Feng Shui FAQ

What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of managing, balancing and harmonizing your environment. True or Classical Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese knowledge of how to live in harmony with the natural forces that govern the relationship between man and nature. It utilizes observation, repeatable calculations and methodology to determine the interaction of energy in our environment or in other words , how our environment affects our quality of life and how we can improve this relationship. The closer we get to a natural form of life, the better balanced and less stressed our lives become.

Recently Feng Shui has gained popularity world wide. It gained popularity in the US in California in 1986 when Buddhist Monk , Thomas Lin Yun introduced a simplified version called Black Hat Tantric Feng Shui. The practice of Black Hat or Western Feng Shui has removed the complex formula’s of Traditional Feng Shui and incorporates spiritual practices with a focus on how one’s intentions’ can impact the physical environment or the “Law of Attraction” which has gained popularity in New Age belief systems. While that is true and has value it does not necessarily produce long term results and in some cases can cause harm.

Unlike Western Feng Shui which is a one size fits all method , True or Classical Feng Shui is an extremely ancient Chinese system of knowledge which is thought to date back at least five thousand years. It is squarely rooted in physics, architecture, astronomy, and design. In order to understand what is happening in our individual environments , exact compass readings are taken to determine patterns of energy flow, this information is combined with the construction date of the home and the birth date of each occupant in order to determine what measures need to be taken to balance the specific energy flow or “Chi” or “Qi”of the environment. “ Chi” can be considered “Life Energy” and is the energy current or magnetic field in nature that flows through and permeates all things. (See “The Power of Qi”)

The public’s perception of Feng Shui is one of correct furniture placement and flow, is associated with Interior Design and the placement of “cures” in the form of “Money Toads”,’ Foo Dog”s , hanging crystals and mirrors in order to attract wealth and romance or good luck. It is much more than that. To understand Feng Shui we must think in terms of the “Macrocosm and Microcosm” and the ancient Hermetic Principles of “As , above, so below, as below, so above, As within, so without. Nature exists in a state of equilibrium and when we change one side the other side has to be rebalanced. A Feng Shui Practitioner has the knowledge to implement subtle cures in the form of elements in nature such as “Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal as well as balancing Yin and Yang energies . When done correctly , the energy of the environment is balanced , therefore promoting health and alleviating stress.

Like Acupuncture, Feng Shui is one of the Eight Branches of Oriental Medicine. Acupuncture clears blockages by optimizing the bodies energy circulation to tissues , organ’s and gland’s to promote health and wellbeing. Feng Shui is essentially Acupuncture for the environment. We spend 90 percent of our lives indoor’s and are continually affected by the energy around us, therefore our living and work spaces should be healthy and life affirming. This enables us to focus, flourish and be productive allowing us to attract prosperity and abundance into our lives.

The 5 Principles of Feng Shui
1. The Power of “Qi”
“Qi,” “Chi,” “Prana” is considered “Life Energy” or “Universal Life Force.” It is the energy , current or electromagnetic fields in nature. According to the ancients and now with an understanding of Quantum Physics “Universal Energy” flows around and permeates all things. This energy comes to earth primarily carried on Cosmic Waves as well as other waves from the stars via the electromagnetic spectrum.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed but it can be converted from one source to another. The planet and everything in it is composed of this energy and vibrates at different frequencies, therefore, different textures, objects , finishes, paints and furniture all contain differing amounts of complex atoms, all of which release “Qi” into the environment. That is why Feng Shui Practitioners use different materials as “cures” based on the results of the specific calculations of each environment. Color, aroma, sound and light all vibrate at their own frequencies and alter the “Qi” in the environment as well as negative or positive emotions.

We have all walked into places that did not feel quite right but we could not determine why. Think about what it felt like to walk into a room after someone had an argument.

In our bodies “Qi” serves as the air we breathe and when directed appropriately in our living environment , can enhance, ensure good health and bring prosperity. “Qi” flows like air and water , in order to be beneficial it needs to flow and circulate. Changing the energy the environment influences the way we think , feel , act and work.

