Feng Shui Glossary of Terms




To publicize oneís business or product.


American Feng Shui Institute, founded by Master Larry Sang.


American Feng Shui Institute International (not affiliated with AFSI), founded by Nancilee Wydra.


See period.


A raised structure on which celebration or faith offerings are placed. Depending on the Feng Shui method, some say the most auspicious placement of your altar is facing your front door, in the living room, or in the NW quadrant.

Annual Star

In Luo Shu, magic square, or flying stars the center number is called the annual star. In a flying-star chart, the energy or quality of chi is represented by a number called a star. The annual star moves in cycles to a different location each year.


Collecting antiques can present risks for Feng Shui since itís difficult to learn the history of each piece and its owners. If the previous owner of an item lived an unlucky life or was surrounded by negative energy it is possible this energy comes with that piece and affects your home. Inherited antiques can be quite auspicious if the owner lived a fortunate life. Antique weapons are especially bad Feng Shui since they most likely were used and harbor sha chi.

Arm Chair

See Form School.


A water feature that brings good Feng Shui, especially when it houses healthy and lively fish. Aquariums symbolizes growth and activity.


Secret arrows or poison arrows symbolize killing energy or bad Feng Shui. The arrows may be sent by structures in the landscape or by furniture placement in the home (such as sharp corners pointing at you or even a T-intersection outside your front door).


The art you display in your home can cause good or bad Feng Shui. Colors, content, and orientation of art all have Feng Shui implications. Examples, a mountain picture behind your desk symbolizes strength. An open field in front of your desk symbolizes clear sailing or smooth operation with few obstructions. Depictions of fear, sadness or sorrow may affect the health of occupants.

Asian Zodiac

See Zodiac Asian.

Aspects of Life

See five areas of influence.


A Western-astrology approach to horoscope which determines the most advantageous locations for an individual to reside.


From Greek words astro (star) and logia (science, word, knowledge), and represents ìthe language of the stars.î It studies the movement of the stars in the universe and their connection with humanity.

Astrology, Western

A cosmological method of divination based on the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and other heavenly bodies, relative to time and place on Earth which is drawn in a horoscope.


Law of the stars. A science involving earthís atmosphere and beyond. It studies the origins, evolution, physical, and chemical properties of planets, moons, stars, and observed objects.


A term frequently used in Feng Shui to denote favorable, desirable, and beneficial influences and successful results. (Antonym, inauspicious)

Azure Dragon also called Green Dragon

A symbolic animal of Form School and one of four Landform Guardians. In the ideal cradle or armchair position of Form School, it refers to rolling hills, trees, or structures that support and protect a building on the left side of the armchair. Before the compass was invented, it was a way to describe the left direction.


Bachelor of Arts, a two-year college degree.

Bagua, also Ba Gua, Pa Kua

A diagram from the I Ching. The literal translation is ìeight house.î It has eight external sections and the center one called the tai chi. Each of the eight sections have a trigram name; and references a specific compass direction, number, element, season, color, various body organs, family member, symbol and life aspects. The bagua can be drawn in many different forms and is a tool for most schools of Feng Shui.

Bagua Mirror

The bagua mirror is used by some forms of Feng Shui to deflect negative chi (example, position arrows). Consult a qualified Feng Shui consultant for correct placement of all symbols.

Balance (also see Yin Yang)

Feng Shui is about balance and harmony. When we live or work in a good atmosphere, we prosper. When we live or work in a hostile environment, we struggle. Negative and positive energy are in every aspect of our lives. Harnessing these and understanding the role each one plays leads to unification (leading to harmony).


Bau-biologie advocates the use of safe and sustainable construction materials and the mitigation of excessive electro-magnetic fields. It encourages a holistic and healing approach to home and work environments.

Ba Zhai, also Yigua, Eight House, Eight Mansions, or East/West School

It is the most basic and popular method of determining and regulating chi in Compass School Feng Shui. First sitting and facing directions of a structure are determined. Then the four most auspicious and four least auspicious sections for the space are calculated, each having specific influences on chi of a space.

