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Feng Shui Tips
Feng Shui, literally means wind and water. It is rapidly becoming a standard practice for creating the ideal environment in which to live and work.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study of the natural and built environment and has been practiced for thousands of years. This environment can be at the office, in your home, in a building, or on real property. A Feng Shui analysis examines the surrounding environment, the building, how the people interact with the building and looks at time-related factors. Based upon these considerations, recommendations can be made on how to improve your relationship with the environment around you. Results include prosperity, health benefits, and well being. Properly applied, Feng Shui recommendations can result in improvements in the life of the individuals who occupy the property.
Last Updated - 6th October 2005
How did Feng Shui originate?
Feng Shui can be stated as a form of Geo-mancy or Earth Wisdom. The Chinese form of Geomancy, or Feng Shui, has evolved to be both an Science and an Art. The science comes from the calculations and methodology used in analyzing a property. The Art of Feng Shui is the wisdom acquired from performing a multitude of analysis and knowing the exact degree to which the remedies (which are the results of the scientific analysis) are prescribed.
Throughout ancient China, classical Feng Shui was a closely guarded discipline used as a tool to ensure the good health, wealth, and power of the Imperial Dynasties.
What are the basic principles of Feng Shui?
The balance of Yin and Yang
Feng Shui is based on the principle of Yin and Yang. Balance, harmony, consistent change, and the interdependency of all things are but a few of the deep meanings within this simple representation. Yang representing heat and light is rising and Yin representing cold and darkness descends. These are just two of the many examples of logic and insight to be discovered within this image.
Yin and Yang
Shown above, the image represents the true orientation of the Yang and Yin. Yang, representing heat rises on the left (or East) and reaches its peak at the top (South). Yin representing coolness descends on the right (West) and reaches its maximum at the bottom (North).
Another analogy is that the sun rises in the East, reaches its hottest at noon and sets in the west, soon reaching its darkest. Yet within Yin there is a seed of Yang waiting to arise and within Yang there is Yin waiting to descend. This analogy can be applied to time, seasons, directions, and many other cycles of change.
The Relationship of Five Elements
Another simple, yet powerful representation based upon the Tai Chi (Yin and Yang representation shown above) is the 5 elements diagram. It is a view of how the elemental energies interact. Shown above in its balanced state, it is in harmony. Yet each element can strengthen or weaken other elements in a variety of beneficial and detrimental ways. When calculating the energy blueprint of a property these interactions provide the key to correcting issues within a property.
The Eight Trigrams
The Eight Trigrams are the basis for Feng Shui analysis and calculations. A Trigram is a representation of one of the eight directions. In the Ba Gua there is also a center which has no directional association, but is associated with earth. Based also on Yin and Yang concepts, the I-Ching, the Five Elements, and the Lo-shu map, it conveys a map for all other calculations used to determine the energy blueprint within a property.
The East/West Theory - (8 House Theory)
Both people and houses belong to one of the Trigrams. Each of the Trigrams fall into two distinct categories as either east group or west group. Matching a West group house type to a West group person is ideal, as is matching an East group house to an East group person.
North, South Southeast and East
Northeast, Northwest, Southwest and West
Effects of the Solar System (Xuan Kong)
This advanced technique uses the Eight Trigrams with particular calculations to derive the specific nature of the building and create its energy blueprint.
The environmental aspects are what most people immediately think of when they consider Feng Shui. Things such as not having sharp corners pointed at them and not living under high tension power lines are a couple of common examples that everyone either knows or can understand. Other environmental aspects such as living next to a freeway or a construction site are considered unfavorable. The elimination of Sha or evil influences and strengthening those environmental aspects that are good is what an environmental analysis recommends. These are but a few examples of what needs to be examined during an analysis.
How are these principles applied?
Feng Shui is based upon a set of theories and complex calculations derived from the I-Ching. This includes an in-depth understanding and application of the basic principles. Using these principles and taking into account the physical relationship between the natural environment and the magnetic fields of the Earth provides a blueprint of the influences around us. Using this blueprint we can see clearly the energies or Chi that effect us in our properties.
How is a Feng Shui analysis done?
The Feng Shui practitioner first observes the environment, using a Lo Pan (compass) to determine the orientation of the property. Calculations are then completed according to the basic principles. Then a determination of the energy characteristics within the property and its resulting effects on the occupants is made based on the results of these calculations. Remedies are then prescribed where necessary in order to balance the energy to produce a positive effect!
Misunderstandings of Chinese Geomancy
Feng Shui is becoming more prevalent in the West. This can be attributed to more and more people becoming aware of how their environment affects them. The health effects of high-tension power lines is but one example of how people are becoming cognizant of their environment and its relationship to their health and prosperity. Unfortunately, a lot of hearsay and misunderstanding as to what Feng Shui truly is has also become commonplace.