The purpose of Feng Shui is to redirect or change unhealthy energy and replace it with positive energy , which in turn supports physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

2. The Power of the “Pa Kua” or “Ba Gua”
In Traditional and Western Feng Shui the “Pa Kua” is is one of the most basic and fundamental tools used . Ancient sages created it as a model of the universe based on very specific calculations. Each direction of the compass represents a different aspect or aspiration in life. The “Pa Kua” is based on the Macrocosm /Microcosm relationship and integrates human’s with their environments , correct interpretations can seriously affect your life in positive ways. Everything in our world , every material object , color, physical aspect, spiritual quality , season etc can be considered a part of one area of the Pa Kua.

The Pa Kua is used in different ways according to each school of thought. In traditional Feng Shui it was created based on the actual 4 compass points and 4 intermediate directions., It derives its significance from the trigrams of the I Ching which are grouped around the Yin and Yang symbols. The trigram’s are made of arrangements of solid and broken lines. The broken line represents Yin and the solid line represents Yang. Each trigram is based on a formula taken from ancient texts and was assigned a direction, number , element , color and many other characteristics. Each direction has its own energy. Understanding the calculations is very significant to learning Feng Shui correctly and can when applied correctly can seriously influence your life for the better.

The Trigrams three lines represent “Luck Trinity” The bottom line represents Earth , which represents fate and nature which refers to being born in the right place for what ever you need to accomplish in life. The middle line represents Man which interacts between heaven and earth. This is where Feng Shui places it’s greatest role as this is where you have the power to improve your life and surroundings. The top line represents Heaven Luck :this is providence and represents your weakness’s , strength and timeliness.

In Western Feng Shui the Pa Kua map is taken and simply overlaid on a floor plan based on the location of the front door. It is not based on the true directions of the building and is basically a one size fits all tool and symbolic representation.

Feng Shui Ba-gua

feng shui elements

3. The Power Principle of Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang shows us how movement occurs between the Macrocosm and Microcosm.

“The mystical universe of Yin and Yang is the root of universal life” – Lao Zi Tao Te Ching

Referring to the electromagnetic spectrum, Yang energy originates from the stars and is made up of short wave particles ( represented by the straight line)and is associated with positive, potential, hot, light, sun, Dryness, male energy, protons, magnetism and life.

Yin energy originates from the planets and made up of long wave particles , the nucleus, manifestation, cold, dark, wet, the moon, female energy and death.

Yin and Yang cannot exist without each other. One of the most basic and powerful cures in Feng Shui is balancing Yin and Yang energies properly. The Tai Ji symbol represents the Ultimate source and the two forces of Yin and Yang are balanced within the circle.

The Wu Ji which is symbolized by a circle means “With Out limit”. The circle signifies the wholeness and purity of nature as one life. It can also be considered the creation of the universe. Therefore nature evolves with out limits.

Inside the circle “From the one came two” and we see that Yin Qi rises from the earth (magnetism) and Yang Qi ( electricity) descends from the stars. The straight line of Yang ( short wave particles) can pass through the broken line of Yin . Yin represents the material world that is already manifested. Yang represents potential where everything is evolving and in a state of change. Yang is never present with out Yin and Yin is never present with out Yang.

“The Two gave birth to the Three, The Three gave birth to the thousand things. All things are held in Yin and carry Yang: All are held together in the Qi of teeming energy.” – Lao Zi

feng shui yin yang
4. The Five Elements
As Yin and Yang represent the relationship between the Macrocosm and Microcosm and the duality that is present through out all creation , we look at the division between the two halves of the Tai Ji. ( The symbol of Yin and Yang) It is shaped similar to an S or wave formation. This indicates how energy flows. A system was discovered according to ancient philosophical understanding and is the back bone of all Chinese Metaphysical studies, it is called Wu Xing and translates to “Five Transformational Phases.” These phases classify different stages of Qi in matter. Knowledge of them is essential to balancing the environment. In the West this principle is known as “The Five Elements” Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. Five is a naturally occurring pattern in the Universe and there are five basic directions of East, South, West, North and the Center.

