Our comprehensive Feng Shui Glossary, where you’ll find a curated collection of essential classical Feng Shui terms and concepts that are vital to understanding this ancient science. Whether you’re a novice exploring this fascinating practice or an experienced do it yourself enthusiast looking to refresh your knowledge, this page serves as a valuable resource.
From annual stars and Chi to the Five Elements and Yin-Yang, each entry provides a concise yet informative explanation, shedding light on the significance and application of these fundamental principles. Our glossary is designed for a quick overview to empower you with a deeper understanding of your audit report or further deepen your knowledge when browsing and reading our articles.
5 Elements Theory (5 Transformation):
The Five Element Theory explores the interaction between each element: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each embodies distinct qualities and influences the space. The main goal is to achieve a harmonious balance of these elements, promoting positive energy flow and overall well-being in the given space.
Annual Cycle or Annual Stars:
“Annual star influences” refers to the shifting energies associated with the yearly flying stars. These energies start to change around February 4th of every year. The movement and rotation of these energies bring specific influences that affect a cardinal direction (South, North, NW, NE, West, East, SW, SE) of the home’s energy map for a particular year, impacting various aspects of life such as health, relationships, wealth, and overall harmony.
Read More: Feng Shui Time Cycles
Auspicious refers to beneficial influences conducive to positive outcomes. It signifies and supports well-being, success, and abundance.
Black Hat (Black Sect BTB Feng Shui):
Black Hat BTB refers to a Westernized approach to Feng Shui that incorporates Tibetan Buddhist principles and practices. It is a school that focuses on intention-setting, personal empowerment, and the use of specific symbolic objects and rituals to enhance positive energy flow and manifestation in one’s life. We do not practice this kind of school or recommend to follow its principles.
Classical Feng Shui:
Classical Feng Shui refers to the traditional and authentic practice of Feng Shui, based on ancient Chinese principles and techniques. It involves the analysis of the external and internal environments to optimize energy flow, harmonize spaces, and promote well-being, prosperity, and balance.
Clutter refers to the accumulation of unnecessary or disorganized items in a space. It represents stagnant energy and obstructs the flow of positive chi, leading to feelings of overwhelm, stress, and a lack of clarity. Clearing clutter is essential to promoting a harmonious and balanced environment.
Construction Sha is the term for the negative energy that comes from renovation or construction projects. It can disrupt the natural flow of positive energy, causing imbalances, disturbances, and potential negative impacts on the occupants. Every year, these unseen inauspicious energies rotate and manifest in different cardinal degrees.
The “command position” refers to the optimal placement of furniture or other important elements in a room, such as a table, desk, or bed. It involves positioning and facing oneself diagonally across from the entrance without being in direct alignment with the door. This position allows a clear view of the door without direct impact from incoming qi flow. This arrangement instills a sense of security, empowerment, and control over the space.
The directional sector refers to specific areas or divisions of a floor plan (energy map) that correspond to the eight cardinal directions (North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest). Each directional sector is associated with a distinct and unique energy flow according to the time and space principles of classical Feng Shui.
The term double-facing home refers to a property where the current health and wealth stars of the period are located within the facing palace at the property’s frontage. Such a house type is more favorable for attracting wealth luck rather than health luck.
In a home with a “double-sitting” orientation, the current health and wealth stars are situated on the backside within the sitting palace. This house type is more inclined to bring good health luck rather than wealth luck. It is particularly suitable for elderly individuals who prioritize maintaining their well-being.
Draining Direction (Chong):
In Feng Shui, the draining or chong direction corresponds to the opposite side of each Chinese astrological sign. Each zodiac sign has its own opposing sign, which has a draining effect on a person’s energy. It is advisable to avoid sleeping, sitting, or residing in this direction. Additionally, every individual experiences their opposing times every 12 days, 12 months, and 12 years.
Eight House Types (House Kua, 8 Mansion):
The eight house types, or 8 Mansions, refer to a system that categorizes houses into eight different groups based on their sitting cardinal direction. Each group is associated with specific favorable and unfavorable sectors. The system is used to determine the person’s compatibility with the house.
EMF Radiation (Electro-Magnetic Field):
EMF stands for “Electromagnetic Field.” It alludes to the intangible energy that electrical sources like power lines, electronics, and other devices produce. In Feng Shui, excessive exposure to EMF is believed to disrupt the flow of positive energy and can have detrimental effects on health and well-being. Managing and minimizing EMF exposure is important for creating a harmonious and balanced environment.
