Clocks that are too fast, too slow or just plain broken can tell you a lot about yourself. Follow these time-honored tips to bring greater energy and structure to your life

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I have heard so many things about clocks, including that they are “bad feng shui” because they can create negative energy if not placed in the correct position. Can you shed some light on “clock feng shui?”

I love clocks, and one of the first questions I had when I started learning feng shui was about the energy of clocks.

Clocks get more attention than other home accessories because they have a deeper intrinsic meaning and bring the element of awareness to the passing of time.

Mini history of clocks

The need to tell time was one of the driving forces behind the industrial and scientific revolutions, leading to the creation of sundials, water clocks (klepsydra) and use of the pendulum. Today, clocks are electric, digital and solar. Clocks create global synchronicity and give structure to our daily lives.

Nature has its own clock

Clocks bring a symbolic, detailed and accessible expression of the rhythm of life into the home, mimicking nature’s clock, which brings us the synchronistic cycles of nature in the reflection of the seasons, lunar phases, tidal changes, and day changing into night and back again, just to name a few.

Clocks bring movement and rhythm

In the same way that nature expresses movement and rhythm, clocks bring these two elements of nature into our environment. Clocks express the “physical” advancement of time through the visible progression of the seconds, minutes and hours in a day, encouraging us to be more organized, methodic and productive. If the clock has an audible ticking sound, it adds sonic rhythm, sending waves of vibration through the room and adding to the positive energy of nature in our homes.

Digital or analogue?


Both types of time displays offer something to the environment. Although some people prefer the clear accuracy of a digital display, others want to avoid the electromagnetic field created by the digital clock and instead opt for the more expressive movement of the hour and second hands on the analogue clock.

Clock feng shui representation: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually

Physically, clocks, with their structure, tempo, rhythm and movement, bring active, organizational and planning energy to a room and are seen as more “yang” (expanding and active) than yin (contracting and passive).

Mentally, clocks always engage your mind and make you think when you look at them: Am I late? Do I have enough time to do one more thing? Can I sleep a little while longer?

Emotionally, clocks affect you as nothing else in your house can, because knowing what time it is can easily get you in motion or make you either happy or anxious.

On a spiritual level (consciously or unconsciously), we know time is an illusion, but clocks remind us that we are human and that our time is limited. We have only so many hours in a day to accomplish what we want and we have only so many years in a life span.

Fast, slow and broken clocks

Broken clocks symbolize “time standing still.” If things have been stagnant in your life, check to see if your clocks are moving. If not, get rid of broken clocks or repair them or replace their batteries to get them moving again.

Clocks set too fast can cause chaos in your life. If you feel out of sync, act impulsively or constantly jump the gun, missing out on potential opportunities, check your clocks. If they are set ahead, adjust them to reflect the correct time. Develop the habit of being on time by changing your behavior, not the clock’s.


Slow clocks that fail to keep proper time symbolize procrastination, lethargy, unproductive energy and slowing you down.

Finally, here are a few general “dos and don’ts” when it comes to clocks:

• Place them where you can easily see them. You should not have to strain to see the time. Hang wall clocks just above eye level, symbolically making a balanced existence within reach.

• A clock should not be the first thing you see when entering your home or a room, otherwise you will always feel short on time.

• For a more restful and relaxed environment, have no more than one clock in the bedroom. Although not practical in this day and age, your own internal clock is best for the bedroom.

• In feng shui, it is considered rude when a young person gifts an elderly person with a clock, because it symbolizes to the elderly person that his or her time is running out.

• If you have a collection of clocks, display them on a living room wall or gallery-style in a hallway.


Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.