Lachlan Cornell

In English, Feng Shui literally translates into ‘wind water’ – Feng (wind) and Shui (water). Feng Shui originated in China over 6000 years ago and could be described as a practical philosophy. It’s an ancient method of designing and creating spaces that allow for the natural follow of Qi (natural energy) within a space. It involves layout, framework, colours and materials of buildings and interiors.

The history of Feng Shui aligns closely with the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism and explains a lot about the success of the Chinese Empire and aesthetically beautiful structures built throughout the dynasties.

The history

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In ancient China, farms and villages were auspiciously placed within the protective folds of mountains, shielded from harmful winds and nurtured by the gentle, winding streams. The people who practised these principles prospered in agriculture and trade and grew strong and powerful. They produced social, cultural and military leaders, unlike their neighbours who were exposed to harsh winds and inhospitable terrain.

The art of Feng Shui was refined over many centuries, producing an abundance of learned scholars. Traditionally, Feng Shui was considered a highly guarded secret of the Chinese Imperial Court. All Feng Shui Masters were forbidden to release their potentially powerful knowledge to outsiders. Consequently, knowledge was handed down from father to son within family traditions. The turbulent history of China has only helped to reinforce this tendency and this secrecy often continues, even today.

Insight from a modern-day practitioner

The wonderful thing about so many ancient Chinese philosophies and wisdom is that it is truly timeless. 6000 years on and in 2019 there are still people emulating these values, trying to enrich their lives and the lives of others while respecting the natural environment we are all home to.

Kate Thompson is a qualified Feng Shui practitioner, working with clients in around the Northern Rivers. I asked her a few questions about Feng Shui and her experiences with it.

1. What is your experience with feng shui?

I completed a Certificate IV in Feng Shui with the Australian College of Environmental Studies some years ago, and in my business, Your Perfect Space, I have worked for several years as a consultant and practitioner of Feng Shui.

Before studying, I’d had an avid interest in Feng Shui and the flow of energy and placement of objects (furniture, artworks, ornaments etc) in houses, and how that flow of energy affects people. 

2. What do you feel it provides for the clients?

Your home is basically a reflection of what’s going on in your external life, and in your physical and emotional self. 

Mapping a client’s home gives a very detailed view of which areas of their lives are strong and healthy, and which areas are throwing up challenges. So I can look at someone’s house and give them a diagnosis about what’s going on in their lives, and some ideas and suggestions about how they can start to transform that energy.  

I feel the major benefits of this are that it brings awareness to things they have either had a blind spot around or that they’ve been avoiding dealing with. For beneficial changes to actually be made, they often need to do some inner work.  

3. Can it be taught/learnt or on some level do you have to innately understand it?

Feng Shui actually deals with mathematics and science at its core. You actually create a chart based on the floorplan of a house, so you can tell a lot about it without even being there.  In this way, anyone can learn how to work with Feng Shui, but in order to be really effective, you need to hone your intuition and learn to feel and read the energy flow of all physical places, not just rely on the physical map of a house.

Anything else you think is beneficial?

Probably the main thing I have come to realise over my years of working as a practitioner, is that if people are not willing to change their inner landscape, they either won’t make the necessary changes in their home or workplace for it to reflect on their lives, or the changes they make will be less effective.

Lachlan Cornell
Freelance Writer