Many people, when they think of feng shui, think that feng shui involves incorporating Chinese art and other objects in their home and begin following Chinese superstitious practices in order to bring positive changes into their lives. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
While the art and science of feng shui was developed in ancient China over five thousand years ago, it is important to know that there is nothing Chinese nor superstitious about its analysis and application, especially when it is practiced in Western culture. Chinese clients apply feng shui enhancements reflective of their cultural psyche, and Americans are free to apply similar applications in the style and according to the cultural resonances important to them.
An illustrative example of this is the number ‘four’ in Chinese feng shui. The number ‘four’ in Chinese feng shui is considered to be very bad in terms of things like in groupings of four, the number ‘four’ in addresses, telephone numbers, license plates is considered to be very bad luck.
Because in the Chinese language, the word for ‘four’ rhymes with the word for ‘death.’ The Western cultural equivalent would be perhaps the number ‘13′ which is t he equivalent of bad luck, and the shared cultural anxiety that is given to ‘Friday the 13th’ as well most highrises in the United States not having a thirteenth floor.
Another example denoting a difference between how Chinese superstition in feng shui differs from how it is applied in the United States pertains to the color ‘white.’ In China, people are buried in white, and subsequently, Chinese feng shui cautions against the use of white as it has a death association. In Western culture, brides get married in white, so the cultural associations of ‘white’ are very different in the United States as it is in China.
The art and science of feng shui, or the ability to arrange one’s environment to develop and enhance the areas of one’s life, has its origins in the ancient China. Feng shui practitioners initially looked to the form and rhythm of nature to best recommend to home and business owners where to best place structures, and once located, how to design an environment that corresponds with the patterns of nature. Eventually, they developed the practice of geomancy that utilized the loupan, or compass, to better determine recommendations to best help their clients.
Feng shui practitioners paid careful and close attention to not only how particular shapes and forms affected human behavior in their environment, but also other factors such as color, personal possessions, and elemental characteristics. The enhancements, cures, and remedies made by these ancient practitioners to correct problems in the building, and these corrections were in alignment with the cultural values and artifacts of those involved.
Feng shui primarily operates on how the mind operates and what it requires in order to feel safe, loved, and productive. The feng shui practitioners in their consultation with a client are going to make the recommendations that go best with the personal taste, culture, and if relevant, the religion of the client. While some people may enjoy incorporating Asian style and décor into the design of their home or business environment as part of the application of their feng shui consultation, this in and of itself, though it may be beautiful, certainly does not make it any more ‘feng shui’ than any other non-Asian feng shui enhancement application.
When Those Feng Shui Guys provide a feng shui consultation, it involves a number of stages and parts. To prepare for a feng shui consultation, we meet with the client in order to gain an understanding of how a feng shui consultation could benefit them, draw the footprint of the house, and get the birthdates of those who reside in the structure. On the day of the consultation, we thoroughly examine the aspects of chi flow, elemental balance, ying and yang, the application of the bagua in every room, the house itself, and the surrounding landscape.
Once the analysis is complete and the form and compass enhancements and cures have been determined, we then work with the client’s personal tastes, style, culture and spiritual background to cause them into being and to create a feng shui environment that benefits and honors who they are.