Feng Shui Institute: Traditional Chinese Feng Shui

feng shui history

Feng Shui HistoryArchaeologists and historians know that our current cycle of human evolution began almost 6,000 years ago in Sumeria, current day Iraq, with an incredibly advanced civilisation. Following a climatic disorder of epic proportions, an exodus ensued, leading to the establishment of advanced civilisations in various parts of the world, such as India, South America and of course China. Stories of this are commonly found in these countries cultures, myths and legends. Feng Shui history begins with the "Wandering Tribes" that colonised the area now known as China.

The Wandering Tribes

Their knowledge allowed them to establish an incredibly advanced civilisation alongside the indigenous tribes of the Yangshao and the Lungshan and part of this knowledge is still used today in Traditional or Classical Feng Shui. It is believed that tribal leaders were named after their tribes; Fu Xi was the leader of the Animal Tribes, Shen Nong the leader of the Holy Farmers and Sui Ren, the leader of the Fire Starters.

Fu Xi

Fu XiThe Animal Tamers with knowledge of animal husbandry, hunting, tanning, ploughing, fishing and music which naturally leads to knowledge of mathematics and geometry. From a Feng Shui perspective, Fu Xi is most important, credited with establishing the Eight Trigrams and positioning them in an arrangement known as Xian Tian Ba Gua or "Pre Heaven" Bagua around 3300 BCE.

Sui Ren

Sui RenThe Fire Starters, having knowledge of fire, chemistry and chemical processes, as well as metalworking and metallurgy. Fire was particularly advantageous as people could then cook their food, which enabled them to digest it more easily and gain more energy and nutrients from it. Cooking also makes edible some foods that would otherwise be inedible, which led to vast improvements in diet and health.

Shen Nong

Shen NongThe Holy Farmers, who are credited with establishing the basics of farming and agriculture such as preserving seeds and irrigation. Their knowledge of plants and herbs also led to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the moxibustion technique used in acupuncture. They were also responsible for the Chinese Calendar or Farmers Almanac, which uses what is known as the Twenty Four Seasons or "jieqi".

The Early Days

Between 3300 BC and the beginning of the first Dynasty C.2000 BCE, much of Chinese history is shrouded in mystery. A notable hero in this period is said to be Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, who is credited with establishing the Twelve Earthly Branches and the Ten Heavenly Stems C 2736 BCE (although a similar system was already in use in Babylon many centuries before). The Stems and Branches are known to Feng Shui practitioners as the Sexagesimal Cycle and are the basis of Chinese Astrology.

Another notable figure is Da Yu, the founder of the first dynasty and inventor of hydraulic engineering. It is also believed that the first compass was invented during this period, consisting of a lodestone attached to a chariot and said to make an army invincible.

Selected Chinese Dynasties and Historical Feng Shui Implications
Date Dynasty Feng Shui History
2000-1700 BC Xia Selecting Proper Site Divination - Astrology - Auspicious Move Date
1700-1027 BC Shang Oracle bone divination. Writing invented. Sundials to measure time.
1027-771 BC Western Zhou The Book of Yi written.
770-476 BC Spring & Autumn Lao Zi & Confucius born. The book of Yi becomes Yi Jing (I Ching)
475-221 BC Warring States Sun Zi & Mencius born. Si Nan (Spoon compass)
221-207 BC Qin Green Satchel First Feng Shui classic written
206 BC-AD 9 / 25- 220 AD Western Han / Eastern Han Kan Yu The way of Heaven and Earth, 24 Seasons, Liu Ren Water compass for divination, The Name of Five Spirits, Ze Ri to select auspicious date, Tu Zia to select auspicious house, Eight Spirits in Heaven, Eight Directions on Earth, Eight Methods of Selecting Living Site, Fen Ye to predict luck on Earth, Twelve Feudal Lords on Earth, Twelve Celestial Districts, Good and Evil Spirits, Selecting living site or burial place, Five Transformational Phases, Directions, Sounds and Surnames, Eight spirits in heaven, directions on earth and eight residences.
265-316 Western Jin Guo Pu (276-324) - writer of the Book of Burial.
420-588 Southern Dynasties Qin Nang - 9 volumes of burial books in the Blue Bag, Qin Wu Zi - the name of a Feng Shui practitioner, Qin Wu Shu - Selecting burial site by Qin Wu Zi.
589-960 Late Tang & 5 Dynasties Practise of Five Phases Theory popular. Astrological Copper mirror found. Over 120 different schools use 5 elements to select burial sites, books on Five Surname Theory, selecting living places and burial sites. Use of Talismans.
960-1368 Southern Song - Ming East/West System. Flying Stars System Three Yuan Nine Yun System - Three Cycles and Nine Fate System. 4 types of compass needle developed, consisting of Fingernail, wet, dry and hanging methods. Seam needle developed. Yuan - Magnetic tortoise compass developed. Plum Flower Method devised by Shao Yong, also square and circular arrangements for 64- Hexagrams.
1368-1644 Ming - Qing Development of compass rings. 2 essential classics on the use of Luo Pan written. Birth of Jiang Da Hong - Flying Star Master.
1986 To date "New Age Feng Shui" based on the power of a positive mind developed by Thomas Lin Yun in California USA. Please note: this system is very different from Traditional Feng Shui and the main source of confusion about Feng Shui.