Feng Shui has been practiced in China for centuries. Throughout ancient China,
masters of Feng Shui “were highly respected meteorologists, astronomers, and other
scientists and who were charged with sustaining the good fortune and prosperity of the
royal court. It has been guardedly passed down the generations through very specific
lineages” (Feng Shui Advisors). It was widely practiced in modern-day China until the
Cultural Revolution when Chairman Mao utilized mass force to destroy those with different ideas (Craze 9). It has evolved to be both a science and/or an art, depending on whose opinion is being given or taken. The science comes from the calculations and methodology used to analyze the space/site that one lives or works in. Some consider it an art because there are many aspects to it, and, ultimately, it is up to the person living/working in the space to determine whether it “feels right” for him/her. Chuen states, “It is an analytical system developed, not by one person, but by a centuries-old cumulative tradition based on meticulous observation and experimentation” (8). Feng Shui is also described as an “art of arranging one’s life in accordance with the forces of the universe,” and it “stretches back over at least 7000 years and probably far further” (Chuen 14). Feng Shui literally stands for wind and water: two of the most basic forms of life’s energy. “Without air we die within seconds.” “While we can live weeks without food, without water we soon perish” (Chuen 14).
The I Ching, or “Book of Changes” is an ancient Chinese divination manual and book of wisdom. It is a sacred text that ancestors of ancient China received through their meditative and spiritual practices. Made up of eight trigrams, or gua (kua) and sixty-four hexagrams (combinations of two trigrams) the symbols of the I Ching are known for its oracular qualities (Chuen 24). Each of the eight trigrams, or gua (kua) is associated with an element and a set of specific qualities, polarities, colors, etc. The I Ching, combined with the five elements theory, form the foundation of many Chinese arts, including martial arts, medicine, music, and of course Feng Shui. The I Ching is important to Feng Shui because it contains the “64 hexagrams [that] are important as they combine the eight house directions with the eight enrichments to arrive at 64 different readings for home arrangements” (Craze 50).
There are many different aspects to Feng Shui, making it very difficult to understand; however, there are a few basic elements of Feng Shui that one can easily understand and incorporate into his/her life. There are three types of Feng Shui. First there is Compass or Lo P’an Feng Shui. “This approach relies heavily on the use of a traditional Feng Shui compass, called a ‘lo p’an’.” “The compass consists of 64 rings,” and is used “to determine whether your...