Principles of Feng Shui
One of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui is Yin and Yang. It is a representation of balance and continual change. Yin and Yang is a foundation theory for Feng Shui that supports its other theories such as the Five Elements theory which will be discussed later in this section.
“Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance. The opposites flow in a natural cycle always replacing the other. Just as the seasons cycle and create a time of heat and cold, Yin and Yang cycles through active and passive, dark and light, etc." 3
Yin and yang cannot survive without one another for they are mutually dependant opposites. The concept of duality, the principle that things have two states, is the root of Yin and Yang. Most other religions believe in duality where one state dominates over the other as in “good over evil.” The Chinese believe that equilibrium between the two is most desirable.
Yin is most often described as the female while Yang is the male. Other comparisons are as follows:
“When looking at the list of opposites note that many of them flow into and out of each other. They are not really opposites. Rather, they are the same concepts under different circumstances.” 2
The Five Elements Theory
The five elements are fire, water, metal, earth and wood. The five elements interact in numerous ways. They can interact in a constructive or destructive manner.
In the constructive cycle water is a source of moisture for wood (trees) to grow, wood is a source of fuel for fire, the remnants of fire is ash (soil) of the earth, the earth forms metals, and metal allows moisture (water) to condense on it as it cools. In the destructive cycle, water extinguishes the flames of fire, fire melts metal, metal cuts through wood, and wood controls the earth by over growing it.
As in all elements of Feng Shui a balance is must always be present. When positioning furniture and other objects in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, one uses a compass or a bagua to place the correct element in the correct direction.
“The bagua can be superimposed over a diagram of your home, office, room, desk and used as a guide. The bagua provides location specific areas for all of the aspects of your life. Enhancing a specific area might lead to an improvement in that area of your life.” 4
Area that needs particular attention can also be identified by the use of the bagua. Disorganization in the north area of a living space might indicate that a person is being overcome by their career.