Feng shui is a pretty famous concept that has been around since ancient times.
Originating in China, it is a known body of practice that attempts to bring balance so you can improve your quality of life. But have you ever wondered where it came from?
In this article, we talk about Feng Shui History and all you need to know about its origins.
Learn about the wonderful tradition which is now known not only in Chinese culture but also around the world, for its prominent benefits.
Understand and distinguish feng shui from religion and superstition, and discover the advantages of practicing this ancient tradition!
What is Feng Shui?
As mentioned above, feng shui is an ancient Chinese tradition. It is a system of rules or laws that seek to bring balance to the flow of chi or the life force that is within everything.
By following these rules, you may avoid bad fortune and outcomes and instead invoke good luck for more prosperity and a better quality of life.
Mainstream articles may sometimes say that feng shui is a religion or a type of superstition. This is not true.
Unlike religion, which focuses on a specific belief system usually involving a god or deity, and superstition, which is made of beliefs involving magic and luck, feng shui uses the power of nature to achieve balance and harmony.
Let’s look further at why feng shui is distinctly different from religion and superstitions.
1. Feng Shui Uses the Powers of Nature
Unlike religion and superstition, feng shui uses the power of nature or the Earth.
It recognizes the magnetic forces of the eight cardinal directions and the distinct form of objects and places as a basis for its traditions thus already using what is available to be seen by the naked eye. It does not use anything supernatural or spiritual.
2. No belief or faith is required
Religion often revolves around believing in a specific God or creator and placing a high level of trust in them.
On the other hand, superstitions also involve a level of faith in practices or things that may bring about ill-fortune and bad happenings in your life. In contrast, feng shui does not require any of these.
Instead, feng shui beliefs ask you to make specific adjustments to improve your quality of life-based on a studied set of traditions.
You do not simply believe, but rather you must work to achieve and check whether the feng shui cure you have employed is what’s working best for you.
3. Worship and Rituals are Not Needed
Again, in contrast to religion, feng shui does not require any of these practices to be done to achieve a better quality of life. Nor does it use specific figures and symbols.
Instead, feng shui encourages a person to follow certain adjustments so that life can be easier and more prosperous for them.
You may follow them, or you may not; it is up to you to do what you want to gain good feng shui and reduce bad feng shui.
The History and Origin of Feng Shui
Now that you know about feng shui and what distinguishes it from religion and superstition, let’s dive deeper into feng shui history origin.
Feng shui means “the way of the wind and the water” and is a Chinese practice rooted in ancient times. It is the art and tradition of arranging buildings, spaces, and objects to achieve balance and harmony in the environment.
Feng shui is believed to have been used as early as the ninth century. Documented at around 960 BC, feng shui flourished under the Zhou leadership around 770-475 BC.
Philosophers during this period helped set up the teachings of feng shui, including Lao Tzu, Mo Ti, and Confucius. The teachings of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism helped form the foundations of Feng Shui.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have believed in the presence of forces around the world. Later on, they discovered that these forces correspond to the magnetic forces of the Earth.
This led to the invention of the magnetic compass or the luopan (feng shui compass), which is still used today.
While the luopan was initially used for spiritual purposes, the compass was later used for navigation and travel. In modern times, it is now being used by feng shui practitioners to know the best location of objects and furniture in a space.
Together with the expansion of the Chinese empire, feng shui also prospered and grew around the region.
On a more household level, feng shui was used by ordinary people for the placement of their grave sites, ensuring that it follows the rules of feng shui for good chi.
A feng shui rule in this regard would be the placement of tombstones to be leaning against the mountain and facing the waters. An example of this would be Sun Yatsen Mausoleum located in Nanjing, which was built in traditional feng shui.
On a larger level, feng shui was used in architecture and building great structures. A good example of this would be the Great Wall of China, which was built following the rules of feng shui. The curved walls of the great structure allow the flow of chi to keep moving, inviting prosperity to the environment.
Yin and Yang
As discussed earlier, feng shui has roots in Taoism and believes in the chi or the life force that is in everything.
The chi is made up of both the yin and yang, which are opposing life forces that complement each other.
The yin is considered the feminine energy characterized by darkness, the moon, and the old which gives spirit to all things.
On the other hand, the yang is the masculine energy of light, the sun, and youth which gives form to all things.
Taoists believe that these two forces cannot be separated. Achieving a balance between the two improves the positive chi in life while repelling the negative chi. This leads to harmony in life.
