Feng Shui was developed by the Chinese over 3,000 years ago. Through its complex set of rules and principles, Feng Shui ensures a person's good health, happiness and fortune. Knowledge of Feng Shui is both an art and a science, and interpreting and applying its principles correctly can become a lifetime quest. It is generally applied to living spaces, with a goal to balance the different energies through Feng Shui symbols and layouts.

Origins and Influences

Feng Shui teachings are based on the Taoist vision of nature as a living entity, filled with energy. This energy can help things work and flow correctly, but can also oppose them. This art, or science depending how you look at it, was considered key to attract success and eliminate negativity from a person's life, and that is still a reason for its popularity today. The words ‘Feng Shui’ mean Wind and Earth, but Feng Shui energies also include three more elements: wood, fire and metal. Feng-Shui is also closely related to Chinese astrology, and so includes Feng Shui numbers such as the date of birth, the favourable colours and seasons and the planetary influences when a person was born. It also includes aspects of the I Ching, an ancient divinatory oracle system also based on symbols.

Feng Shui Tools

Most practitioners only need a compass, or Lo-Pan, and the Ba-Gua. The Ba-Gua is a grid with an octagonal shape that contains the symbols of the I Ching. Applying the Ba-Gua to create a Feng Shui layout of a home, or office, allows you to understand specific areas of your life and attract the right energy to them. The compass used is not a traditional compass. It consists of several bands of concentric rings, arranged around a magnetic needle.

Feng Shui Schools

There are several different schools of Feng Shui, as with any other highly symbolic discipline, with many potential interpretations. However, mastering the basic principles of Feng Shui is already enough to receive benefits and see an improvement, which makes it a very popular alternative science. 

An Overview of Feng Shui Cycles

The elements of Nature can have positive and negative relationships. In a productive, or positive, Feng Shui cycle Fire produces Earth, which in turn produces Metal, which in turn produces Water. Water produces Wood and Wood gives origin to fire, restarting the cycle. However, if you look at it from a destructive perspective, Wood destroys Earth, which destroys Water, which extinguishes Fire. Fire destroys Metal, and Metal in turn destroys Wood.

Using Feng Shui to Achieve Balance and Harmony

The goal of Feng Shui is to create balance and harmony between the different elements, generating positive cycles that increase happiness and bring in success. This means balancing the different elements so there is always a positive flow between them. For example, if your house has much Metal, such as high end gadgets and electronics, you should add additional Water influences, since Metal produces Water. An indoors fountain would balance the excess Metal, bringing in balance.