The energy map is a visual representation of the Feng Shui flying star system, overlaid onto a floor plan like a pie chart. It begins at the central point of the home and extends in eight directions. Time and space principles are used to determine accurate energy configurations. The map includes base numbers, mountain stars (on the left side of the hyphen), and water stars (on the right side of the hyphen), forming sectional pairs that interact with one another.
The facing side refers to the front side or facade of a house or any other structure that also contains the facing sector.
Feng Shui, derived from Chinese language, combines two words: “feng,” meaning “wind,” and “shui,” meaning “water.” It is a 5000 years old ancient science that focuses on adjusting and optimizing the energy flow in the environment of the living space to achieve harmonious qi flow. It involves strategically arranging elements, forms, substances, and colors to counteract negative energy influences and amplify positive ones.
Flying Stars refers to the classical system that involves the analysis and interpretation of nine different types of star energies. These stars, representing specific qualities and influences. They fly into different sections of a home or space, impacting various aspects of life.
Feng Shui Practitioner (Consultant, Master):
A Feng Shui practitioner is an expert who has a very deep understanding of the applied and theoretical principles of the classical system. They advise clients on how to optimize their space.
A Feng Shui master is a highly skilled and experienced expert in Feng Shui. They have mastered the principles and theories and possess deep knowledge of the flow of qi and form.
Form School is a fundamental approach that focuses on analyzing the physical characteristics and natural environmental features of the area. It considers factors such as shape, layout, and design elements to assess the energy flow and its impact on the occupants’ well-being.
San He, which translates to “triple harmony” in Chinese, is an aspect of the Form School of Feng Shui that focuses on external or environmental factors. It seeks to establish harmony between the “mountain dragon” and the incoming water in relation to a structure. By analyzing the surrounding landscape, San He aims to ensure a balanced and beneficial flow of energy, optimizing the interaction between landforms and water sources for the well-being and prosperity of the occupants.
Geopathic stress refers to negative or harmful energies that are believed to emanate from the Earth’s natural or man-made features. These energetic disturbances are said to arise from underground water veins, geological fault lines, and certain electromagnetic fields. It is believed that prolonged exposure to geopathic stress can negatively affect human health and well-being.
In Feng Shui, a hexagram is a symbol consisting of six stacked horizontal lines, each of which can be either broken or unbroken. Hexagrams are derived from the ancient Chinese divination system known as the I Ching, or Book of Changes. Each hexagram represents a unique combination of yin and yang energies, along with specific meanings and interpretations.
There are 144 potential types of energy classifications for a house, which are further grouped into four main types. The determination of the house type depends on factors such as the year of construction and the compass orientation of its facing direction.
The shape of the structure itself. Square or rectangular shapes are considered the most balanced and desirable for a house, as they promote harmonious energy flow and stability. Irregular shapes may disrupt the energy and affect the well-being of the occupants.
The I-Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination system and philosophical text. It consists of a set of symbols called hexagrams, which represent various combinations of yin and yang energies and carry symbolic meanings. The I-Ching is used for gaining insight, guidance, and understanding of life’s changes and dynamics, offering wisdom and practical advice in different areas of life.
Inauspicious refers to something that is considered unfavorable, unlucky, or not conducive to positive outcomes in terms of qi flow.
Land Plot Form
Plot shape refers to the outline or configuration of a property or land. The shape of the plot has an energetic influence on the flow of qi (energy)
Luo pan (Feng Shui Compass):
The Luo Pan is a traditional Chinese compass used in Feng Shui for analyzing and determining the directions and energetic qualities of a space. It is a sophisticated tool that incorporates various rings and markings to assist practitioners in aligning and optimizing the energy flow within a given environment.
Magnetic declination refers to the difference between magnetic north and true north on the Earth’s surface. It is an important consideration in doing an accurate Feng Shui compass reading to consider the changes in time from when the structure was originally built until today.
Ming gua (Kua):
Ming Gua, also known as Kua, is a key concept that assigns individuals a specific number based on their birth year. This number helps determine favorable and unfavorable directions for various aspects.
An inauspicious period of one month, one year, or 20 years during which the energy in a house is unfavorable for financial matters. Occupants may experience difficulties earning income, which can negatively impact their overall financial luck.
Read more here: Money Lock in Feng Shui
Orientation refers to the compass direction in which a building or space faces (frontage). Often the compass reading is done here.
Out of Trigram (Borderline House):
Out of the trigram, or borderline house, refers to a situation where the compass reading falls right onto the borderline of two different cardinal directions (S3 and SW1). This indicates a very unique energetic pattern as the qi switches back and forth between these different energy fields. A very unstable environment with little to no remedies available.
