‘Chi’ is a subtle flow of electromagnetic energy which links all things in the universe. In the Far East the understanding and control of energy flows underlies traditional healing systems such as acupuncture and Shiatsu as well as martial arts like Tai Chi, Qi Kong and Aikido. The energy has several names. In China it is called Chi, in Japan it is known as Ki (also spelt Qi) and in India Prana. There are no specific words for it in the West, although expressions such as ‘atmosphere’, ‘mood’, ‘life-force’ or ‘spirit’ describe how it is perceived. In this book it is referred to as chi energy. Chi is central to Eastern astrology and Feng Shui.
Chi stays mainly within entities such as human bodies, plants or buildings, but some of it constantly flows out and some flows in from other sources. You own personal chi energy is always mixing with the chi energy around you. In this way you are connected to the immediate environment, and ultimately to the whole universe, as ripples of chi energy from far away reach you and you send ripples back again. Exceptionally sensitive people may be able to pick up advance information from these distant sources in the form of premonitions, visions or telepathy.
WIND AND WATER - The flow of chi energy from one entity to another is the basis of Feng Shui. The chi energy you take in from your environment influences your moods, emotions, physical energy and, over time, your health. Chi energy is carried through the environment by wind, water, the sun’s energy, light and sound. It moves in a similar way to these natural phenomena except that, unlike some of them, it is able to flow through solid matter. It flows in and out of buildings mainly through the doors and windows, but come chi can enter and leave through the walls. It moves like water ebbing and flowing with the tides, and like wind moving around the Earth. The basic aim of Feng Shui is to enable you to position yourself where this natural flow of chi energy helps you to realize your goals and your dreams in life.
UNIVERSAL CHI - Chi energy flows not only throughout our planet, but through the entire solar system and galaxy. Our own planet, Earth, radiates chi energy that flows out and away from the planet. This appears to us as chi energy moving upwards and is called Earth’s force. At the same time, the planets surrounding Earth radiates chi energy which travels towards and into the Earth. This appears to us to move downwards and is known as Heaven’s force. So the movement of chi energy on the surface of the Earth, and therefore in our homes and in our own bodies, in influenced by the Earth itself and the surroundings planets. As the position of the Earth, Sun and planets change, so does the movement of chi energy, which in turn affects our own flow of chi energy.
As Heaven’s chi reaches Earth its movement is altered by the landscape (hills, mountains, rivers), vegetation (trees, crops, grasses, bushes) and the ground itself (rocks, clay, soil, chalk). As Earth’s force and Heaven’s force mix across the surface of the planet, various unique flows of chi energy begin to develop. The same is true of buildings in a city. Low flat dwellings, skyscrapers, pointed roofs, domes and tree-lined avenues all determines how chi energy flows across the surface, and roads, railways, offices, factories, homes , entertainment centers, churches, graveyards and hospitals all have an influence on the nature of that energy.
CHI IN BULDINGS - Buildings alter the flow of chi energy. Their shape, openings and the materials they are made of define the way chi energy flows through them. It moves most easily through doors and to a lesser extent through windows, so the orientation of a building to the sun and planets will determine the kind of chi energy that enters it. These changes as the planets move through the sky, so there is a new pattern of chi energy each year, month, day and hour. Features of the immediate surroundings, such as water or roads, further determine the kind of chi energy that flows back and forth through the doors of the building. In an ideal situation chi energy flows harmoniously through the whole of a building. The design and interior decorations should enhance the kind of chi energy that furthers the aims and desires of the occupants and should exclude or minimize features that hinder them.
UNFAVORABLE CHI ENERGIES - Some situations produce unhelpful types of chi, causing problems for a building’s occupants , and even physical or mental ill-health.
NEGATIVE CHI - Certain building or decorating materials have a negative effect on chi energy: synthetic fibers, synthetic building materials, artificial lighting and air conditioning all add their own artificial chi energy, which negatively influences the chi energy of the occupants, and could lead to mental and physical exhaustion.
STAGNANT CHI - Slow-moving and stagnant chi energy is produced by dark corners, cluttered rooms and dampness. They can lead to a slowing down of your own chi energy, which may cause serious health problems and a loss of direction in your life.
FAST – FLOWING CHI - Chi energy moving quickly in a straight line can destabilize the flow through a entire building, so long corridors, straight paths or several features in a straight line should be avoided. Fast-moving chi energy directed towards you could push away some of your own chi energy, making you feel insecure and under attach. (See also Cutting Chi below.)
CUTTING CHI - If chi energy passes a sharp corner it begins to spin and swirl, forming eddies and whirlpools like a fast-flowing stream passing a sharp bend. This is called cutting chi and can occur inside or outside buildings. It can make you own chi energy swirl, leading to disorientation and confusion and, in time, ill-health. Plants and fabrics can be used to ‘soften’ sharp edges.
PERSONAL CHI - Along the center of the body are seven concentrations of energy, called chakras, which are similar to large organs where blood concentrates. Spreading out from the chakras are 14 paths of chi energy known as meridians. These flow along your arms, legs, torso and head. Like blood vessels and capillaries, they take chi energy to smaller and smaller channels until each cell is nourished by both blood and chi energy.
While blood carries oxygen and nutrients, chi energy carries thoughts, emotions and your dreams in life. It also carries some of the chi energy from the environment. Therefore, what you think and where you think it, will have a direct influence on the cells in your body.
Chi energy operates as a two-way proves whereby the way you think influences your chi energy, and your chi energy influences the way you think; so your environment will influence your chi energy and that change will alter the way you think and feel.
Like trees planted in the best soil for their needs, we also thrive if we are planted in an environment that has the most appropriate chi energy. By moving from one building to another, one city to another or one country to another, you have the opportunity to change your own chi energy and therefore they way you think and feel. If the chi energy of the place where you live matches the chi energy you require for happiness, then it will have a very positive influence in your life. Unfortunately, it is also possible that your home may work against you, and the chi energy of come places could negatively affect your well-being.
Many factors affect the chi energy that comes into your body – among these are food, weather and the people you are with. In Feng Shui terms, the primary influence is the chi energy of the environment. This includes your home , your place of work and the surrounding landscape. A building itself has an influence. Being in a large ornate building such as a museum or cathedral can be inspiring, exciting and stimulating, whereas a small cozy place such as a cottage or bar is more relaxing and intimate. A building’s location also helps shape the kind of chi that enters your body, as different landscapes have different kinds of chi.