Creating positive chi leads to better health, improved relationships with others, and increased prosperity and luck in career.
On the other hand, negative chi may lead to ill-fortunes, negativity, poor health, and a strained relationship with others. This is why it’s important to follow feng shui rules to remove negative energy.
Today, feng shui is used not only in China but around the world in the arrangements and placements of buildings, furniture, doors, and windows, which improve the flow of chi in the environment.
The history of feng shui in China is a rich tradition that continues to be useful even today.
The Five Elements of Feng Shui
Feng shui uses the elements of the Earth to invoke balance and maintain harmony leading to good chi.
A famous concept under feng shui would be the five elements that makeup everything around the world. Let us take a closer look at each one.
Associated with stability and security in relationships and businesses, the Earth element is associated with colors of creams and browns.
Incorporating these colors into your decor, as well as flat surfaces, square shapes, and images of landscapes will help invite strength into your home. The Earth element also works well with Wood for grounding.
Known to help with logic and mental clarity, the Metal element is associated with the colors white, beige, and silver.
Incorporating these colors with circular shapes will help balance overwhelming living spaces. Doing so helps a person increase their focus, organizational skills, and analytical abilities.
Metal furniture such as gold, silver, iron, and aluminum will also help balance the metal element in your home.
The Water element in feng shui is expected to be represented by the color blue, which symbolizes trust and knowledge. Aside from this, black is also related to the element together with shapes that imitate the flow of water (those that are wavy and curvy).
Putting reflective surfaces such as mirrors, asymmetrical shapes, aquariums, or fountains within your home will help invite the water element’s qualities of intelligence, wisdom, and mystery while creating a calming atmosphere.
The Wood element is associated with spirituality and new growth. Putting colors of green and adding rectangular and columnar shapes will bring the wood element into your home and invite peace and vitality.
You may also directly add plants, flowers, and wood items such as wooden tables, frames, and the like.
The Fire element is known to inspire boldness and inspiration in the home. Red, one of the most auspicious colors in feng shui, is associated with this element as well as purple.
Red represents energy and strength, inviting warmth to the home while purple provides a calming effect. Incorporating these colors with triangles and stars will help you invite the fire element and help increase your leadership skills and enthusiasm.
You may also add candles, increase the flow of sunlight into your home, or add animal prints to increase the fire element’s energy.
The Chinese Zodiac Animals
Aside from the concept of the five elements, another important part of the traditional feng shui are the Chinese zodiac animals. There are 12 different zodiac signs and yours depends on the year you were born.
In order, they are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The legend of the Chinese zodiac animals is said to be based upon a legend of the Jade Emperor who summoned the animals to his palace in a great race; the order by which they arrived determined the order of the signs.
While you may think the year of your zodiac sign is lucky, it is actually the opposite. Rather, you must take extra precautions during this year to ensure that you are protected from ill fortune and evil spirits.
Each zodiac sign also has distinct characteristics that may be useful in explaining the personality and behavior of people.
People born under this year like saving and collecting; they have no difficulty managing their finances because of this.
People under the year of the ox are hardworking and have a strong sense of responsibility. They are also patient but tend to keep their emotions to themselves.
Those under the year of the tiger are independent and confident. While they may sometimes be reckless, they ultimately succeed in their endeavors.
People born in this year are usually quiet and gentle. They are also intelligent and have great attention to detail.
While appearing lazy and uncaring to some, the dragon is full of yearning for adventure and romance. They are mysterious and also very ambitious once they seek to achieve a goal.
Those under this year may seem cold and indifferent but they are warm and caring on the inside. They are also very determined and devoted.
People born under this year are energetic and positive. While their weakness is that they lose interest quickly, they always push themselves forward regardless of what life throws at them.
The goat has a pure and kind heart. Their strength lies in their persuasion and words, which they may sometimes use to their advantage.
Those under this year work very hard towards goals they are interested in. However, they may not do their best if it is a task they do not want. They are naturally curious about the world around them.
The people under the year of the rooster are very sensitive towards the feelings of others, having a high EQ or emotional quotient. They are also very creative and talented in the arts.
People born in this year are very conservative and full of loyalty. Because of this, they make great employees and friends, as they rarely break the rules.
Those under the year of the pig are logical and good communicators. They are kind and provide well but may sometimes lose their temper easily.
How can we Benefit From Feng Shui?
