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Feng Shui in Las Vegas  
BY:  Lin H. Vernon

Feng Shui is defined as the "art of placement" where the interior of a man made space reflects the harmony and flow of nature. I will be discussing Feng Shui from the perspective of the Form School and Black Hat Sect Feng Shui, as brought to America by Professor Lin Yun.  
 
Feng Shui is a way of arranging spaces to bring abundance, health and satisfying relationships to the inhabitants. In Las Vegas this prescription for abundance is directed towards the owners of the casinos, not the players.  
 
One of the highest priorities in creating a space is having an "auspicious" front door. This would be a door that is colorful, obvious because of its decorations, and easy to enter. It could be further enhanced with moving objects, like flags, and water features. The casinos of Las Vegas have this down to a science as well as an art. The casinos of Las Vegas, without a doubt, have some of the most inviting entrances on the planet. Whether it is the fountains of Bellagio or the pirates frolicking with explosions and fire in front of Treasure Island, or volcanoes erupting as you enter the Mirage, the entrances are full of energy and enticement. The problem is that once you are in, can you find your way out? The casinos lure the energy (you) into their establishment with well designed, regal entrances. In a residence, you would want the energy brought in by the auspicious entrance to flow through all the rooms of the house appropriately. Instead of letting the flow of pathways take you softly through to the games, and then allowing for an evident way out, you become trapped in the casino's confusing floor plan and lost. The "casino's gaming pit" is the easiest destination. Fed by sound and lights, one is drawn to the casino floor like a bee to honey. Leaving the gambling area to find food and bathrooms can be a journey through a labyrinth of small isles, where landmarks need to be memorized to find your way out of the gaming area. The excessive stimulation is riveting and it becomes easier to stay than to leave.  
 
This is a type of power Feng Shui not appropriate for a home because a house is usually designed to be a place of rejuvenation and harmony. The stimulation of a casino pushes gamblers to do more, try harder, and keep at it. The rejuvenation is the winning, but everything else in the environment is out of harmony and exhausting, making the win harder to achieve or to keep. In the art of Feng Shui, your environment is the template that supports the fulfillment of desires and creates success. Now, reflecting on the over stimulation and confusion in the casino, what type of success does it support and for who? The noise and turmoil certainly do not encourage confidence or support a strong self esteem. The player is constantly being undermined by the "Feng Shui of Chaos". The gambler must put extra effort into being grounded and centered enough to play. This of course is a huge energy drain. It is a true challenge because all the casino distractions work against the player. It is no wonder that the easiest play is to put money in a slot machine and pull the handle.  
 
Stairs can be a deterrent to entering a building, but what if you have to climb stairs to get out? The Las Vegas Hilton and Bally's add this obstacle to an easy exit. One has to climb stairs to leave the casino floor. If you are tired and overwhelmed, the stairs can give patrons the feeling that it is too difficult to leave, so they will stay. When the Luxor first opened, you had to walk down a steep ramp to enter the casino. Of course to get out, you had to hike up hill. The Luxor's casino entrance has now been redesigned for a less strenuous exit.  
 
Have you ever tried to walk down the Las Vegas Strip by going through each casino, so that you can stay out of the heat? This would seem like a good idea, you can do it at shopping malls. In Las Vegas it is almost impossible because of the convoluted pathways inside the casinos. Shopping malls are designed so that you can go to the most stores possible on your visit. However, each casino wants to keep your business within their walls. I have not visited a casino yet where any part of the casino is on an easy passageway to another part of the casino, particularly exits.  
 
One of the main tenants of Form School Feng Shui is that it is important to create protection at the back of a building to collect the chi (energy) and protect the building from a current that might take that chi with it. For instance, having a road or rushing river at the back of a house would be bad Feng Shui and the owner would want to construct a wall, put up flags, or plant trees to protect the back of the building. This is also true for people. The place of honor at a table would be the seat that has its back to the wall and has full view of the room ahead of it. Think of how the gaming tables and slots are arranged in a casino. All the players have their back to the many people who are passing. These people, passing and rushing, can literally "rip off" that player's energy and leave them depleted. A part of our brain needs to be vigilant when our back is unprotected, particularly in a public place. When our brain is involved in the animal instinct of protection it is less focused on the task at hand. As an example, it is more difficult to listen to a conversation in a restaurant when waiters with heavy trays are running to and from the kitchen through a swinging door behind you. These are the seats that savvy patrons will tip the hostess to NOT seat them in the line of traffic. The same distraction happens at the blackjack table or the rows of slots as people pass, particularly if their feelings are focusing on anger, agitation, and/or loss. You will notice similar conditions for the placement of craps tables.  
 
An added problem is that some of these people might also be looking over your shoulder; say at a craps game, and invading your space from behind you. Even though people get accustomed to the crowding and bumping in a casino, our bodies are still reacting with their animal response while our brain has to take time to tell us that, "it is alright and we are safe". There is no way to keep your comfort zone of space protected or keep negative currants from zapping your concentration. The main thing is to be aware of what is happening and position oneself accordingly. The inside seats, (first and third base) of a Blackjack table are more protected and allows the you more vision of the room and what is coming towards you. The inside hook and table end on the Craps table are more protected than the positions left and right of the stickman. Poker rooms are usually separated from the rest of the casino, which creates seating where backs could be towards a wall and players could have a view of the entrance to the room. On an energy level, facing the door, you are not a surprise when people enter the room. This reminds me of the old westerns when the poker player does not want to sit with his back to the door. I guess there was a Feng Shui consciousness even in the old west.  
 
Personal meditations or visualization exercises that foster a feeling of being "inside your skin" with your feet on the floor are great preparation for entering a casino. You can do something as simple as patting yourself on your arms and legs and torso before leaving your hotel room. This can have a grounding effect on your body. The "Professor" Michael Vernon teaches several meditations in his classes that address this issue. The phrase, "it's a jungle out there", comes to mind as you enter the casino playing floor. The Feng Shui arrangement is definitely planned to be against you so do your best to keep your energy as you hunt and forage.  
 
Lin H. Vernon M.A. has been a Feng Shui practitioner since 1996. She trained with two different disciples of Professor Lin Yun, who brought Black Hat Sect Feng Shui to America. She also is an advanced practitioner of Instinctive Feng Shui and Interior Alignment as taught by Denise Linn, author of Sacred Space, Altars, and many other books. In her spare time she is the wife of "The Professor", and is a special education teacher for autistic children. You may contact Lin by email. lin@playing4keeps.com  
 
 

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