Developed 6000 years ago, Feng Shui is a system based on the elements of intuition, mathematics, philosophy, geology, astronomy, astrology, psychology, and physics. Feng Shui is an ancient art related to the power of nature and the law and order of the universe (Author)
In Chinese, the term Feng Shui means “wind and water” It is supposed to be able to aid a person in getting a job, a raise, or promotion, get married, get pregnant, feel more safe in life, prevent miscarriages, improve health, prevent accidents, and create a more harmonious family relationship (Author).
Feng Shui is also considered an ancient Chinese system of boosting your luck through the positioning of objects and of predicting fortunes through dates and traditional texts. Literally, wind water, Feng Shui is used in a variety of different ways (Hunt, 2013). Allen Chau, in 2008, consulted a Feng Shui master because he was worried about how his business manufacturing parts for the auto industry would weather the current financial crisis hitting the world. The Master recommended moving the factory gate from the South side to the West. Chau, the general manager of Tien Po Precision Manufacturing, saw his sales double while others went bankrupt. For him, Feng Shui is an essential business tool (Hunt, 2013).
Although I have never traveled outside of the United States, only to Canada, I have heard many people speak of Feng Shui. I have listened to real estate agents tell stories of how the Chinese culture and their people want to have the entrances to homes face a certain direction so as to not disrupt the harmony of the home. I personally have not tried Feng Shui but after reading about it, I might. Many people look to different sources for luck. Certain numbers picked on lottery tickets, a lucky rabbits foot carried in a pocket, tokens carried or worn constantly can all be considered forms of Feng Shui that may be seen in American life today. I, personally, pick certain numbers I believe to be lucky when playing the lottery. I have noticed people who play bingo have lucky tokens they sit on the table by their cards. My son had a lucky pencil he used in school when he had a test to take. There are many more instances of ways people use a form of Feng Shui in their lives. It is no longer only a custom of China; it is worldwide in one way or another.
I believe there are many driving forces at play in Feng Shui. Most religions see the body as a temple which should be respected and preach family harmony, peace at home and taking care of your health. Feng Shui theories complement these goals. The feeling of holiness, sanctity, and peace is consciously created in religious spaces and people want that experience. Feng Shui can address the feeling of holy or “unholy” spaces, in addition to the more mundane concerns that most Feng Shui adherents have money, health, and love (Diamond, 2005 ).
Politically, Feng Shui has been used as a defense in a long running case against Tony Chan, AKA Peter Chan Chun-chuen. Mr. Chan was said to be the former lover and Feng Shui master to one of Asia’s wealthiest women. He was accused and found guilty of forging her will making him the beneficiary of her $4 billion estate. The court ruled to have the inheritance turned over to the Chinachum Charitable Foundation Ltd. During the case, the court heard about bizarre rituals associated with Feng Shui that were never justified (Shadbolt, 2013).
Feng Shui, along with its long history, is responsible for many unique characteristics of traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese landscapes. The Ming Tombs as well as the configuration of traditional villages, the alignment of roads, and even the location of major cities such as Seoul, can be linked to the application of Feng Shui. Feng Shui has been studied by many scholars, but is of particular interest to geographers. The practice of Feng Shui is becoming increasingly popular in Los Angeles, London, and Long Island. It is being practiced in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, even though one would be hard pressed to find many people who openly pursue the practice in the People’s Republic of China. Feng Shui is a growing cultural phenomenon of Postmodern Western society to which geographers can make significant contributions and critiques (Mills, 1999).
When one applies Feng Shui principles while home hunting, the geography of the land, including hills, running water, and mountains, greatly affect the harmony of the new home. If one chooses a home with a mountain view it can lead to one feeling blocked in attaining goals. A home with a mountain to the rear can provide a sense of protection. If the entrance to the home is lower than the road or surrounding houses it can cause low energy. This can lead the family to a feeling of stagnation. According to Feng Shui principles, it is considered good fortune to have flowing water, such as a stream or river, nearby (Lauher, 2010).
While the practice of Feng Shui can be found in many different areas of the world, and in many situations, it all started in China with the belief that it can bring peace and harmony to the home. I believe that if many more people would adapt this belief, we could find a more harmonious world. Wouldn’t that be great???
Author, N. (n.d.). About.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Chinese Culture: chineseculture.about.com/library/weekly/aa041700a.html Diamond, K. (2005 , July 27). ezine articles. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Feng Shui and Religion: ezinearticles.com/?Feng-Shui_and_religion&id=6370112 Hunt, K. (2013, February 12). CNN.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Edition: International: edition.cnn.com/2013/02/11/business/china-business-fung-shui Lauher, K. (2010). Transform Your Life. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Feng
Shui Principles: Consider Geography When Buying A Home: http://www.kenlauher.com/feng-shui-tips/bid/50167/Feng-Shui-Principles-Consider-Geography-When-Buying-a-Home Mills, J. (1999). Western Responses to Feng Shui. Oneonta: Middle States Geographer. Shadbolt, P. (2013, July 5). ezine articles. Retrieved July 15, 2013, from Edition: International: edition.cnn.com/2013/07/05/world/asia/hong-kong-wang