Feng Shui - ( Image compiled by Dr. Blog )

Feng Shui, literally means wind and water. It is rapidly becoming a standard practice for creating the ideal environment in which to live and work. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study of the natural and "built" environment and has been practiced for thousands of years. This environment can be at the office, in your home, in a building, or on real property. A Feng Shui analysis examines the surrounding environment, the building, how the people interact with the building and looks at time-related factors. Based upon these considerations, recommendations can be made on how to improve your relationship with the environment around you. Results include prosperity, health benefits, and well being. Properly applied, Feng Shui recommendations can result in improvements in the life of the individuals who occupy the property.

How did Feng Shui originate?

Feng Shui can be stated as a form of "Geo-mancy" or "Earth Wisdom." Many cultures in the world have a form of Geomancy in their history. The Chinese form of Geomancy, or Feng Shui, has evolved to be both an Science and an Art. The science comes from the calculations and methodology used in analyzing a property. The Art of Feng Shui is the wisdom acquired from performing a multitude of analysis and knowing the exact degree to which the remedies (which are the results of the scientific analysis) are prescribed. Throughout ancient China, classical Feng Shui was a closely guarded discipline used as a tool to ensure the good health, wealth, and power of the Imperial Dynasties. The keepers of this secret body of knowledge - Feng Shui Masters*, were highly respected meteorologists, astronomers, and other scientists and who were charged with sustaining the good fortune and prosperity of the royal court. It has been guardedly passed down the generations through very specific lineages.

KANYU or ‘Feng Shui ‘ as it is more colloquially referred to and translated into the now ubiquitous ‘Wind and Water’ has its origins hidden in the mists of ancient Chinese history. Tradition has it that an emperor known as Wu of Hsia found the eight markings of the I-Ching Tri-grams on the back of a Turtle as it clambered out of a river. On seeing these markings he realised the secrets of the universe and the ordering of all human life were contained therein and he at once devised a method of divination using these cryptic messages. They were later added to with the ‘commentaries’ that have come down through the ages to us as the YI-Jing or Book of Changes. {I-Ching) These mystic markings were to be the origin not only of the Yi-Jing but also of Chinese Astrology, Chinese Numerology and of course Kanyu or ‘Feng Shui.’

Considerable controversy surrounds these legends particularly as to which came first, the Tri-grams or the Commentaries. Whatever we choose to believe from the myriads of legends it is a wonderfully poignant notion to think of some already aged and venerable turtle lumbering its weary way out of the river after a hard days fishing only to find itself pounced upon by some local dignitary and ending up with his/her carapace as the origin of a world class system of divination and geomancy! The original story doesn’t quite tell us the fate of that particular turtle. We are left wondering whether he/she had their carapace removed and fired to gain the appropriate insights so eagerly desired by the rulers of the day. One wonders also if that same poor turtle was not the beginning of that other wonderful Chinese tradition, turtle soup?

However, what this story does give us is an insight into the origins of our own particular field of study for it is from this very same Yi-Jing that we have the Ba Gua and Lo Shu magic square, both of Feng Shui fame and all its many consequent rules and traditions.

The origins of KANYU itself too are also long lost in the same mists and legends of history and folklore. What we do know though is that somewhere around the years 770-475 B.C. the concepts and practices of Feng Shui were compiled into a consistent format and were recorded finally in book form about 25 A.D. However, it appears that they may well have been practised for as long as a 1,000 years prior to this!

Traditionally of course, the knowledge was considered highly secret and was the strict preserve of the Imperial Court. All experts of Feng Shui were in the employ of their Imperial Masters and were forbidden to release their potentially subversive knowledge to outsiders. All libraries and books were within tight control of the court and its appointed ministers. It was considered that the knowledge of Feng Shui was so powerful that it would be devastating in the hands of any enemies to the realm. Naturally as a consequence of this, knowledge tended to be handed down from father to son within family traditions, there being great reluctance to share any acquired knowledge. The turbulent history of China has only helped to reinforce this tendency and this secrecy frequently continues, even today.

Fu Xi - The First Feng Shui Master

The origins of feng shui lay deep in ancient Chinese history, with the mythical character of Fu Xi. He was the first to search for the secrets of life and he was convinced that everything was governed by a universal law of existence. He devoted all his time in an effort to discover the secret and it’s said that he observed everything, from plants and animals to the mountains the valleys and even the sky above.

Legend tells us that as Fu Xi was meditating by the Li River, a Dragon Horse leapt out of the water. Fu Xi had never seen a creature like this before and he noticed that it had strange markings on it’s back which he drew in the sand, so that he could study them.

Gradually he began to realise that this was a clue to what he had been looking for and he realised that these markings represented a key, in understanding the laws of nature and this became known as the Yellow River map. Fu Xi then devised the 8 trigrams, which later were used to create the 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching. The antiquity of this Chinese classic, illustrates just how far back the origins of feng shui can be traced, because the I Ching is one of the oldest ancient Chinese classics that has survived.

It was Fu Xi’s love of observation that enabled him to realise that everything in nature, including the mountains, the valleys and everything that lived in them, were subjected to a type of change. The trigrams that Fu Xi is said to have devised, are believed to contain the secrets, of all the various cycles of change that take place, even that of the fortunes of man. Fu Xi studied Chi, or Qi as it is known in modern pin yin, the breath of the Cosmic Dragon, the very substance of life and he realised that although Qi could not be seen, it was predictable.