Feng Shui Essentials

Feng Shui Essentials

In this article Simon, who is current chair of the Feng Shui Society, goes back to basics. He will be presenting this approach to feng shui at the Feng Shui Society Conference in London on the 8th June. He will also be leading a visit to London sites to study feng shui on the 9th of June.

Feng Shui can be defined as a study of how humans interact with their environment. So a question might be how does living deep in a forest influence our outlook on life compared to living on the open flat lands? Will my day be different if it starts with a sunny view of the sea or looking up at snow-capped, misty mountains? If we take this a step further what influence on our lives will a bright sunny top floor flat have compared to a darker, cooler basement apartment?

Then comes the big question of whether we can change our home so that it has more of the qualities we need to enjoy the necessary thinking and emotions to succeed in life.

In Feng Shui we use the word chi to describe how humans connect to their environment and how each influences the other. So a room with lots of plants will have the energy or chi of those plants and this is likely to influence the chi or mood of the humans living there. At the same time the mood of the humans and their interactions with the plants can influence the growth of the plants and, we would say, the chi of the plants. So the word chi describes a connection between things and implies that entities influence each other.


Chi Sources
There are very large sources of chi in our solar and planetary systems that have big influences on our lives. These include the sun, moon, earth and nature. They exist outside our homes and the position of our homes, its windows and doors determine our exposure to these outside sources of chi.

So a south facing home in the northern hemisphere with big windows will have a lot of exposure to the sun. The same home might have several large trees to the north that provide the chi of the trees and seem to protect the home from strong northerly winds. These are examples of exterior influences of chi on a home.

We can also have smaller sources of chi within our home. Of course there are humans, whose moods, emotions and thinking radiate from them. In addition we have plants, pets, fire for heating and cooking, lights, candles, sounds from the radio, TV or music and to a lesser extent the left over chi in natural materials such as a wood floor. These all have potential influences on the chi of humans which affect their behaviour.


Chi Flow
There is another group of features that tend to define how chi flows. These can
channel chi, focus it, reflect it, speed it up, slow it down, disperse it or provide
more space for the chi to move.

Practically internal chi is influenced by internal doors, stairs, corridors, the size and proportions of rooms, shiny surfaces, mirrors, furniture, acoustics and textures. These will contribute to what we might describe as the atmosphere of a home. Generally, humans experience fast and free moving chi as stimulating, whilst more contained, slower chi is calming.

So a bedroom with soft textures, closed doors, plants, absorbent acoustic qualities and a moderate size will often lead to better sleep than a very large room with open doors, mirrors, shiny floor and echoing acoustics.


Changing Chi
Colours will change the kind of chi present in a room. For example a green wall receives all the frequencies of light from the sun but only reflects some of those frequencies back into the room. This changes the predominance of certain light frequencies in a room and human exposure to those frequencies.

At the same time living things, such as humans, pets and plants, can absorb chi and transform it. They take in the chi of the sun, nature and each other, transform it internally and project the new chi out into the space around them.


Human Interaction
Given that humans receive, transform and radiate chi then we become a large influence on the chi of a home:

  • Look at what things in a home might influence the chi that the human puts back into a room. This could include images, colours, plants, flowers, music, views, smells and materials.
  • The posture someone adopts in certain chair, the position of that chair in a room, the relationship between the person and the room, windows and doors will all influence the chi of the human.
  • Views of nature, exposure to sunlight and the ability to interact harmoniously with other people will further influence the chi of the person and the kind of chi they radiate back into the room.
  • We could also claim that eating whole, natural foods that are as close to having come straight from the earth as possible and are, essentially, still alive contain greater chi which will feed the chi of the person that eats them. This in turn will eventually findits way back out into the home.
  • A bedroom that encourages good sleep will lead to greater vitality, clearer thinking, improved health and happier emotions during the day, ensuring that more of that kind of chi is present in the home.
  • Taking on certain pursuits that change human chi such as dancing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, laughing, being in love, appreciation, feeling empowered, thinking positively, enjoying a sense of passion and much more will change the chi of the person and in turn the chi of the space they are in. 

An understanding of the nature of chi allows us to use Feng Shui holistically that encompasses nature, interior design, the layout of rooms, and the activities as well as emotional states of people in their own home. All this combines to influence the person living there and ultimately his or her ability to take on challenges and succeed.