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Fundamental to Feng Shui is the Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang — that all things are interdependent and are in harmony, balance, and constant change. Yin and yang are two opposite, but equal forces. In your home, Yin refers to the quiet or inactive areas of a room without doors, entrances, windows, or openings of any kind. Yang represents the active areas where there is potential for movement from these openings.

In Feng Shui, the house is an extension of the body. The roof is the spine or backbone of the structure. The living room is the heart; the bedroom is the lungs; the dining room is the stomach. Remodeling an existing structure can upset the balance and harmony of the home. Even adding skylights can disrupt the flow of energy.

Feng Shui: Fad or Selling Tool for homeowners
Over the past decade, Realtors, particularly those representing Asian clients, have become familiar with the term Feng Shui - the ancient Chinese art of placement and design. Feng Shui, (pronounced "fung shwoy") which literally means wind and water, is the art of creating an environment of harmony and balance, both inside and out. It has been practiced for thousands of years in China and is rapidly gaining recognition in western culture as a tool for creating the ideal living and working environment.

Feng Shui Principles
The ancient Chinese sought to explain the visible and invisible forces on the earth and the mysterious influences of these forces on human behavior. They understood that every living thing, including a house, has its own Qi, (pronounced "chee") or vital energy that must be protected and nurtured to promote continuous growth. This mythical blend of science and art follows the philosophy that each room in a house has its own unique Qi centre that determines the areas of good or bad energies. Many believe that a life filled with peacefulness and harmony will follow if the Feng Shui principles are applied to one's environment.

Feng Shui Practitioners
Some homeowners have recruited Feng Shui practitioners to assist them in creating a positive home environment. But one should be cautious and pay particular attention to the practitioner's credentials before hiring. The resurgence of using Fen Shui has generated misconceptions and misuse. Some people claim to be experts after only one weekend workshop. Others claim to provide cures to "bad" Feng Shui by prescribing mirrors, crystals, chimes or stones. So, be discerning. Qualified practitioners use only the five basic elemental forces of wood, fire, earth, metal and water to bring a place into an energetic balance.

When making recommendations, practitioners will first review the location and orientation of the house. Next, the practitioner will determine the nature of the Qi or energy in the home, taking into account the location of entrance, the bedrooms and other key areas. Paint colours, environmental influences and characteristics of the individuals living in the home are also considered in the evaluation.

While a Feng Shui analysis of a home requires careful calculations of over sixty factors, some fundamental knowledge can be helpful.

The External Environment:

  • "Mountains surround and water embraces." The best position is to have mountains behind the house protecting it with a river running in front for prosperity. Flowing water represents wealth.
  • Buildings should be constructed on high ground, rather than a valley.
  • Avoid sharp and pointed objects facing the front door --such as, telephone polls, tree trunks, mountains, high rise buildings or a church steeple. These objects can cast shadows over the roof of the house and are called "secret arrows." They have the affect of cutting the house in half.
  • Cul-de-sacs and dead end roads create stagnant Qi. The energy flows in, but has no place to go.

The Interior Environment

  • Symbolically, the front door brings in the Qi and must be given careful attention. There should be a winding path to the main entrance similar to a meandering stream. The foyer should be clear, open and without clutter or debris.
  • The front door should not be directly aligned with the back door or window (allowing the Qi to leak). Many recommend a screen or plant be placed in its path to reserved the Qi.
  • Doors should not form a knife’s edge by swing in and slicing the bed, desk, or sofa.
  • Staircases that are directly aligned with the main entrance will bring conflict and financial instability to the occupants of the house.
  • The kitchen should not be in the centre of house or too close to the entry. Having the sink and stove opposite one another promotes marital conflict.
  • "Heart-blocking pillars" or columns in the centre of a room can cause conflict. Roof beams are equated to dangerous swords lurking above.