Feng Shui Definition and Glossary


Bagua: Considered “the map of Feng Shui.” The bagua is a tool that is used by Feng Shui practitioners to organize everything (from times of day and year, to body parts, emotions, ailments, life situations, etc.) in a space to create optimal conditions for the inhabitants who reside in that space.

Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui, (AKA BTB Feng Shui, Black Hat Style): BTB Feng Shui has its roots in the pre-Buddhist, Bon religion of Tibet. It was also influenced by Indian Buddhism and later took on the traditions of Chinese philosophy including Feng Shui. It was brought to the West around 1980, and its practices spread rapidly through the Americas. The BTB Feng Shui Bagua is a modification of the Bagua and is superimposed on a site, building, or room using Three Door Method which aligns the entry with one the three trigrams: Skills and Knowledge, Career, or Helpful People. BTB Feng Shui emphasizes following the flow of chi (in the space and the person), the use of transcendental solutions to reinforce mundane remedies, the power of intention and self-cultivation through meditation.

Clutter: The obstruction of life force, chi or qi, typically through the accumulation of too many items within a space (can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual), thus creating a stagnation of the energy within that space.

Crystals (Feng Shui definition): A clear high quality, usually leaded, glass object, sometimes faceted to create a specific shape used in Feng Shui to disperse negative undesired qi, or as amplifiers or transmitters of energy.

Command Position (AKA Arm Chair Position): The best Form School location for the interior placement of furniture, especially the bed, desk, or stove. This position is usually farthest from and facing the door, with one’s back to a solid wall. This position is considered the safest and most powerful, providing the widest view of the room with the ability to see the door without being directly in line with the door.

Chi (AKA Chi, Energy, Prana (Indian) Ki (Japanese): The energy, or conscious life force that animates all matter of the universe; seen and unseen. The practice of Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and quality of energy, qi, or chi. Creating a healthy and positive flow of energy is said to enhance physical and emotional health and quality of life. The quality of energy is determined by its flow and the frequency of its vibration. By raising that frequency we improve its quality and beneficial influence.

Cure (AKA Remedy, Adjustment, Enhancement): An object, talisman, ritual, prayer, action or intention used to achieve the greatest balance, harmony, and the most beneficial energy or chi in a space, or to suppress, neutralize or dissipate negative or stagnant energies or qi.

Dowsing: Divination, or methods of locating and diagnosing unseen energies; especially those located underground. Dowsing has been used to locate underground water for thousands of years, and can also be used to locate other influences at a site or on a plan or map. The practice of dowsing can also discover other concealed information.

Electro-magnetic field, (AKA “EMF”): An energy field. Whenever electric current (voltage) is running through a wire or a conducting source, an electric field is present in space. Where electric current flow is present, a magnetic field is produced. Over-exposure to excessive electro-magnetic fields is believed to be harmful to health.

Elements (AKA Five Phases): One of the foundations of Feng Shui theory is rooted in the interaction and balance between the Five Elements, which are Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth. Each of these elements governs specific aspects of life.

Energy: The practice of Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and quality of energy, qi, or chi. Creating a healthy and positive flow of energy is said to enhance physical and emotional health and quality of life. The quality of energy is determined by its flow and the frequency of its vibration. By raising that frequency we improve its quality and beneficial influence.

Feng: Translated as wind; or the yin or unseen forces influences of energy.

Feng Shui: Translates as wind and water, but when placed together, take on a much different definition. Thousands of years ago, Feng Shui was “the art of adapting residences of the living and dead (mostly for royalty and the wealthy) to cooperate and harmonize with the local currents of the cosmic breath.” Feng Shui is the art and science of harmonizing the person with their environment and unseen “heavenly” influences so that the person is consistently supported throughout life. It is a method of arranging and organizing oneself in space. The art of Feng Shui has changed and adapted as it has moved through time from culture to culture. There are many different modalities and perspectives throughout the world. In addition to being an independent practice, Feng Shui is incorporated into many different fields including design, architecture, real estate, fashion, etc.

