Feng shui is a Chinese system of laws meant to balance the energies (chi) in a given space. These laws are used to construct and optimize spaces (residential and commercial) to bring happiness. It focuses on harmonising everything with the surrounding environment. The term feng-shui literally means ‘wind-water’ in Chinese culture and is meant to bring good fortune. It is closely related to Taoism, a philosophical tradition originated in China that teaches how to live in harmony with the Tao (which translates to ‘the way’ or ‘path’).
Feng shui has gradually become popular in the western culture. People are practicing feng shui while designing their homes or offices to bring harmony and positive energy into their homes. Since it has spread to the countries other than China, it is worth discussing this ancient art and science further.
Feng shui originated thousands of years ago in China. However, its exact origin is not known. Some say that its history extends 2,000 years whereas other scholars are of the opinion that fen shui dates 5,000 years. In ancient times, feng shui was used to find two things, first, dwelling places where people could build their houses, farm animals, grow crops and flourish. And second, the best burial sites for family members who died.
People started practicing feng shui as an organised body of knowledge since the Tang dynasty. At that time, feng shui masters were employed to locate auspicious sites. One of the most notable masters of feng shui was Master Yang Yun Sang. He wrote many feng shui texts in which he focused on the importance of selecting a propitious site that had ‘dragon’s breath’ or energy.
The concept of ying and yang are one of the fundamental principles of feng shui. It represents balance and continuous change. Broadly speaking, ying and yang are dependent opposites that cannot survive without each other and so, they must always be in equilibrium, flowing in a natural cycle. Ying and yang can be described as negative and positive, female and male, night and day, etc. All of these concepts are dependent on each other and maintain a balance for a continuous flow of energy.
Another principle of feng shui involves the five elements, they are fire, wood, water, metal, and earth. All the elements combine together to bring harmony to a specific space. For example, water provides moisture to wood (trees), wood works as a fuel for the fire, fire forms ash for the earth (soil), earth gives birth to metal and metal helps to form moisture by allowing water to cool on it through condensation. This principle is followed when a building is designed according to the principles of feng shui where the elements are placed in accordance to create a harmony with the surrounding.
The feng shui compass and the bagua are the main tools of this ancient design system. The bagua is a feng shui energy map in the shape of an octagon with various I Ching (an ancient Chinese divination texts) symbols. This map is used to analyse the energy of a given space to show which areas of your home or office are connected to a particular area of your life.
Luo Pan, or the feng shui compass, is used to determine precise direction of a structure. It contains a magnetic needle surrounded by bands of concentric rings. Luo literally means everything and pan means bowl in English, so it is referred as a bowl that contains everything or all the secrets of the universe. Feng shui practitioners use compass and bagua together to enhance your home or office’s position chi and remove negative chi. You can learn how to use these two tools here.
Feng shui is an effective way of bring positivity to your home and making it more harmonious. If you want to design your home according to this ancient Chinese system, then contact a classic interior designer who has knowledge about this art and coordinate with him/her to get the plan executed flawlessly.