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Feng Shui    

Feng Shui is the art of living in harmony with your physical surroundings. An ancient Chinese philosophy, the term "feng shui" means "wind and water". The original idea in ancient China was that it was nice to live in a house with hills behind you to shield you from wind, and with a stream or some sort of running water in front of your house. The Chinese felt that people who lived with "feng shui" were much more likely to be happy and prosperous.


The practice of feng shui involves creating and maintaining an environment that promotes and enhances the flow of ch'i. Ch'i is the lifeforce that exists in all living things. Positive ch'i is created whenever there is beauty or something is done well. Negative ch'i is created when there is clutter, ugliness, or things are done poorly. Positive energy and harmony with the world are created when we keep our home full of fresh air and light, and don't neglect any portion of it. Feng shui believes that neglecting part of your home will encourage the flow of negative ch'i in that part of the house, and that the corresponding part of your life will suffer.


Yin-Yang symbol
Feng shui also includes the effort to balance the influences of yin and yang. The words "yin" and "yang" mean the opposite sides of a hill. The ancient Tao Yin-Yang symbol represents the Chinese belief that everything is in constant motion, and that everything is interconnected. Where the black represents yin and the white represents yang, we see that each contains a spot of the other. This symbolizes the idea that yin cannot exist with yang, and yang cannot exist without yin. Although they are opposites, they would not exist without each other. If there was no good, there would be no bad. If there was no light, there would be no dark.

In feng shui, anything hilly or elevated is considered to be yang. Anything flat is considered yin. We must have a balance of yin and yang in our environment to achieve feng shui.

Feng Shui Magic Square

To practice feng shui, we apply a magic square over the plan of our home.

Feng Shui Magic Square

This side of the square aligns with your front door

Legend tells us that the feng shui magic square originated about 5000 years ago when Wu of Hsia and some men observed a large

tortoise from the Yellow River that had markings on its shell that created a perfect magic square. Every horizontal, diagonal, and vertical row added up to the number fifteen. This was considered so remarkable that Wu called in some wise men to look at the situation. This group worked for a long time and came up with the basics of feng shui (along with I Ching and Chinese astrology). We don't know whether or not this story is true, but we do know that the practice of feng shui is a truly ancient Chinese custom.


The Chinese believe that the universe is composed of five elements. These elements figure heavily in Chinese astrology, and also in feng shui. The elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. In the Cycle of Production, the elements are placed in a circle in which each element supports the elements on either side of it. In the Cycle of Destruction, the elements interfere with their neighboring elements.

Cycle of Production

Cycle of Destruction

To promote the Cycle of Production, we maximize opportunities in our environment to allow elements to nurture each other, and we remedy situations in which elements seem likely to conflict with each other.

We are all made up of a combination of the elements, but we have one main elemental influence in our person. To discover your native element, click here.

The wood element is creative, social, ethical, and generous. Wood's natural color is green. In your home, the wood element can be represented by green colors, plants, and flowers.

The fire element is active, strong, impulsive and attractive. Fire can be warm and comforting, or destructive. Fire's natural color is red. In your home, the fire element can be represented by red colors, fires and candles.

The earth element is solid, reliable, stable and patient. Earth's natural color is yellow. In your home, the earth element can be represented by yellow colors, pottery and ceramics.

The metal element is power, money, success and intensity. It can also be destructive. Metal's natural colors are gold, silver, or anything metallic. In your home, the metal element can be represented by anything metallic, preferably something attractive made from a high quality metal.

The water element is flowing, travelling, learning, communicating, and influencing others. Water can be gentle or destructive. Water's natural colors are blue and black. In your home, the water element can be represented by an aquarium or indoor fountain, or by anything black or blue.

To support our natural elements, we want to have some representation of the element in our home. In the Cycle of Production, the element to the left of our native element feeds, nurtures, and creates our element, so we also want to have representation of that element in our home.

When there are multiple people living in one home, we need to make sure that everyone's supporting elements are present in the home, and that there are no major conflicts between the presence of the elements. Balance is an important concept in feng shui, and it's important to have all elements present in your home to achieve balance. However, it's often easier to choose one element to enhance in one room or part of the house, based upon who "owns" the room or spends the most time there.


A shar, or poison arrow, is any straight line or arrow pointed at you or your home. A shar is believed to be a potential for disaster. Shars can exist outside your home or inside your home.

Common shars upon your home from the outside are driveways, roads, sidewalks, and the corner of a neighboring house. The worst kind of outside shar is anything that is directed at your front door. For example, a sidewalk or pathway that is laid out in a straight line towards the front door of a home is considered a major shar. Its existence greatly increases the chances of disaster for those who live in that home.

Shars can be removed if they can't be seen. If the corner of a neighbor's house points directly at your house, you can remove the shar by erecting a fence that obstructs the view of that house. Shars that can't be disguised (such as the front pathway) should ideally be removed.

Shars inside a home are generally created from things like table corners and wall protrusions. The Chinese often use mirrors in their homes to deflect shars. Since shars are only impactful when they can be seen, a well-placed screen or mirror will get rid of the shar.

General Home Care

The practice of feng shui may seem daunting to people who are new to the art. At ChartPlanet.com, we aren't suggesting that you go hire a contractor to conceal all of the beams in your home, or that you rent a jackhammer to destroy the sidewalk leading to your house. You must be educated and sure in your decision to take such drastic measures. However, we can comfortably and enthusiastically suggest that you adopt the basic principles of feng shui in your home, which are as follows:

  1. Make your home a welcoming place for guests, especially if you don't have many guests and want to attract some.
  2. Pay special attention to your front door. The condition of your entrance tells your guests if they're welcome or unwelcome.
  3. Let light flow to every place in your home. This welcomes positive ch'i into your life.
  4. Fresh air bears positive ch'i. Welcome it into your home every day.
  5. Live plants and flowers attract positive ch'i. Put some in every room.
  6. Don't allow your house to become cluttered - not even one room in it. A cluttered home means a cluttered, stagnated life.
  7. Treat your home as if it is your ideal self. If you live in the ideal environment for you, your life will become more ideal.

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