About Terra Firma Feng Shui
"Anu has the ability to create calm in any storm. He brings clarity to highly complex situations and inspires confidence in others to act for themselves."
M. P., Abergavenny.
An Interview With Anu van Warmelo MSc. Arch.
You began your career as a geomancer. What do you mean by that?
Geomancy is a way of understanding the earth at a deeper level than the mere visual. For example, when you have tracked the ley line visually, you go deeper to "feel the pulse". A little like an acupuncturist does when they take pulses before and after treatment. I also use my hands to touch the earth in order to feel how it is.
How do these lines of energy affect us?
They each have very particular signatures, and their influence radiates out across the land, for better or for worse, depending on the line, and what has happened to it.
Where did you learn geomancy?
Mostly on Dartmoor and Exmoor by studying topography (the lay of the land), and observing how people and nature were affected.
When did you first get involved in Feng Shui?
In the early 90's I had some powerful experiences in Devon and Cornwall and thus I became convinced that there was something in the talk about earth energies and ley lines and in order to find a pragmatic way of working with it, I researched Feng Shui.
This was before the internet, and I had to travel up to London to get Chinese books, and experiment with different schools to see what worked. This was over several years.
Then I went to Australia and studied the songlines a bit. These are akin to the lung mei in Feng Shui or the ley lines that maintain the wellbeing of the land.
The songlines are auditory rather than visual; the aborigines connect through song whereas the ley lines are more visual in the clues as to where they are.
Where did you start actually practising Feng Shui?
In Oxford. I started tentatively, with just a few clients and then built up my practice by word-of-mouth.
How did you study; can you say more about that?
As with the geomancy, I studied directly from the land itself and supplemented my findings with books and talking with other Feng Shui practitioners and dowsers. It also led me to learn from acupuncturists, builders, interior designers and architects. All of which continues to inform Terra Firma Feng Shui.
Tell us about Terra Firma Feng Shui
My methods differ from client to client. A large part is listening to find out what is going on at a deeper level. The skill is then to find the most elegant solutions for each particular situation.
Can you give an example?
Well, the best example is probably the case study we added to the site called 'The Harmony of Feng Shui'. If I'd been dogmatic about the situation, I would have applied certain rules for Danielle to follow irrespective of what she was going through at the time. I would also have insisted she replaced the missing corner of the house. With her personally, by paying attention I realised she was going through a certain phase and needed a particular decor to facilitate that. With the house, I had sensed the corner was not actually missing though I did not understand why at first.
In one of the other case studies you talk about a 'hidden contract'. What do you mean by that?
I'm often approached by people who have been trying to move or sell their house for a long time, unsuccessfully. In nearly every case I've had - possibly every case - this has shifted within a month of the survey. Part of the solution is discovering what I call The Hidden Contract that is between the owners (or tenants) and the location. This is different each time but the jist of it is always that the house desires - if I can use that word - certain changes, and won't let the people go until those changes have happened. The last such case I had, certain rooms were unused and were like atrophied limbs to the building, creating a deadness over the land. I encouraged the clients to wake those rooms up. Then they sold the house. Yet that required being sensitive to that particular situation and not coming with preconceived ideas or general 'cures'.
Tell us about your MSc Arch. in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies.
This was at CAT; the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, a course which is run by the University of East London. It included climate change, environmental building, energy solutions and sustainability in general. My particular interest became vernacular ('organic') architecture and my speciality now is in sustainable or resilient communities.
Can you say something about your background, before you entered the world of Feng Shui and geomancy?
Immediately before, I was a science and English teacher. And before that I have had many interesting and diverse jobs. I've been a vegetarian chef, an archivist assistant, a microbiology technician and worked in construction for a couple of years. I've travelled extensively, especially Europe: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Holland; and world-wide mostly America, Australia, India, the Caribbean and South Africa. Some places I lived in rather than worked and some I worked in more than I lived!
I'm also a writer under another name for novels and screen plays, and I've written a book on Feng Shui and geomancy.
Is Terra Firma Feng Shui just you?
It never feels that way, because I draw on the expertise of a large number of people continually, though the business is solely mine. Whichever area I am in, I make a point of finding out who is available, with what skills etc. Some people I work closely with, such as experts in electrical fields or energy conservation. Others I am merely aware of through the recommendations of friends, and I pass on their details to clients. Sometimes mediums are needed - rarely, but it does happen! - and they can be the hardest to track down, as the good ones often do their work on the quiet. Eventually I may like to get a team of assorted experts together, but for now it's more a loosely-affiliated group of friends and acquaintances.