Category:Feng Shui

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A Chinese feng shui chart

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of divining or reading the energetic patterns found in the landscape and within buildings, according to traditional methods, and prescribing structural and positional changes to these features for the benefit of those who live and work in these spaces. One of the major aims of feng shui is to attract beneficial chi or qi (life energy) through proper placement of structures in the landscape and to avoid a build-up of negative sha (arrows of misfortune) due to improper placement of structures in the landscape. Living and working in an area that attracts chi enables a smooth, prosperous, and successful life, while avoiding areas where sha build up prevents accidents, losses, and theft.

The Chinese term for this art, feng shui translates as "wind-water," in reference to the ways in which wind flows over and water flows upon structures in the land. Although the word "geomancy" is commonly used to translate the Chinese term feng shui into English, this Chinese spiritual art is an entirely different system of reading than Arabic geomancy, for in this case, rather than earth (geo) being used to receive the marks that form the divination (mancy), it is actually the landscape of the earth (geo) which forms the divination (mancy). It draws upon the diviner's deep knowledge of patterns and forms of positive (yang) and negative (yin) in the landscape, including their relation to the compass points.


The History of Chinese Feng Shui

A traditional-style luopan or feng shui magnetic compass in its case
The Lo Shu square is the basis of Chinese numerology and also plays a part in traditional schools of feng shui divination and prescriptions
The ancient ba gua symbols are employed by diviners who consult the I Ching and also by those who practice feng shui according to the precepts of the Classical or Compass Schools

The earliest forms of feng shui date back to 4000 BCE, long before the invention of the magnetic compass. At that time ancient practitioners used astronomy to site the north-south axis and determine the best directions for the alignment of walls and doors. In keeping with the development of astrology as a metaphysical science, by 1900 BCE feng shui had incorporated the concept of fortunate and unfortunate times, as determined by the motions of the planets, and thus it was not only used to determine the orientation of buildings, but also the best times to build them, in accordance with the purposes for which they would be used. During this era, the rules for the proper placement of palaces, graves, and tombs within the landscape were codified.

The development of the luopan or feng shui magnetic compass around 200 BCE enabled increased precision in determining a true north-south axis. Consisting of an upper dial called the "heaven plate," which rotates freely over a lower dial called the "earth plate" the luopan is much more detailed than a traditional European or American compass, for instead of providing eight named directions, it provides precise markings for 24 directions, each with its own symbolic meaning.

Schools of Feng Shui

Over the centuries, three major schools of feng shui have developed. Within each school there are further subdivisions for those who work according to the principles developed by master-teachers and popularizers of the art.

Traditional or Classical Schools of Feng Shui

The Traditional or Classical Schools of Feng Shui are divided into two groups: the Form or Landscape Schools, in which the practitioner examines environmental shapes and symbolism without reference to compass directions, and the Compass Schools, in which the feng shui compass, the Lo shu square, and the bagua are consulted. The compass schools include the Flying Star (Xuan Kong) School, the Four Pillars (Ba Zhi) School, and the Eight Mansions (East-West) School of feng shui.

Black Sect Tantric Buddhism School of Feng Shui

The Black Sect Tantric Buddhism School of Feng Shui was developed during the 1980s by the Chinese Grandmaster Thomas Lin Yun. This school combines Classical School Feng Shui with Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism.

Modern or Intuitive Schools of Feng Shui

The Modern or Intuitive Schools of Feng Shui are generally practiced by those who are willing to bring the Traditional Schools of Feng Shui to a modern or Western clientele. In particular, the remedies or cures that have long been based on indigenous Chinese cultural symbolism may be adapted to suit Western symbolism or modern aesthetic tastes. Schools within this category include the Pyramid School and the Western School of Feng Shui.

Why Clients Consult a Feng Shui Practitioner

Although feng shui can be self-taught, for most people it is a service performed by a trained feng shui diviner on behalf of a client.

A feng shui consultation is particularly useful if you wish to locate a good place to build a new home or other structure, because the feng shui practitioner's aim is to assist you, by proper situation and orientation of the structure on the land, to attract beneficial chi and to avoid a build-up of negative sha. Furthermore, feng shui is not just for builders and contractors -- it is equally useful if you are planning to buy or rent a space in which to live or set up a business, because your feng shui practitioner can tell you how fortunate or unfortunate you will be in any of several locations, enabling you to make a wiser choice as to which is the right place for you. Additionally, if you already have a home or place of business but are not doing as well as you would like to in that location, a feng shui practitioner can suggest or supply physical remedies that offset or counteract arrows of sha and make way for beneficial chi to enter the premises.

Working at a smaller scale, the feng shui practitioner can suggest optimal ways to assign activities to certain rooms in a building that was not originally constructed according to feng shui principles. Your consultant may also instruct you to place furniture in appropriate directions within a home or a room, or, if large-scale remodeling or redecorating is not an option, will provide remedies or cures in the form of amulets or talismans that will draw chi to spaces that have previously attracted sha.


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