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What Is Feng Shui: A Short Guide to Its Meaning and Principles – VISIYA

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Feng shui or fengshui (literally, “wind and water”) is a Taoist philosophical practice about the harmony of living spaces, the science on how to control the living currents of the universe. You can use feng shui to choose the “best” location to build a house and furnish it properly. Feng Shui is stated to seek out auspicious Qi energy flows and use them for human benefit.


Classic feng shui has nothing to do with figurines, amulets, talismans and anything like that. These attributes of Chinese culture and folklore are wrongly attributed to feng shui. In fact, feng shui deals only with the flow of Qi energy and believes that energy does not understand one image or another and flows in harmony with the laws of the universe.


Asian stones on the riverbank symbolizing feng shui
Feng shui: wind and water

Energies in Feng Shui


Qi Energy

Qi refers to the energy in everything that exists in the universe. Feng Shui suggests that there are flows of Qi energy (like the wind) running through houses, rooms and areas. Since energy permeates everything – man, nature and things – one can only determine its presence in a particular place or person. It does not depend on the person and time, that’s why it is called Heavenly Destiny.


Earth energy changes as does the Earth itself. It can create harmonious or disharmonious structures in time and space. As energy is fundamentally intangible, you cannot keep “harmful Qi” out of the house. Yet by changing places of active life, doors, furniture and other necessary items can be placed in a certain way so that they do not fall into an unharmonious flow.


Only positive energy can change an earthly misfortune – a temporary energy imbalance in place. Usually with the energy of the person who lives there, if they have sufficient energy to change their surroundings.


Finally, when creating human destiny (human happiness), feng shui advises not to create places of stagnant Qi. These include non-functional corners, long passageways, and unaesthetic furniture.


There are two important forms of Qi (Qi) energy:

  • Shen (Zhen) Qi – the true, correct form of Qi (breath of nature)

  • Sha Qi – malicious energy (sinister breath)


Shen Qi Energy

Shen Qi in Chinese means “the breath of the contented Dragon”. It’s the beneficial energy of Qi. The accumulation of auspicious Qi energy is the goal of the master, “harmonizing” the home, because it helps us maintain a positive attitude and feel more in tune with the world around us.


Shen Qi also helps you to cope with stress and maintain mental and physical health in extreme and unfavorable situations. A sufficient amount of positive energy helps you to adapt faster and at low cost to the changed circumstances. One finds the strength to carry on in the most difficult situations, waiting patiently for a change for the better.


Sha Qi Energy

The teachings of feng shui use various concepts, including Sha Qi energy. It is a devastating energy, destructive to all living things, bringing negativity. Trouble and misfortune await a person where there is a lot of Sha Qi.


Sha Qi is the energy of stagnation, decay and destruction. Its currents interfere with normal life, development, and goal attainment. A person lives like in a sticky spider’s web, feeling too lazy to do anything and take actions. They are at best going with the flow; in more advanced cases, they are degenerating. And it is the negative energy in which they are bogged down that is to blame.


Sha Qi also interferes with plans, personal life and social interactions. It leads to a deterioration of the financial situation, health problems and even severe, incurable diseases.



Feng Shui and I Ching


I Ching or Yi Jing (Book of Changes) is one of the oldest books of Chinese civilization. The main part of the book contains a special kind of symbols – 64 hexagrams. The symbols are made up of six lines of two kinds, one solid line and one broken line, in all possible combinations. The 8 trigrams (ba gua) play a central role in this system. These are combinations of three lines, considered as half components of hexagrams and signifying an octagonal set of universals. The hexagrams provide interesting information about the alignment of the feng shui rooms (position of the front door, positioning of the house , certain prominent objects in the area, etc.). For more details on Bagua and trigrams, see the article “What Is Bagua?”.

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