What is Feng Shui? A Beginner’s Guide

When people say “feng shui,” or have their homes ensure that they hold the ideal balance or chi (means ‘energy’),  have you ever tried to wonder what it means? 

Well, based on the structures and monuments built in the ancient chinese times, the story of Feng Shui dates back to 6000 years when people in Ancient China utilized astronomy to orient themselves properly with four directions (north, south, east, west). 

The simplest way to achieve this was to make detailed observations of the constellations, with the sun’s path throughout the year, making a note of areas, which experience excess sunlight or shade. Further, observe the way they alter with seasons. 

feng shui

Interestingly, ancient chinese structures were designed and built in a way that they received maximum sun exposure. Most historians and experts believe this was done for survival and warmth. 

Having said that, you now want to know what Feng Shui is and what is its purpose? Let’s quickly get into the details.

What is Feng Shui?

Feng shui is a well-known mixture of Chinese ancient art & science, which was developed more than 3000 years ago. So the literal translation of “feng” is wind and “shui” is water. It is a practice, which helps a person to align his or her energies with the surroundings.

In Chinese culture, water and wind are linked to energy. Therefore, the power of all these elements when harnessed, can either be translated to your benefit or even work as a strong force against you. 

Like wind & water, life energies are the same for any human being—you can harness them to maximize your benefit and gain, or you can be restricted by them. But the difference majorly comes down to your beliefs, energies, and practices.

Chinese culture

Let’s put this in a simple example. Often, small, crowded, and poorly-designed spaces like urban apartments make it extremely hard for you to feel at home, happy, and healthy. 

That’s exactly where the concept of feng shui comes into play and promises to help. Note that feng shui isn’t a race or religion although it’s often associated with Taoism, which translates to “wind & water.” 

What is the Purpose of Feng Shui?

In simple words, feng shui is all about optimizing the environment. It is a set of principles that helps you align your living space in terms of two crucial factors:

  • Who you are
  • What you want

The chinese have been practicing this for thousands of years and it still exists for a reason. In fact, it has seen the Western resurgence recently, where thousands of feng shui professionals offer services. 

Interestingly, even Trump hired a feng shui expert back in the year 1995. If you really want to change the way you live, then an easy way to do this by changing your environment. 

The Elements of Feng Shui

While feng shui’s principles apply to different segments of life, they are practiced primarily in interior designing. Why? Well, the tools utilized during feng shui analysis can be easily applied when it comes to a home context.

Now if you already know about feng shui or have read some bits and pieces there, then you certainly must have come up with a very common question that reads what is a bagua map in feng shui.  To address this question, we will quickly understand the elements of feng shui first.

Feng shui comprises 5 elements, which include:

  • Wood: Signifies growth and creativity
  • Earth: Signifies stability and balance 
  • Metal: Signifies logic and intelligence 
  • Water: Signifies wisdom and serenity 
  • Fire: Signifies passion and energy 

Feng shui is about balancing these elements and ying with yang. Now, coming back to the bagua map, it means the “eight trigrams” in Chinese, a vital tool to create this type of balance and harmony throughout the interior space.

A bagua map is used when dividing an interior space into 9 separate sections—each linking to a specific theme. Now, this bagua map’s centre square is the heart of the home, the section where the entire energy is evenly distributed to other sectors.

Wealth and prosperity
(Element: Wood)
Fame and reputation
(Element: Fire)
Love and marriage
(Element: Earth)
Health and ancestors
(Element: Wood)
Health and center
(Element: Earth)
Children and creativity
(Element: Metal)
Knowledge and self cultivation
(Element: Earth)
Career and life path

(Element: Water)
Travel and helpful people

(Element: Metal)

Layout of the bagua map

1. Wood 

Wood symbolizes vitality and growth. Therefore, placing a few pieces of wood in your living space boosts personal growth. A good example to add this element to your home is plants in wooden pots.

2. Metal

Metal symbolizes intelligence and logic. It supports mental sharpness and knowledge. To add this element into your space, just go with some nice sculptures and metal frames. 

3. Earth

Earth symbolizes balance and stability. You can introduce them to your living space through rocks, crystals, or any landscape imagery. 

4. Water

Water symbolizes serenity and wisdom. It helps you to relax and have mental clarity. Try adding a few reflective surfaces, aquariums, and mirrors into your space. 

5. Fire

Fire signifies energy and passion. It is the representative of expansion, transformation, and volatility. Make use of red objects and candles to enhance your living space with the element “fire.”

Link Between Your Mattress and Feng Shui

Your bed is one of the most vital furniture pieces when it comes to feng shui because it’s the closest part to you. You don’t just spend hours and hours on that cozy adjustable mattress base but also most of your time you are asleep. 

Keep in mind that when you are asleep, your body is in a yin, passive state and therefore, it’s receptive to the vibrations surrounding you. Since your bed is one of the most private places in your house, it readily absorbs the “qi.”

Though this is a whole topic in whole, we just wanted to highlight a few important things here. Let’s talk about the bed size. Though twin size mattresses are okay for kids, they aren’t made for adults who prefer partnership. 

From bed position, bed linens, colors to headboards and what’s underneath your bed, matters a lot in context to feng shui.  

The Basic Feng Shui Touch For Your Home

While we are not asking you to go gung-ho with your Feg Shui implementation at home, there are a few simple tweaks you can make to experience the flow of positive energy. 

Plants Above Kitchen Shelves

Small pots with the green delight can uplift the entire mood of the place. The top of kitchen shelves or cabinets are usually ignored and end up collecting dust. This hinders the flow of positive energy and affects the overall chi of your kitchen. Plants are known to eradicate negativity and keep the energy cycle going. 

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Cover Your Television

Television is an electronic with a lot of static energy that can block the fresh flow of energy. By covering your television with a simple cloth, you can soothe the environment and make it more conducive for peace. 

Clean Those Windows

Windows are our interface to the world outside and if not clean, we risk missing out on the beautiful experience the Universe has to offer us. So just grab an old cloth, newspaper and some vinegar for those squeaky clean windows.

Wrapping it Up

Feng Shui is useful for not only those who are experiencing negativity in their respective homes but also for those who want to maintain positivity in their space and among their families. While some Feng Shui tips need the guidance of an expert, we can always implement the small changes to make our homes at the epicenter of good energy. 

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