Feng Shui: What It Is & Is Not- Part 1

June 17, 2018

Feng Shui is the Chinese art of crafting balanced conditions within an individual’s surroundings.  All approaches of feng shui are based on the concept that the environment controls all living entities in the universe.  The goal of feng shui is to harness and augment the ch’i/qi (pronounced “chee”) or energy of the environment.   Furthermore, it affects our minds and bodies, thereby improving our life and future.  Feng Shui is made of many components, some we will simply name, some we will leave out, and some we will explain with as much brevity as possible.  It is more than the sum of its parts: it evokes in us a new way of viewing our living spaces as a fundamental part of lives.


Ch’i is defined as the cosmic breath, the human spirit, or energy.  Ch’i is the most essential feature of life.  Human ch’i determines our movements, physical characteristics and personality traits.  This does not discount the biological explanations about the brain signaling muscles to move our joints and bodies.  We all understand and accept that.  Feng shui views ch’i as the spirit within all people.  It flows through our entire bodies like blood nourishing each portion, and allowing us good health and destiny.  It controls how we affect others in society and our immediate surroundings.  While our bodies are continuously regenerating cells, our ch’i, or our essence essentially remains the same.

Atmospheric Ch'i
Earth Ch'i

Human Ch'i
There are different types of ch’i: a kind circulates the earth, a form that circulates in the atmosphere, and a type that circulates in our own bodies.  Each of us possesses ch’i, yet its characteristics and the way in which it moves is different within each of us.  Ch’i is indispensable in preserving physical, environmental and emotional balance.  The purpose of feng shui is to employ and boost environmental ch’i to improve the movement of ch’i within our bodies, thus improving our life and providence.

The Ba-gua/Pakua/Ba-kua

Thanks to Brenni Larson for this version of the Ba-gua.
The term Ba-gua means eight areas.  There are actually nine when you add the center area: health. It is a map that you can lay atop any plot of land, a house, a business, a piece of furniture, and more.  It's octagon in shape (although you’ll sometimes see it drawn as a rectangle as it better matches the architecture of our buildings) and divided into 8 sections that include: family, wealth, reputation, partnership, children, helpful people & travel, career and knowledge.  Feng shui practitioners utilize the Ba-gua to analyze and remedy an individual’s problems in life. If you’re having money problems we look to the Wealth gua for difficulties and their solutions.  We look at the partnership gua when one desires a mate or is having marital trouble. One means of improving one’s fate is to utilize this important tool.

My Story

I started exploring feng shui in 2000, when I watched a PBS program on its powers.  My local library had only 3 books on the subject at that time.  I brought them home, and that was the beginning of my journey into a deeper and richer understanding of feng shui.  When I’d completed my initial training, I decided to transform the family gua of my home. My sister and I had been having difficulties getting along, although we’d been closer than best friends our whole lives.  Hours after I’d finished the redecorating, she phoned me- it was apparent from that moment on that the energy had been shifted, and all was again well with our relationship.  Coincidentally, it helped some another strained relationship with a family member, too!  

In 2005, I left teaching and went back to school to get my interior design training.  Transformations for Interiors is the result of my combining the Eastern philosophy of feng shui with Western interior design.

A Feng Shui Consultation:

If you think you might benefit from a feng shui consultation, give us a call.  Consultations usually take two or more hours of uninterrupted time in your home or office, and accommodate both of our schedules. Transformations for Interiors is located in Seattle and serves the greater Puget Sound area.  

In conclusion:

What comments, thoughts, or questions do you have for us?  We’d love to hear from you!  Overwhelmed by all of this?  Send us an email or give us a call.

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