Feng Shui, translated literally, refers to wind and water. However, this translation cannot be seen as complete. Feng Shui really refers to the actions and interactions of those elements on the physical landscape. It has also been translated as "where water meets" land, referring to the balance of the two elements. Wind is seen as carrying the life force, and water is seen as containig it. The most important principles in Feng Shui are Ch'i (universal energy), Yin and Yang, The Five Elements, and The Eight Compass Points.
Feng Shui is a complex set of guidelines relating to the flow of energy, or Ch'i, through or around a building. These guidelines work with the natural patterns of energy flow as identified by the ancient Chinese culture, and each area of the compass corresponds with an area of life. Feng Shui provides a framework for understanding the universal energy that exists, understanding that there is one universal energy flow (Ch'i), which is then broken into Yin or Yang, which then may be broken into eight compass directions.
Ch'i is the all encompassing natural energy of which we all are a part. Ch'i washes over, around, and through all that is, like water flowing, and where the Ch'i can flow easily and gently, it is positive Ch'i, but if the Ch'i gets caught and stagnates, or if the Ch'i flows too quickly, it can change to evil Sha and then creates unhealthy situations. To keep Ch'i moving correctly, strive for cleanliness and a streamlined way of arranging objects. Energy should easily flow throughout the area, and should not be disrupted by a confusing array of junk. Healthy ch'i is able to flow gently and smoothly and not too fast. It should also not be allowed to collect into pools where it can stagnate.
Yin and Yang can be understood as Spirit and Matter, Heaven and Creation. Matter was referred to as Yin and Spirit referred to as Yang. This system of dualities illustrates the opposing forces of the cosmos, which by their opposite nature brings balance.
The eight enrichment points are the places in the home that correspond to certain aspects of Chi. 1.South: Wang Ts'ai, vigorous energy, fame, fortune, well-being. 2. NorthWest: Chin Ts'ai, combines the resting energy of the North with the change energy of the west. new beginnings, fresh starts. 3. East: Fa Chan, Judgement and experience. 4. North East, infants, children, and close family. 6. Southwest:An Lu, harmony, peace and enjoyment.7. West: Chang Yin, Indulgence, social enjoyment. 8. South East: Huan Lo, fortune and finances. 9. North: Chin Yin, relates to successful relationships. Note there is no 5 - it is the center and relates to the Yin and Yang.
* South: Lights and mirrors can help in this area. Mirrors reflect Sha and also can slow Chi that moves too quickly.
* West: A good place to put a large piece of driftwood or other pleasing stationary object to assist in slowing down the flow of Ch'i.
* North: Since this area requires constant maintenance, an object which has movement, or even flowing water, should be placed here to keep Ch'i active.
* East: To prevent dull Ch'i, useful objects should be placed in this area to assist with the tasks of learning or education.
* North East: Since this is the area of children, bright colors should be used here to encourage luck, fame, wisdom, and wealth.
* North West: Just as when we entertain friends, we would play music in the background, this area responds well to the use of music or sound to prevent the formation of stagnant Ch'i.
* South East: With its broad associations of money, fame, and fortune, it is crucial to keep this area lively and filled with flowing Ch'i - use fish, broad leaved plants, and live flowers to keep the Ch'i fresh and stimulated.
* Lastly, the South West: Straight lines are appropriate here to help the Ch'i move smoothly; bamboo, swords, and fans may be placed here so the Ch'i is broken up, disrupted, or aimed back into the room to help preserve health.