The Basic Principles of Feng Shui

feng shui basic

The Chinese words “Feng” and “Shui” translate to mean “Wind” and “Water,” respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it.

What Is Feng Shui?
The philosophy of feng shui is a practice of arranging the pieces in living spaces in order to create balance with the natural world. The goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual and their environment.

In Asian culture, this philosophy is called the Tao, which translates to mean “the way.” Taoism is the way of nature and all the basic principles of feng shui reflect nature. Take a look at the essential principles of feng shui: the commanding position, the bagua, and the five elements.

The Commanding Position
The commanding position is the spot in a room that is the furthest from the door and not in direct line with it. It puts you diagonal to the door. Ideally, you should have a clear line of sight to the door.

The commanding position is where you want to spend most of your time when you are in that room. Feng shui guidelines suggest you determine this dominant position in the room, then place your bed, your desk, or your stove in diagonal alignment, if you can. These three parts of your house are critical since each represents an essential part of your life. The bed stands for you, the desk is an extension of your career, and the stove represents your wealth and nourishment.

feng shui basics

 

The Feng Shui Bagua Map
A bagua is the feng shui energy map superimposed on the floor plan of your home. The Chinese word “bagua” translates to mean “eight areas.” Each of the eight areas relates to a different life circumstance, such as family, wealth, or career. And, each of these areas has corresponding shapes, colors, seasons, numbers, and earthly elements. At the center of the bagua—a ninth area—is you, representing your overall health and wellness.

There are several feng shui schools of thought. All of them use baguas when analyzing your home; however, some may apply the bagua in different ways. The Western and BTB (Black Sect) schools usually lay the bagua so that the knowledge, career, and helpful people areas align with the front door of the home. The Flying Stars and other classical schools may orient the bagua based on the energy of the year or the compass.

bagua map

The Bagua Areas
The easiest way to incorporate the bagua in your life is to identify one to three areas that need the most attention. Do not attempt to work on all areas at once. To strengthen your energy or improve flow in those areas, incorporate feng shui suggestions in that particular area. For example, if you want to encourage fertility, you might add a metallic, circular table in the part of your house representing children.

Family (Zhen)
Representing: Family, new beginnings
Shape: Columnar, rectangular
Colors: Green, blues, teal
Season: Spring
Number: 4
Element: Yang wood

Wealth (Xun)
Representing: Wealth, abundance, prosperity
Shape: Columnar, rectangular
Colors: Purple
Season: Spring
Number: 5
Element: Yin wood

Health (Tai Qi)
Representing: Health, overall wellness, the center
Shape: Flat, square
Colors: Brown, orange, yellow
Season: Transitions between the seasons
Number: 5
Element: Earth

Helpful People (Qian)
Representing: Helpful people, benefactors, travel
Shape: Circular, spherical
Colors: Gray, metallics
Season: Autumn
Number: 6
Element: Yang metal

Children (Dui)
Representing: Children, completion, joy
Shape: Circular, spherical
Colors: White, metallics
Season: Autumn
Number: 7
Element: Yin metal

Knowledge (Gen)
Representing: Knowledge, self-cultivation, skillfulness
Shape: Flat, square
Colors: Dark blue
Season: Transitions between the seasons
Number: 8
Element: Yang earth

Fame (Li)
Representing: Fame, reputation, passion, visibility
Shape: Triangle, pointy
Colors: Red
Season: Summer
Number: 9
Element: Fire

Career (Kan)
Representing: Career, path in life
Shape: Wavy, curvy
Colors: Black
Season: Winter
Number: 1
Element: Water

Partnerships (Kun)
Representing: Partnerships, marriage, self-care
Shape: Flat, square
Colors: Pink
Season: Transitions between the seasons
Number: 2
Element: Yin earth

 

The Five Elements
The five elements—earth, metal, water, wood, and fire—come from the Taoist tradition. The elements are five interrelated phases in life that work together to create a complete system. Typically, the practice of feng shui works to balance these five facets in your home and each of your life areas or bagua.

To incorporate the elements in your life and your home, you have to define where you want to focus your energy. Much like the bagua, you choose the one to three areas of your life you want to improve. Then, you strengthen your energy and your home’s energy by adding the suggested colors or shapes in that room.

For example, your bagua shows that your bedroom aligns with your health, overall wellness, and the place where you rejuvenate. It ties into the earth element. Consider ways to incorporate earth tones, ceramic or clay pottery, stones, or crystals in that room. After you have made improvements there, focus on a couple of other rooms or areas of your life. Look at the corresponding elements in those rooms and welcome that positive change into your life by adding those elements. The intent is to bring positive energy to those rooms, those areas of your life, and, ultimately, your entire home.

five-element

Earth
Qualities: Grounded, self-care, stable
Shape: Flat, square
Colors: Brown, orange, yellow
Season: Transitions between the seasons
Areas: Health, knowledge, partnerships

Metal
Qualities: Efficient, precise, beauty
Shape: Circular, spherical
Colors: White, metallics
Season: Autumn
Areas: Helpful people, children

Water
Qualities: Downward, flowing, shifting
Shape: Wavy, curvy
Colors: Black
Season: Winter
Area: Career

Wood
Qualities: Expansive, vitality, upward
Shape: Columnar, rectangular
Colors: Green, blues
Season: Spring
Areas: Family, wealth

Fire
Qualities: Passion, illuminating, brilliant
Shape: Triangle, pointy
Colors: Red
Season: Summer
Area: Fame