Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art and science that was developed some 3000 years ago to help people balance the energies in the places they lived. It’s pronounced Fung Shway and it translates to “Wind Water.” In Chinese culture, the elements play an important part in everyday life, as in wind and water that bring good harvests, which in turn bring good health and prosperity.
Feng Shui is based on Taoist philosophy, which puts a great deal of stock in living in harmony with nature, and states that land is alive and brimming with energy, or chi (pronounced chee). This in turn means that your home is alive and full of chi as well and needs to be arranged in such a way that the chi can be maximized.
How can you use this Chinese art in your decorating? First, you’ll need a bagua (pronounced bah-gwah) map. This map includes the eight building blocks of life, according to the Chinese Taoist philosophy: health, love/marriage, wealth, career, wisdom/knowledge, reputation/fame, children/creativity and helpful people, plus the center area of chi.
To make a bagua map, look at the structure of your home. The ideal shape is a square or rectangle, but despair not if your home is L-shaped or U-shaped. On a large piece of paper, draw a map of your home, noting where doors and windows are. If your home is L-shaped or U-shaped, use dotted lines to fill out the square or rectangle. Now divide the square into nine parts, which will correspond to each of the nine bagua areas.
The baguas are determined by the location of the front door of your house, which is considered the baseline of your bagua map. As you look in the front door of your home, the area to your right is “helpful people.” The area to your left is “wisdom/knowledge,” and in between those two is your “career” bagua. The center three baguas, left to right, are “family,” “chi” and “children/creativity.” The upper left corner is “wealth,” upper middle is “fame/reputation” and the upper right is “marriage.” In other words, it looks like this:
Now you're ready to place symbolic objects in the corresponding areas to maximize the chi in those areas. For instance, in your wealth area, you can place a bowl of coins, or perhaps hang framed foreign currency. Experts also recommend hanging a round clear crystal on a red cord, which represents wealth. Hang wedding photos and place keepsakes from your wedding in your marriage area, and place pictures of your children in the children area.