The Five Elements are used to enhance or reduce the effects of Qi within an environment. Using them properly and in the correct proportion is essential.

The Five elements affect living beings , and a Feng Shui Practitioner understands how they interrelate. There are three cycles and they are the key to understanding the interaction of Qi and the proper remedies to create a balance of that Qi.

Ideally we want to see a cycle where:
Water gives birth to wood, wood gives birth to fire, fire gives birth to earth and earth gives birth to metal. If you look at the Pa Kua Map you will see that each direction is associated with an element. If there is an imbalance of the element in its location it will affect the environment in a negative way and could prevent you from achieving your goals or it may even interfere with your health in a negative way.

A Feng Shui Practitioner knows how to correct these imbalances based on an evaluation of your environment and the results of your report. The five elements suggest something material when in fact the phases are dynamic and one element evolves into another. It is not necessary to have all five elements , but at least two elements should produce harmony to allow energy to flow.

5. The Power Principle of Continuity and Connectedness
The Feng Shui Principle of continuity and connectedness translates as “The Way” or “The Path” Because every action has a reaction and we are influenced by everything around in turn we influence everything. Today many people associate this with “The Law of Attraction” and New Age beliefs when in actuality these teachings are rooted in ancient Hermetic Principles that have been incorporated into all religions for thousands of years known as “The Seven Universal Laws.”

  1. Law of Divine Awareness
  2. Law of Vibration
  3. Law of Correspondence
  4. Law of Cause and effect
  5. Law of Polarity
  6. Law of Rhythm
  7. Law of Gender (Creation)
As Chi flows through all things and is interconnected it is essential to foster health Chi in as many objects as possible , not just furniture. This interconnecting web reinforces how important it is to nurture healthy relationships with other people. The Chi web applies to inanimate objects the same way it does to people. Minor arguments, annoyances , disagreements can disrupt the Chi flow of the entire environment as well as objects in your environment that give off negative Chi and can affect how you think and feel on a daily basis. Through Feng Shui you can learn to take a step back and look to see how various objects might be helping or hindering the Chi balance.

  1. Chi flows in all things
  2. Everything is connected by Chi
  3. Chi is always changing
Just as we all develop , grow, and evolve as individuals throughout our lives so does Chi energy. It is constantly changing. Routines can stifle Chi, old furniture and clutter can contribute to negative Chi.

You may feel restless in your home and feel as if it no longer “fits” who you are or who you want to become. A Feng Shui Practitioner can help you find the root causes of uneasiness and help you adjust your environment accordingly. These alterations do not have to be dramatic or expensive whether simple adjustments or total room makeovers changes can make an incredible difference to Chi flow.

Ming Gua / Life Destiny and BaZhai / Eight Mansions Theory
In Classical Feng Shui , “Ming Gua” is also known as the Guardian Star, Life Gua or Destiny Gua. The Ming Gua or Destiny number is based on a person’s birth date and is a powerful tool that is used to help people who may be experiencing insomnia, health challenges, relationship or communication problems, difficulty studying or who want to maximize prosperity. Each person embodies a particular energy that is specific to the time they are born and accordingly responds to certain predictable patterns of “Chi” in the universe.

Ming Gua numbers are different for males and females born in the same year. Females are Yin with a Yang spirit and males are Yang which have a Yin essence or spirit.

Once the Destiny Number is determined each person is categorized as an “East “group person or “West” group person which relate to a Luo Shu grid and the Trigrams of the Later Heaven Sequence which shows reality as it actually exists including the continuous movement of “ Chi” through the seasons and flowing with time.

Each group has it’s own Auspicious and Inauspicious directions which determine the best direction to face and sleep in order to maximize the potential for improving their lives , health and “luck.”

There are four auspicious directions and four inauspicious directions based on the Life Gua and it is combined with the directions in the “Eight Mansions System” which is an interior Feng Shui system that is used to understand the basic energy map of the property . This is also known as BaZhai / Eight Mansions Theory.

