Feng Shui (pronounced ‘foong-schway’), means ‘wind and water’ and is a Chinese practice based on Taoist/Daoist philosophy which is seeks to improve the built environment so that the health, wealth, and happiness of the people living in a specific building is improved as a result of changes made to the building and its environment. The practice dates back over 2000 years, at least to 200 BCE. It is based on early five Element yin/yang cosmology found in the Huainanzi, with the later addition of the trigrams and hexagrams (gua) of theYi Jing (The Book of Changes) that was compiled ca. 800 BC. The theory behind Feng Shui was based on the observations from three sources:
- Astronomical phenomena
- Natural phenomena specifically landform and fluvial geography
- Human behavior
Feng Shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (which really means deriving subtle knowledge from observation of external appearances, through formulas and calculations). Feng Shui practice discusses architecture in terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as Qi (Ch’i).
Qi is an invisible energy (like both magnetic fields and electricity) that is said to ride the feng (wind) and scatters, but is retained when encountering shui ( water). Wind and Water existed before humans and are essential to all life on Earth.