About Moni

Moni Castaneda Feng Shui Consultant, Teacher, and Public Speaker

Moni, Feng Shui Consultant, Teacher, and Public Speaker

Hey there!

I am glad you found this website and are taking the time to get to know me a little better.

My journey with Feng Shui started in 1996. I had moved to the United States a year before, only one month after I graduated as an architect in Quito, Ecuador.

Shortly after I arrived I interviewed at an architectural firm for a position. There I learned that my six year degree was not recognized in this country.

The architect that interviewed me had checked on this between the time they received my resume and the interview. If I wanted to practice in the United States I would have to go back to school for at least four years, then work for another architect as an associate for three years, before I could even take the board exams.

I had felt such relief to graduate from what had been several years of grueling studying, with lots of sleepless nights, and such stress that to this day I sometimes dream that I have some really big project due in a few days and I am not finished.

Going back to school was not an option.

What was really confusing to me was that I got a very clear message from Heaven that studying architecture was my right path, and after all those years, to find myself in a position where, for moving to another country to live with my love, I would not be able to practice! There had to be a divine reason for this!

Feng Shui was the Reason

When I found Feng Shui it became clear to me why I needed to study architecture even though I would not have a chance to practice it: architecture gave me a knowledge base that I could use to study Feng Shui objectively and kick the confusion, superstitions, and fear out of Feng Shui!

The first book I read on Feng Shui I got as a door prize. It was a book with 101 Feng Shui tips for landscaping. It made sense to me, so I went on to buy the other two books available by the same author, these on 101 Feng Shui tips for homes and 101 Feng Shui tips for businesses.

I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the subject and was ready to start applying the knowledge to the Feng Shui of my own home. However, whenever I tried, it seemed the features in my home were all exceptions that were not included in the books. How I wished I had a Feng Shui consultant nearby to ask some questions! But there weren’t any consultants nearby, and the internet just wasn’t what it is today.

Here I was, armed with 303 Feng Shui tips, and I could not Feng Shui my own home!

I went out to the bookstore and I bought every single book available on Feng Shui. To my surprise, the more I studied, the more confused I got. What kind of a subject was Feng Shui that learning more about it increased the confusion, instead of giving more clarity?

Something Here Was Wrong!

I felt such passion for Feng Shui, I didn’t want to give it up, but there were so many contradictions and varying information – it could not all be correct.

There had to be a way to sift authentic Feng Shui knowledge from incorrect information.

One morning, as I woke up, that inner voice that uses no sound told me, “You need to write a book on Feng Shui.”

I protested, “I cannot write a book when I am still learning.”

But the voice was very insistent, and there was a clear message to take superstitions and fears out of Feng Shui.

“Write it and it all will become clear to you.”

I still did not set out to write a book on Feng Shui per se, but I did embark in the task of organizing all the materials I had collected and see what made sense.

First I grouped all the things that the different schools agreed on, and set that aside. Then came the grueling task of looking deeply in the face of all the contradictions. What was the truth?

I needed a point of reference that I could use to contrast the information and test it for truth.

One night, I was studying yet another book on Feng Shui when I glanced at my husband, who was sitting next to me, reading his own book. He was studying the same things I was studying.

Surprised, I asked him, “What are you reading? Are you reading Feng Shui?”

He was reading a book on martial arts. This book was about using pressure points (acupuncture points) in combat. The chapter he was reading was about the three cycles of the five elements. He was learning the pathways of each element to know where to strike.

I was studying about the cycles of the five elements as they are used in Feng Shui to determine color combinations and corrections.

An Integrated Culture

The fact of the matter is that Chinese culture is an integrated culture. What I mean by integrated is that their arts, science and cultural expressions are all based on the same fundamental principles of Universal laws.

So it doesn’t matter whether you are studying flower arrangement, calligraphy, drawing, painting, martial arts, medicine, or Feng Shui, as part of your studies you would all be learning some of the same subjects.

If you went to a school based on Traditional Chinese Wisdom, regardless of the major you choose, you would be sharing a classroom with people who have chosen to study a variety of professions.

You would all be learning that the Tao is the power from which all of Creation comes (some people confuse the term Tao with God. Tao is better understood as the Power of God)

You would also learn that the Tao created the Universe and that there are two major forces in the Universe: Yin and Yang.

You would learn that movement is life and that there is a life force called chi, which imbues the whole Universe with life, and many other fascinating facts that would reveal to you the nature of the reality in which we exist.

A Stroke of Good Luck

Around that time, I reconnected with a friend, also my first worldly spiritual teacher, who was a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Like me with Architecture and Feng Shui, she had a Western degree in a medical field, that gave her a more ample perspective of acupuncture, the main art she practiced.

I engaged the help of this friend for a period of over a year, to contrast Feng Shui knowledge from my “confusing and contradicting” pile with a base of knowledge that had not been degraded by the addition of superstitions and other fearful beliefs.

My point was, you could argue what is good Feng Shui or bad Feng Shui until you were blue in the face, but you could not argue in the same way what was good or bad acupuncture, you would know by observing patients and finding out whether they are getting better or worse with the treatment.

