Basics of Feng Shui

The Basics of the Timeless Art of Feng Shui

Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese practice that intertwines artistic expression with the human environment. This spiritual practice is a timeless art relating to Southern Chinese traditions and culture. The feelings that Feng Shui commands have caused building projects to be abandoned to align with the needs of this basic artistic practice.

Literally meaning “wind and water” by translation, Feng Shui is a timeless art that aligns the location of human possessions with the position of environmental placement. This practice has three power principles: The Chi, the Five Elements, and the Bagua.

The traditional practice of Feng Shui revolves around connections to the physical environment and the needs therein. Practicing this tradition in your everyday life will bring a sense of calm joy into your home. Read on to discover how Feng Shui can be practiced in your living space.

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What Exactly Is the Meaning of Feng Shui?

Feng Shui (pronounced as “fung-shway”) literally translates to “wind and water.” This title explains just how important the elements connect to the tradition’s practices. In ancient Chinese traditions, Feng Shui is “closely associated with ancestor worship.”

Overall, the practice focuses on connecting the individual with the natural world. Feng Shui exists in multiple mediums, including home design, construction, architecture, and ritual burials. Though it has been in practice for more than 5000 years, the Western world has adopted the practice in the last 150 years as an “ancient Chinese art of placement.”

By following Feng Shui’s practices, people hope to gain a sense of peace and harmony in their day-to-day lives while being connected to the living world. Movements of minimalism have sprung out of this tradition as people attempt to limit dependency on material possessions. Many of Feng Shui’s basics begin with decluttering and evaluating the needs of a sensible living space.

Many practitioners of traditional Feng Shui equate every space with a spirit. By aligning their needs and possessions with the energy of the natural world, they are better able to give respect and enhance the level of good spirit Feng shui in their homes.

What Are the Rules of Feng Shui?

Before learning the basic rules of Feng Shui, you need to learn the basic rules of Chi.

Chi, also known as Qi, is a natural energy that flows through all life. The English translation of Chi is closest to “breath,” “air,” or “energy.” As such, Chi can be understood as an unseen natural energy that flows through all living things.

The influence of your personal Chi can dictate the type of energy that comes into your life. For instance, if you have a stronger connection to your life energy, you are more likely to be surrounded with positivity and happiness. Someone with a weak Chi tends to surround themselves with negative energies and influences.

Avoiding negative Chi is one of the primary focuses of good Feng Shui practices. This begins with tapping into the natural energy that exists in your space. Fighting these natural energies works against the principles of Feng Shui and invites negative energy into your space.

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Feng Shui in Construction

Historically in China, Feng Shui has influenced the construction of railroads and disrupted the mining industry. Because there is a belief that negative energies influence the country’s economic structure, the Chinese industry attempts to position construction projects in the most positively aligned environments.

“Negative energy” is present when either natural or manmade events disrupt the area’s natural Chi. Whether it is a violent death of a person or natural radiation producing negative energy, sometimes the only solution to apply proper Feng Shui is to move locations or abandon the project.

Feng Shui in the Home

In the home, a primary rule of Feng Shui is to avoid clutter. Imagine Chi like a river flowing through your home. Clutter disrupts the natural ebb and flow of the energy that circulates through your living space. Open spaces that harmonize with the natural flow of energy are essential for practicing Feng Shui in the home.

How Do I Find My Feng Shui?

Finding your Feng Shui begins with discovering the natural cycles of energy that flow around you. Feng Shui is heavily influenced by the theory of the Five Elements. These elements are:

  • Fire
  • Earth
  • Metal
  • Water
  • Wood

Each element corresponds to a color or set of colors. These colors are influenced by the elements and natural attributes related to the Bagua. Bagua means “eight-sided,” and it is essentially a type of energy map used to analyze the energy in a location. The traditional map is divided into these eight areas with corresponding colors and elements:

Health and family Blues, greensWood
Wealth and abundanceBlues, purplesWood
Fame and reputationRedsFire
Love and marriagePinksEarth
Creativity and childrenWhiteMetal
Helpful people and travelGraysMetal
Career and life pathBlack, dark tonesWater
Wisdom and spiritual growthDark bluesEarth

However, today, many Western practitioners of Feng Shui use a grid chart that aligns nine life areas, the addition being the central “Heart of the Home” (earth tones, earth element) and its relation to the other areas.

