ARTICLE 8: MAKE AN ENTRANCE
YOUR ACCESS TO TRANSFORMATION
It's very telling that when the word entrance originated in the early 1500's, it actually had a very different meaning. Born from the combination of the words "en" - "trance", it originally meant "to throw one into a trance" or to bring one to a state of delight and bliss.This referred to the fact that simply by entering a space that was energetically powerful, a person's state would be altered.
Indeed, the entrance plays a significant role in the creation of sacred spaces, both in the worlds of Temple-making and in Feng Shui.
If we follow the principles of temple making, walking into our space should be an experience that allows us to leave behind the outside world and enter a state of bliss, inspiration, or anything else we are hoping to achieve.
It was common to find statues at the entrance of temples and pyramids of ancient civilisations.
Very often, they were snakes, considered a symbol of rebirth.
Ancient temples also built entrances in a way that the initiate to be purified as they walked into the space, their energy field would be cleared by the time they reached the altar, helping to keep the energy intact.
For example: the entrance of the pyramid of Saqqara in Egypt used 7 columns which to form 7 energetic portals which aimed to affect our beings. As we walked past each portal on our way in, we would be slightly altered, and transformed by the time we reach the alter.
Interestingly, Chartres cathedral also uses 7 large arched columns on the path to the altar, also allowing the guest to be deeply impacted before reaching the altar.
The use of the number 7 is interesting. Some believe it is chosen because of our 7 chakras and walking by each of the columns allows each chakra to be aligned one by one, allowing for full expansion at the end.
It could also be that 7 represents the forces that shape the universe, the prime notes of sound.
On a smaller scale, this type of idea could be replicated by keeping 7 small artworks or perhaps 7 crystals which all aim to impact us in a certain way as we walk through the entrance of a space.
In Feng Shui:
The entrance to your home is called ‘the mouth of chi’. It is where luck, opportunities and people enter.
Taking good care of this area is essential to making sure we can counter any Sha chi, negative energy.
Brand logos, names and street numbers need to be well defined and clearly visible.
Cut back any branches or foliage obscuring your front path and doorway, as you want people, post and opportunities to be able to find you.
Pay attention to any streets or pathways that may be leading up to the entrance as they may be bringing in too much energy too fast and need to be countered. You can place a mirror facing your doorway to help counter a fast-moving chi.
Once through the door, it is important that area be kept clear, tidy and clutter-free.
As we have seen in previous articles, the direction of the front door is quite important.
If you’ve used the compass directions to align your Bagua, use a feng shui colour in tune with the feng shui element of its direction.
Stand outside of your space facing the entrance.
Close your eyes and find a place of deep connection, connecting to your breath and to the earth beneath your feet. Then, open your eyes and have a good look at your entrance. How do you feel? Then reflect on how you would like to be feeling? How are the two different? What is missing?
If your home has its own exterior entrance, check for the following:
- Is the house number clearly visible?
- are there trees or branches obstructing the doorway?
- is there a street or pathway of some type coming straight towards your entrance?
Consider using a statue of some sort that represents how you want your guests to be welcomed at your door. Feng Shui practitioners believe a dragon is a great element to have at the front door as it is a strong representative of Yang energy, it is great for prosperity.
A large buddha statue is also great.
Make sure you also have enough light in this area, a welcome mat and wind chimes are also great additions.
If you are like me and live in a flat, simply use a nice welcome mat and ensure your flat number is clearly marked on your door way. You can also make sure that the building's entrance is always clear, always tidying up left over junk mail or trash, as this will affect the flow of chi towards your flat.
Once through the door, keep the entrance as clear as possible.
If your entrance area is small, I suggest keeping it completely clear, perhaps only with a single small shelf holding a vase of fresh flowers, a crystal or a Buddha statue welcoming any visitor into a peaceful space.
Middle eastern cultures tend to also like using a blue eye, which they believe helps to fend off the "evil eye" which may be cast on us by others, or a Fatima's hand, which is meant to "wave away" bad spirits.
In terms of choosing colours for this area, you could go with the colours recommended by your feng shui bagua map, but only do so if this feels right for you and it deeply resonated. Otherwise choose a colour which enables an emotion you would like to be feeling in this space.
I chose a light purple, a colour for spiritual growth, and also the colour I use for my guest room. It makes visitors feel right at home as soon as they walk in and subconsciously creates a link to the room they will be staying in.
If you have a long hallway at your entrance, you may want to look into creating an emotional journey through or crystals artworks, similarly to what was done with the energy portals in the ancient temples.
Depending on the length of your hallway, choose either 7 or 3 artworks of some type aligned along the walls, specifically chosen to enable transformation.
Perhaps each of them can symbolise one chakra, using the colours of that chakra or a shape that represents it. (If you are using only 3 artworks, I suggest using colours and shapes that represent the 3 chakras of creation: the third eye, the throat chakra and the root chakra.)
Be intuitive with the selection of art and what you are trying to achieve.
It's also important to pay attention to the entire area that can be seen from the entrance.
In my case I can see my workspace, my bookshelf and the glass door to my terrace which means I see lots of sunlight and green, but it can also be easy for it to get cluttered with work papers and electronics, so be mindful of the mess you leave in this area.
Keep the area clear, and well lit, and make sure it feels welcoming.
Now if you take away one thing from this article it's this:
You need to love walking into your home, not dread it.
I love walking in and smelling the smell of incense and seeing the sun light coming in and seeing green leafy plants. It reminds me of why I love to be home. I suggest doing whatever you can to feel the same in yours.
Try to keep a good scent in that area as that will affect a good first impression.
When designing the Saint Martins Lofts back in 2014, a £4.6 million flat housed in the old central saint martins art school, we kept the entrance white, simple, well lit, used premium materials for stairs and handrails, and kept a single plinth with a carefully selected statue.
CASE STUDY - ARMADA 2010
Back in 2010, while I was running my previous design studio Montage, an opportunity came up to participate in a London Hotel Design Trade show.
In an effort to begin to move away from the commercial projects and create more soulful work, I took on the opportunity, and along with a couple of team mates, designed a hotel room using a philosophy we called Armada supporting spiritual development and transformation.
In many ways, the project was a failure, mainly because I just didn't have sufficient knowledge on the topic of sacred spaces to make it work at the time.
6 years later, as I began to research temple-making and Feng Shui, I found that we had actually unknowingly included some of its principles without even being aware of them.
The entrance was a key feature.
We had designed the room in a way that it actually had a separate entrance and exit, as was the case in many of the most famous ancient temples, creating a proper flow of energy.
In line with feng shui principles, the hotel room number was very well indicated, and the hallway was kept intentionally dark, allowing the visitor to dive internally in exploration before expanding into the space.
The most important feature of the entrance was the use of a series of artworks, shot by my friend Stephen Morallee, each representing an emotion that we wanted guests to experience as they walked into the space (ie: love, heart opening, and eventually euphoria.)
Indeed, we were hoping people would achieve a certain level of transformation simply by journeying into the space.