Feng Shui Basics: Attracting Positive Energy Into Your Home

Feng Shui has always been associated with luck and fortune, so many people became curious about how it works. Many Feng Shui experts know everything about this practice. But you don’t really need to be an expert to know about the basics of Feng Shui.

In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of Feng Shui and how you can apply them to your home, office, or even lifestyle. Whether it may be for wealth, good luck, health, love, etc. Feng Shui will have you covered.

What is Feng Shui and what is its purpose?

Fung Shui pronounced as “fung shway,” is an ancient Chinese philosophy/practice that claims to use energy forces to bring harmony between individuals and their surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind” (Feng) and water (“Shui”).

This belief can be traced from Taoism, a Chinese philosophy that dates back to the sixth century B.C. It claims that there are correlations between humans and the universe wherein an ‘invisible force’ binds them together, known as chi (also called ‘qi’).

Brief history

Historically, around 3000 BC, the people used feng shui to propitiously orient buildings, often spiritually significant structures like tombs, and dwellings, and other structures. Depending on the specific style of feng shui used, an auspicious site could be determined by referencing local features such as stars, bodies of water, or the compass.

The original feng shui instrument is said to be the gnomon. The Chinese used circumpolar stars to determine the north-south axis of settlements. In some cases, they also bisect the angle between the directions of the rising and setting sun to find north.

Materials used

The oldest examples of Feng Shui instruments used are liuren astrolabes, also known as shi. These consist of a lacquered, two-sided board with astronomical sightlines. After more than 3,500 since feng shui was invented came the magnetic compass and was then used for feng shui ever since.

Traditional feng shui instrumentation consists of the Luopan or the earlier south-pointing spoon. However, a conventional compass could suffice if one understood the differences.

An ancient secret

In ancient China, they used Feng Shui to auspiciously place farms and villages within the mountains’ protective folds. They were nurtured by the gentle, flowing streams and protected from harmful winds. People who practiced the principles of Feng Shui prospered in trade and agriculture and grew strong and powerful.

They also produced cultural, social, and military leaders, unlike their neighbors, who didn’t apply the principle. These people were exposed to inhospitable terrain and harsh winds. The art of Feng Shui was then refined over many centuries, producing plenty of scholars.

Feng Shui was traditionally considered a highly guarded secret of the Chinese Imperial Court. All Feng Shui Masters were forbidden to disclose their potentially powerful knowledge of Feng Shui to outsiders. Consequently, this knowledge was handed down from father to son within family traditions.

Purpose of Feng Shui

Long ago, the purpose of Feng Shui was to position cemeteries or burial sites, so the energy would be auspicious. Feng Shui was first used by the Chinese, but the practice became famous worldwide. People started using Feng Shui to make a detailed observation of the natural and man-made environment and help humans blend with the energy around it.

Feng Shui, or the “art of placement,” enables you to tap the beneficial chi energy and use it to the maximum. It also aims to disrupt, disperse, or remove obstructions to free the flow of chi. Both wind and water convey a sense of invisible energy, which flows in specific directions.

How does Feng Shui work?

Understanding the entire concept of Feng Shui would require many years of studying. The core understanding of Feng Shui is based on the premise that everything is surrounded by and made up of different kinds of energy. This goes down even to the smallest pebble stuck in your shoe. The art and science of Feng Shui involve beneficially harnessing these energies.

As mentioned earlier, every human and everything in the universe is bound by an invisible force called chi. This force interacts and flows through everything in any given space and time. Feng shui works by arranging the elements of an area to allow the maximum flow of positive chi.

What are the basic principles of Feng Shui?

Building harmony with nature is the primary concept behind Feng Shui. To achieve the full potential of Feng Shui, you must first familiarize yourself with its main principles and the foundational ideas behind this practice.

Here are the three main principles behind Feng Shui.

1. The five elements 

The five elements represent the interrelated life phases that work together to make a complete system. Usually, the practice of Feng Shui works to balance these five elements.