Using Colors and Charts to Find Your Feng Shui

Using basic tools of the tradition can assist in accomplishing your Feng Shui goals.

Color plays a very important role in aligning your space with the five elements. For instance, certain colors can be accompanied by water features or wind chimes to represent the ebb and flow of natural energy.

You can also find which element aligns with your birth chart by following the Chinese calendar. Charts align your birth year—according to the Chinese calendar—to what element is central to your Chi. Beginning your journey with Feng Shui can begin by understanding your birth element and how that aligns with your aspirations. 

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What is Bad Feng Shui?

Bad Feng Shui is any type of alignment that works against the natural flow of energy. This disrupts the positive emotions that surround natural Chi and invites in negative spirit and energy.

Sharp corners and dead ends must be avoided to avoid creating Shars or Feng Shui “Poison Arrows.” These Poison Arrows disrupt the flow of energy and create physical dangers for the inhabitants. For example, a sharp edge in a wall or the end of a cul-de-sac leaves Chi with no room to circulate.

Poison Arrows can include other things such as cemeteries or abandoned buildings close to the home, tall buildings disrupting the area surrounding your home, or objects like trees blocking the path to your front door.

As a result of these Poison Arrows, Chi builds up and becomes too stagnant in one area. Identifying them helps ensure the Feng Shui remains positive in your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Negative Chi?

Riding your environments of the negative energies that can influence your home begins by negating or neutralizing them. Start by finding the negative Chi that has begun making trouble in your life.

For example, if the problem rests in the kitchen, maybe the fire element has overtaken the household. To remedy this situation, you could place small water fountains or art involving rivers in the area.

Counteracting the primary element causing the discomfort will counteract the negative Chi that has invaded your space.

Why Should I Practice Feng Shui?

Adapting Feng Shui’s traditions into your everyday life inspires a practical lifestyle that inspires positivity and joy. Getting in tune with the natural element related to your birth chart helps you achieve a deep connection to the energy that lives around you.

Getting connected with this spiritual practice allows you to enjoy the world in a minimalist setting. Learning how to rid your environment of unnecessary clutter aids in eliminating the overwhelming sense of stress that can come into your day-to-day life. This also allows you to evaluate the things in life that you need versus the things in life you want.

Getting Started with Feng Shui

While aligning your home, Feng Shui in the bedroom cannot be forgotten; this is the room that both starts and ends your day. Negative Chi entering this room can negatively influence the rest of your day.

Start by deciding what colors from the Bagua should belong in the space that is most personal to you. After corresponding this to the elements, begin thinking about the placement of your bed.

The bed is the central piece to most bedrooms, so the placement of this piece of furniture is vital to practicing beneficial Feng Shui. It is recommended that you place the bed on the wall diagonally across from the bedroom door. This placement gives you full access to view anyone entering your sleeping space.

Clothing and bedding should be kept tidy and neat. This prevents poison arrows that can be easily avoided. Walking into a clean room after an exhausting day provides a stress-free environment free of negativity. All doors and cabinets should be kept closed when not in use.

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Feng Shui in Other Rooms of the Home

This practice can also be followed with furniture throughout the rest of the home. Consider placing a sofa or chair in a similar spot near the front door. Keep walkways free of debris and unnecessary decorations. 

As should be the practice of all homes practicing Feng Shui, keep all spaces free of clutter. Everything should have a place, and if you can’t find a place for it, evaluate if this item is adding or negating positive Chi in your life.

Avoid placing your bed or other furniture in a position that disrupts the natural walkways of the bedroom. This practice would negate the flow of Chi and cause you to have nights of restless sleep. If you block a direct pathway to the door, this blocks Chi’s movement as well.

In Summary

The timeless art of Feng Shui has seen a reemergence in popular culture. As many people begin exploring this traditional spiritual practice, they have discovered how the natural Chi in all living things influences the energies that enter our lives.

The three power principles of Feng Shui relate to getting in tune with the Five Natural Elements, Chi, and the Bagua. By exploring the significance of these three forces, the use of Feng Shui can become second nature.

Remember to not block or “dam up” the natural flow of Chi with Poison Arrows along the way. The literal translation, “wind and water,” perfectly emulates the image of Chi flowing through nature.

Finally, understanding the direction in which Chi naturally wishes to flow is a major step in learning the timeless art of Feng Shui. From these basic steps, a lifetime of positive energy can enter your home.

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