The origin of Feng Shui and how it got its name

As you may have gathered, the Feng Shui I write about is not the potentially lucrative kind where you need to buy a book every year to figure out your fortune. And, for better or worse, it’s not the kind of Feng Shui that tells you to buy another piece of jade so your qi can run smooth. Instead, I write about the Feng Shui that has no price.

The reason it has no price is because you cannot buy or sell a timeless process. This process of which I write is the art of drawing nature’s stillness into your heart. This is a Feng Shui for everyone, not just those who can afford it.

I have no problem with the commodification of popular culture. For example, I have a lucky cat in my kitchen and another on my key ring, both gifts. My favourite calendar is the one from the Chinese herb wholesaler that prints your birth animal’s yearly horoscope (I’m a Metal Dog). These bits of popular culture bring great joy in my everyday life, but I do not consider them to contribute in any meaningful way to the core of Feng Shui.

The origin of Feng Shui

For the origin of Feng Shui lies in a series of profound observations of man’s relationship with nature. A brief description of this relationship can be found in my book, Naja Li’s Guide to Talking to Trees. This relationship is described by a Yin / Yang dialectic and this is why Feng Shui is known by a name that has two parts. For the term Feng Shui (literally wind water) represents a fundamental relationship between wind (Yang, nature) and water (Yin, man).

Somewhere along the line this understanding was lost. Exactly how much it has been lost can be seen by the fact that Feng Shui is now dominated by Five Element theory. For readers who are unfamiliar, Five Element theory refers to the elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood as the symbolic constituents of nature. You can see how this theory might have become popular for, as well as having a strong basis in ancient Chinese literature, it has an intuitive appeal. Indeed Five Element theory is so popular that, in a rather unfortunate turn of events, it even came to dominate Traditional Chinese Medicine.

However the problem is that these five elements belong to nature – and not to man. For the number of man is four, not five. The Feng Shui of which I write is entirely incompatible with any system that does not acknowledge the complete separation of man and nature.

Man as distinct from nature

This knowledge of the relationship between man and nature has been lost and with it the viewpoint that man is fundamentally not part of nature. For the entire proposition of Feng Shui rests on this realisation that we, people, are different. That our nature, our very selves, is distinct from the created order that is the natural world. For this understanding is required for the process through which we draw the stillness of nature into our heart, the key observation of Feng Shui. To read about why this separation is required to understand Feng Shui, please read the continuation of this article, What is the point of Feng Shui?

Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you have enjoyed this article. You may have noticed that what is offered on this site is strikingly different to other theories. Since my perspective also differs from that of my Melbourne teacher, I feel the need to explain that I only present teachings obtained through the gift of clairaudience. Why the teachings differ is a matter for historians; it is simply my task to offer you Li, a Feng Shui for everyone.

Wishing you Health and Happiness,


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