Feng Shui for Beginners: A Brief Guide to get you started

I often am asked to explain what Feng Shui is and how it is beneficial to my clients and their families. To help better understand the benefits of Feng Shui, I’ve put together this overview of Feng Shui for beginners. I’ve also included a few ways to apply Feng Shui principles and practices in your life easily.

What Does Feng Shui mean?

The ancient art of Feng Shui is a practice that has been around for more than 5000 years and one that is still incredibly relevant today. It can be applied at Home, in Business, and even in Real Estate.

Feng Shui for Beginners – Let’s start at the beginning. Feng Shui translates to “wind and water.” Pronounced fung shway, it’s the ancient Chinese art form of placement. Ultimately, what Feng Shui does is promote the flow and movement of good energy, or Chi (sometimes written as Qi), in the space that you occupy. It does this in several different ways (see below). But Feng Shui is not just about where you place your sofa or bed. Feng Shui works to create balance in all areas of your life, including Health, Wealth, Career and Relationships.

It might seem magical and mystical, but the effects of Feng Shui are proven to work. Studies show that using Feng Shui’s principles to rearrange your office or bedroom has resulted in greater productivity and better sleep patterns.

It’s important to note that there are different schools of Feng Shui. As a Classical Feng Shui Consultant, I focus on the more traditional principles of this art form.

Feng Shui for beginners

Feng Shui for Beginners

How Feng Shui works

The main aim of Feng Shui is to balance Chi using the five elements – Fire, Wood, Water, Metal and Earth – and colour schemes.

As a Feng Shui Consultant, I provide my clients with advice and guidance about arranging their space, placing these elements, and incorporating colour to promote energy flow.

You may be wondering why we often feel a direct connection to our Homes and possessions and why you can sense when changes have been made.

It’s because the same energy we have in our Homes is also inside of us.

In short, how we decorate and layout our Home can have an immediate and distinct effect on every aspect of our lives.

The Five Elements of Feng Shui

Where and how the five elements interact in your home will affect the flow of Chi and influence your wellbeing. Here is a quick overview of the characteristics and associations of each element:

Element #1: Fire

  • The element of heat, summer, and enthusiasm; nature at its peak of growth, and warmth in human relationships
  • Represented by the colour red and a pointed, triangled shape
  • Associated with dynamic, energetic, passionate, enterprising energies due to its upward motion

Element #2: Wood

  • The element of spring; the creative urge to achieve
  • Represented by the colour green and a rectangle shape
  • Associated with the capacity to look forward, plan and make decisions, hence growth and expansion

Element #3: Water

  • The ultimate yin; quiet, cold; representing the resting time of winter
  • Governs the balance between fear of being exploited and the desire to dominate
  • Represented by the colour black/ blue and a wave-like shape

Element #4: Metal

  • The force of gravity, the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the heavenly bodies and the powers of electrical conductivity and magnetism
  • Energy is consolidating and with inward movements, like a flower closing its petals
  • Represented by the colour white, gray and metallic shades and round shapes

Element #5: Earth

  • The element of harvest time, abundance, nourishment, fertility
  • Regarded as central to balance and the place where energy becomes downward in movement, a change of seasons
  • Represented by the colour yellow and a square shape, Earth’s motion is patient, reliable, logical, governed by service and duty to others.

To work out the best places for these elements in your home in Classical Feng Shui, creating an energy map of the space is essential. This map, called a Bagua, defines the eight areas of your home, with each area being responsible for influencing a particular area of your life.

The Bagua Areas of Feng Shui

The eight Bagua areas each relate to an area of your life and wellbeing. They also link to one of the five elements.

  • South – Fame and Reputation
  • Southwest – Love and Marriage
  • West – Children, Creativity and New Beginnings
  • Northwest – Helpful people and Travel
  • North – Career and Life’s Journey
  • Northeast – Knowledge, Wisdom and Meditation
  • East – Family and Community
  • Southeast – Wealth and Prosperity

The compass direction of your front door defines where each of these areas fall in your home (for example, if your door is facing west, your energy will focus on Children, Creativity, and New Beginnings). By discovering where each room of your home falls on the Bagua, you can place the elements accordingly and add supporting colour schemes to enhance the flow of Chi.

How Colour Schemes Affects Feng Shui

The use of colour in Feng Shui is significant, particularly when you realize that colour itself is how we perceive different light waves. Light is also energy, as with everything else. This means colour is also energy and has a significant effect on our wellbeing, just as the elements do. In Feng Shui, different colours carry different types of energy and interact with the five elements. Specific colours work best with each of the elements (for example, white with Metal and black for Water) and, in turn, the different Bagua areas based on the Compass calculation (the actual, magnetic and compass direction (course, bearing) by a given direction, magnetic declination and deviation).

Decluttering and Feng Shui

One of the critical aspects of Feng Shui is the placement and position of items around your Home. This is something that has been well popularised over the years. It’ll also be the first thing that most people will think of when learning about Feng Shui. Yes, it’s worth knowing certain things, but the quickest and most straightforward advice I could offer to a beginner is this – declutter your space. It’s the first, most crucial step you can take towards introducing good energy flow through your living space. When you’re ready to place the elements and colour schemes according to your Feng Shui study, the area will be prepared to receive the positive energy.

I hope you’ve found this simple explanation of the art of Feng Shui helpful. If you’d like to delve deeper and find out how Feng Shui can specifically help you and your wellbeing, I encourage you to book a complementary 20-minute Discovery Call by clicking HERE.


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