Most people have at least a few antique, thrift, or hand-me-down items in their homes. It’s practical to repurpose and reuse old items that might still be in decent condition, and some people may even find it fun to hunt around at yard sales or antique stores for vintage finds. 

One important thing to bear in mind about second-hand items from a Feng Shui perspective, however, is that objects become vessels for their owners’ memories, feelings, and energy. When you bring a second-hand object into your home, no matter what it is, you’re also coming into close contact with the essence of its prior owner. This is energy is generally referred to in Feng Shui as “predecessor qi.”

Does the predecessor qi attached to an object have significant effects on the energy within its new owner’s space? Is there a way to cleanse an object of negative energies and associations from its prior life? Feng Shui expert Uncle Dixer lays out the answers and practical solutions.

Dear Uncle Dixer: May I ask if a second-hand study desk will affect job luck?

The desk previously belonged to an owner who cheated a government organization. He was also known to have cheated on his wife. After he left his home, the desk was sent to our house and we placed it in a makeshift study room which we never use. It was too big to even fit properly against the wall.  

Answer: You can reuse this second-hand desk if you clean away the inauspicious qi from its past with water mixed with pomelo juice. You can also soak some pomelo leaves and use that water to clean the desk. In feng shui, citrus fruit like pomelo and kumquat can be used to stop and deflect negative Qi.

Additional Comments

If you’re inheriting an item from someone you know well and enjoy a positive relationship with, you probably won’t need to clear it of any negative energy. For items that come from unknown sources, however, or items with negatively charged histories, it’s always a good idea to cleanse them before you set them up in your home. As Uncle Dixer has outlined above, a thorough wash with citrus-infused water is always helpful. Laying the objects out in the sun for a while can also be very clarifying.

Much as we’d want to hold on to and keep using certain second-hand items, however, it’s also helpful to let some things go from time to time. Don’t feel compelled to hang on to or bring home items with painful, loaded, or otherwise fraught histories, even if you think they can still be used. Bringing objects with a lot of negative energy into your home could get you caught up in those difficult emotions as well. 

If you’re in the market for more personalized, in-depth Feng Shui advice, we recommend consulting a professional feng shui practitioner. Our extensive directory can easily connect you with experts in your area who can give you some practical advice. Feng Shui Nexus is dedicated to linking up feng shui enthusiasts around the world with qualified professionals who can give them the most reliable, highest-quality advice possible.