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I. Feng Shui
Feng shui (Chinese: 風水), also known as Chinese geomancy, is a pseudoscientific traditional practice originating from ancient China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. The term "feng shui" literally translated as "wind-water" in English, is taken from a passage of now-lost Book of Burial recorded in Guo Pu's commentary. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. Feng shui is essentially the interaction of humans and their environments. It enables you to influence these interacting energies to achieve specific life improvements. This influence is gained by positioning or designing your surroundings in harmony with principles of natural energy flow. Feng shui reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for those inhabiting it. These systems of laws for spatial arrangement and orientation are taken into account when people are designing buildings, placing furniture and possessions and even bodies. It offers a unique way of looking at these elements and provides balance, comfort, and harmony into your environment. Like other Asian traditional scientific medicine, feng shui also abides by the Five Elements and Yin Yang theory.
An artificial distinction between Feng Shui and Geomancy has arisen in some parts of the world. “Geomancy” means “divining the earth”. The theory and practice of feng shui in China has a lot in common with the theory and practice of geomancy in other traditions of the world. Geomancy includes 2 main parts:
- Dowsing of underground and surface energy meridians and the implementation of earth acupuncture to resolve geopathic stress.
- Design and placement within the visible world and the design of human environments according to common sense as well as subtle methods.
III. Yin Yang
- The character for Yin literally translates as the shady side of the mountain. The qualities of Yin are cooling, rich, quiet, dense, solid, deep and dark. It is quiescence, stillness and rest. Yin nourishes and replenishes. In the body, the Yin organs rule over the blood and fluids. Our ancester used Yin Earth to construct cemetary - places for the death with the belief that if they are buried in a good land, blessings will be transmitted for their descendants.
- Literally, the sunny side of the mountain. Yang qualities represent heat, action, movement, growth, and bright. The Yang organs rule over the creation of energy, transformation, fire and heat in the body. It's mainly used for building residences, pagodas, temples, villages, towns, city,... Yang reaches its height of influence with the summer solstice. Yang may also be represented by the dragon, the colour blue and a solid line trigram. In harmony with nature, fresh environment, Yang earth makes human feel happy and healthy. Good Yang earth means good environment. Our ancestor claimed that human's life palace not only depends on themselves (Date and time of birth) but also yin and yang parts. Feng shui is essential, however, its main fuction is supporting and renovation which attributes an important role in success or in bad situation, failure. Good feng shui wil reduce catastrophes when you have bad luck, increase chances of success when you are in good luck. Discussing about Yang in architecture, which is residential feng shui, there are a lot of things to deliberate such as: house design, house direction, house structure, furniture,...
- All of elements must be concerned to form a good feng shui for the house. According to basic theory, yin and yang have many aspects in common. However, graveyards for the death are contrary to residences of the alive. As a result, techniques applying to yin and yang earth must be different.
IV. Types of Fengshui
1. Form Schools
- The original school of Feng Shui based on the observation of topographical features and geomancy. It is the relationship of a particular place to its landform surroundings. A metaphor for the ideal form has the shape of an armchair. When looking out the front door, the structure is cradled by the Black Tortoise, the Azure Dragon on the left, the White Tiger on the right and the Red Phoenix in front. In practical terms good form places a structure with the solid stable qi/chi of a mountain or hill shape in the rear and the active energized qi/chi of active water or bright sun in the front. Finding the Dragon and Tiger energy in the landscape augments the beneficial effects. These original simple ideas evolved into specific protocols for interior placement and for exterior arrangement of a site, and are often symbolized by natural focal points such as trees, plants, hills and mountains, as well as by buildings and other man-made features.
All perspectives developed from the roots and foundation of Form School Feng Shui. Ancient shamans would use Feng Shui theory and principles to study the topography of the land. They used their knowledge to determine the most auspicious areas to place a home or village focusing on protection, water sources, and energy flow.
2. Compass Schools
- An early school of Feng Shui that developed after Form School. At first a simple needle and bowl compass were utilized to determine the best directional and solar orientation for a structure. Eventually Compass School incorporated principles of the I Ching and other Taoist modalities. The simple needle and bowl compass evolved into the Luopan compass which reveals many layers of information in its complex ring system. In Compass School Feng Shui, the Bagua is a diagrammatic representation of the Luopan compass and is oriented using the actual directions. e.g., North sits on North of the floor plan.
Compass school studies and stresses direction (north, south, east and west) and its relationship to the person. Compass school compares the direction of your front door to your personal life directions, calculated from the date/time of the occupants birth.
V. Origins of Feng shui
As of 2013 the Yangshao and Hongshan cultures provide the earliest known evidence for the use of feng shui. Until the invention of the magnetic compass, feng shui relied on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the universe. In 4000 BC, the doors of Banpo dwellings aligned with the asterism Yingshi just after the winter solstice —this sited the homes for solar gain. During the Zhou era, Yingshi was known as Ding and used to indicate the appropriate time to build a capital city, according to the Shijing. The late Yangshao site at Dadiwan (c. 3500–3000 BC) includes a palace-like building (F901) at the center. The building faces south and borders a large plaza. It stands on a north–south axis with another building that apparently housed communal activities. Regional communities may have used the complex.
A grave at Puyang (around 4000 BC) that contains mosaics— actually a Chinese star map of the Dragon and Tiger asterisms and Beidou (the Big Deeper, Ladle of Bushel)— is oriented along a north–south axis. The presence of both round and square shapes in the Puyang tomb, at Hongshan ceremonial centers and at the late Longshan settlement at Lutaigang, suggests that gaitian cosmography (heaven-round, earth-square) existed in Chinese society long before it appeared in the Zhoubi Suanjing.
Cosmography that bears a striking resemblance to modern feng shui devices and formulas appears on a piece of jade unearthed at Hanshan and dated around 3000 BC. Archaeologist Li Xuegin links the design to the liuren astrolabe, zhinan zhen, and luopan.
Beginning with palatial structures at Erlitou, all capital cities of China followed rules of feng shui for their design and layout. During the Zhou era, the Kaogong ji (Chinese: 考工記; "Manual of Crafts") codified these rules. The carpenter's manual Lu ban jing (魯班經; "Lu ban's manuscript") codified rules for builders. Graves and tombs also followed rules of feng shui, from Puyang to Mawangdui and beyond. From the earliest records, the structures of the graves and dwellings seem to have followed the same rules.