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Origins of Feng Shui

To begin, let us look at the origin of Feng Shui. During the Zhou Dynasty (from 11th century BC to 256 BC), the fortune of a dwelling was determined by 'Zhai Bu' divination. For example, to determine the auspiciousness of a grave site, 'Zhai Bu' is used to see if there is an underground spring below the burial site. If there is one, then it is not a suitable site. This practice became the embryonic form of Feng Shui.


During the Warring States period (475-221 BC), the study of I Ching became very popular. Chinese cosmology and philosophy like Confucianism, Daoism, the theories of Yin and Yang, the Five Element (Wu Xing), and the Bagua etc., began to take shape. By the time of the Han dynasty (206-220 AD) there appeared written records of Feng Shui consultations. The study of Feng Shui at that time was initially linked with the study of I Ching. The popularity of I Ching and Feng Shui reached their peak during the Han Dynasty.

The word "Feng Shui" first appeared during the Jin Dynasty. Guo Pu, who lived from 276-324 AD, wrote in his book Zhang Shu or the Book of Burial, "the dead should take advantage of the Sheng Qi, the wind will disperse the qi and the water will contain it. The ancients said that one should try to gather the qi so that it will not disperse. The aim is to keep it flowing but contained. Hence it is called "Feng Shui".


Name

Definition

Era

Dynasty

Buzhai

Divination for site, via tortoise shell, yarrow sticks (synchronicity)

16th - 11th centuries BC

Shang

Xiang Di

Observation & analysis of the earth (geography)

11th century BC -  221 BC

Zhou

Xiang Zhai

Observation & analysis of the dwelling (environment)

11th century BC - 221 BC

Zhou

Qing Niao Shu

The Art of the Azure Raven or Azure Bird. (refers to the movement of the sun)

11th century BC - 221 BC

Zhou

Kanyu

"Nature and Human are one"

221-207 BC

Qin

Feng Shui

Observation & analysis of wind & water ("energic")

c. 300 AD

Jin



About the Author:
Howard Choy, is a graduate in architecture of University of NSW. Howard was born in China and migrated to Australia at an early age. He has managed to keep his language and culture intact through his involvement with Feng Shui, Tai Chi and Qigong. Feng Shui provides the perfect vehicle for him to combine his passion for Chinese cultural heritage with his professional practice.

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Zhang Guo Lao ~ Immortal of Luck

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Dragon Wealth Ship (Large)






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