By: Grace Schneider
Feng shui is the Chinese art of placing elements within a house or garden to achieve positive energy, drawing prosperity, health, and well being. The word feng literally means “wind” and the word shui means “water.” The five basic elements of feng shui, in order, are water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.
The idea of feng shui is to arrange these elements to raise the level of chi, which means universal energy or energy flow. Chi must be able to move freely throughout a space. At the same time, you do not want chi to move too quickly, as you need time to absorb its benefits. When in doubt, observe the shapes of nature. In general, feng shui design mimics the natural world’s soft flowing lines.
When practicing feng shui, include at least two of its elements into your plan. Water is one of the most powerful conduits of chi and symbolizes life force, for it is the source of all living things. Water can take the form of a simple bird bath or a self-contained vase fountain that plugs into a 120-volt outlet. A classic Italian fountain with plumbing will work well also. Other options are a naturally shaped pond with fish and plantings or a more formal pond with jets.
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