The History of Feng Shui

Many people have heard the term Feng Shui in passing, perhaps in relation to home, office or space improvement.

After asking several people words they associate with Feng Shui, replies included energy, placement of objects, decorating,  mirrors, chimes, placement of doors, etc. Many perceive Feng Shui as a theory versus an exact science.

Feng Shui is an ancient practice that dates back over 3,500 years to Neolithic China and is literally defined as wind-water.  The life force, energy better known as Chi in the East, is carried by wind scattering it everywhere until chi meets water or other matter.

Throughout time Feng Shui principles were employed in the placement of spiritually connected structures such as tombs, churches, graves, birthing area in correlation to nearby bodies of water, the stars and use of a compass.

There is great significance between chi and it’s relationship with the environment.  The age of a structure, it’s position, construction material, placement on the land, vegetation and quality of the soil are studied.

The practice expanded into all environmental designs including forests, homes, city planning, buildings, gardens, structures of commerce, roads, railroads, palaces and other palatial structures.

Feng Shui’s mission is to create balance and harmony in the environment ensuring that chi flows freely allowing a positive result for the inhabitants well being.  It is understood that the condition of one’s dwelling and property reflect the standing and circumstances of the inhabitants life.

Congealed chi contains the highest degree of vitality and therefore conducts the greatest flow of life.  Feng shui experts take advantage of these life-giving properties by discovering the location with a magnetic compass.  The magnetic compass is an updated version of the liuren or shi, the oldest instrument used in the Feng Shui custom.

The shi instrument is a lacquered board with two sides marked with astronomical values.  These instruments have been discovered in tombs excavated from 278-209 B.C.  The primary function is to detect the origin of congealed chi in order to provide knowledgeable placement value.

The magnetic compass is almost identical to its predecessor, the shi.  Professor Max Knoll conferred in his lecture of 1951 that chi’s origin is solar radiation.  Space weather controls and affects the local geomagnetically induced currents.

Geomancy’s literal translation is “foresight by the earth”.  The discipline gives honor to the conditions of earth and chi flow to determine how it interrelates to our health, balance and harmony.  The ancient Greek took the term from the Arabic antecedent meaning “the science of the sand.”

The magnetic compass’ task is to follow the consequential   change in the quality of chi rising and falling according to the alteration of space weather.  The quality of chi and the level of it’s flow in a specific area is diagnosed and analyzed with a magnetic compass.

There are many schools, form and studies of Feng Shui as would be expected with a divination method of antiquity.  The following chronological trajectory was established from archeological sites and recorded history, though much was destroyed in recent times:

Xinhshi Pai is a form method of analyzing the environment and imaging forms sans compass.

LiqiPai employs the compass  and includes the San Yuan Method which includes time and space methods, flying stars of time and directions, “Secret Decree” or 64 gua relationships.

San He Method uses the compass and includes: Accessing the Dragon, Eight Mansions, Water Methods and Local Embrace.  Other methods are:

Four Pillars of Destiny – hemerology

Eight Characters – time and date of birth

Major and Minor Wandering Stars – Constellations

Five Phases – relationship to wuxing.

Black Tantric Buddhist Sect – westernized methods without classical teachings.

The BTB Method is the modern method highlighting the affects of clutter and prominence of affirmations and intentions regarding change in the individual’s life.

Feng Shui is a complex system of antiquity requiring more than one post to scratch the surface of understanding.   Expect a comprehensive series forthcoming!

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