Your home is your sanctuary, which is why it’s no surprise that many people believe in the power of feng shui. Now that Spring is here, it’s time to use Spring Cleaning as an opportunity to reorganize and bring in positive energy with just a few rearrangements.
The History of Feng Shui
Going back over 6,000 years in China, feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophical practice used to organize and construct spaces in a way that harmonizes individuals with their surrounding environment.
Also known as “Geomancy,” feng shui literally means “wind” (feng) and “water” (shui) in Chinese. It is a construction and design process that aims to bring happiness, abundance, and harmony to both living spaces and businesses.
Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The practice analyzes and breaks down architecture in metaphoric terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi. It seeks to harness Qi (氣) , “natural energy,” by placing objects in the optimum relation to its flow. Informing the layout, framework, materials and colors of building structures, the precepts of feng shui seek to help architects, designers, and homeowners make the most ideal arrangement in any setting.
Feng shui dates back to some of the earliest peoples as they looked for ideal places to plant crops and establish safe dwelling places, as well as to scout optimal burial places for their ancestors so as to protect and honor their spirits. Before the invention of the magnetic compass, practitioners relied on the stars and astrology to determine the most auspicious locations.
According to Feng Shui Style, “ In ancient China, farms and villages were auspiciously placed within the protective folds of mountains, shielded from harmful winds and nurtured by the gentle, winding streams. The people who practiced these principles prospered in agriculture and trade and grew strong and powerful. They produced social, cultural and military leaders unlike their neighbors who were exposed to harsh winds and inhospitable terrain.” Thus, feng shui became a way to promote health, happiness, and harmony within a civilization or community, allowing practitioners to grow wiser and stronger than their opponents who did not make use of the same philosophical precepts. Over time, the practice of feng shui developed, producing scholars in the art who adapted the practice to fit all manner of dwelling spaces, informing the development of everything from palaces to public monuments to entire cities.
Indeed, feng shui became such an influential and important practice that it was a highly guarded secret of the Chinese Imperial Court. Feng Shui Masters were servants of the emperor and forbidden to share their sacred knowledge with outsiders. As a result, knowledge was often passed down the generation within families. Today, it has become a practice that wields influence all over the world.
Taking into account modern scientific precepts and the relationship between the natural and man-made worlds, feng shui seeks to help individuals situate dwelling spaces and rooms within their homes in ways that harness energy and promote good “qi.”
Feng Shui Your Home
Some aspects of feng shui, such as sitting with your face facing a door to avoid someone sneaking up on you, or the emotional affect of certain colors are merely common sense or intuition. But if you want to harness the power of “qi” in each room in your home, follow these careful precepts of feng shui.