What Is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui (pronounced - Fung Shway), is an ancient art and science which evolved more than 2,500 years ago in China. It is a system of knowledge that originates from the Taoist vision and understanding of nature, and in particular, the idea that the earth is alive and filled with ‘qi’ (life force) or Chi energy. In its most basic form Feng Shui reveals how to balance subtle energies (invisible to the eye) in any given space, to promote harmony, health and good fortune for the people inhibiting it.

The ancient philosophy of Feng Shui utilises the natural elements and the art of placement to bring a sense of equilibrium to the environment. The basic principles of Feng Shui work on maintaining a balance between two fundamental states - Yin (night) and Yang (day) and the five essential elements - fire, earth, metal, wood and water, to encourage positive Chi energy. Imbalances from any of these states and elements are believed to cause disharmony. Feng Shui practices are used to recognise the imbalances and create counter-balances where they may be needed.

The word Feng means wind, and the word Shui means water. In Chinese culture wind and water are associated with good health; therefore, to have good Feng Shui is to have overall good health. In its original form, Feng Shui was traditionally used in the design of palaces and dwellings of the wealthy merchant classes. In modern times, the modified versions of Feng Shui allow the benefits of Feng Shui to be available for people from all walks of life.

Some people today still obtain the services of qualified Feng Shui professionals to maximise the benefits of Feng Shui. Real estate mogul Donald Trump is one of the best known users of Feng Shui. Trump hired a Feng Shui master to analyse his properties which required some major costly alterations. However, the basic principles of Feng Shui can be utilised with little or no cost, and even small changes can make a positive difference in any home or office environment.

There are dozens of different approaches to Feng Shui, all drawn from different Feng Shui masters, formulas and various schools of thought, but all agree that recommendations should be based on how Chi energy supports, circulates and enters an area or property.

Form School or Landscape Feng Shui
The earliest known Feng Shui originates from the south-west region of China during the Han Dynasty (200BC to 200AD). It is known as Form School or Landscape Feng Shui. This type of Feng Shui used the principle of four Form animals (phoenix, tortoise, tiger and dragon), to represent different areas and structures of a property, and focused on protection and security.

Compass School & Black Hat Sect Feng Shui
One modern popular Feng Shui approach is Compass School Feng Shui, which divides up any space into Eight Mansions, all representing directions (and includes a central ninth section). Another is the modern interpretation called the Black Hat Sect, which divides a dwelling into eight sectors, irrelevant of the compass directions (again with a central ninth section). Here, each sector is given a particular aspiration such as ‘career’ or ‘family’.


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