You would have probably heard of the term Feng Shui, which in the Chinese language, literally translates to Wind and Water respectively. You might have also heard countless stories on how Feng Shui can affect the household occupants (positively or negatively). For Feng Shui novices and those who are self-taught, referencing books and online resources but are overwhelmed by the jargon, this guide is for you.
In this article we are going to demystify Feng Shui by explaining it in English. Hopefully by the end of the article, you would have a better understanding of Feng Shui theories and the different schools of thoughts. Lets dive in.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is a concept or optimising living or working spaces to achieve balance with the energies or Qi (pronounced chi) of the natural world. Harmony is achieved by arranging or placing objects in certain ways to improve flows of Positive Qi and keeping Negative Qi at bay.
But what exactly is Feng Shui? And what is all the hype about? To utilise Feng Shui, do we need to fill our residences with ornaments to look like a Chinese restaurant? Can close adherence to Feng Shui theories change our destinies and turn us a millionaires?
The short answer to all the above questions is, No.
Feng Shui cannot change your life drastically in short span of time. And you probably won’t be a multi-millionaire on Feng Shui alone. More importantly you do not need to turn your house into a Chinese restaurant in order to utilise Feng Shui. Sometimes, it is as simple as changing the positions furniture in your living room to let auspicious Qi to accumulate over time. So that occupants of a living space can enjoy harmonious energies at offices and at home.
Origins of Feng Shui
Feng Shui this term was coined way back in the Tang Dynasty (618 to 906 A.D), China. However in order for us to understand the term better, we need to time travel back in time to Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 220 A.D).
Back then, Feng Shui was known as Kan Yu (堪舆), which really means “the studies of Heaven and Earth”. Heaven, in this context is similar to astrology. The study of how stars and the solar system are formed, aligned and how its positive or negative energies impact us on Earth.
And the study of Earth refers to the understanding of terrain, in other words, Geography. How the landscape can affect its occupants.
Using Kan Yu, our forefathers believe we can make use Qi at the “meeting point” (where heaven and earth Qi meets) to help us harmonise our living environment, or rather, to help us understand mother nature so that we can live peacefully, aligned as one. With the understanding of Kan Yu, it will help us to understand Feng Shui better.
Because Feng Shui practices evolved from Kan Yu. So, how do we harness the positive Qi and avoid the negative Qi?
In the simplest form, it teaches us how to manage Qi (Combination of Wind and Water) and to harness this auspicious Qi to harmonise our living environment.
In order for us to harness auspicious Qi, we will need to withhold Qi and collect Water. Simply because Qi gets dispersed easily when it “gets in contact” with wind.
Qi is, however, retained with the presence of water. Therefore we must learn how to withhold Qi and collect water in an appropriate manner. So that we can use it to our advantage in harmonizing our living environment.
Now that we know the terms, you might ask if we should focus on Feng Shui theories are based on water formations? Since we mentioned that Qi is retained in the presence of water, surely, we must apply some water formation theories in order for Feng Shui work!? The answer is unfortunately, No.
In auditing Feng Shui for residences, the “sitting mountain” 坐山 method is preferred in performing a Feng Shui audit rather than water formations. Because in order for us to enjoy the benefits of the Water Qi, it has to be of natural occurrence and not man-made water formations. And in modern, urban landscapes, natural water features are usually lacking.
Having explained that, this is why water theories in Feng Shui usually plays a secondary role. However, if you live in rural areas that has water features such as lakes or ponds, water theories will be the main consideration for a Feng Shui Audit.
That is why Qi management in Feng Shui holds the important key to harness auspicious Qi to help harmonise our living environment.
Different schools in Feng Shui
Having said that, they are different ways to harness the Qi from our environment. As they say, …”All roads lead to Rome”. There are a lot of different systems in the world of Feng Shui. But in general, there are two approaches, Yin and Yang.
- Landform Feng Shui deals with landscape and the search of good meridian points to perform certain activities.
- Dynamic Feng Shui where formulas are usually used to justify whether a spot is a good for harnessing positive Qi.
And these two approaches have branches out to different school of thoughts. Especially Dynamic Feng Shui where you have:
- San Yuan Feng Shui
- San He Feng Shui
- Nine Stars Feng Shui (Purple White Stars, 紫白)
- Eight Mansion Feng Shui (八宅法)
Dynamic Feng Shui practitioners commonly uses these 4 methods. And at Cm Centre, we strive to respect all the different forms of Feng Shui schools of thoughts. Simply because, all formulas were derived from profound knowledge based on thousands of years of tradition. And can be applied in different situations when we perform a Feng Shui audit.
As Feng Shui practitioners, we do not discriminate between the different schools of thoughts. Instead, we strive to share what we have learned to better help people in need. We believe that this is the best way, to repay and preserve the wisdom our forefathers bestowed to us.
The Yin and Yang of Feng Shui
What is the difference between Yin and Yang Feng Shui? Lets find out.
Yang Feng Shui: 5 important considerations for your residence
Yang Feng Shui deals with living spaces. Spaces that are used by people (obviously). In order for us to do manage Qi for a property, here are some considerations practitioners look out for:
- Property Period Luck: This method helps us understand the luck (运) of the property and how we can utilize the property period luck to assist us in our daily lives.
- Property Dynamics: The formula is based on the direction of sitting mountain (坐山) as a basis to derive the attributes of the house (five elements). With this formula we can provide appropriate remedy for the house should the property period luck is falling short.
- External Environment of the Property: Observation on the surroundings of the property As some features such as bending roads, may have a negative impact on the property.
- Property Qi: Using Purple White stars (紫白) to identify auspicious spots in the property and enhance its effects as much as possible.
- Negative Spots of the Property (煞气，煞位): Conversely, to find negative spots in your home, advanced concepts like San Sha, Yao Sha, Jie Sha etc are taken into consideration.
Yin Feng Shui
For a complete understanding of Feng Shui, we must also look into Yin Feng Shui. While Yang Feng Shui relates to a property (for the living), Yin Feng Shui deals with burial places. The Chinese believe that a good “Yin House” for ancestors will bring blessings to dependents for generations. Classic texts tells us four important components of Yin Feng Shui:
- Determination of Dragon: In this context, dragon does not refer to the mystical creature. But rather the shape of the mountain that is critical in finding a good meridian point for burial.
- Determination of formation: Formation of how the lake and river is formed. Understand the veins of the dragon (the river or lake that is flowing through the mountain, this can be considered as the “blood of the dragon”). And the speed of moving water. These are some of the important contributing factors in good Yin Feng Shui.
- Determination of earth/soil. The deceased will ultimately be buried in a good meridian spot of the mountain. It’s then the Qi in the soil that determines the luck of the decedents.
- Determination of facing. This refers to how the tombstone is faced so that the correct energy is absorbed and accumulated over the years.
Conclusion: What is Feng Shui?
We hope you have enjoyed this article. And that you have learnt an overview of What Feng Shui is. And its different schools of thoughts. At Cm Centre, our Feng Shui Masters provide Feng Shui audit services for Home and Businesses to help optimise your properties and home selection.