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Feng shui is the practice of arranging pieces in living spaces to create balance with the natural world.

To that extent, it can be used as a verb. To feng shui your home is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between the inhabitants of the home and their environment.

Feng shui is sometimes known as Chinese geomancy. In an article published on the website, Feng Shui for Modern Living, Stephen Skinner explains how geomancy came to be associated with the Chinese practice of feng shui. He attributes the association to the Rev. Matthew Tyson Yates, a 19th-century missionary to China. In an attempt to explain this Chinese practice to fellow missionaries, he was unable to find a suitable translation in a Chinese-English dictionary, so he turned to an English dictionary and found "geomancy" in an English dictionary. Figuring that its components were "geo" meaning earth, and "mancy" meaning divination, he thought that was close enough. Other missionaries followed his lead, and the term stuck, although geomancy was a different subject.

"Feng" means wind, and "Shui" means water, and the origins stem from an ancient poem that spoke of human life being connected to and flowing with the environment around it.

The concepts of feng shui reflect the basic rules of nature, as they were understood.

An important aspect of designing a room with feng shui is "chi," which is a reference to the vital life source or energy.

Feng shui originated in China thousands of years ago and was originally used to select burial sites and safe locations for settlements. The approach used the points of a compass to analyze chi, the energy that encapsulates all living things. Each cardinal direction (north, south, east, west) is associated with one of the five elements of fung shui (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). When these elements are balanced, nature is in harmony. For this reason, traditional feng shui incorporates the use of a compass, mathematics, the homeowner's birthdate, and numerology.

The goal of feng shui is to learn to understand and appreciate how visible and invisible forces come together, allowing for the calculation and interpretation of the inherent energy structure of a home or land area so that the best results can be attained. Practitioners believe that the feng shui compass interacts with the Earth's energy, and, when used properly, all other energies are balanced.

Modern practices of feng shui honor the origins and includes aspects of traditional feng shui, while incorporating several other elements, such as electromagnetic pollution, environmental psychology, space clearing, and clutter management. The modern approach focuses more on a sense of space, floor plans, layout, decor, and furniture placement.

While traditional Chinese feng shui is based on the concept that people live in harmony with nature by examining their environment and adjusting to it at various intervals in order to assure that they are in harmony with the effect of chi, or the energy force, the modern practice focuses more on creating a balance between things like color, texture, and lines, in order to achieve a feeling of wellbeing.

To an extent, traditional feng shui is spiritual in nature, while modern feng shui is more closely related to interior and exterior home design. The common goal of both, however, is to create a feeling of well-being



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