Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
Various Feng Shui schools sometimes use different terminology to describe aspects of Feng Shui, so to reduce any confusion I am providing this Feng Shui glossary of some of the more commonly used Feng Shui terms. If you have been wondering about words like "bagua," "chi," or "five elements," this Feng Shui glossary will answer your questions.
Bagua - A mapping chart used in Feng Shui to divide a space into nine areas, or guas, related to these life attributes: wealth, future, love, creativity, helpful people, career, harmony, family, balance. Each gua relates to a specific element, color, and shape. Pronounced bag-wha.
Chi - The vital energy that comes from nature that makes us feel either good or bad in a certain location. Every person, object, and environment has the living energy called chi. Chi can be positive or negative, swirling around people and around the objects that people place in their surroundings. Pronounced chee.
Clutter - The accumulation of unused, unneeded, and unwanted objects. In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward.
Continuity and Connectedness - The link between what you see and what you attract into your life. The more you surround yourself with symbols of what you want to attract into your life, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Crystals - Used in Feng Shui as remedies or cures to correct inauspicious situations or to attract positive chi. Objects made of clear, high quality faceted glass can also be used for this purpose.
Cure (also called remedy or adjustment) - An object or intention used to make Feng Shui changes. Cures are used either to attract positive energy or to eliminate negative or stagnant energy.
Electro-magnetic Field (also called EMF) - An energy field produced where electric current is flowing. Overexposure to EMFs is believed to be harmful to health, and Feng Shui adjustments are made to minimize the effects.
Energy (also called chi) - The constantly moving and changing force around you, making you feel either good or bad in a certain location.
Feng - The Chinese word for wind. Pronounced fung.
Feng Shui - The art and science of placing things around you in balance and harmony with the natural world. The words translate as wind and water. Pronounced fung shway.
Five Elements - The term to describe the colors, shapes, and textures around you and the attributes they bring into your life. The Five Elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.
Five Power Principles - The guiding concepts of Feng Shui necessary to achieve balance. The Five Power Principles are: Chi, the Five Elements, the Bagua, Yin and Yang, Continuity and Connectedness.
Gua - A sector or area, specifically the sectors of the Feng Shui bagua. Pronounced gwa.
Ideal Home Placement - The ideal location of a home on the building site that is the equivalent of being seated in a comfortable armchair with the Turtle (mountains) in the rear, the Phoenix (sun or river) in front, the Dragon and the Tiger (protective landforms) to the sides.
Inauspicious - A term used to denote unfavorable, undesirable, harmful influences and unsuccessful results.
Lo-pan - The compass used to make adjustments in Feng Shui.
Mouth of Chi - The main entrance door where chi enters a structure. This is the front door, even if it is not the primary entrance the occupants use when they enter.
Poison Arrow (also called secret arrow) - A sharp angle, point, edge, corner, or object that aims into a room or at a building and creates negative energy and acts like an arrow aimed at a target.
Power Position - The most powerful location in a room. This position is the area farthest from the door, and facing the door with your back to a solid wall.
Predecessor Chi - The residual energy left behind by the previous occupants of a space.
Red Envelope Tradition - Presentation by a client of a red envelope containing money to a Feng Shui practitioner as payment and in respect for the information given.
Sha Chi - Negative energy. In situations where chi gets stuck or blocked, it becomes destructive, negative, harmful, and inauspicious.
Shui - The Chinese word for water. Pronounced shway.
Space Clearing - Methods, like smudging, used to get rid of negative, stagnant, or inauspicious energy in a space.
Yang - The active, male side of the yin/yang balance. Yang qualities are light, activity, movement, rigidity, and strength.
Yin - The passive, female side of the yin/yang balance. Yin qualities are darkness, stillness, flexibility, and weakness.
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