Feng shui (風水) is a pseudoscientific traditional practice of ancient China using energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. It is also known as Chinese geomancy. The literal translation of feng shui is ‘wind-water’. It is a cultural shorthand taken from the passage of the now-lost Book of Burial composed during AD 4th- or 5th-century by the Guo Pu the Taoist mystic. The book was influential in the development of feng shui. The principles of feng shui were used to orient buildings, spiritually significant structures such as tombs, and dwellings, in an auspicious manner – site determined by reference to water, stars, or the compass.
Feng shui is one of the five arts of chinse metaphysics: physiognomy – observation of appearances through formulas and calculations. The feng shui practice discusses architecture in terms of invisible forces that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together (qi).
“Feng shui was first practised in China approximately four thousand years ago, and like Chinese Medicine, has its basis in Taoist principles. It began as a science to locate auspicious burial grounds based on unforeseen energy and forces connecting humans with the cosmos. Feng shui is now used to bring homes and living spaces into balance and harmony with nature may sound idealistic, but you will learn practical ways to do just that. In doing so, you will experience more balance and harmony in your life.” -Tisha Morris in DECORATING WITH THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF FENG SHUI (also the author of Mind, Body, Home).
Bagua Map: Bagua in chinese means eight areas. “The Bagua is one of the main tools Feng Shui practitioners use to determine the regions of a home, workplace or garden. Some variations of the Bagua show the eight regions in a square grid, other versions are octagonal,” notes Kate MacKinnon, feng shui practitioner. “In the Traditional or Compass school of Feng Shui, practitioners use a compass to determine the exact direction of the front door. Next, they place that compass point of the Bagua on that area of the floor plan. This can be used for the door or doorway of each room.”
Tisha Morris writes in DECORATING WITH THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF FENG SHUI (also the author of Mind, Body, Home) about feng shui: “Feng shui is the science of balancing the energy in our living spaces in accordance with nature. While there are many facets of feng shui, including furniture arrangements, the Bagua Map, space clearing, and even the modern practice of clutter clearing (decluttering), the five elements (earth, fire, metal, water, wood) are one of the primary tools used to balance the energy in spaces. The five elements connect us with our homes and our homes to nature and beyond.”