Feng Shui forBeginners ­: Part 1 of 2

 A guest post by Tom Carter

According to the History of Feng Shui, also known as Kanyu, the practice of Feng Shui began in the Western Han dynasty around the third century BC.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese belief that the laws of astronomy and geography may be applied aesthetically to improve the positive energy (chi) that surrounds our daily lives.

Feng Shui is also big business today.

In Asia, Feng Shui consultants charge astronomical fees to corporations who retain them to advise on architectural design, building location, interior decorations and grand-opening dates.

No matter how small, no business or shop in Eastern Asia would dare debut without having first consulted extensively with a Feng Shui practitioner.

Even on Amazon, there are literally hundreds of books written by Feng Shui “experts” seeking to capitalize on the resurgence of middle-class trends co-opting Feng Shui.

Ironically, one of the major themes of Feng Shui is in removing clutter, yet the endless piles of Feng Shui books that keep appearing on the literary market seems only to contribute to the clutter.

Detractors, however, have branded Feng Shui everything from an “occult superstition” to “new-age psychobabble.”

After all (they say), how could something as banal as the position of your bed and the color of a candle have any relation to the safety and welfare of a human being?

During the Cultural Revolution, Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong took his revulsion of Feng Shui one-step further during the 1970s by having the teenage Red Guard persecute Chinese citizens who dared follow this “old, evil ideology”.

Regardless of your beliefs, the fact is that it cannot hurt – and might help – your daily happiness and comfort by following at least the most basic principles of Feng Shui at your home and office.

If, perchance, the southeast part of your house were truly the Wealth Sector, as Feng Shui suggests, then why would you not want to keep it spotless and free of clutter?

If jars of coins around the house really do symbolize abundance and can attract wealth, then how hard would it be to fill some up with your old pocket change?

Continued in Part 2 on May 28, 2014


Travel Photographer Tom Carter traveled for 2 years across the 33 provinces of China to show the diversity of Chinese people in China: Portrait of a People, the most comprehensive photography book on modern China published by a single author.

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2 Responses to Feng Shui forBeginners ­: Part 1 of 2

  1. Ray H says:

    So, do you practice it? See any benefit?

    • I don’t, but my wife considers it but doesn’t follow it that strictly. Growing up under Mao probably had something to do with it not being as important as it might be with the Chinese who were born and lived in Taiwan or other Asian countries that weren’t influenced by Mao and the CCP.

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