The Ancient Art of Feng Shui





The Ancient Art of Feng Shui
The History of Feng Shui
Feng Shui has been practiced in China for thousands of years and is believed to have started in 2953 B.C. when Hu of Hsia found a tortoise that had a perfect "magic square" on its back. From this discovery evolved the I Ching, the oldest book in Chinese history, and possibly the world (Webster 1). This book contains the first written instructions on the theory of Feng Shui. Feng Shui was seen as a sacred power, so much so that in ancient China, only the privileged class had access to the knowledge. There are even stories of members of the Imperial family who went out of their way to obscure the texts in order to prevent those who might be a threat to them from obtaining the sacred knowledge. The first Ming emperor even ordered that the country be flooded with books containing misleading theories and incorrect guidelines on Feng Shui (Too 2). When Chiang Kai Shek fled the mainland he took thousands of books on Feng Shui with him to Taiwan and used its principles in building a regime there. From there it traveled to Hong Kong and eventually to the Western World through Marco Polo (Cassidy). Modern Feng Shui is based on the commentaries from Wang Chi and other scholars from the Sung dynasty, 1126-960 B.C. (Webster 3).

What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with nature and your surroundings, in order to maximize your health, prosperity and luck. It literally translates as "wind and water" and it involves the placement of buildings in relation to their surroundings, and the placement of furniture within the building in order to maximize the ch’i, the original energy source on the earth, from which everything else was created (Webster 4). As the dragon is seen as the most revered celestial creature of Chinese philosophy, ch’i has been called the breath of the dragon. Ch’i is an invisible energy that circulates throughout the world but also gathers in certain areas. The basic idea of Feng Shui is to harness as much ch’i as possible by allowing it to gather where you are, whether it is in your home or in your office. Ch’i is the life force that is all living things, and can be found, in its perfection wherever things are done perfectly. An artist who creates a masterpiece is creating ch’i. Through Feng Shui, we are looking for places where ch’i is accumulated or where it is formed. For example, ch’i is scattered by strong winds, so a windy location is not a good source of ch’i. However, ch’i is bound by water, so a location near water is full of the accumulated life force. According to Feng Shui mythology, the first time that ch’i moved it created yang, the male principle, and when it rested, it created yin, the female principle. After these very important creations ch’i then created the rest of the universe. The theory of the yin and the yang are of vital importance to Feng Shui (Webster 6).

Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are the two opposing energies involved with Feng Shui and neither one can survive without the other. In fact nothing is completely yin or completely yang, everything is a combination of both energies. This is illustrated is the popular yin yang symbol in which a small circle of black is located in the large white shape and a small white circle is inside the black (Feng Shui Society). This symbol is called the Taichi symbol of completeness due to its perfect balance of the yin and the yang. Together, yin and yang make up Tao, the way. The entire universe is made up of yin and yang energies constantly interacting with each other, and perfect harmony is established through a perfect balance. Since ch’i is the life force and it created the yin and yang, neither yin nor yang can be evil or good. They just are (Webster 7). It is only when you have an unbalanced amount of the two that your ch’i become negatively affected. According to Feng Shui, mountains, hills and other raised areas (even tall buildings) represent yang energy, while