Translated literally as “wind and water”, Feng Shui is the Chinese art of positioning objects in buildings and other places, based on the belief in the positive and negative effects of Yin and Yang elements and in Chi – the vital force or energy in all things around us. The purpose of art Feng Shui is to achieve a state of harmony, comfort, and balance, first of all in somebody’s living environment and second in his life.
Initially, Feng Shui was used in order to help choose the burial sites of rich people and the locations of kings’ palaces. In those days, people used to study the signs given off by the land (according to the principles of the so-called geomantic science) like trees bent by the wind, sharp-edged rocks, and water springs.
Feng Shui is based on the Taoist vision and experience of nature, in particular on the idea that the earth is a living thing and full of energy. Taoism classifies the natural Yin (the feminine side, the shade) and yang (the male side, the light). Water is Yin and mountains are Yang. Earth is Yin and yang is the sky.
When water comes into the confluence with the mountains and clouds descend from heaven to embrace the earth, triggers the Universe’s nourishing energy.
For example, it is considered that the mountains giving the impression of appearing and disappearing repeatedly behind the clouds continuously moving in the sky contain an extremely powerful flow of energy.
Chi, a Chinese word, untranslatable in any other language, has several meanings: cosmic energy, strength, breath, and vital air. Chi is the invisible energy that animates all beings. Chi flow is continuous: it is transmitted through certain channels (or meridians) which can be found on our body (the principles of acupuncture practices and Asian medicine relies on this belief), in our house, on the whole earth, sky, atmosphere, and outer space.
Another basic principle in Feng Shui is that of the five natural elements: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal. Each of these key elements is in connection with a certain color: green symbolizes the earth, red symbolizes fire, black or blue symbolizes water, brown and yellow symbolize the earth, and golden or silver the metal.
The Wood represents the East and the spring, the Fire – the South and the summer, the Earth – the center, metal – West and autumn, and water – north and winter.
The five elements are in a continuous interconnection and form two cycles: one is productive, and the other is destructive. In the productive cycle, fire produces earth, the earth produces the metal, the metal produces water, the water produces wood and the wood produces fire. In the destructive cycle, the wood destroys the earth, the earth destroys the water, the water destroys the fire, and the fire destroys the metal, and the metal destroys the wood.
These two cycles can be used by anyone so that his astrological sign is in line with the principles of Feng Shui, and consequently be in harmony with the environment. For example, if a person is born in the year of the Fire, too much water (black-colored things, man-made waterfalls, etc…) would not be beneficial because Water puts out the Fire. Instead, many plants and green matter (wood) or even a house built of wood would favor him, because wood produces fire. It would additionally help if he sleeps in one area of the house that runs South.
Wood – means family and stability
Fire – fame, and reputation
Earth – health
Metal – children and creativity
Water – professional career.
The most important rule in Feng Shui is to try to keep a balance between the five key elements when arranging the space inside a building, as it is advisable to have one predominant item depending on the area that we are decorating. For instance, in the area where we usually work or in the office it is advisable to use mostly objects symbolizing water and metal, but we should not forget to also use a few objects belonging to the other elements!