Feng Shui harmonises human energy with the surrounding environment, a tradition practised for thousands of years in China, it has slowly gained popularity in western culture.
The basic principles behind feng shui are rooted in Tao's philosophy, which translates to "the way" in English. Its purpose is to harness energy forces and instil balance with any beneficial forces of nature.
To find this balance, modern devotees tend to consult with feng shui masters before buying an architectural structure to assess the energy, “chi” or “qi”, whose flow must not be interfered with. The flow of movement from the wind and the water, which retains it, is frequently influenced through five key elements around the structure: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements are key when determining if the surroundings harbour good or bad feng shui. Along with incorporating these elements, a philosophy of orientation is also implemented to help guide a person to love, success or good health. This can dictate where furniture is placed or at what angle.
Feng shui literally shapes the landscapes in which we live. Take the landmark building of HSBC in Hong Kong, it follows extensive feng shui principles guided by professional masters. The building sits facing a clear view of the harbour to project prosperity from the water, and the ground floor has elevated ceilings for an open atrium where wind and positive qi can flow.The escalator feature is designed at an angle to avoid bad feng shui practices as it is believed that evil spirits can only travel in a straight line. And lastly, two bronze guard lions protect and safeguard the building entrance to symbolise wealth and prosperity.
Today, many people adhere to feng shui principles in interior design and architecture to enforce tenets that protect health, attract wealth, enhance feeling positivity and to improve relationships with others.
Feng shui principles date back as far as 5000 BC, to the Yangshao residents who lived among the Yellow River in China. During 4700 and 2900 BC, the Hongshan people in Northeast China interacted with the Yangshao people, where feng shui was incorporated. Before the magnetic compass was invented for divination and feng shui, the rituals relied on cosmography to set the orientation of structures. According to Yaodian, the cardinal directions are controlled by the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals:The Azure Dragon, The Vermilion Bird, The White Tiger, and The Black Tortoise.
In ancient China, farms and villages were protected by the folds of mountains and shielded from damaging winds. The calming wind streams nurtured them while they practised the principles of feng shui. Their focus turned to agriculture and trade, which ultimately helped them to prosper and become more powerful. While feng shui has been refined over many centuries, the basic principles remain the same: embrace the lands.
Back then, feng shui was considered a top-secret traditionally guarded by the Chinese Imperial Court. The feng shui masters were prohibited from releasing their powerful knowledge to the public and instead were handed down in family legacies. The Feng Shui Bagua Map curates a guide for all to use as an energy map of your home. Using the Bagua can help support there solution of a challenge or advance a goal.
Kanso, known as Japan's equivalent to feng shui, also follows a similar philosophy.The ancient Japanese concept is all about ridding non-essential belongings and roots for simplicity in life. While feng shui often looks outwards, kanso largely asks you to face inwards, however they share overlapping principles.
There are simple ways you can feng shui your home. Such as brightening up your entryway, give your front door good sprucing up, cleaning your windows, and paying attention closely to the commanding position.You can de-clutter your home by removing obstacles in your pathway while adopting a spacious approach. Most importantly, breathe life into the area with botanical green elements.
Feng shui encourages you to arrange certain parts of your life to promote positive thinking. The concept involves harnessing good energy from particular arrangements in a space to allow the flow of “qi” to interact with everything. While it takes years to understand the in-depth knowledge of feng shui, you can explore the basic principles almost anywhere on the internet. People also hire feng shui master professionals to help rearrange their home into a space filled with a positive aura. If you’re looking for some guidance, the Feng Shui Agency of London has a selected team of consultants to provide highly effective feng shui practices with over 21 years of experience in feng shui architecture and energy healing.
While feng shui largely focuses on the arrangement of furniture, a specific piece can certainly inhabit characteristics that are favourable in feng shui. Take our artisan Suyab, who designed the Cubist Ebony and Leather Occasion Chair. This piece has a sense of stability, balance, and a grounding influence due to its square nature, all principles that are important within feng shui.
You may have heard that placing a money tree in the home to bring wealth. Or that owning a pair of love birds that may stimulate and nurture relationships. We have covered how the external feng shui practice works with layout, Qi flow, and movements from like water features to determine good or bad feng shui. Here we will elaborate on the more minor details from feng shui ornaments you can place around your space to activate specific areas you wish to bring luck.
Known as one of the most popular mythical beasts in fengshui, the dragon is an ancient symbol in Chinese astrology that brings royalty and power. The material for the dragon in feng shui is preferably wooden and placed in the east and left side of the space. It should be situated in highly engaging areas like the living room, office, or dining area.
Another mythical creature also part of the celestial animals in feng shui is the tortoise, who has lived 3000 years and is believed to attract good health when placed in the east. The animal is also used to revive failing careers when placed in the north.
The Fu Dogs
The Fu Dogs are part lion and part dog and always come in a pair, a male and a female. They are commonly referred to as Imperial Guard Lions or Chinese Guardian Lions. These fearsome looking dogs are understood to have been invented for the Emperor, to protect the palace and royal tombs. Ideally, these Fu Dogs should be placed at the front door, guarding the place of importance as their majestic presence tend to give an expression of a pause upon visitors entering.
To enhance the Qi of a specific area, wind chimes are famous among feng shui. The energy comes from the sound the wind chimes make and depends on the material. Wooden and bamboo chimes are advised when focusing on lacking areas, placed in the east or southeast. In contrast, bronze and metal are ideal for the northwest and west sectors depending on the energy missing.
The bamboo flute activates the energy of an area because it has the wood element and can be placed in the east, southeast, or south areas. The flute is known as a remedy for negative energy. The negative Qi enters through one end of the flute and is neutralised before reaching the other end of the hole.