Feng Shui 101

Understanding Feng Shui

Arm Chair Position (AKA Command Position): The best Form School location for the interior placement of furniture, especially the bed, desk, or stove. This position is usually farthest from and facing the door, with one’s back to a solid wall. This position is considered the safest and most powerful, providing the widest view of the room with the ability to see the door without being directly in line with the door.

Bagua: Considered “the map of feng shui,” the bagua is a tool that is used by feng shui practitioners to organize everything (from times of day and year, to body parts, emotions, ailments, life situations, etc.) in a space to create optimal conditions for the inhabitants who reside in that space.

Chi : The energy, or conscious life force that animates all matter of the universe; seen and unseen. Also known as qi. The practice of feng shui concerns itself with the movement and quality of energy, qi, or chi. Creating a healthy and positive flow of energy is said to enhance physical and emotional health and quality of life. The quality of energy is determined by its flow and the frequency of its vibration. By raising that frequency we improve its quality and beneficial influence.

Clutter: The obstruction of life force, chi or qi, typically through the accumulation of too many items within a space (can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual), thus creating a stagnation of the energy within that space.

Crystals (feng shui definition): A clear high quality, usually leaded, glass object, sometimes faceted to create a specific shape used in feng shui to disperse chi, or as amplifiers or transmitters of energy.

Cure, (AKA Remedy, Adjustment, Enhancement): An object, talisman, ritual, prayer, action or intention used to achieve the greatest balance, harmony, and the most beneficial energy or chi in a space, or to suppress, neutralize or dissipate negative or stagnant energies or chi.

Dowsing: Geomantic (‘geo’ referring to earth) divination, or methods of locating and diagnosing unseen energies; especially those located underground. Dowsing has been used to locate underground water for thousands of years, and can also be used to locate other influences at a site or on a plan or map. The practice of dowsing can also discover other concealed information.

Electro-magnetic field, (AKA “EMF”): An energy field. Whenever electric current (voltage) is running through a wire or a conducting source, an electric field is present in space. Where electric current flow is present, a magnetic field is produced. Over-exposure to excessive electro-magnetic fields is believed to be harmful to health.

Elements: One of the foundations of Feng Shui theory is rooted in the interaction and balance between the Five Elements, which are Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth. Each of these elements governs specific aspects of life.

Energy: The practice of Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and quality of energy, qi, or chi. Creating a healthy and positive flow of energy is said to enhance physical and emotional health and quality of life. The quality of energy is determined by its flow and the frequency of its vibration. By raising that frequency we improve its quality and beneficial influence.

Feng: Translated as wind; or the yin or unseen forces influences of energy.

Feng Shui: Translates as wind and water, but when placed together, take on a much different definition. (Think of “honey” and “moon,” and the completely different definition you get when you put them together to make “honeymoon.”) The 1917 Encyclopedia of China defines feng shui as “the art of adapting residences of the living and dead to cooperate and harmonize with the local currents of the cosmic breath.” Feng shui is the art and science of harmonizing the person with their environment and unseen “heavenly” influences so that the person is consistently supported throughout life. It is a method of arranging and organizing oneself in space. The art of feng shui has changed and adapted as it has moved through time from culture to culture. There are many different modalities and perspectives through out the world; (referred to in the Encyclopedia of China’s specific “local currents of the cosmic breath”). In addition to being an independent practice, feng shui is incorporated into many different fields including design, architecture, real estate, fashion, etc.

Feng Shui practitioner (AKA Feng Shui Consultant): A trained professional having studied and mastered the principles and practices of feng shui. The modern feng shui practitioner is schooled in a variety of modalities having originated in traditional and eclectic customs and practices.

Flying Stars

The Flying Stars school of feng shui, also called Xuan Kong, is a traditional feng shui school. To say that the Flying Stars school is the same as other traditional feng shui schools is not accurate because each school has its own focus or expertise even though they all use the bagua in their analysis. The Flying Stars chart can be done on an annual, monthly, daily or even hourly basis, and it shows the movement of both positive and negative energies in any given space. The dynamic of the movement of feng shui stars is based on the pattern of numbers in the Lo Shu Square, an ancient divination tool.

Geopathic stress: A potentially harmful energy field generated underground and radiated upward by mineral deposits, water streams, geological faults, decayed organic matter, graves, burial or ritual grounds, and man-made or other causes.

Gua: Translates as house or sector where each gua represents a symbolic direction and its life aspects and is relative to the position of the entry.

Luck: Good or bad fortune, composed in Feng Shui of heaven luck, earth luck, and human luck.

Mantra: A ritualistic, spiritual, or sacred chant that is repeated either silently or audibly, and can result in inducing an altered state of consciousness.

Mouth of Chi: The main entrance door where chi or energy enters a structure. It can also refer to entry points of land or property.

Mudra: A hand gesture often used with a mantra to clear the energy of a person or place, or to offer a blessing.

Poison Arrow: A type of inauspicious energy pattern. A very common poison arrow is where a corner of a room or an overhead beam points towards the inhabitants.

Predecessor chi: The residual energy left behind by the previous inhabitants of a space.

Qi (AKA Chi, Energy, Prana (Indian) Ki (Japanese): The motivating life-force also called “cosmic breath.” It has also been referred to as vital energy, primordial breath, air, breath, and energy. Existing everywhere, it is the term that refers to all forms of energy and its flow and is considered the universal energy between heaven and earth. It is the movement of life force energy within our living space or body, which can affect our well being either auspiciously or inauspiciously. Feng shui concerns itself with the movement and containment of qi to create the most beneficial support for a person in their environment.

Red Envelope Tradition: In BTB Feng Shui, refers to an exchange of red envelopes containing some amount of money between a client or student and a BTB Feng Shui practitioner or teacher who has been asked for, and has provided, transcendental solutions. This tradition was developed to ritualize, respect and honor the information given, and to acknowledge the exchange of energy between client and practitioner. The number of red envelopes given is relative to the significance of the information provided.

Sacred geometry: The study of proportion and inherent order in space, including how shapes affect energy. It is an ancient study that has been preserved in certain mystical traditions. Measurements, properties and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids are observed and related to the pure principles existing in nature.

Shui: Translates as water; general term for river or waterway.

Space Clearing: Refers to any method used to dissipate negative, stagnant, or inauspicious chi or energy in a space, whether residual or current, and to raise the vibratory level. Found in most cultures and traditions throughout time, space clearing is used to revitalize a space after an illness, conflict, or stressful event, to set intentions and to bless a place. Methods include the use of sound, incense, smudging, ritual, dance, or simply intention. Space clearing sometimes refers to the mitigation of ghosts and spirits.

Three Secrets, also called Three Secret Reinforcements: A transcendental and ritualized use of thought, action and speech to imbue Feng Shui adjustments with conscious intention.

Taoism: The philosophical foundation work of most major religions in Asia. Taoism is not a religion but rather a way of being and emphasize compassion, moderation, and humility. Taoism professes “non credo”; “do not believe anything and accept all things” and is largely based on the observation of the natural order.

Transcendental Cure (AKA Transcendental Solution, Remedy, Adjustment, Enhancement): A spiritual, symbolic or ritualistic solution used to complement and reinforce the mundane, common sense solutions. Classical examples include the three legged toad, gods of wealth, and money trees traditionally used as transcendental cures to enhance abundance and prosperity.

Yin and Yang: A concept from the I Ching denoting the opposite polarities that came into being when the universe came into manifestation; the Taoist idea that unites all opposites as complimentary inseparable forces.

*Adapted from Karen Rauch Carter Feng Shui Definitions