterns of Figs. 3 to 7. Then repeat the muscle test as you look at a supportive shoe arrangement as shown in Figs. 1,2 and 8. You will find that your muscle strength is stronger when you see the supportive patterns.
Muscle strength testing is simple. Simply hold an arm straight out in front of you and, as someone pushes downward on the wrist of your extended arm, resist the downward push.
Bill Russell is an herbalist and shaman brought up in the Pennsylvania German tradition. He has Hawaiian Huna training with Serge King. As a research physicist he was on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University in the 1960's-70's and worked with NASA in the 90's. His Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid Atlantic was published by Pennsylvania State University in 2006 and has received wide acclaim.