Feng Shui Introduction
Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000
years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that
reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to
assure the health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.
An ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to utilize the
Laws of both heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to
help one improve life by receiving positive Qi. The original
designation for the discipline is Kan Yu (堪舆; kānyú;
literally: Tao of heaven and earth).
The words feng shui literally translate as "wind-water" in
English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following
passage of the Zhangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the
Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when
A feng shui spiral at LA
Chinatown's Metro station
Feng Shui History
In Chinese culture gentle wind and clear water have always been
associated with good harvest and good health, thus "good feng shui" came
to mean good livelihood and fortune, while "bad feng shui" came to mean
hardship and misfortune.
Feng Shui is based on the Taoist vision and understanding of
nature, particularly on the idea that the land is alive and filled with Chi, or
The ancient Chinese believed that the land's energy could either make or
break the kingdom, so to speak.
The theories of yin and yang, as well as the five feng shui elements, are
some of the basic aspects of a feng shui analysis that come from Taoism.
Until the invention of the magnetic compass, apparently Feng Shui relied
on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the Universe
Traditional Feng Shui instrumentation consists of the Luopan or the
earlier south-pointing spoon (zhinan zhen)
Use of Feng Shui
Left: A building in Hong Kong
with a hollow middle hole,
maximizing on fengshui benefits
Below: A modern feng shui
fountain at Taipei 101, Taiwan
Purpose & Element of Feng Shui
The goal of feng shui as practiced today is to situate the human
built environment on spots with good qi. The "perfect spot" is
a location and an axis in time.
From the feng shui use of aquariums to attract prosperity to
the feng shui use of crystals and fountains, from the right feng
shui use of colors to the feng shui use of clocks, there are many
ways you can improve your home energy with feng shui.
Qi (ch'i) is a either a movable positive or negative life force
which plays an essential role in Feng Shui. In martial arts Qi
refers to internal or physical energy.
A traditional explanation of Qi as it relates to Feng Shui would
include the orientation of a structure, its age, and its
interaction with the surrounding environment including the
local microclimates, the slope of the land, vegetation, and soil
quality. One use for a Luopan is to detect the flow of Qi
Bagua (eight symbols)
Two diagrams known as bagua (or pa kua)
loom large in feng shui, and both predate
their mentions in the Yijing or I Ching. The
Lo (River) Chart (Luoshu, or Later Heaven
Sequence) was developed first
The cardinal directions are determined by
the marker-stars of the mega-constellations
known as the Four Celestial Animals.
East: the Green Dragon (Spring
equinox) --- Niao (Bird), α Hydrae
South: the Red Phoenix (Summer
solstice) --- Huo (Fire), α Scorpionis
West: the White Tiger (Autumn
equinox) --- Xu (Emptiness, Void), α
Aquarii, β Aquarii
North: the Dark Turtle (Winter
solstice) --- Mao (Hair), η Tauri (the
Flying Star Feng Shui
Update - 2nd Month of the
Ji Choh Earth Ox Year
6th March - 4th April 2009
Elements of Feng Shui
Polarity is expressed in feng shui as Yin and Yang Theory.
Polarity expressed through yin and yang is similar to a bipolar
The "elements" of feng shui
(water, wood, fire, earth/soil, metal) are made of yin and yang
in precise amounts (Greater wood has less yin than lesser
wood, but not as much yin as water, and so forth). Earth is a
buffer, or an equilibrium achieved when the polarities cancel
While the goal of Chinese medicine is to balance yin and yang
in the body, the goal of feng shui has been described as aligning
a city, site, building, or object with yin-yang force fields.
The main tools used in a feng shui analysis are the Compass
and the Ba-Gua. The Ba-Gua is an octagonal grid containing
the symbols of the I Ching, the ancient oracle on which Feng
Shui is based. Knowing the Bagua of your home will help you
understand the connection of specific feng shui areas of your
home to specific areas of your life.
Integrating The Five Elements Into Buildings
The Rising Energy of Fire
Fire takes a triangular form.
Its energy shoots upwards
bringing fabulous Yang
energy to the residents
The Fluidity of Water
This Guggenheim Museum unique building wraps itself in a fluid motion
suggesting a water-like shape.
