Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of utilizing certain so-called laws governing the heavens and earth that can improve through what is called having positive Qi. Feng Shui history is an ancient one and covers over 3,500 years. It is even older than the invention of the magnetic compass. A main portion of its origins may stem from ancient astronomy.
The astronomical history of Feng Shui is evident in the ancient instruments that were developed in its practice. The earliest known Feng Shui instrument may have been what is known as the gnomon. This instrument was used along with trying to circumpolar the stars to determine the north and south axis. This was basically used in laying down early Chinese settlements.
The ancient Yangshao and Hongshan cultures in China provide the earliest evidence of the practice of feng shui. As early as 4000 BCE, doors from Banpo dwellings were aligned to the star called Yingshi just right after the winter solstice. This allowed the homes to be sited for better solar gain. During the Zhou era, the star Yingshi was known as Ding and had a great influence in trying to determine the appropriate time to build their capital city. This is according to records on the Shijing.
Another example of the practice of ancient feng shui can also be found from the grave at Puyang that dates to about 3000 BCE. This grave contains mosaics of the stars called Dragon and Tiger along with the Beidou, known in the Western world as the Big Dipper constellation. The mosaics seem to be oriented along the north to south axis. The presence of round and square shapes was also found at the Puyang tomb as well as at the Hongshan cultural ceremonial centers and the former Longshan settlement. These evidences suggest that the practice of gaitian astronomy (belief in a round earth and a square earth) was already present in the ancient Chinese society.
One of the oldest instruments used in ancient feng shui were the liuren astrolabes. These ancient instruments consist of a lacquered, two-sided board equipped with astronomical sightlines. The oldest of the liuren astrolabes have been found and discovered from tombs dating from 278 BCE and 209 BCE. These ancient astrolabes show the cord-hook diagram and some those found even include the magic square of three. The markings on these instruments remained unchanged, from the ancient astrolabe down to the first magnetic compasses.
The practice of astronomy that bears a striking resemblance to many modern feng shui devices and theories were also discovered on a jade artifact found in Hanshan that dated at around 3000 BCE. Ancient structures in China which included its palaces in the capital cities are all influenced by feng shui in their design and layout. The rules that were followed were written during the Zhou era on the “Kaogong ji”, or the “Manual of Crafts”.
The magnetic compass was initially invented for the practice of Feng shul and has been in use since its invention. Traditional Feng shul instruments include the Luopan or the earlier south-pointing spoon or the zhinan zhen. This shows the extent of Feng shul history and its long-standing practice in ancient Chinese history.
The Chi, a positive energy that brings in prosperity, should always flow freely through different areas in the home. The following are simple feng shui tips for the different areas in the home.
– The stove must be away from the door, but the cook should be able to see the door. If not possible, install a mirror.
– Never position the stove opposite the sink, refrigerator, or dishwasher. A clash of the elements fire and water is not a good idea.
– Keep your cupboard and refrigerator well stocked with food supplies. It implies wealth and abundance.
– Avoid positioning the stove directly in front of a window. Placing the stove to the side of a window is better.
The bathroom or toilet
– Never place the toilet opposite the kitchen. The feng shui fire and water elements will clash in this situation.
– The toilet must not be placed adjacent to the front door. Place the toilet somewhere far away from the front door.
– Avoid positioning the toilet door directly opposite the front door. This may lead to wasted opportunities.
– Place a huge mirror behind the bathroom sink. But never use the kind that is split in the middle, often seen in bathroom cabinets.
– Make sure that the plumbing fixtures in the bathroom and toilet are not leaking, especially the faucets.
– The bedroom should not be adjacent or opposite to a bathroom or toilet. If this is unavoidable, make sure you keep the bathroom or toilet door always closed.
– Position the bed as far away from the door as possible. But make sure you still have a good view of the door from the bed. At the same time, do not place your bed where your feet are pointed towards the door when you are sleeping.
– Mirrors should not be placed where they reflect your image as you sleep. Round and oval shaped mirrors are ideal, but make sure they are larger than your head.
– Sleeping directly on the floor is not suggested as it does not allow the Chi to flow beneath you.
– Traditionally, the favorable number of steps in a stairway is an odd number. A spiral staircase is also a blunder because it confuses the Chi.
– The worst mistake that can happen is when the staircase leads directly to the front door. This leads to the loss of opportunities, and the residents tend to be always rushing, seldom settling in.
– A good way to slow down the flow of Chi outside the front door is to hang a wind chime on the ceiling above the base of the staircase. A heavy figurine at the floor level below may also act helpful.
Lobbies and hallways
– Hallways need to be free of impediments and are needed to be well lit. It should also be clear to anyone where they are to go next in the house.
– A nice piece of art may be hung on the wall to the end of a hallway. However, never place a mirror there; it will only reflect the entering Chi.
– There should be no hallway in the house that leads directly to a toilet. If it is already there, just make sure the door is always closed.
These are some tips to overcoming and preventing Chi flow problems, giving you a harmonious feng shui home.