Feng Shui practitioner (AKA Feng Shui Consultant): A trained professional having studied and mastered the principles and practices of Feng Shui. The modern Feng Shui practitioner is schooled in a variety of modalities having originated in traditional and eclectic customs and practices.

Gua: Translates as house or sector where each gua represents a symbolic direction and its life aspects and is relative to the position of the entry. These sectors are represented on a bagua map.

Luck: Good or bad fortune, composed in Feng Shui of heaven luck, earth luck, and human luck.

Mantra: A ritualistic, spiritual, or sacred chant that is repeated either silently or audibly, and can result in inducing an altered state of consciousness.

Mouth of Qi: The main entrance door where qi or energy enters a structure. It can also refer to entry points of land or property.

Mudra: A hand gesture often used with a mantra to clear the energy of a person or place, or to offer a blessing.

Poison Arrow: A type of inauspicious energy pattern. A very common poison arrow is where a corner of a room or an overhead beam points towards the inhabitants.

Predecessor Qi: The residual energy left behind by the previous inhabitants of a space.

Qi (AKA Chi, Energy, Prana (Indian) Ki (Japanese): The motivating life-force also called “cosmic breath.” It has also been referred to as vital energy, primordial breath, air, breath, and energy. Existing everywhere, it is the term that refers to all forms of energy and its flow and is considered the universal energy between heaven and earth. It is the movement of life force energy within our living space or body, which can affect our well-being either auspiciously or inauspiciously. Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and containment of qi to create the most beneficial support for a person in their environment.

Red Envelope Tradition: In BTB Feng Shui, refers to an exchange of red envelopes containing some amount of money between a client or student and a BTB Feng Shui practitioner or teacher who has been asked for, and has provided, transcendental solutions. This tradition was developed to ritualize, respect and honor the information given, and to acknowledge the exchange of energy between client and practitioner. The number of red envelopes given is relative to the significance of the information provided.

Sacred Geometry: The study of proportion and inherent order in space, including how shapes affect energy. It is an ancient study that has been preserved in certain mystical traditions. Measurements, properties and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids are observed and related to the pure principles existing in nature.

Shui: Translates as water; general term for river or waterway.

Space Clearing: Refers to any method used to dissipate negative, stagnant, or inauspicious chi or energy in a space, whether residual or current, and to raise the vibratory level. Found in most cultures and traditions throughout time, space clearing is used to revitalize a space after an illness, conflict, or stressful event, to set intentions and to bless a place. Methods include the use of sound, incense, smudging, ritual, dance, or simply intention. Space clearing sometimes refers to the mitigation of ghosts and spirits.

Success (Based on Chinese Belief): The Chinese believe that success is based on these five areas of influence, in order of importance:
1. Ming ~ fate, destiny, decided at birth and cannot be changed, but can be known.
2. Yun ~ (AKA Wun) luck, which fluctuates with time, and can be predicted.
3. Feng Shui ~ environment. We can play with this to reach the higher levels of what our fate and our luck allow.
4. Dao De ~ (AKA Do Duc) virtue and character. This brings us good karma and good will from others.
5. Du Shu ~ education and effort. Even with the best luck, if we sit at home and wait, we will miss out. We must do the footwork.

For more information about this, go to FAQ’s and read about Success: Fate, Luck and Destiny.

The Three Secrets (AKA Three Secret Reinforcements: A transcendental and ritualized use of thought, action and speech to imbue Feng Shui adjustments with conscious intention.

Taoism (AKA Daoism): The philosophical foundation work of most major religions in Asia. Taoism is not a religion but rather a way of being and emphasizes compassion, moderation, and humility. Taoism is largely based on the observation of the natural order.

Transcendental Cure (AKA Transcendental Solution, Remedy, Adjustment, Enhancement): A spiritual, symbolic or ritualistic solution used to complement and reinforce the mundane, common sense solutions. Classical examples include the three legged toad, gods of wealth, and money trees traditionally used as transcendental cures to enhance abundance and prosperity.

Yin and Yang: A concept from the I-Ching denoting the opposite polarities that came into being when the universe came into manifestation; the Taoist idea that unites all opposites as complimentary inseparable forces.