Chinese Mysticism Feng Shui
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment. It literally translates into wind and water. Feng Shui is often defined as the art of placement because much of it revolves around determining the positive or negative directions for the people, their dwellings, and the relationship between them.
Understanding the Basics
Central to Feng Shui is the belief in the existence of a unifying vital force called Qi (Chi). Qi is invisible, undetectable by our five senses, or for that matter any physical instrument. Qi pervades all things and beings in existence. It animates us, binds us, and moves us through our life cycles. However, Qi, like air, is not of uniform quality. Some is fresh or nourishing while some are stale or detrimental.
In fact, the qualities of Qi can be anywhere between two extremes, commonly known as yin yang. Yin is the female end and is represented by the color black. Yang is the male end and is represented by the color white. The well-known yin yang symbol represents the eternal, dynamic interaction between these two opposites.
Like subatomic particles of modern physics, the interaction of yin and yang give rise to everything that exists, i.e. all things are made up of varying proportions of yin and yang.
If we represent Yin as a broken line and Yang as a solid line and created all possible ying/yang combinations of three lines, we would end up with the eight symbols shown below.
Each 3-line symbol is called a trigram. Each trigram has a unique name and is associated with certain attributes such as a compass direction, numeric value, element, color, etc. A partial list of the associated attributes is shown below.
There are several standard ways of arraging the sequence of the eight trigrams. One of the best known arrangements places the trigrams around the yin yang symbol. This arrangement is known as the bagua (literally "eight trigrams").
Another typical arrangement is show above. By placing each trigram in each corresponding compass direction and putting the value of 5 at the center, we get the magic square shown below. If you add the numeric value of each trigram across each row, column, or diagonal, you'll see that they always add up to 15. Variations of the magic square are at the core of much of the analysis performed in traditional Feng Shui techniques.
Schools of Feng Shui
- Form School. The Form School is the oldest form of feng shui. It was originally used to identify suitable sites for burials, a practice that is still used today. The Form School looks closely at the environment around the dwelling, especially the shape of the hills, buildings, rivers, etc. around the house to determine suitable house constructions or how to remedy an existing house. Principles from the form school are often used to supplement principles from the Compass School.
- Compass School. The Compass School uses the house orientation and the birthdate and sex of its occupants to determine the auspicious and inauspicious directions.
- Black Hat School. The Black Hat school is a relatively new development that ignores the compass directions and uses the location of the dwelling's front door as its main point of reference. It is not widely accepted in the East but has gained acceptance in the West due to its simplicity.