· Classical Feng Shui Explained

Introduction to Classical Feng Shui 

Feng Shui is an ancient art and science that teaches us to harmonize the energy between people and their environments. The words Feng Shui can be translated literally as "Wind Water," which means to create harmony with the universal forces of Wind and Water, Yin and Yang, movement and stillness, Heaven and Earth. 

A building is affected by the currents of Heaven and Earth, and possesses its own unique quality of life force. Just as a person's health is affected by their physical constitution and life experiences, so a building has a physical and energetic constitution. It is also affected by the energies and experiences of all of its occupants over all of their lifetimes, and by invisible earth energies held in the land on which it sits. Buildings absorb all, the good and the bad. Not everyone is aware of these influences, but we all know that some buildings have a "good" feeling and some just never quite feel right. These subtle energies are real and affect us in very real ways. The art of Feng Shui is to heal and harmonize all of these subtle energies. 

As a Feng Shui practitioner and intuitive healer, Elizabeth interacts with all of the many forces of the physical and non-physical world and brings them into balance in a particular place and time for a particular person or group. While there is much value in working with a trained practioner, there are also simple Feng Shui principles of healthy environments that anyone can use. Ultimately we can all learn to orient ourselves to our environment and live in harmony and awareness in the present moment. Seen this way, Feng Shui is a process we all engage in every moment of every day. 

Classical Feng Shui, from the Chinese tradition, is rooted in the Taoist understanding that everything is connected in Oneness and alive with "Chi," or Life Force. There are many methods used to read the visible and invisible world around us, in order to harmonize the environment in present time and space. Some of the various tools of Classical Feng Shui are described below. 

Five Element Theory 
In Taoist thought the universe is composed of five elemental energies. These are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Every physical and energetic creation, large or small, is an expression of one or more of these elements. The five elements are in constant interaction with each other. The goal is to use the energies of these five elements to invigorate and balance the environment and the personal energy field. 

The Bagua 
The word "Bagua" means "eight trigrams," and refers to eight fundamental aspects of human life, including family, prosperity, career and relationship. In the Bagua these eight aspects are arranged into a grid around a central, ninth aspect of health and unity. The Bagua is a universal pattern discovered thousands of years ago and can be applied to any size or dimension of a space: a building, a piece of property, a single room, or even the surface of a desk. The Bagua is one of the easiest and most effective systems to learn and practice in your own home. 

The Ming Kua 
Chi flows into an environment from all directions. The Ming Kua calculates the currents of Chi on the planet during the year of your birth, and determines which of those directions of "Natal Chi" are energizing for you. When you know your best directions, you can use that information within your home and workplace. When you orient yourself toward one of your good directions, you are able to take fullest advantage of the life force available to you. For example, if one of your best directions is east, then if you face east when you sit at your desk you will receive energizing Chi, and experience greater clarity and ability to concentrate. 

The Bazhai 
The Bazhai is a map of the way that Chi flows into an environment, based on a building's "Sitting" and "Facing" directions. If you think of your home as an armchair, the sitting direction is the back of the chair, the stable and grounding direction or rear of your home. The facing direction is the front of the chair, the direction from which your home receives Chi. This system creates a map of correspondences for a space, similar to the Ming Kua directions for a person. This systems of Ming Kua and Bazhai are also known as "Eight Mansions." 

The Flying Star 
The Flying Star reads the energy of Heavenly Chi and creates an astrological chart for a building. This chart shows the specific areas that hold potential to create prosperity and health, as well as areas where the potential for draining energy may occur. When these potentials are identified it is possible to support or enhance the auspicious tendencies, and drain or transform those that are detrimental or undesired. Adding a water feature in the sector called Water Star 8, for example, will enhance your home’s ability to support prosperity in your life. 

The Four Pillars 
While Western astrology focuses on positions of the stars at birth, Chinese astrology analyzes the relationship of the five elements during the year, month, day, and hour of birth. These are known as a person's "Four Pillars." As in all aspects of Taoism, the goal is to bring the five elements into balance. A person's helpful elements are those that will bring balance and harmony to their life. A Four Pillars analysis describes what those most helpful elements are. Additional information regarding all other aspects of life is also available in a person's Four Pillars chart. 

The I Ching 
The I Ching is one of the most ancient texts on Earth. The wisdom of the I Ching can be consulted for practical advice, and is also used as an oracle and tool for divination. It provides the basis for Taoist philosophy and the foundation for Classical Feng Shui. All of the tools and methods used in Classical Feng Shui were developed and derived from study of the I Ching, which teaches us about the energetic dance of Yin and Yang. In a Feng Shui analysis, the I Ching can be used to provide insight into a specific question or for overall understanding.

Feng Shui Bamboo Wood Energy

"Beth’s work went far beyond my expectations. In addition to practical advice on colors and room arrangements, I received information on how each member of the family relates to our space and our own best directions. The insights and wealth of information were exciting and gave us a fresh relationship with our home." ~ Alexandra Immel, Architect