The Essence of What We Do in Feng Shui

April 27, 2015

In Feng Shui, the multitude of situations we encounter are considered to be made of 3 categories of components the Chinese termed “Qi” 氣, “Shu” 數 and “Xiang” 象.

Lets start with the term “Xiang”, which literally means appearance, shape and image; it refers to the things that we can see through our observation with the five senses. What we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste allow us to come to terms with the situation physically. It is the tangible parts of a feng shui consultation and we always start with the visible and the exposed, in order to work towards the invisible and the hidden.

“Shu” has both the meaning of numbers and to count them, it refers to the pattern language that we have created, using numbers through correlative thinking to contemplate at things that are hidden and invisible. Just as the previous is dealt mainly with Form Feng Shui, this category is mainly done with Compass Feng Shui. The compass reading is correlated to Trigrams and the Trigrams to numbers and the arrangement of Trigrams gave us a numerical pattern like a Flying Star chart, which we can use to meditate on the intangible aspects of the same situation metaphysically.

Between the physical and the metaphysical, the tangible and the intangible, the visible and the invisible, the form and the formless, we can gain enough information to allow us to understand the formless Qi of a situation. The term “Qi” here in Feng Shui refers to the potential and the capability inherent in a situation; it is also a continuum that links all things together through the complementary opposite of Yin and Yang.

By doing so, we can have a grasp of the form and formless Qi of what is inherent in a give environment and the occupant’s reactions living there. This holistic understand allows us to make suggestions, to make changes, to improve and/or to readjust the deficiencies without destroying the existing environment. This is essentially what we would do in a feng shui consultation, with the three basic concepts of “Xiang”, “Shu” and “Qi” outlined above.

Below you can see a brief example of one of our recent feng shui consultations for a new house. Picture 1 showed a page from the Form feng shui studies, picture 2 showed our preferred orientation for the house, picture 3 showed a rough location and configuration of the house on site and the last picture is a Flying Star chart of our suggested planning for the house.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4<a

One Response to “The Essence of What We Do in Feng Shui”

  1. howardchoy Says:

    With the this Blog entry I was asked the question of the relationship between Li (理) or Principle and Qi (氣), should it not be Li, Shu and Xiang and not Qi, Shu and Xiang?

    Perhaps the best way is not for me this answer this question directly but to refer to one who asked this question to an academic article, “ Wang Fuzhi’s Philosophy of Principle (Li) Inherent in Qi” by JeeLoo Liu, who is a Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the Californian State University at Fullerton.

    As the title of the article stated, Wang Fuzhi is thesis is the Princial is inherent in Qi 理在氣中, so when I use the term Qi in my Blog entry I am also referring to Li.

    “For Wang, the realm of heaven (tian 天) and the realm of human are simply one unified whole. There is no transcendent realm beyond the human world and it is the same vital energy (Qi 氣) and the same Principle (Li 理) that permeate the realm of heaven and the realm of humans.”

    (Li is a concept found in Neo-Confucian Chinese philosophy. It refers to the underlying reason and order of nature as reflected in its organic forms.)


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