Brief History of Feng Shui

History of Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of utilizing certain so-called laws governing the heavens and earth that can improve through what is called having positive Qi. Feng Shui history is an ancient one and covers over 3,500 years. It is even older than the invention of the magnetic compass. The main portion of its origins may stem from ancient astronomy.

The astronomical history of Feng Shui is evident in the ancient instruments that were developed in its practice. The earliest known Feng Shui instrument may have been what is known as the gnomon. This instrument was used along with trying to circumpolar the stars in order to determine the north and south axis. This was basically used in laying down early Chinese settlements.

The ancient Yangshao and Hongshan cultures in China provide the earliest evidence of the practice of feng shui. As early as 4000 BCE, doors from Banpo dwellings were aligned to the star called Yingshi just right after the winter solstice. This allowed the homes to be sited for better solar gain. During the Zhou era, the star Yingshi was known as Ding and had a great influence in trying to determine the appropriate time to build their capital city. This is according to records on the Shijing.

Another example of the practice of ancient feng shui can also be found from the grave at Puyang that dates back to about 3000 BCE. This particular grave contains mosaics of the stars called Dragon and Tiger along with the Beidou, known in the Western world as the Big Dipper constellation. The mosaics seem to be oriented along the north to south axis. The presence of round and square shapes were also found at the Puyang tomb as well as at the Hongshan cultural ceremonial centres and the former Longshan settlement. This evidence suggests that the practice of gaitian astronomy (belief in a round earth and a square earth) was already present in the ancient Chinese society.

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