Integrating Two Elements Together By understanding how the cycle
of elements work, water is produced through metal energy. The exterior skin
of the building, clad in metal sheeting, introduces the metallic energy needed to
feed the water shape building. The yin aspect is represented by the feminine
circular form sitting on the square platform of the building which takes on the
yang aspect. So by playing with two basic shapes - the square and circle, this
architectural masterpiece demonstrates how shapes and elements work
together, bringing a spectacular yet harmonious balance to the whole building.
Feng Shui Plants
The jade plant attracts money and prosperity. Place near the front door in a large pot.
The money plant brings wealth and money luck. Place near the main door of your home.
The Pine Tree is often planted with the cypress tree because both can survive the harshest of
winters; together they symbolize eternal, constant friendship. (also fidelity)
The Peony is a flower of riches, honor and the essence of spring. It represents feminine beauty.
Red peony is lucky for families with daughters who are looking for a partner. Plant it in the
Southwest corner of your garden to attract relationship, marriage, or romance luck in the home
The Lotus is the most auspicious plant to have. It is believed to inspire peace and
contentment, and to symbolize the opening of opportunities. The lotus blossom is also
associated with the Buddha and growing a lotus will engender a growth of spiritual
The White Magnolia is a symbol of purity and a single magnolia tree planted in the front
garden is said to attract great contentment. Grown in the back garden, it is said to symbolize
hidden jewels, or the gradual accumulation of great wealth.
The lily represents good feng shui throughout the year
The plum, whose blossom are regarded as pure and superior.
The bamboo, which is disciplined and upright.
The orchid, which is reclusive and strong in character.
The chrysanthemum, which is pure and honest
Note: Good feng shui involves maintaining the garden: trimming, thinning,
Feng Shui Application
Hi Lillian, We have a south 2/3 facing house, and we have been suffering financial
and health problems since 2006. In the south of the house, there is a huge lamppost.
My father has faced an emergency medical situation last year and is still quite ill.
Meanwhile, I am facing marriage problems, but career-wise, I'm OK. I occupy the
southwest part of the home. In the west-southwest sits my room's air-conditioner
and also some drainage pipes. Can you help me on this? Regards, Santanu Basu
Dear Santanu, A south-facing house should not be having severe problems this year.
Your dad's problem must be due to his bedroom. The illness star is in the centre - in
the heart of the home - this year, and this causes residents to be more vulnerable to
illness, especially if the bedroom is also 'afflicted' or if your dad is an Ox or a Tiger.
I suggest you invest in a metal wu lo and place it in the centre of the home (and
inside his room as well). If he is in hospital, place one next to him.
As for your marriage problems, they are probably due to your state of mind. I am
sure you are not doing badly at all, as you with be benefiting from the southwest
location of your room. Maybe you are feeling the effects of the peach blossom
luck, which resides in the place where your air-con is located. If so, then your
'marriage problems' are up to you to resolve. Alternatively you may want to
relocate the air-cond although it hardly seems worth doing, as this affliction is only
Landscape Feng Shui
Integrating the 5 Elements into a Design Feature
When you integrate concepts of feng shui, you have to look at the aesthetic nature and visual
perception of space. Look at how the rooms are orientated.
When you have two spaces designed as one, redefine the orientation such that they are perpendicular
to each other.
Understand the use of your material palette. Always balance soft (yin) with hard (yang). Over-use of
any material can bring visual unbalance to overall house concept.
Be sure to use portals sensibly, and remind yourself that these architectural features offer a tool to
frame the unique features around your home. The idea is to create a gallery of views.
Do not put plants or water features in any of your bedrooms. Use alternative remedies or enhancers.
World of Feng Shui: www.wofs.com
American Feng Shui Institute: www.amfengshui.com
KISS Guide to Feng Shui (Keep It Simple Series)
by Stephen Skinner (Paperback - Nov 1, 2001)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui, Third Edition
(Paperback) by Elizabeth Moran and Master Joseph Yu
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui: How to Apply the Secrets of Chinese
Wisdom for Health, Wealth and Happiness by Lillian Too (Paperback - Oct 25, 1996)