Earth

  • Qualities: Grounded, self-care, stable
  • Shape: Flat, square
  • Colors: Brown, orange, yellow
  • Season: Transitions between the seasons
  • Areas: Health, knowledge, partnerships 

Fire

  • Qualities: Passionate, illuminating, brilliant
  • Shape: Triangle, pointy
  • Colors: Red
  • Season: Summer
  • Area: Fame

Metal

  • Qualities: Efficient, precise, beauty 
  • Shape: Circular, spherical
  • Colors: White, metallics
  • Season: Autumn
  • Areas: Helpful people, children

Water

  • Qualities: Downward, flowing, shifting
  • Shape: Wavy, curvy
  • Colors: Black
  • Season: Winter
  • Area: Career

Wood

  • Qualities: Expansive, vitality, upward
  • Shape: Columnar, rectangular
  • Colors: Green, blues
  • Season: Spring
  • Areas: Family, wealth

2. The yin-yang

The yin-yang is also known as polarity because it works similar to a magnetic dipole. It is made of two parts: one creating an exertion and one receiving the exertion.

The yin-yang is one of the most readily recognizable symbols of Chinese culture – black and white connected swooshes inside a circle, with a dot of the opposite color in each. This symbol illustrates the opposite states of the chi.

The concept simply describes how opposite forces are actually interconnected, complementary, and interdependent in the natural world. One cannot exist without the other. Yin (black swoosh) is associated with femininity, nighttime, softness, matter, coldness, and passivity. Yang (white swoosh) is associated with masculinity, daytime, hardness, spirit, warmth, and activity.

The yin-yang concept shows that energy is never constant or fixed. Traditional Chinese Feng Shui takes this constant interaction into account. There must be a balance between both aspects of the environment.

3. The Bagua

The Bagua (or Pa Kua), known as the eight trigrams, serves as the Feng Shui road map. Each of the eight areas shown in the Bagua relates to a different life circumstance, such as family, wealth, or career. These areas also have corresponding shapes, colors, numbers, seasons, and elements. The center of the Bagua – the ninth area, is you, representing your overall health and wellness.

The earliest form of the Bagua was known as the Lo Shu Square (also called the magic square). The numbers in the Lo Shu Square add up to 15 vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. This is the same number of days in a lunar cycle, which is why much of Feng Shui is based on Chinese astrology.

The Bagua Areas

The simplest way to incorporate the Bagua in your daily life is to identify one to three areas that need the most attention. Do not attempt to work on all eight areas at once.

Wealth (Xun)

  • Representing: Wealth, abundance, prosperity
  • Shape: Columnar, rectangular
  • Colors: Purple
  • Season: Spring
  • Number: 5
  • Element: Yin wood

Fame (Li)

  • Representing: Fame, reputation, passion, visibility
  • Shape: Triangle, pointy
  • Colors: Red
  • Season: Summer
  • Number: 9
  • Element: Fire

Partnerships (Kun)

  • Representing: Partnerships, marriage, self-care
  • Shape: Flat, square
  • Colors: Pink
  • Season: Transitions between the seasons
  • Number: 2
  • Element: Yin earth

Family (Zhen)

  • Representing: Family, new beginnings
  • Shape: Columnar, rectangular
  • Colors: Green, blues, teal
  • Season: Spring
  • Number: 4
  • Element: Yang wood

Health (Tai Qi)

  • Representing: Health, overall wellness, the center
  • Shape: Flat, square
  • Colors: Brown, orange, yellow
  • Season: Transitions between the seasons
  • Number: 5
  • Element: Earth

Children (Dui)

  • Representing: Children, completion, joy
  • Shape: Circular, spherical
  • Colors: White, metallics
  • Season: Autumn
  • Number: 7
  • Element: Yin metal

Knowledge (Gen)

  • Representing: Knowledge, self-cultivation, skillfulness
  • Shape: Flat, square
  • Colors: Dark blue
  • Season: Transitions between the seasons
  • Number: 8
  • Element: Yang earth

Career (Kan)

  • Representing: Career, the path in life
  • Shape: Wavy, curvy
  • Colors: Black
  • Season: Winter
  • Number: 1
  • Element: Water

Helpful People (Qian)

  • Representing: Helpful people, benefactors, travel
  • Shape: Circular, spherical
  • Colors:  Gray, metallics
  • Season:  Autumn
  • Number:  6
  • Element:  Yang metal

Incorporating Feng Shui suggestions in a particular area will help strengthen your energy or improve energy flow in those areas. For example, you might want to encourage more profit for your business. In that case, you can add a wooden, rectangular table in the part of your house representing wealth.

