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Origins of Feng Shui


Feng shui was actually first coined to orient the house of the dead (burial grounds) than the living (Book of Burial quoted in Field, 1998.) Feng shui is commonly translated as wind-water in English but a more in depth explanation of it is - that which scatters the wind and which catches the water. Actually that’s the mountain and the river in olden days’ context. So if we are to interpret it, the cemeteries are ideally placed between the river and the mountain.

Dr. Stephen Field (1998) explains further that qi is also a part of Feng shui. Qi is”energy” in common language. He goes on to create the word “qimancy” inspired by the word geomancy. Qimancy is “the art and science of feng shui, or divination according to qi.” For him Feng shui is the blocking of energy and then storing it. Now that would make sense for us modern day readers!

Certain factors are involved in qimancy - orientation (of homes or cemeteries), directions, astronomy, and geology. If we are to analyze it, it has grown into a discipline with many aspects like that of medicine.


Field, S. (1998). Qimancy The Art and Science of Feng Shui. Retrieved from