An Introduction to Feng Shui
What is Feng Shui? This is a simple question that can be quite difficult to answer. Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that teaches how to balance the energies in any given space, be it a home, office or garden, in order to assure good fortune for the people inhabiting it.
As good fortune comes in many ways such as better health, successful career, fulfilling love life etc. Feng Shui has detailed tips for almost any area of one’s life.
The ancient Chinese art and science of Feng Shui gives you the tools to create balance and harmony in your surroundings, which helps you to move forward with ease and inspiration. One of the basic tenets of Feng Shui is that you are influenced by everything in your outer environment. So, if you arrange your environment in a way that properly circulates life force energy, you will flourish.
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement. The basic principle is that life force energy, known in China as “chi”, flows through your dwellings and has a powerful effect on the way you feel and think. The surrounding landscape as well as the objects, layout and emotions in your environment affect this flow of energy. When your space is filled with positive energy and symbols, you feel happy and motivated.
To simplify, your goal is to maximize the positive energy and minimize the negative. Some people are fearful that their home cannot be remedied, but fortunately 95% of the problems have viable and inexpensive solutions. Feng Shui gives you a variety of techniques to increase, moderate and circulate energy, which ultimately creates harmony and peace.
Feng means wind and Shui means water. In Chinese culture wind and water are associated with good health, thus good Feng Shui came to mean good fortune, while bad Feng Shui means bad luck, or 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 energy.
In ancient China, Feng Shui was first used to locate the most auspicious sites to bury ancestors and to find the most favourable places to build palaces, monuments and government buildings. The Chinese focused on the invisible influences of energy because they felt their lives were closely linked to their environment. They identified ways in which the natural energy around them behaved and how it affected them. They experimented and found that there were favourable locations to build homes where health and luck was on their side. The Chinese concluded that if a person shifted and balanced the energy in their surroundings, it would lead to a vital, prosperous and harmonious life.
Many different schools of Feng Shui are practiced around the world. There is a strong crossover in the basic principles, one of which is the concept of Yin and Yang. Yin energy is feminine, receptive, slow and soft while Yang energy is masculine, active, fast and hard. The idea is to reach balance by creating an equilibrium of Yin and Yang in your environment. The three main schools are the Flying Star School, Compass School and Form School, which differ in their approach and implementation.
Flying Star School
Flying Star Feng Shui deals with the unseen energies that exist within a structure. When buildings are completed and the first occupants move in, this gives our homes or offices an age, or a “born” date. In addition, every building has an obvious facing direction that is determined through using the Lo Pan or Chinese compass. When this direction is combined with the age of the building the flying star chart can be created.
As Chinese Astrology is an energy map of a person’s life and how they will travel through time, the flying star chart of the building is its energy map that details what effects the inhabitants of the building will receive over certain periods of time.
Flying stars are dynamic and always changing with time. Flying Star Feng Shui is the only branch of Feng Shui that takes into consideration the effects of time on the energy of a building. There are base flying stars, or base energies that govern the Feng Shui of our home for twenty year periods. However, every year particular flying stars arrive in different locations.
We need to pay attention to the more damaging of these stars and diminish them. By the same token, there are also positive stars that arrive in different locations. These can always be enhanced, but only under specific circumstances. So once you have a Feng Shui evaluation done on your home, it is necessary to update and maintain it every year, usually around Chinese New Year.
Originated in the fourth century AD, Form school was originally used for finding suitable orientation of tombs, as the Chinese believe that the burying of their ancestors will have a direct effect on their own wealth and fortunes, it involved a thorough analysis of the land, its contours, mountain ranges and the location of water. Form school Feng Shui was also used to find the most ideal locations to build major cities.
These ancient people studied the land, qi flow and the principles of yin and yang. From this, they learnt how best to site their homes, ensuring plentiful harvests and healthy livestock, thereby ensuring their own prosperity.
Today using Form School means analyzing natural features such as trees, hills, mountains, rivers and lakes. In the urban environment, this also includes other buildings, walls and fences. Form School is still relevant today, and particularly important in Flying Star Feng Shui.
Compass Feng Shui uses a compass to divide a home or office into the eight compass sectors plus the center of the home (The Tai Chi).
Each compass sector has one of the five elements associated with it, water, wood, fire, earth or metal. Each compass sector also has a life aspiration associated with it, wealth, fame, relationships, children, helpful people, career, knowledge, and family. The contents of the home (and their shapes), even the people themselves have their place within a particular sector.
The Eight Mansions Formula uses a person’s year of birth and gender to determine their kua number and best compass directions. Utilizing your best compass directions for sleeping and working is said to help support your life goals.
The 3 Lucks
According to Chinese scholars, a person’s life is determined by factors also known as “The Three Lucks” –
Heaven Luck, Earth Luck and Man Luck. Heaven luck is believed to be pre-determined at birth, and relates to a person’s potential based on their destiny, previous karma and genetic make-up.
Earth luck represents the environmental influences that affect a person’s life, such as the weather, land form, colour, shapes and architectural elements. Earth luck is determined by the political situation, prosperity and general state of a person’s birth location as well as the Feng Shui of their environment.
Man luck is the most important influence and can have the greatest impact on your life. Man luck is determined by hard work, attitude, determination, education, self-development, and how charitable a person is towards others. Each type of “luck” represents the reasons a person’s life is the way it is. While improving the Feng Shui in the home or office can bring positive energy and opportunities, it is up to the individual and their Man Luck, to bring those opportunities to fruition.