An Introduction to Feng-Shui

Updated on July 30, 2016

Bamboo Wind Chime


Traditional feng shui dates back over 6000 years to the ancient Chinese Dynasties. Feng shui is used to help draw positive energy, known as chi (qi), into a building, room or area. The principles of feng shui can be applied to a whole building, single rooms, gardens, and other outdoor spaces, or even locally to a space within a room.

One important principle of feng shui is that you should take time to clear out any clutter within the area. The reasoning behind this is not just about keeping the space and things clean and tidy, but also about the belief that old things (that are no longer in use or loved) can hold on to old and stale energy. More so they may also be holding negative energy in the area due to past events and emotions concerning them. By keeping these items you are also keeping that energy in your space and around you. Sort through your things and give away, donate, or otherwise get rid of anything you no longer use or want. Once this has been done, have a really good spring clean and keep the items that you have decided to keep neat and tidy.

Metal Wind Chime
Metal Wind Chime | Source

Feng shui aids the flow of all energy throughout your home. This energy is known as Chi. Chi is regarded as a subtle charge of electromagnetic energy that connects peoples emotional energy to the energy of the space and items surrounding them. It is the mixing of these energies that is largely responsible for how you feel in any given space, room or building. For example a sad or negative energy may give you an uneasy feeling or those of sadness. Yin and Yang are the two forms of chi. Yin chi is slow and cool whereas Yang chi is faster and hotter.

Once a space has been decluttered there are many objects that can be added to aid and enhance the effects of positive energy. The best items can be determined after placing a bagua over the room or building your are working on as different things with suit different situations and environments. These can be small items purely for feng shui purposes, such as placing a citrine crystal in the wealth area of your home or anywhere that holds money such as a cash box. Citrine is one of the stones of abundance and is said to attract wealth, prosperity and good energy to people and areas around it.

Other items that you chose can have other functions in your home such as mirrors, wind chimes and plants. Mirrors reflect energy and can be especially useful in oddly shaped rooms where parts of the bagua maybe missing or are at risk of having negative or stale energy trapped in them. Wind chimes are used to keep energy moving and can be helpful for areas where energy can become trapped and stale such as on the bottom bunk of children's bunk beds, under beds and in any similar small spaces. Plants can be placed anywhere in your home to symbolise and encourage growth.

Example of a bagua
Example of a bagua | Source
Simple Octagonal Bagua
Simple Octagonal Bagua | Source

The Bagua

Whether large or small, the space you are working on is divided into equal sections. This is known as a bagua, and each section of the bagua represents an area of life. Traditionally a bagua is drawn as an octagonal figure but it is considered to be just as effective to draw a simple shape which represents the room, building, or space, such as a square or rectangle. This is then divided into nine equal segments. The bottom line of the shape should represent the wall where the entrance is and the nine segments are allocated as follows:

1 - The journey/career/life path - This the area connected to your working life, money and your general path in life.

2 - Relationships/marriage/intimacy - This area is for intimate relationships as well as those with your family, friends and colleagues. It also concerns how you relate to yourself.

3 - Elders/family/ancestors/heritage - This is the area for your ancestors, heritage, parents and past influences.

4 - Fortunate blessings/wealth/abundance - The area connected to the flow of abundance into your life. This isn't just about money and possessions but also all good things that you attract into your life.

5 - Unity/t'ai chi/health - This area is concerned with health and energy levels.

6 - Helpful people/friends/angels/guides - The area for help from people around you and also from information sources such as books. This also includes unseen sources such as guides, angels, faeries and spirits.

7 - Creativity/off-spring/children/projects - This area covers everything you create in your life.

8 - Contemplation/inner-knowledge/self-realisation - Learning, study, meditation and anything that enhances your spiritual focus is covered by this area.

9 - Illumination/fame/self-expression/achievement of enlightenment - This area is for how you express yourself, the things you are renowned for, and your uniqueness.

There are several different schools within feng shui which is some cases may contradict each other. These include Compass, Non-compass, Three gate, Eight Mansions, Flying Star, and Eight Direction. Each of these has its own beliefs and specific practices based around the traditional principles of feng shui.