4. The Chi energy

Proponents of Feng Shui state that chi flows in various areas and is affected by different things. Some of them are called the “five elements,” which are earth, water, fire, metal, and wood. Another important thing that affects chi energy is the yin and yang, which symbolizes the eternal conflict within oneself.

Feng shui is applied to many different aspects of life. Some people use Feng Shui to improve interpersonal relationships, while others apply it to the world. They do this by learning how to harmoniously arrange the different and disparate objects in their environment.

Feng Shui practitioners say that the positive and negative flow of chi is affected by how the objects and people interact in a home setting or workspace. This flow of energy could then affect the positive and negative aspects of our lives.

How do you Feng Shui your home?

The main idea of Feng Shui says that your living space reflects and affects your life. But applying Feng Shui into your home can be a challenge, especially when your home is already decorated and set-up for a long time.

Thankfully, you don’t need to study Feng Shui for years, or hire a Feng Shui expert to get started. Here are some easy DIY home improvements you can make to create a more harmonious home with some Feng Shui basics.

Note: Before you begin, you might want to determine your home’s facing direction and measure it using a compass. This will help you position your items or the needed elements accurately for better results. 

1. Know your commanding position

The commanding position is a spot in a room that is the furthest and not in a direct line from the door. It positions you diagonally to the door, but ideally, you should have a clear line of sight to it.

The room’s commanding position is where you’d want to spend most of your time. Whether it’s in your living room, bedroom, kitchen, any room has a commanding position. According to Feng Shui guidelines, you should determine this dominant position in the room, then place your desk, your bed, or your stove diagonally aligned.

These three components of your house are critical since each represents an integral part of your daily life. Your desk is an extension of career, the bed stands for you, and the stove represents your health and nourishment.

2. Make an entrance

Your front door, also known as the “mouth of the home,” is where the chi enters and begins. Since it’s the first entry place of energy, you should consider the following:

  • Make sure your house’s entryway is well lit and free from clutter.
  • A door that opens inward is more preferable than one that swings out. This invites chi inside instead of pushing it away.
  • Sweep and clean up the entry, both interior, and exterior. 
  • Wipe down the door and shake out the doormat.
  • Consider the five elements when decorating your entryway as a path to a more nourished home.
  • Use your front door more often.

3. Clean Your Windows

Clean your windows regularly to create good Feng Shui in your home. Clean windows let in more sunlight. Sunlight energizes you and creates a more vibrant expansive, and energetic environment.

The windows symbolize your eyes to the world. So open your eyes and brighten your space.

4. Pay attention to your doors

Doors are portals that allow opportunities to come into your life. It is the first and last thing you encounter when coming or going from your home. This is why your doors deserve a bit of your attention.

Here are two things you should check with your doors:

  • Make sure your doors can open to at least a full 90 degrees. This allows you to welcome and receive opportunities fully as they come. If there is any clutter that’s prohibiting your door to open all the way, remove them.
  • Make sure your doors are working correctly. It shouldn’t make a squeaking sound when you open or close them. You should also be able to open and close them with ease. All these details can affect how chi energy finds its way to you. You want the flow to be as smooth as possible. 

5. Clean Your Air 

The air inside your home can also influence your chi. It’s given that pollutants have adverse effects on your health. Pollution from carpet, paint, and cleaning supplies, but even stale air can be detrimental to the flow of chi.

Start opening your windows as often as possible, even in colder months. This process will let your rooms breathe. You should also invest in indoor plants to act as natural air purifiers. The dose of freshness will surely make you feel good.

