What is Feng Shui? (All You Need to Know as a Beginner)

what is feng shui

The idea of Feng Shui starts getting attention all over the world in recent decades. It claims to bring in better luck, health, promising career prospect, perfect love life and even more.


But what is feng shui actually? How does it work?


To give you a all-rounded answer to the question, this article will cover most of the things in Feng Shui. Here is the outline:



1. Feng Shui Definition and Background

Feng shui originated in China a few thousand years ago where it was used for the orientation of homes and palaces as well as burial sites. Actually, feng shui is related to all the geographical features of the area in which a tomb is situated. And in many aspects is Connected with building and architectural features.


Although it might sound new to foreigners, it somehow articulates that human’s living environment is of great importance to our happiness and wellbeing. In other words, if we know how to live well with our environment, we will have better life.


Feng in Chinese means wind and shui represents water. In Chinese tradition, wind and water are associated with health, which also indicate good wealth. While bad feng shui represents horrific luck, or misfortune. Feng shui is based totally at the Taoist vision and understanding of nature, especially on the concept that the land is alive and full of Chi, or energy.


2. Basic Ideologies in Feng Shui (Pronounce as Feng Shway)

The ancient Chinese believed that a particular land’s energy may either make or break a kingdom or dynasty. The theories of yin and yang, in addition to the 5 feng shui elements, are some great angles to analyse feng shui from a Taoism view.


A. Ying and Yang Principle

The art of divination with regard to feng shui is closely related to the harmony of the cosmic breath yin and yang.


The Encyclopedic’ Sinica gives the following definition: Yin and yang are the negative and positive principles of universal life.


There is yin and yang in everything.When there is more yin than yang, it is classified as yin. When there is more yang than yin, it is considered yang.



The theory of yin and yang is explained in the texts of Daodi ling (classics of the Dao).Yin and yang elements are expressed as the dual components that make up the Tai Ji. The Tai ji duality refers to the yang sign of tian (the heavens) and the yin sign of di (the earth). From these, the Five Elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold and Water are produced.


The yin-yang theory and the workings of the Five Elements are central to Chinese thinking. It is applied to all things Chinese, such as medical practices, food classification, martial arts and fine arts. Everything can be classified.


B. The Feng Shui Five Elements


The Five Elements is an important concept in feng shui. Comprising Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold and Water, it was introduced by the Chinese as early as the 4th century BC.


feng shui elements


The sequence of these Elements was designed such that wood gives rise to fire, fire produces earth, earth gives birth to gold, gold creates water, and water makes wood.


Wood makes the fire, which burns it to ashes in the form of earth, which in turn contains gold in the form of ores.


Gold produces water when condensation occurs, and gold can also be melted into a liquid state when heated.


Water nourishes plants and trees, thus producing wood.


The ancient Chinese also believed in the power of counteraction between the Five Elements and that it was in accordance with the laws of nature and heaven. Water puts out fire, fire melts gold, gold breaks wood, wood cuts into the earth, and earth absorbs water.


All calamities were said to arise from disturbances of the Five Elements, and the ancient Chinese were cautious not to interfere with the order of nature or cause disruptive disturbances to the natural conditions designed by heaven. The services of a geomancer were thus considered essential to determine the prevalence of the elements and forces.



Short Summary

Achieving a balance of yin, yang and the Five Elements in the built and natural environments is central to feng shut precepts. In the physical and the natural worlds, all things must be in balance and -harmony to benefit man.Therefore, the positioning of buildings, the siting of trees and man-made elements, even the placement of doors and furniture, must be well thought out to channel good energy into the interior of the building. Yin and yang colours must also be used to bring about balance and contrast.

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