How to Use Mirrors for Good Feng Shui in a Home or Office

Fu Dog
Fu Dog | Source
Laughing Buddha
Laughing Buddha | Source

Feng Shui Tips

Keep the space around your front door clean, tidy and clear so that positive energy (chi) can flow in freely.

Water creates balance and flow. Placing an indoor water feature or fountain in the area of the bagua in which you would most like to see change is a popular choice when using water in feng shui.

Fu dog statues can be placed near door ways to protect from evil and negativity. These are often made of red shou shan stone.

A happy Buddha (laughing Buddha) placed on the east side of your house will help to collect your troubles.

A dragon holding a pearl in its claw symbolises power. Like the fu dogs these are often made from red or green shou shan stone.

When designing or arranging your kitchen or utility room, do not place a washing machine, fridge or dishwasher opposite your cooker. The fire/water clash can cause disagreements within the family.

Try to leave open space under beds rather than being tempted to fill the space with clutter or stored items. This allows good chi to flow freely and not become trapped. Storing items that you no longer use under the bed increases the likelihood of a build up of stale and possibly negative energy in an area that should be for rest and peace.

Open your bedroom window everyday to allow fresh chi to enter and so you will not be sleeping with stale energy surrounding you each night.

The colours blue and green are associated with wealth and blessings so are good choices for decorating or for furnishings and accessories for your home.

Wrap six or eight gold coins in red paper or cloth and then place these under a plant pot to symbolise the growth of money.

Plants and candles can be used successfully in feng shui in even the smallest spaces.
Plants and candles can be used successfully in feng shui in even the smallest spaces. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Claire


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      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 3 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Some of my earlier hubs did so thank you for letting me know, I will check through for those and remove them.

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

        This makes a lot of sense. Once again I see a lot of large, blank spots in between your capsules, and gray exclamation points. Did you have Amazon capsules or pictures there that the administration took down? Other wise it is a good hub.

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 3 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        I think that would work just fine as it will let the chi circulate and not become stale.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Great hub on how to feng sui your home. I'm still new to feng sui. I just need to a money wall this spring to make it complete. I don't have a bedroom window in my new apartment; it's more like a balcony with a door. Would that work too, when the weather's not too cold? Voted up!

      • WiccanSage profile image

        Mackenzie Sage Wright 5 years ago

        Great info. I think I need to get me a fountain. Thanks!

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Thank you :) I hope it has positive effects for you

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Thank you :D

      • OldWitchcraft profile image

        OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

        Lots of great information here! Thank you!

        Vote up and accolades!

      • Daughter Of Maat profile image

        Melissa Flagg OSC 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

        Now I know why I've moved my desk to its current position! It's in the career spot! This was a wonderul hub! I'm going to put a plant on my desk to see how that works. :D

        Voted up and shared!

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Thank you and your vey welcome. Let me know how it goes :)

      • Lisawilliamsj profile image

        Lisa Chronister 5 years ago from Florida

        I have actually been thinking about trying feng shui! Thanks for these easy to follow tips, I voted up!

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Your welcome :) Glad it was useful for you. When I first started reading about Feng shui I was interested to see how many things I had already done or had thought of that applied such as we have many wind chimes and plants. My toilet is in the wealth/fortunate blessings/abundance area :s Maybe that explains why my money is always in and then straight out again, almost like it is being flushed away dispute my efforts to be frugal. Though my crafting/work area is spot on in the creativity area phew :)

      • profile image

        klarawieck 5 years ago

        Oh, Lord! My self-realization is in the KITCHEN?!!! And my Fame/Achievement is outside . . . on the balcony?! I'm in trouble here! I'm planting gold coins EVERYWHERE tomorrow morning, and Patching my walls with Happy Buddha prints.

        Thank you, Elderberry. In all seriousness, this is a very useful hub. I don't know much about Feng Shui but I do believe there are many things we can do to my our homes more pleasant and prosperous. Thanks for this great, informative article. I loved the pictures as well.

      • Elderberry Arts profile image

        Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

        Your welcome. It is interesting and certainly can't hurt to give it a go :)

      • yoginijoy profile image

        yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

        Wow! I love this hub. You have written such a great description of Feng Sui--something I've always been interested in understanding better. Thanks for the insights. Voting up and interesting.