6. Close your bathroom door

Many people are concerned about the bathroom when it comes to Feng Shui. The general idea is that water goes out of the home here. Since water is connected to wealth, you wouldn’t want your money to be flushed away. To be safe, you can keep the toilet seat cover down, and the bathroom door closed to reduce this effect.

7. Declutter your space

Let’s face it – we are all too guilty of accumulating things that don’t have a specific function in our homes. Feng Shui is about creating more space and inviting positive energy into your home.

So if you’re looking forward to practicing Feng Shui in your house, you need to consider decluttering. Having excessive clutter hinders you from having clarity of thought and can weigh you down emotionally.

If you find getting rid of stuff a bit overwhelming, you don’t have to do large amounts right away. You can start by clearing small spaces like your study table, closet, refrigerator, etc. Get rid of the unnecessary things and create open space to invite a new, fresh opportunity. 

8. Bring in some greenery

In Feng Shui, plants symbolize life energy. It means, having green, living house plants connect us to nature and bring vibrancy into our homes. Remember, it’s important to find plants that you can care for and are appropriate for your space.

Try putting plants above your kitchen cabinets (if you have space above them). The area above your kitchen cabinets attracts dust and stagnant energy. The chi could get stuck and encourages dead energy, which may hold you back in your life. Place some lighting, green plants, or some beautiful and loved objects in this location to bring life onto the area and transform the energy.

9. Mirror placement

Mirrors that are on the right placement can do wonders when it comes to Feng Shui. Hanging a mirror reflecting the view of your garden brings in the beauty of the outdoors—plus all the positive chi energy that comes with it.

When you hang a mirror, make sure it reflects more light, a serene view, or an expansive part of a room. You can also opt for a round mirror with some golden frame as it attracts energy tied to wealth and abundance, making it a worthy addition to any home office.

10. Balance the Five Elements

We’ve discussed the five elements (earth, wood, fire, water, and metal) and its significance to Feng Shui. You can present these elements in your home either physically or symbolically for proper balance. For example, you could bring the water element with cool tones, like blues and indigos, or you could have an actual fountain with flowing water or a fish bowl aquarium.

Examine the literal and symbolic elements that you place in your home, as they can cause imbalance in your emotional life. Ideally, you should strike a nice balance between all five elements.

Feng Shui cures

Feng Shui cures are sometimes called enhancements, adjustments, or remedies. You can also add some of these to remediate the flow of chi energy in your home.

Here are some common Feng Shui cures you can incorporate into your home:

  • Auspicious symbols – You can use symbols like lucky bamboo, Fu dogs, dragon statue, Buddha, or other talismans that represent good energy. The color and art you use in your home can also strongly affect your home’s Feng Shui.
  • Fountains and water – A good and high-quality fountain can bring fantastic energy in any space. A fountain or an aquarium would be an excellent addition to any home.
  • Crystals – Crystals are often used to modulate energy. Put crystals in missing spots, and bring sunlight and chi into the home.
  • Lucky Bamboo – The lucky bamboo is a beautiful Feng Shui cure with its own meaning associated with the five elements. It’s also important to note that there are specific requirements for the best placement of the lucky bamboo in your home or office.
  • Dragon Turtles – The Dragon Turtle feng shui cure is a classical feng shui cure to attract wealth, abundance, and good luck. Don’t worry if you think it might not look well with your home decor. The dragon turtles come in many sizes, colors, and materials, so definitely find one that suits your home.

Is Feng Shui effective?

Some people dismiss Feng Shui as an old Chinese myth or a fad for kooky new agers. According to Feng Shui enthusiasts, it can improve everything from harmony in the home to wealth and well-being.

Since Feng Shui is not a science and is classified as pseudoscience, we can’t test its effectiveness by testing it using the scientific method. But according to Feng Shui enthusiasts and experts, Feng Shui has been highly effective and has helped improve their daily lives.

The philosophy behind Feng Shui is to make our homes healthier and more organized, while also helping us connect ourselves to our homes or environment. And, in return, how they can affect our mood and well-being. So whether it’s really effective or not, there’s no denying that practicing Feng Shui can bring positivity and the right kind of change into your home and in your life.

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