To my surprise, things that I had discounted as superstition, such as the eight trigrams and the I-Ching, are used – quite often – in the practice of Chinese medicine.

In the practice of acupuncture other facts of our existence are acknowledged as realities, such as past lives and life missions. For example, the acupuncturist seeks to find out if the current state of the patient was started in this life time, or before conception.

Other knowledge that I had taken as true, fell apart in the light of acupuncture, such as the use of color in Feng Shui. It was at this time that I discovered what bad idea it was to paint the whole room in the color of the life area on the bagua map. Really bad, because it messes up the harmony of the five elements, and the five elements precede the eight trigrams that rule the life areas in importance.

To Use the Magnetic Compass or not?

One big question I had was whether to use the magnetic directions and the compass in order to determine the locations of the life areas on a floor plan, or whether to use the “compass of the heart” forwarded by the late Master Lin Yun.

My heart felt Lin Yun’s method was better, but I did not have the knowledge I have now to trust my heart (the heart is the only place where your spirit has not had to lower its frequency to occupy your body), so I waited for a sign from Heaven.

The sign came to me one day when the silent voice suggested I take an alternate route to go see a client Near the end of that route, a man wearing the most unusual winter black hat (in the middle of Summer), too little to fit his head, turned the corner, looked me in the eye and pointed his index finger at me. I still feel goose bumps as I write this. (Let me know if you felt them too!)

Clearly this was a sign to use the “compass of the heart,” aligning the bottom of the bagua map with the wall that contains the main door, or “mouth of chi,” as Master Lin Yun, head of the Black Hat school of Feng Shui suggested.

It wouldn’t be until several years later that my spiritual teacher would share with me why this made so much sense and how this system works better, because it is based in the biology of the human body.

To Be or Not to Be

My question was more on the lines of “to become or not to become” certified by an already existing Feng Shui master, or to continue to learn solo, using Chinese medicine as my gauge.

I kept going back and forth with this for a long time.

At some point, I had pretty much decided to travel to California and get trained under a master, when I found a mistake in one of the books he coauthored. It was advice given about how to use mirrors opposite doors in narrow hallways. As an architect, I know this is one way you could startle a person into having a heart attack, thinking somebody is coming “right at them.” The Feng Shui reasoning made sense, but I new this would not be good in practice. I also read from one of his first students advice to place a mirror at the bottom of a staircase, to counteract the chi going down the staircase and force it to go up again. This is another way to give a person a heart attack (please don’t try this at home!), but more importantly, why use a mirror to double a staircase, which is considered to be a huge Feng Shui problem no matter what it’s shape and location? It didn’t make sense.

Still I did not trust myself and my inner guidance to proceed on my own. How would I ever be trusted by clients if I did not have a certificate and a Grand Master to back me up?

Come to find out, my clients couldn’t care less. As soon as they learned of my degree in Architecture, all their doubts dissolved.

By then the Nine Steps to Feng Shui® system was taking good shape, and I wanted to be able to teach it to other people. Would students trust me if I did not have an ancient school to hold my back? Lucky for me, my students felt so great during classes, that they did not care either. They wanted to learn what I had to teach regardless of credentials, because they understood what I was teaching, and when they went home and applied it, it worked! When I was writing my first book one student went as far as saying: “As soon as your book gets published I am going to recycle all my other Feng Shui books.”

The problem was that, even though my clients and students did not care I did not have a certificate, I did. I cared very much.

Psychic Help?

It took a sign from Heaven, for me to understand it was not necessary for me to follow another master – that following the mastery in my own heart was enough help others bring out the mastery of their own hearts.

I was about to move to live from Mississippi to Iowa, when Gloria Murphy – a healer and psychic that was introduced to me by my dear friend Regina Catalano, also a healer – offered to give me a free reading as a going away gift. If you know me, you know I don’t do psychics and prefer to trust my own inner guidance. I honestly only said yes because she was so nice and I did not want to hurt her feelings.

The first thing she told me was my guides and angels had asked her to talk to me because I had quit listening to them – chagrin –she relayed some advice that didn’t make sense to me at the time, but that was crucial to me after I had children.

She wanted to know if I had questions and I asked whether I should continue solo or get certified. Her immediate answer was going to be “Of course you do,” but she recognized it as her own belief and not what was coming from Spirit. Spirit’s answer was “It does not matter. It would not make any difference regarding what you ultimately came to do.”

What I Ultimately Came to Do

What I ultimately came to do, I know now, is to share ancient wisdom which was collected in the studies of Traditional Chinese Wisdom many years ago, to give people back the control of their immediate environments, so that they can improve their collective environment.

To make it FUN and practical, I share this wisdom through the art of Feng Shui!

The most common feedback Feng Shui clients give me is “I feel more hopeful.” The most common feedback students give me is: “It all makes sense now.”

My main goal in working with students and clients is that they realize their natural spiritual ability to be co-creators of their own lives, and the crucial role that living and working in environments with a healthy circulation of chi (life force) can have in the attainment of their goals.




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