Some people have confused Feng Shui with religion and burning charms. Others think that seeking advice from Feng Shui practitioners contradicts the doctrines of their own religion. This is a mistaken concept.
Chinese geomancy (or Feng Shui) is not the product of any religious belief system. Rather, it is based on a set of calculations. The qualified practitioner examines the four aspects of Building, Environment, Time, and most importantly, People. Most books and information widely available only look at the first two aspects: Building and Environment. This is only a partial examination.
Time and People are two very important components that should not be omitted. A particular building may have a good environment and other positive attributes, but for a specific individual, it might require further examination and corrections to meet their individual goals for that time in their life and the life of the building.
How does one find a qualified practitioner?
The classical Feng Shui consultation involves no guesswork. Every building has unique energy characteristics that need to be individually addressed. True Feng Shui recommendations utilize only the five elements and not such things as mirrors, flutes, incense, or prayers.
Just as a qualified physician will not make a prescription without first meeting the patient, a proper Feng Shui analysis requires a visit to the property. Feng Shui looks at not only the environment, but also the orientation of the property within that environment.
Feng Shui is not related to any religion or belief system. A qualified Practitioner is one who has studied with a Master for many years and has acquired a scientific discipline, thus enabling them to apply complex calculations and an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui. Only then are they able to make very specific recommendations that can effect positive changes in ones lifestyle, relationships and financial returns.
Properly performed, Feng Shui can bring balance, harmony and prosperity to ones life
Feng Shui Tip
- Think in terms of balance. Is it too hot or too cold? Is it too bright or too dark? Good feng shui avoids extremes. Try to make the room or house as comfortable as possible without extremes. This can include colors. Red and Black are two extreme colors and should be used sparingly.
- A simple way to improve the Feng Shui of your home is by starting in the garden. Using beauty and color will enhance the qi of any house. The trick is to use the right colors. Similar to painting the house, if you use colors that are supportive to the trigram of the house, then you can promote the prosperity of the house. The trigram is determined by finding the sitting direction of the house. So if your house faces east and sits west, then your house is a Dui house and you can use metal colors such as golds, whites and silvers to enhance the house. By planting white flowers or by using golden color (not yellow) flowers, you can strengthen the qi of the house.
- Bringing flowers and beauty into the environment is always recommended.
- Remember to keep the flowers watered and alive. Dead flowers are unfavorable qi and should be avoided. So try adding flowers that are supportive to the house in the garden, or a pair of pots at the entrance. It will enhance the qi and the look of your home.
- When considering colors for the exterior to the house, use a color that is productive to, or is the same as the house trigram. For example, a Zhen house (sitting east) would be supported by blue (water) or is also strengthened by green, the natural color of the Zhen trigram. A Dui house (sitting west) would be supported by earth tones or can be strengthened by whites and metallic colors (the color of the Dui trigram).
- If you want to determine the quality of the qi of an area, look at the glossiness of the leaves in the trees and plants. Dull and brown, the qi is not favorable. Shinny, glossy, bright and beautiful, the qi is wonderful.
- When evaluating your own house, look for any sha (negative influence). These can be anything that affects the senses adversely. A foul smell from the trash, take the trash out and clean the container; a crack in the wall that has needed fixing for some time, fix it immediately or at least hide it behind a picture; or a broken tile on the steps, fix this up as soon as possible. Attack all the things that are bothering you, one-by-one. Soon you will have handled all the little things that are creating a bad feeling (even if only slightly). Doing so will help you feel more comfortable and will help the Feng Shui.
- When fixing these things, introduce beauty into the space. Add some flowers, replace something old with something fresh and new. All of these things go towards making a good Feng Shui house. Remember that the house should be warm and welcoming to you and others. This is promoting the good qi and reducing the bad.
- Many people are concerned about the fact that it is unfavorable to have your front door opposite to your back door. To correct that direct flow of qi, place a screen, a large bushy plant, or a large piece of furniture in such a way that the flow is interrupted. You want the qi to flow in a meandering fashion, not a direct line.
- If you know the Feng Shui chart for your house/office, use the good areas and avoid the unfortunate areas. Try to spend more time where the qi is good!
- Adding water in the East or Southwest directions outside your house can help the prosperity in the house until 2043. Be sure to keep the water clean and circulating!
- Mirrors, crystals, charms, animal symbols, and other trinkets are not authentic Feng Shui. Only the 5 natural elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are used as remedies in traditional Chinese Feng Shui.
- Adding metal in the Northwest direction can prevent delays, accidents and problems.
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