Feng Shui was introduced to the U.S about 40 years ago — bringing to our conscious awareness –that houses have a unique energy field or “chi”. Feng Shui consultants recognize some homes as being very supportive; while others are draining. A house acts much like an energetic umbrella that blends with the energy we generate from our physical bodies. We are all familiar with certain commercial buildings that change ownership often, as one business after another fails. Real estate agents know these properties well, and in Feng-Shui practice, unstable and constant changes reveal a property that is not balanced. Such irregularities can disclose a difficult energy field that can affect cash flow, working relationships and/or the occupant’s health.
Yin and yang are a vital concept in Feng Shui practice and represent the duality in the world we experience — such as the masculine and feminine polarities. Yang energy is often excessive heat or activity. Yin energy is slow and quiet, often moist, favoring the breakdown of materials that enrich the soil. Too much “yin” energy can drain our physical vitality often compromising health and aggravating chronic illness. For example, clutter in a household slows down the flow of chi, and can create an illness prone environment attracting mold, dirt, decay, and bacteria. Nature has built-in energies that are either life supporting or draining, helping to break down materials that nature then recycles. This is the natural cycle of life. If a building is constructed over strong yin areas, (often underground moving water or fault lines) it can compromise the long-term health of the people who live there.
Geo means “earth” and pathos means “knowledge of disease”, so this term relates to how the earth can affect one’s health. Geo-pathic stress has been studied extensively in Europe the past 80 years. Developers often test land sites by placing ant nests to see if the ants will build colonies. Colony insects, such as bees, cockroaches, wasps, or termites are very attracted to yin zones. Certain plants and animals also thrive in these zones such as nettles, ivy, fungus, owls, cats, snails, and crows. Trees caught in yin zones can split or twist, and fruit trees don’t develop much fruit. People and livestock in general do not prosper in these areas either, and it was a common practice in Europe to have a dowser determine the location of the barn and house for farmers, to avoid any of these potential problems.
Birds, such as storks, are very sensitive to yin areas, and if a stork built a nest on top of your chimney, it was an indication of good luck, and a reason to celebrate. It meant that your house had been placed on positive life-enhancing land, and the woman of the house would most likely be fertile and bear many children. If the stork bypassed your home, then it was much more likely the wife would suffer ill health and miscarriage. This is where the expression comes from “the stork brings the baby.” It was not just superstition, but an observation of life.
In the Asian tradition, ancient sages would survey the terrain carefully to see where livestock grew fat. The Chinese noticed how rivers, slopes, mountains, and fault lines could affect the strength of the flora and fauna, and called them “dragon veins.” They would follow these dragon veins in order to properly select a site for their villages. Geo-prosperous land was highly prized and cultivated to increase a community’s affluence. Dragons represented prosperous land and water energy that could bring fame, power, and longevity. Feng Shui has traditionally been shrouded in secrecy, since it was considered to be an esoteric art that brought power to the Chinese emperors. The rulers sought to capitalize this knowledge in order to remain in authority for as long as possible.
Ancient Hindus also have a system of architecture analyzing the energy of a building called Vastu Shastra. These principles describe auspicious measurements for a structure, the spatial geometry and its best arrangement, and ground preparation techniques that could create beneficial public communities. Vastu Shastra translates to “science of architecture” and seeks to integrate home construction with natural forces. Feng Shui translates roughly to “wind and water” and describes the Asian observation of how chi (also known as qi or prana) moves on air currents, and is held and stored at the water’s edge. Both ancient traditions recognize the wisdom of nature and seek to live in harmony with nature’s principles and seasonal cycles.
Traditional Feng Shui is closely associated with Daoism and the I-Ching, and is one of the five Chinese metaphysical arts. It is a sister science to acupuncture and its application in healing the body. Classic or magnetic Feng Shui is thousands of years old, and it is a little known fact that the magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese and used for Feng Shui almost exclusively approximately a thousand years before Europeans began using the compass for navigation.
In order to assess the energy potential of your house, a Feng Shui consultant will observe the surrounding environment, note the year of construction, the home’s magnetic orientation, and observe its interior, before making recommendations to improve the energy of your home. The Eastern and Western schools differ in their approaches and remedies, but both use landform Feng Shui. Some practitioners will make very expensive recommendations, so it is good to be careful and find a reputable practitioner. Personal recommendations from happy customers are most reliable. There are many lineages and schools of Feng Shui, and many contradict each other, so it can be very confusing for the beginner trying to assess their own home.
By Lynda Lee Abdo © 2016
Note: The Qi Factory introduces guest writer Lynda Lee Abdo from Los Angeles, who is a highly valued and knowledgeable college in the field of Xuan Kong Feng Shui, 8 Mansions, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Western Astrology and an expert on (precious) stones. Lynda has a BA in fine arts, cum laude, from California State University, Northridge. She has studied with Master Larry Sang at the American Feng Shui Institute, in Monterey CA (10 yrs.+).