Basic Principles behind Feng Shui

Understand Feng Shui at even a basic level and begin to organize your environment accordingly and you will soon start seeing positive results. Feng Shui is extensively used in both homes and offices all over the world, particularly in China and South East Asia (and increasingly in the West) because of this. Appropriate use of colors, materials, and objects according to Feng Shui principles can improve the energy flow in your home or office, encouraging healthy activity and improved fortune.

The Basic Principles Behind Feng Shui

Feng Shui Principles are and always have been an important, even integral, feature in the design, construction and location of buildings in China. If you are in the process of changing your location, you should consider these principles when evaluating or compare potential sites.

The South and Fire

Fire is Associated With the South Sector of Rooms and Dwellings and the Red Bird. Objects and motifs for design and placement include: candles, lamps, incense, heating appliances, fireplaces, stoves, sun-bursts and Sun images generally, animals, birds, children, wool, leather goods, feathers; pictures of fire, people, and animals.

Ideally, the main living room or working area and entrance should face South. This is the location of the ‘Red Bird,’ the Sun at its mid-day height and the direction of maximum light and warmth. A large window and a clear Southern aspect can help produce a welcoming ‘Ming Tang’ or ‘Bright Hall’ effect.

North and Water

Water is Associated with the North-West Sector of Rooms and Dwellings and the Black Warrior. Objects and motifs for design and placement include glass, stained glass, crystal, aquaria, seascapes roads, lakes, and waterfalls.

The intriguing composite symbol comprising a snake coiled around a tortoise called the ‘Black Warrior’ represents Feng Shui goals in this direction. Cold Northerly winds spring from here and the steep hills behind you, providing shelter (the tortoise) can make a real difference, particularly in Winter. North-facing windows and doors should be much smaller to reduce the effects of such inclement weather.

West and Metal

Metal is Associated With the North-West and West of Dwellings and the White Tiger. Objects and motifs for ideal design and placement include metal objects, mirrors, quartz crystals and diamonds, bells, coins/money, swords, jewelry made of precious metals, pictures of metal objects.

Lower and gently rising hills here help shelter buildings from the ‘White Tiger’ the powerful Westerlies sweeping in (in the case of the U.K) from the Atlantic Ocean and (in China) from the Himalayas. This can be an ideal location for out-buildings and garages.

East and Wood

Wood is Associated with the East and South-East Sectors of Rooms and Dwellings and the Green Dragon. Objects and motifs for design and placement include Chinese (not Western) dragons, flowers, plants, trees, wood furniture, wood crafts, wicker chairs, rattan mats, cloth, paper, and paintings depicting nature.

Other hills, slightly higher than those in the West, covered with growing things, represents an ideal Green Dragon location.


You can apply these basic principles behind Feng Shui to your choice of home location, garden-layout and most famously to your house, flat or room’s interior. The interior of dwellings contains furniture and objects directly linked to these. Similarly, their colors and of the interior’s decoration in general (including paint-work, carpets, curtains, and wall-paper) can be related to the basic elements and organized to facilitate a beneficial and healthy Qi-flow throughout.


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