Just as with Ming Gua , BaZhai categorizes each property as either an East Group or West Group. The difference between the two is that Ming Gua is determined by the birth date of the occupant and BaZhai is determined by the direction of the property based on using a compass or Lou Pan.

The building is divided into nine sections or portents with one being in the center.

Eight portents represents energy from Ursa Major or the Big Dipper and how these affect the geometric grids of the earth. The stars of the constellation define the useable directions which correspond to the four cardinal directions of the compass North , South , East and West as well as the inter- cardinal directions of Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.

The four auspicious directions or portents range in benefits from harmony to health, longevity and prosperity verses the four inauspicious directions which generally indicate challenges or loss.

Ideally, according to the system each occupant would greatly benefit if they lived and or worked in a building of the same group . Therefore sharing the same auspicious and inauspicious directions. However, that is not often realistic. In cases where an East group person resides or works in a West group building or visa versa it is very beneficial to know one’s favorable directions and locations so they can utilize them a way that is beneficial.

A Feng Shui Practitioner can help clients utilize their best directions as well as introducing enhancements to activate positive changes or cures to negate the negative energy in the challenging directions located in the building in order to create an environment that is more supportive of the client.

Flying Star Feng Shui
Flying Star Feng Shui has been referred to as advanced Feng Shui by some and is considered one of the most important aspects because of it’s ability to interpret energy on a much deeper level. Essentially , it is the true essence of Feng Shui.

It specifically focuses on the quality of “Chi” , it’s direction and flow over time as well as it’s positive and negative aspects that are present within a building which are determined by the construction date and orientation of the Lou Pan or Compass.

The construction date determines the specific period the building was “born into”. In Flying Star time is divided into periods of 20 years with a total of nine periods which complete a cycle of 180 years. Currently we are in Period 8 which is associated with the earth element and the energies of the North East direction. This period lasts until 2024.

To calculate the movement of energy an ancient tool of Feng Shui called a Lou Shu Grid is used. This grid is made up of 9 chambers which contain numbers that contain the secret key that unlocks unlimited ways of using directions to influence the “Chi” of the environment. It is also called a ‘Magic Square” because the numbers add up to 15 in every direction on the grid including diagonally.

Each number or star is associated with a Trigram that has been assigned a direction , element , color as well as many other attributes which hold a secret to a variety of factors that affect our lives. Some numbers are beneficial and some are not but as the energy in the environment constantly changes no auspicious or inauspicious direction remains the same throughout life. The numbers always move to the lower right ( Northwest), middle right (West), lower left (( Northeast), upper center (South), lower center (North), upper right ( Southwest) , middle left (East), upper left (Southwest) and back to center.

Each star rules for 20 years or one period when it is called the “ruling” star which is when it is most powerful. It is then followed by the star that follows behind it. To fly a star means to move the numbers around the grid or “Natal Chart” of the building in a specific sequence which then calculates the movement of Chi that was determined by the pattern that manifested on the building’s construction date and compass orientation. They are said to fly because they move to the time of year, month , day and hour.

The benefit of Flying Star is to ensure that we utilize area’s with favorable Flying Star configurations for the important functions of everyday life like eating, sleeping , working and studying and when a configuration is not favorable Flying Star offers solutions for improving it. Reports can be updated yearly or consulted on a monthly basis which helps to ensure that the proper enhancements and cures will be implemented to deal with the change in energy. Monthly reports can be done to help one understand and prepare for a negative star that may temporarily cause challenges as well as activating a positive star to improve opportunities.

The Flying Star or Natal Chart is also an excellent tool that can help determine which home or building to purchase to ensure maximum benefits or when remodeling a home because making structural changes can alter the energy of a building.

