Feng Shui originated in China approximately 6,000 years ago. Feng Shui involves the arrangement of objects in relation to the flow of Qi (Chi, 氣) “natural energy” to bring about happiness, abundance and harmony. Literally, Feng Shui translates to “wind” (Feng) and “water” (Shui).
There are many types of Feng Shui, however this post will describe one of the original forms called “Compass School”. This form uses “Patterns of Chi” which involves the use of a compass, hence the name.
Feng Shui uses the 8 directions of the compass represented by the 8 outer squares with the center square represents the center of your life.
Each compass direction has certain colors and elements associated with it: earth, water, wood, metal or fire (The 5 Elements). These colors and elements are used in the design to balance and harmonize the garden. Each of these areas is called a “gua” in Chinese. “Ba” means eight, therefore the “Bagua” means 8 areas.
Feng Shui is a concept you don’t learn in one reading. Mastery of the craft can take years of learning. However, the chart (or following verbiage) can give you a great start to the structure of your Feng Shui garden or spruce-up your current one. There are a variety of tools available in Feng Shui to unblock energy and balance the garden (and your life). So, if you feel you need some help in a certain area of your life, accent that specific qua.
Color adds emotional, physiological and social content to our lives. We associate certain things with color, such as holidays, events and emotions. In Feng Shui, color is primarily used to correspond and balance The 5 Elements.
Natural lighting is a simple way to bring more chi into your garden. Clearly, the most natural of light is sunlight and moonlight, which the garden has in spades. However, to supplement at night, use full-spectrum landscape lighting or fireplaces/pits work also.
Sound creates a strong connection to our natural environment. Attracting birds and other friendly wildlife can create a flurry of noises. Water features such as fountains and ponds will stimulate the movement of chi in and around your garden.
Any type of art can enhance chi. The selection and placement of art depends on what area of the bagua (8 areas) you need to activate. Your choice of art should reflect your specific tastes and relate positive images and feelings. Try to patch the art’s material with the element of the qua.
Plants and objects that utilize the wind such as grasses, large-leafed trees, wind chimes, mobiles and weather vanes attract chi into your garden.
How to enhance the 8 squares of the bagua:
Energy: This area represents your career or your path in life
Color: Blue or black
Type of adornment: Natural stone features or rocks with water
Energy: Corresponds to your personal, spiritual and educational growth
Color: Yellow, brown, pink (other earthy tones)
Type of adornment: Bench to practice mindfulness or a Zen garden
Energy: Symbolizes the family and your health
Type of adornment: Anything made from wood
Energy: Represents wealth and opportunity in your life
Color: Purple, green, red, blue and gold
Type of adornment: Wooden garden art or wood pile for burning
Energy: Symbolizes fame, success and recognition
Type of adornment: A BBQ, fire pit or candles
Energy: Brings love, relationships or peace
Color: Brown, white, pink, yellow, red
Type of adornment: Patio with table for dining
Energy: Is for creativity and dreaming
Color: White, silver, gray or copper
Type of adornment: Jungle-gym, yoga/work-out spot or art area
Energy: Corresponds to travel and helping people
Color: Gray, white, black, anything metallic in color
Type of adornment: Sitting area for family and friends