Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement is about 3,000 years old. It is
the way of manipulating the environment to enhance your life's energy and improve
your luck, fortune and health. Its origins date back to when the Chinese were
identifying the best grave sites for their family members. It is believed that graves
were homes for their ancestors. When optimally placed, they ensure the success of
future generations and the nation as a whole. When this concept or practice was
introduced to the Westerners in the 1970's and 1980's, it was first met with confusion
Introduction to Feng Shui
A number Chinese philosophies influence the thinking and practice of Feng Shui.
Feug Shui literally means "water" and "air". Both of these move effortlessly throughout
the environment. The goal is to move Ch'i, the energy animated from all life forms
so that it flows effortlessness and without obstruction through our homes, offices
and other environments.
Yin & Yang
According to Chinese cosmologies, there are 2 opposite forces complementing each
other in nature: Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine). The Feng Shui philosophy states
that opposite forces exist everywhere. The goal is to gain balance such that neither
Yin nor Yang dominates the environment. To create a harmonious environment, you
need to work with Yin forces (cool colors, water, curved shapes, silence, darkness)
against Yang forces (bright colors, fire, straight lines, noise and light).
The Chinese spirituality known as Taoism believes that all life forms are interconnected.
We must live in harmony with nature and the environment if we are to be happy.
Feng Shui has a similar philosophy where different natural elements such as stones,
indoor fountains or aquariums are introduced into the home to bring harmony.
The Five Elements
Another Chinese philosophy which influences Feng Shui is the belief that the world
is composed of five elements: fire, water, wood, metal, earth. Each element has
colors, materials and shapes associated with it. Designers work with all five elements
to ensure that no single element dominates the environment.
The Five Elements in Feng Shui
Fire Colors - orange, red Materials - electricity Shapes - triangle Examples of things
in the home - TV, fireplace,stove
Water Color s - dark blue, black Materials - glass Shapes - wavy Examples of things in
the home - aquarium, plumbing, toilet
Wood Colors - green, blue Materials - paper, wood Shapes - rectangles Examples of things
in the home - books, plants
Metal Color - white, gray Materials - metal Shapes - oval, round Examples of things in
the home - pots and pans, appliances
Earth Color - yellow, brown Materials - ceramics, stone, brick Shapes - square Examples
of things in the home - tiles, marble, pottery
Feng Shui Tips For Your Home
Clear clutter and obstacles to your front door. This is especially applicable to
front porches where clutter can accumulate. Ensure that there is adequate lighting.
Paint your front door an eye catching color.
Paint a warm sunny welcoming color such as peach or yellow. Make sure that there
is a place for guests to put their coats, boots, keys etc. Organize your hall closet.
Close toilet covers and shower curtains (ensures that money does not go down the
drain). Keep the area neat, tidy and organized. Fix any leaks to prevent wastes.
Position seating areas to prevent anyone with their backs to the entrance. Don't
put furniture near the entrance blocking guests' accessibility and the flowing of
Ch'i. Arrange seating into clusters of conversational areas.
Locate your desk facing the entrance of the office. Keep clutter to a minimum and
let money and opportunities come into your presence.
Many of the practices of Feng Shui seem logical. But Feng Shui goes beyond the physical
placement of objects. It is the impact on the subconscious. How a room makes you
feel when you enter it. That's the ultimate in Feng Shui.