Feng shui is all about bringing balance and harmony to your living spaces and environment to achieve a more prosperous and better quality of life. Aside from already bringing balance, here are some specific benefits you can gain from practicing feng shui:
Clearing your chi of negativity will also help clear blockages or clutter that may be inhibiting your ability to prosper financially. Taking advantage of your Prosperity Area or Shen Chi will help you advance your career for better finances.
Fix your Relationships
Another advantage of following feng shui rules is that you can invite positive feelings of love, compassion, and affection not only into your romantic relationships but also into your familial ones. You will also be able to improve your relationship with yourself.
Improve your Health
Not following the rules of feng shui may lead to bad chi that will cause both poor mental and physical health. The Health Area or the Tien Yi of the Feng Shui must be used to your advantage.
Typically, this area of the home is where the bedroom should be or where the bed should at least face so that you can improve your health during resting and relaxation.
Feng Shui Dos and Don'ts
Feng shui tradition may appear complex but following a simple set of rules applicable to all homes is one of the best ways that you can ensure good chi flows into your home.
At the same time, you must also make sure that you avoid things that may cause bad chi to enter your home. Here are some easy dos and don’ts for you to follow.
1. Do pay attention to your entryway or door
This is where all the auspicious energy will enter your home. Make sure it is always well-lit and free from clutter and dirt.
2. Do balance your bedroom
Place your bed if possible with at least two feet of space between both sides, with the headboard against the wall. The space indicates having “space” for your loved one or a future partner while the headboard will bring stability and harmony into the relationship.
3. Do be careful of color choices
The five elements all play different roles in attracting specific energies. For example, you may want to choose black or blue chairs when studying or working as these two colors invite intelligence and wisdom, being related to the water element.
1. Don't block doors
As said above, your doorway or entryway is one of the most important parts of your home because this is where auspicious energy enters.
Blocking it may lead to you having difficulty navigating life, often feeling cramped and pinched rather than being able to move freely with your choices as good energy cannot flow easily inside.
2. Don't leave out broken furniture or objects
Broken objects must be immediately removed or fixed in the household as they are a sign of bad fortune. They may be hindering you from achieving the positive energy associated with that object.
For example, a broken door may be stopping you from receiving good news or good people in your life. Dead plants are also bad in feng shui.
3. Don't overstuff your closets or cabinets
Putting too many items into your drawers shows a sense of being unable to let go of unnecessary stress and trauma. By clearing your closet, you are inviting prosperity and new opportunities into your life and letting go of those you no longer need.
Feng Shui Jewelry Benefits
Aside from bringing balance and harmony through the arrangement of items into your home, another way that you can bring prosperity into your life is through wearing feng shui jewelry.
Feng shui jewelry can help you invite good chi or energy even when you are outside of your house. Each piece of jewelry has a specific purpose depending on whatever you need most.
For example, our feng shui engraved pixiu mantra ring not only invites protection from bad spirits and is a fashionable accessory but it also increases your wealth luck.
Another feng shui jewelry is the red string Chinese zodiac bracelet, which is not only adorably specific to your zodiac sign but it also helps you ward off bad luck during your zodiac year through its red string color.
These are just a few of the many feng shui jewelry you can use for inviting harmony into your life.
Choosing Feng Shui Items
When choosing your feng shui items, whether they are jewelry such as the pixiu mantra ring, or household objects such as the citrine money ring, make sure you are choosing from a reputable store that sells authentic and quality feng shui items.
Inner Wisdom is a trusted guide and source for spiritual healing and feng shui practice. Our carefully handpicked jewelry are all chosen with YOU in mind.
We aim to provide you with the best feng shui jewelry that will help you bring balance and improve your quality of life. Our items are all charged with positive energy that promotes healing, invites abundance, and inspires a love for you and others.
Check out some verified reviews from customers who have ordered from Inner Wisdom.
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“This appears to be very well-made, I’m so happy with this! Love it!” -Kimmy, on our Tibetan Mani Mantra Necklace
In this article, we discussed the rich feng shui history that continues to be useful in our modern time. Indeed, it might be an ancient practice but its rules are still very helpful today.
Now that you have learned more about the history of feng shui in China, you can start practicing the feng shui tradition and invite positive energy and chi into your home and your life.
Remember that you do not have to be pressured into following all these rules immediately. Just do things step-by-step and watch the transformation right before your eyes!