Since the 1980s, the ancient art and science of feng shui has surged in popularity in the U.S. Many people, however, are still unaware or confused about what feng shui actually involves. Although there are many different schools of thought among followers, feng shui is generally considered a way of designing and organizing environments to support a focused, optimal flow of energy into a person so that it can enhance and improve their life.
A Deeper Look
One of the most basic tenets of feng shui involves the idea that energy, actively flows throughout the universe and can be harnessed to improve a person’s circumstances. Followers believe that this energy, called chi, is the life force that permeates everything. It applies to the energy around the human body, inside buildings, and in the open air. It is everywhere. To understand chi, one must understand how it flows through the five elements of the world: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. The flow can be productive, with water creating wood, wood creating fire, etc. It can also be destructive, with fire melting metal, metal chopping wood, and so forth. Paying close attention to the elements in a room, and how chi will flow through those elements, is a great start to feng shui.
Bagua Map and Color Theory
Individuals who are connected to Tao, the underlying principle of the universe which governs everything, can see their connection to life and space. Using the bagua map, they can create a perfectly harmonious living or office space that can improve their success in all areas of life. The bagua map is an octagon chart that relates the different parts of a person’s life to their living space. Each face of the octagon is the base of a triangle, with all points meeting in the middle, where the yin and yang act as the grounding center of life. Each triangle covers an area of life, one of the five elements, a direction, and shades of a corresponding color. Most maps include the following:
· Knowledge and spirituality/Northeast/Blue/Earth
· Children and creativity/West/White/Metal
· Relationships and marriage/Southwest/Brown/Earth
When someone wishes to apply the principles of feng shui, they can lay the bagua map on top of their home or office layout to determine how to increase the positive flow of energy in their lives. For instance, it is through the front door that all energy enters the home, making it one of the most important features to consider. Consulting a bagua map, an individual with a front door that faces East would ideally choose a strong, well built, solid wood door. To increase the feng shui even more, the door could be painted a pleasing shade of green. For North-facing houses, however, a door made of water is obviously impossible. In that instance, choosing a metal door with black details while downplaying the destructive elements of earth and wood in the area should increase the positive energy coming into the home.
Feng shui may be used in many different ways to potentially help brighten a person’s space and their life. Although there are many schools of thought, the basics to each remain the same: if an individual can improve the feel and energy of their rooms, they can absorb more positive chi and live a happier, more successful life.