The house is literally sentenced and imprisoned during this time. The occupants are more susceptible to health problems throughout the duration of this period (one month, one year, or 20 years). The energy of the house as a whole does not support matters involving health and relationships.
Read more here: People Lock in Feng Shui
Feng Shui periods are divided into nine cycles, or yun, each lasting 20 years, with a grand cycle spanning 180 years. In 2024, Period 9 begins, marking a significant shift in energetic influences. Practitioners rely on the correct period calculation to accurately analyze and interpret the energy chart for a home.
A poison arrow in Feng Shui refers to low-vibrational air currents formed around sharp edges and corners due to the swirling qi circulation. Yin energy travels along walls and larger surfaces, creating interactions that generate the poison arrow effect.
This term describes the projection of negative sha qi into open spaces originating from these interactions. Mainly, sharp edges and protruding corners of internal or external structural features generate these harsh energy bundles. As it disrupts the flow of favorable energy, it can have adverse effects on the occupants.
Remedy (Cure, Adjustment, Enhancement):
In Feng Shui, a “cure” refers to a specific remedy or technique used to address and mitigate negative or unfavorable energies in a space. Cures are applied to neutralize or redirect the flow of energy and promote a more harmonious and balanced environment.
Reversed House type:
A reversed house type is classified as a home that has undermining energy that corrupts the health and wealth luck of its residents.
Sha Qi refers to negative or harmful energy. It can be caused by various factors, such as sharp corners, clutter, or unfavorable environmental features.The main goal of Feng Shui is to neutralize or avoid this form of energy.
Sheng Qi represents positive and auspicious energy. It refers to the vibrant and harmonious flow of energy that supports well-being, prosperity, and positive outcomes. Enhancing and activating sheng qi is a key goal in Feng Shui practices to create a favorable and thriving environment.
The sitting side refers to the back side of a building and is often called the “spine or support” for the whole building.
Sui Po refers to the direction associated with the Year Breaker, an energy that changes annually. It is considered inauspicious and should not be disturbed or activated in Feng Shui practices. Awareness of the Sui Po direction is important to avoid potential negative consequences and ensure a harmonious environment.
Structural flaws refer to physical imperfections or issues within a dwelling that disrupt the flow of energy and impact overall balance. These defects can include structural instability, poor layout, or design elements that hinder positive energy flow. The most famous flaw is described as the “money-in, money-out” one, where the front door and backside window or door are in direct alignment.
Symbolism refers to the use of lucky objects, colors, and images to represent and attract good fortune. Cultural symbolism plays a significant role in many households across the world. As Feng Shui is mainly concerned with the flow of qi, cultural symbolism is not part of it and can be seen and included as a complimentary field.
Tai Sui refers to the Grand Duke, Jupiter, or the governing energy direction where any construction or remodeling work for the year should be avoided. It is considered a powerful and influential force that should be respected and appeased.
Trigram refers to a three-line symbol composed of solid and broken lines, representing different combinations of yin and yang energy. They are fundamental elements used for divination, analyzing energy patterns. The eight trigrams are each associated with a specific cardinal direction, family member, and body part.
Wealth Direction (personal, Lu Cun)
The personal money or wealth direction, derived from the 10-stem in Chinese astrology, is a unique cardinal direction that is supportive of financial luck. It can also be identified and used in conjunction with the Chinese calendar to determine auspicious days for lucky financial matters, such as making important financial decisions or conducting money-related activities.
Wang Shan Wang Shui:
Wang Shan Wang Shui is a Chinese phrase that translates to “Prosperous Mountain, Prosperous Water.” It signifies that the house is very supportive of the accumulation of abundance, wealth, and health. Depending on external features and layout considerations, the best house type in Feng Shui.
The Yin-Yang Theory is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and Feng Shui that represents the duality and interdependence of opposite forces. It states that everything in the universe consists of complementary and interconnected energies: yin (passive, dark, feminine) and yang (active, bright, masculine). The balance and interaction of yin and yang are essential for harmony, equilibrium, and the flow of energy in all aspects of life and the environment.
Qi (or ch’i):
Chi or Qi is a fundamental concept in Feng Shui, referring to the vital life force or energy that permeates everything in the universe. It is the invisible and dynamic energy that flows through our bodies, environments, and all living things. The quality and balance of chi play a significant role in creating harmony, prosperity, and well-being. By understanding and optimizing the flow of chi, we can create a more beneficial surrounding inside the living or work space.