Tag Archive | "practice"

Feng Shui Theories

Feng shui theories today mainly work with the goal to arrange the environment made by humans in certain spots known to have good Qi. In order to find this spot, it should be the right location and an axis in time based on the accepted theories. In order to understand it better, here are some of the theories that feng shui has been known to uphold in its practice.

Qi

The Qi, pronounce as “chi”, is a difficult word to understand and is usually left as it is, without translation. In the most literal sense, the word means “air”. In today’s feng shui, Qi is similar to the word “energy”. A more traditional explanation of Qi as it relates to understanding of local environments, the orientation of buildings, and the interaction between the land to the vegetation and the soil quality. An instrument that is used to determine the flow of Qi is the luopan.

The theory of Qi stems from the different beliefs from the Axial Age. One such belief holds that the heavens influence life on Earth. This may seem outrageous to some people, but scientists today now know that space weather exists and can affect some technology such as GPS, power grids, communication and navigation systems, etc. and the internal orienting faculties of even birds and other creatures.

Polarity

Polarity is another theory used in the practice of feng shui. It is expressed in feng shui as the Yin and Yang Theory. Polarity that is expressed through yin and yang can be compared to a bipolar magnetic field. It is made up of two forces- one creating a force and one receiving it. Yang is the force acting and yin is receiving. This interaction is considered as an early understanding of Qirality. The Yin Yang Theory and connected to another theory called the Five Phase Theory or Five Element Theory.

The so-called “five elements” of feng shui are water, wood, fire, earth or soil, and metal. These elements are said to be composed of yin and yang in precise amounts. The interaction between the two forces became the foundation for the practice of feng shui and how it is said to strive to achieve balance.

Bagua

The two ancient diagrams that are known as the bagua are common fixtures in the practice in feng shui. They can be compared to the cardinal points of the compass today. The bagua diagrams are also linked with the sifang or “four directions” method of divination that was popularly used during the Shang dynasty although the sifang is considered to be much older.

It was also known to be used at Niuheliang as well as a big fixture in the Hongshan culture’s practice of astronomy. And it is in this area of China that can be connected to Huangdi, who was also known as the Yellow Emperor. It was Huangdi who was known to have invented the south-pointing spoon.

The cardinal directions that contained in the bagua diagram are said to be determined by the marker-stars of the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals. The East is considered to be the Blue Green Dragon. The South is the Red Bird. The West is also known to be the White Tiger while the North stood for the Dark Turtle.

These feng shui theories also loom large even in today’s practice of trying to achieve a good balance in the environment as well as the lives of people.

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Feng Shui History

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of utilizing certain so called laws governing the heavens and earth that can improve through what is called having positive Qi. Feng Shui history is an ancient one and covers over 3,500 years. It is even older than the invention of the magnetic compass. A main portion of its origins may stem from ancient astronomy.

The astronomical history of Feng Shui is evident in the ancient instruments that were developed in its practice. The earliest known Feng Shui instrument may have been what is known as the gnomon. This instrument was used along with trying to circumpolar the stars in order to determine the north and south axis. This was basically used in laying down early Chinese settlements.

The ancient Yangshao and Hongshan cultures in China provide the earliest evidences of the practice of feng shui. As early as 4000 BCE, doors from Banpo dwellings were aligned to the star called Yingshi just right after the winter solstice. This allowed the homes to be sited for better solar gain. During the Zhou era, the star Yingshi was known as Ding and had a great influence in trying to determine the appropriate time to build their capital city. This is according to records on the Shijing.

Another example of the practice of ancient feng shui can also be found from the grave at Puyang that dates back to about 3000 BCE. This particular grave contains mosaics of the stars called Dragon and Tiger along with the Beidou, known in the Western world as the Big Dipper constellation. The mosaics seem to be oriented along the north to south axis. The presence of round and square shapes were also found at the Puyang tomb as well as at the Hongshan cultural ceremonial centers and the former Longshan settlement. These evidences suggest that the practice of gaitian astronomy (belief in a round earth and a square earth) was already present in the ancient Chinese society.

One of the oldest instruments used in ancient feng shui were the liuren astrolabes. These ancient instruments consist of a lacquered, two-sided board equipped with astronomical sightlines. The oldest of the liuren astrolabes have been found and discovered from tombs dating from 278 BCE and 209 BCE. These ancient astrolabes show the cord-hook diagram and some those found even include the magic square of three. The markings on these instruments remained unchanged, from the ancient astrolabe down to the first magnetic compasses.

The practice of astronomy that bears a striking resemblance to many modern feng shui devices and theories were also discovered on a jade artifact found in Hanshan that dated at around 3000 BCE. Ancient structures in China which included its palaces in the capital cities are all influenced by feng shui in their design and layout. The rules that were followed were written during the Zhou era on the “Kaogong ji”, or the “Manual of Crafts”.

The magnetic compass was initially invented for the practice of feng shui and has been in use since its invention. Traditional feng shui instruments include the Luopan or the earlier south-pointing spoon or the zhinan zhen. This shows the extent of feng shui history and its long standing practice in ancient Chinese history.

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