Feng shui originates from 五术 (Wu Shu) 山、医、命、相、卜 which means “the 5 Studies” consisting Mountain, Medical, Destiny, Physiognomy and Prediction. Feng shui belongs to the category of physiognomy 相术 (XiangShu). Physiognomy is a study based on observation, formulas and calculations. One of the major “*grand master of fengshui” Guo Pu 郭璞 during Jin Dynasty 晉朝 summarise what is “Feng Shui”. It is found in the “Burial Classic 葬經”. In a nutshell “Life-giving air 乘生氣也” energy (does not literally means only physical air properties) when transported by the wind will disperse 氣乘风 則散; but when meets with water is entrapped, 界水則止 retaining it. 古人 聚之 使不散, 行之使 之有止, Hence the term 故謂之风水Feng Shui. In my opinion, feng shui is the house’s interaction and relationship with the environment. It is how one can harness nature’s external and internal environment for our living benefits.
Why feng shui home is important to us
Where a person stays 人之居处 i.e. residence，should be compatible with it’s physical environment attributes 宜以大地山河为主。This make sense because after a hard’s work one would like the warm, tranquility of a home environment to relax and “recharge” our bodies. The surroundings 其来脉气势 has a strong influence towards a person’s luck/well-being 最大关系人祸福; this is most critical 最为切要.
Feng shui yin yang principle
Feng shui literal translation means “wind-water,” wind as in 生气 “invisible life-giving energy” and water to “trap” the positive energy. The great grandmaster of feng shui范宜宾 in 葬书辩证 ultimatum in fengshui applications 风水之法，is to have water 得水为上，藏风次之 as top priority so as to trap the “qi” not “chi” as in some books (proper Chinese pinyin, do not want to disrespect Chinese semantics) what i call energy not “air”. The core concept of feng shui is 动静 阴阳 the harmonious balancing of yin-motionless and yang-motion energies. Anything in motion is yang energy or 白气 and passive objects – motionless call 黄气.
2 Main Discipline of fengshui are
(1) “Form Schools” which consist of 峦头派 (a) 形势派 (b) 形象派 (c) 形法派 etc and
(2) “Qi (unseen energies not chi) Management” 理气派 which includes (a) 三元玄空 (b) 八宅派 (c) 三元紫白 (d) 三合派 (e) 翻卦派 (f) 五行派 (g) 玄空大卦派 (h) 八卦派 (i) 九星飞泊派 (j) 奇门派 (k) 阳宅三要派(l) 廿四山头派 (m) 星宿派 etc.
The list is not meant to be exhaustive, it merely gives you a macro view of how wide and deep are the teachings of feng shui. Hence you are aware that different feng shui master may end up with different or even contrasting feng shui applications for your home or office audit.
A. FORMS – physical external environment and internal layout of the house
The earliest fengshui started with physical observation of the geographical terrain known as the “Forms” theory 峦头（又叫形势），峦头即龙、穴、砂、水 such as mountains. Physical Forms are easy to understand, is what we see, touch, feel, hear e.g. buildings, roads, MRTs, expressways, construction, swimming pool, playground etc. In todays’s context are tall buildings are “mountains” and “rivers” are roads, walkways, passage, MRT tracks, expressways. The shape, colour, material of objects does matter in feng shui. Internal physical “forms” are the positioning of our main door, doors, bed, toilets, kitchen 阳宅三要 , air-condition, ceiling fans, TV, sofa, dining etc
Unseen energies ” li 理 qi 气” are harder to explain and there are numerous schools that document the principles, one of the popular school is San Yuan 三元 玄空学. Notice the Chinese word 理 it involves “rationale” & “calculation”! Hence it involves a mathematical or reasoning process or practical judgment to solve issues.
Feng Shui “CONNECTS’ us to our living environment
Feng Shui helps us to “connect” and harmonise with our surroundings, so as to improve family relationships, health, career, love, wealth, education and happiness for the occupants living or working under the same roof.
B. Feng Shui invisible Energies – Luck Period 抢运
Everyone would need a bit of “luck” or i prefer to call it “timing”. Why we need to calculate qi 气 or invisible energies in feng shui which is influence by “timing” or “luck period”?
One popular school of Qi management is “San Yuan Xuan Kong Feng Shui 三元玄空风水派” Discipline. The word “Xuan” 玄 represents “Heavenly Timing 天时”, for e.g. we choose an auspicious timing to do certain things. “Kong” 空 represents Space and Sector 空间及方位. Hence the discipline analyse a given space base on a specific time dimension.
Classical chinese feng shui wisdom believe in the existence of an invisible life force or energy that permeates the universe. You cannot see it, like bluetooth, wifi signals, radio frequencies, radiation etc but it exist in the environment, in things (matter) and in humans too. Let me quote an explanation by Zhang Dai a great scientist who lived during the Song Dynasty.
“The universe is a body of qi. Qi has both positive and negative qualities. When qi spreads out, it permeates all things; when it coalesces (spreads out) it becomes nebulous (gaseous or vague). When it settle into form it becomes matter. When it disintegrates it returns to its original state.”
The explanation appear to imply that all things are a body of energy and that energy and matter are the same and the states are interchangeable. Since all things are ‘energies’, the idea that one (the environment) can affect another (mankind) when brought in close proximity makes Feng Shui entirely plausible. Positive Qi is known as Sheng Qi or Living Qi while Negative Qi is called Sha Qi or Killing Qi. In the practice of Feng Shui sheng chi can help improve wealth, heath, relationships etc while Shar chi may cause injury, accident, fire, lawsuit, illness and so on.
“Timing” is also one of the aspect of Feng shui teachings. It divides the time continuum into “Heaven Luck Period 天运 ” 三元九运 and “Earth Luck Period 地运” 二元八运. Based on “Heaven Luck Period or 後天元運 we are in period 8 or gen gua 艮卦 from 2004 to 2023. Period 9 is 离卦 (旺南方) 2024 to 2043. Some minority of feng shui master also use “Earthly 地运” or call 先天元運 to calculate the luck period for space-time continuum and the current governing period is zhen gua 震卦 from 1996 to 2016. A good feng shui master strives to harness the most current positive energies “qi” given the time frame.
Feng shui as a forecasting tool
Since feng shui is related to “timing”, it is only natural that it can be used as a prediction tool. The nature of “energy” is a dynamic and evolves a “cycle” hence theories like “feng shui flying star” and “qi men dun jia” is able to forecast macro-economies and world events or even individual country.
You can use these feng shui models to accurately predict your home/office feng shui fortune for various years. A good Feng Shui Master can assess outcomes accurately based on the influence of energy management in home feng shui or office feng shui.
The forecasting part of feng shui is often neglected or unknown to many fengshui masters today. If you know the types of “qi” or “energy” that will affect certain sectors of the house, one can do something about it to reduce the bad energy. Making an informed decisions are in fact, part of the greatness of Chinese authentic feng shui applications.
The whole idea of Feng Shui is to “use, position, orientate and layout” our homes and workplaces to accumulate the best Sheng qi (positive energies) and avoid or minimize Shar (bad) qi (negative energies). Notice that it should not be putting a lot of feng shui products around and make it look like “pasar malam” (night market).
Applied correctly feng shui does help occupants to achieve their goals in life. Great feng shui vibes is tapping on “the environment “山环水抱，藏风聚气 to harness positivities into our home or office.