What’s more, Juliana Abram was brought up in the true traditional Italian environment to the extent that she could not speak a word of English until she went to an Australian school.
“It’s because of my situation that I have a better understanding of how the migrants in Australia feel and appreciate the different cultures and what they have to offer,” she says softly.
Abram, who describes her involvement in feng shui as a “mission in life” that came to her by accident, was originally a finance broker.
While she enjoyed the job, her life was in a mess. Her illness was getting worst; she had a major legal battle on her hands and relationships was going through a difficult time.
One day someone mentioned “feng shui”. She had never heard the words before. But she had always thought that where she lived made a difference to how she felt.. So it was something that resonated deeply for her.
“I started to talk about this style of thinking, if you like, and became interested in reading all about feng shui,” Abram recalled.
Two days before returning to Perth from a visit to Chiang Mai, she was invited to a cocktail party attended mainly by Hong Kong businessmen and some expatriates in Thailand.
It was here that she first heard about Master Raymond Lo, considered to be one of the five top feng shui masters in China.
She found his talk was very logical and methodical rather than mystical.
Back in Perth, Abram sought more information about Master Lo who, as a professional feng shui and destiny consultant and researcher, helps people to create prosperity and harmony in their environment. He specialises in the Four Pillars of Destiny and I Ching Divination.
He has been credited of having predicted correctly in his column in Hong Kong Standard the fall of Soviet leader Gorbachev, the resignation of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the resignation of Russian President Boris Yetsin, the capture of former
Abram decided to phone Lo in Hong Kong and asked if he would teach her feng shui. Three times she approached him and each time he rejected her. But she persisted.
Finally, Lo asked why she wanted him to teach her feng shui. She replied that if she was going to become a feng shui consultant, she would be dealing with people’s lives and would need to do it properly by learning from one of China’s top masters.
He then asked for her date of birth and promised to call her if he decided she had the characteristics to be a feng shui consultant. He kept his promise.
Abram flew to Hong Kong and began her lessons in 1996. What she learned was to use “an authentic and effective tool to unravel the mystery of life” involving the study of the life-force energy “chi” and its effect on people and their environment and applying a change so that people’s lives are harmonious and prosperous.
“In reality, what I have to do is take an ancient Chinese science and operate its principles in modern society,” she explains. “It is a very different thing.
“You have to study it for a long time using logical thinking and processes to understand what feng shui principles are and how to adapt them for the good of other people.”
When Abram returned to Perth, the first thing she did was to apply these principles on the environment of her home. She found it was not good and decided to shift house. Life consequently improved.
Feng shui is now getting more popular in Australia. It is no longer the practice of only the Chinese, but more Westerners, particularly Australians, are seeking advice to ward off misfortunes, build a better business by choosing the right spot or position to set up their offices or factories and create harmony in their office or home environment.
For example, company director P Crabb says that since consulting Abram, harmony has returned to his office for the first time in years and many outstanding business deals have been amicably settled which, in turn, has increased prosperity.
Liz van der Zanden of Studio Classique says that her business has improved and here staff and clients are feeling the benefit of harmony and peace that now exists in the premises.
Abram had just finished examining the building site and plans of a couple when I interviewed her last week. She said the idea was to get the tangible and intangible “chi” working together through better placement of doors, rooms, and furniture in the home or workplace.
This is done by using several parameters such as building’s date of construction to a scale floor plan and its exact orientation according to the Chinese compass, known as “lo pan”.
“I try to improve the positive energies and minimise the negative influences,” Abram says. “And it is important to balance the opposing energies of yin and yang.”
Abram is now frequently invited to speak at conferences and various television and radio-talk back programs in Australia and overseas.