What Is Feng Shui?

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Feng shui is the study of creating balance and support in your personal environment to heighten desired mental states that will help you best achieve your goals. It’s a practice rooted in the theory of metaphysical energy. There’s Qi. Qi is the binary of yin and yang. There are three categories of form: heaven, earth, man. We have the eight trigrams of the Ba Gua and the magic square, both the He Tu and the Lo Shu. These theoretical principles form the foundation of feng shui.

Qi, or energy, as it is modified by the environment, moves through a home or living space in a certain way, which can be characterized through the aforementioned theoretical principles. Then the energy of the house itself, all aspects can be characterized again by these principles. When elements clash, boom. Bad luck. When elements are in harmony, happy happy joy joy. That’s the theoretics of feng shui in a nutshell.

When my day job work intersected with real estate law, I learned a bit about real estate valuation and found that the principles of valuation that brokers study are strikingly similar to basic feng shui tenets. The principle of conformity, for instance, which postulates that maximum value from land is derived when its use is compatible and architecturally harmonious with its surrounding environment.

The principles of progression and regression remind me of the interplay between Sheng Qi (positive Qi), Si Qi (atrophic Qi), and Sha Qi (poison arrows, really negative Qi). The principle of balance is a bedrock of real estate valuation as it is a bedrock in feng shui philosophy. Forces that influence the market value of a home, such as physical hazards (in feng shui, geopathic stresses) or major transportation systems (considered bad in feng shui due to the Si Qi) are accounted for in feng shui analysis, which even if you don’t believe in the philosophy, adherence to these principles will improve the market value of your home and, when house hunting, help you identify the best value property.

Real estate brokers are expected to understand valuation factors such as corner influence (corner commercial properties are good, corner residential not so good), parcel shape (irregular shapes have less value than rectangular shapes), thoroughfare conditions (width of streets, congestion, parking space, pavement, etc.), exposure (directionality: south and west considered better for business, under both real estate and feng shui principles…how peculiar is that!), and topography (flat better than sloped). These are the same factors, albeit with different names, that a feng shui master considers when analyzing property.

Thus, feng shui is also about economy, and if the metaphysical philosophical hullabaloo of feng shui does not sit well with you, then at least learn feng shui to spot the best parcel of real estate to purchase, the best location for a business (“location, location, location!” right?) or how to optimize the sale of your property, or how to optimize your business premises to invite more sales. All of these goals can be facilitated through the adherence to feng shui principles. Feng shui helps you to select the right living space, one that will optimize your personal comfort, stability, wealth, and emotional fulfillment.

Intuitively, you already know feng shui. You know how you feel when there’s clutter everywhere, week-old garbage stinking up a place, dead plants on the windowsill, and dark, drab colors. You know how you feel when an amateur interior designer has splashed a house with red, black, and orange, or when décor consists of sharp, jagged edges everywhere.

The location of a house on a block will just give you a certain feeling, whether of comfort or discomfort. Various folk witchcraft traditions talk about the energy emitted from intersections. Well, that’s also feng shui. Intersections are a big-ass deal in feng shui. Feng shui is essentially a set of vocabulary to express those intuitive feelings we know in our bones when we enter a place. It’s a form of science, or so I believe, that explains that intuitive feeling we all get when we walk into a house with a low, slanted ceiling and dark, heavy overhead beams, or when we walk into a large, cleared, evergreen courtyard. 

Feng shui is also philosophy. There is no parcel of land with perfect feng shui. If you’re hunting for a new home or a place of business, especially when you know you need to establish certain limiting parameters (i.e., specific location, budget, particular personal preferences, etc.), the purpose of feng shui isn’t so you can spot the perfect place. The purpose is to know how to scrutinize for strengths and weaknesses and with that information, reach a calculated, informed conclusion.

Feng shui teaches you that fate (the parcel of land you’re buying, as it is) is never wholly auspicious or wholly inauspicious. It’s a unique combination of both, though not all are created equal, for sure– some fates, or the property as it is, encounter more fortuitous opportunities than others. But willpower and your own ingenuity is what changes fate. Likewise, feng shui cures help you change your fate and mold it to your desired outcome. Feng shui teaches you how to be proactive about your own fate.

<< Feng Shui (Introduction)

Basic Cosmology >>

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