Is Feng Shui a Religion?
True or Classical Feng Shui is not a religious practice and can be used by anyone regardless of their spiritual or cultural background. It does not incorporate any religious statues or lucky figurines but if someone chooses to use those things and feel they will help then they are free to do so. Classical Feng Shui utilizes a compass to determine the orientation of a structure , the date of construction, and birth date of the occupants as well as complex mathematical formula’s to determine the Flying Star energy patter or natal chart for the building. The focus is to utilize the elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal to bring energies into balance. This is not associated with any religious practice and is simply based on the knowledge of the interaction of the energy in any given environment and how to live in harmony with the natural forces of nature. Anyone can incorporate Classical Feng Shui into their lives, there is no religious association with the use of natural elements, or natural forces in nature, however as we have learned , ancient Hermetic principles based on natural law were integrated into all religious teachings based on “The Seven Universal Laws.”

Feng Shui is adaptable and can be personalized and the notions of balance and harmony are often adopted by modern architects and designers with out even realizing it. It does not need to clash with current lifestyles and style, but rather helps this new style to achieve comfortable balance and harmony.

Black Hat Sect Esoteric Buddhism Feng Shui was introduced in the 1970’s by Grand Master Lin Yun who was the spiritual leader of Black Hat Sect Buddhism which emphasizes Black Hat Sect Buddhist teachings, spirituality, meditation, spiritual cultivation and personal transformation along with a greatly altered and simplified interpretation of Classical Feng Shui. This version of Feng Shui is the most widely understood in the United States and is also known as Western or New Age Feng Shui. Perhaps this is why many people associate Feng Shui with religion. It has also been integrated into pop culture where we see ‘money toads, trinkets, laughing Buddha’s ( which are really monks) , lucky bamboo and crystals for sale.

Feng Shui and Health – What Is The Connection?
Holistic Interior Design and Feng Shui combine traditional Feng Shui as well as an evaluation of your Health Challenges or concerns you may have. It is a complimetary Holistic Practice and can enable you to create an environment that supports your health and wellbeing.

You may have a diagnosis from your physician that you want to work with or an emotional, mental or spiritual concern that you want to heal.

As we are continually affected by the energy around us we will benefit if the energy is healthy and life affirming. We cannot thrive if our environment is physically, emotionally or spiritually toxic.

The Feng Shui of your environment will reflect back to you all the emotional ., spiritual , physical, conscious , unconscious and sub conscious issues that are contributing to the many aspects of your health challenges.

There are many factors that govern how an individual gets ill, working with Feng Shui in a space can help create the necessary energetic foundation to support the process of health and healing.

As Chi circulates throughout your environment it merges with the energy emitted by the other elements such as the shape of the rooms, the color of the walls and positioning of the furniture. These combinations create certain forms of invisible energy patterns to the world which then draws to us like a magnet , certain life situations ( relationships , health issues, jobs, etc) that refelect those same energy patterns.

Detecting the flow of Chi throughout the environment enables us to locate areas where this energy is blocked , stagnant , oppressive , or flowing too strongly . Energy imbalances can trigger or lead to various illnesses. Learning how to work with energy to design the interior of your environment can help you shape and alter your health and the many different situations in your life.

Your environment is full of clues that can alert you to energetic problems. Deciphering the clues and implementing changes can correct those conditions. The Chi of the land around you , your neighborhood ( what kind of people surround you) Business’s ,places of worship or buriel, exterior electromagnetic enrgy fields, high tension wires, oppressive buildings or signs can be evaluated to determine what may be contributing to either positive or negative Chi in your life.

In addition when people face overwhelming health challengs it is a possibility that they are facing old conditioned ways of understanding their lives and their health.

Accepting that we are multidimensional beings with a physical , and spiritual body helps us move closer to understanding the complexity that goes into developing an illness and sometimes healing as well. ( Nancy SantoPietro, Feng Shui and Health , The Anatomy of a Home)

Can Feng Shui be applied to any space and is it expensive?
Yes Feng Shui can be applied to any room from a small studio apartment, a single room , a large floor plan, small business or a multilevel office building. And no it does not have to be expensive. It can be adjusted to every budget. It can involve simple cures or it can involve a complete renovation or the building of a new home or office.