Ba Zi

Refers to Four Pillars of Destiny, but literally means eight (Chinese) characters.


Exposed beams can be bad Feng Shui. They represent load-bearing weight and can affect health. Contact a Feng Shui practitioner for assistance if these are exposed.†


The brass bell is used for clearing, protection and activation. Hang bells from an entrance door to 'announce' anyone entering. Their beautiful sounds also deter and distract any bad energy from entering the premises.

Benker Lines, also called the 10-meter system

Named after Anton Benker of Germany (dowser who discovered this system). Benker lines lie on every 5th Hartmann (see definition below) line and radiate out into space, but are stronger to a great degree. One side of a Benker line is positively charged, and the other side is negatively charged. They are considered to a source of potential health problems, and are located by dowsing.

Bing, also called Ping

The third heavenly stem in the cycle of 10, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more active and aggressive aspects of the fire element. It is used in Four Pillars and denoted by the number III.


Excellent water features for the garden. Best positions are North, East and Southeast. Keep the water clean and donít allow it to become stagnant. Water brings wealth to the occupants.


Birds symbolically imply happiness. Some birds have specific meanings: Crane is loyalty and long life. Phoenix represents grace. Birds bring good luck when placed in the South of the landscape or garden or in the South side of your living room. However caged birds are not good Feng Shui as this represents confinement and the stunting of growth. It is especially harmful to career prospects.

Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui, also BTB Feng Shui

Once called Black Hat, it is reported to have pre-Buddhist roots of the Bon religion of Tibet. This is why some people think Feng Shui is based on religion. BTB was also influenced by Indian Buddhism and later incorporated some traditions of Chinese Feng Shui. It was brought to the West around 1980, and its practice spread rapidly through the Americas because of its easy application and our hectic life styles. BTB uses a modification of the Wen Wang (later heaven) bagua known as BTB bagua. The BTB bagua is superimposed on a site, building, room, etc. using the three-door method which aligns the entry with any of the three trigrams Gen (knowledge), Kan (career) or Qian (helpful people). BTB emphasizes the flow of chi, the use of transcendental remedies, and the cultivation of the practitioners' own chi.

Black Tortoise, also Black Turtle

The symbolic animal of Form School is the most important of the four landform guardians. In the ideal cradle (or armchair position) of Form School, it refers to hills, mountains, trees or other structures that support and protect a building from behind. In ancient traditions it was best located in the North. This was based on the climatic conditions of China where the cold winds came from the North. In modern times it can be located in any direction as long as it provides the supportive back needed for the building. The same principles can be applied inside the building for orienting furnishings (especially orientation of the bed).


See Hai or Zodiac Asian.


The art of miniaturizing trees. Typically not believed to be good Feng Shui because of manipulation and stunting growth; however, bonsai receive a lot of care and sometimes live hundreds of years. Any beautiful living plant is auspicious as long as it is healthy or well looked after.

Book of Burial

Ancient people practiced forms of Feng Shui some 6000 years ago. The first scriptures of and about Feng Shui were discovered in the pages of a sacred Chinese text called the 'Book of Burial.' This revered manual was written in 4th century AD detailing the nature of chi on the earth, its effects, and beneficial enhancements.

Book of Changes

See I Ching.


Books that are crammed together create stagnant chi. Avoid placing bookshelves where corners are directed at anyone. Bookcases should be free of clutter. Exposed shelves without books are symbolic blades and cause sha energy.

Bright Hall

See Ming Tang.


Bachelor of Science, a two-year college degree.


See Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui.


Cactus are bad Feng Shui when placed inside the home or at the front door as thorns capture and contain sha within the home. However, its an effective plant in the garden as it protects your home. Thorns or needles counter sha chi (negative energy) headed in your direction.†


Candles only count as fire when they are burning. Use them for attracting vital energy, to energize an area, and for reducing harsh light. I place a mirror under candles to direct their energy up and raise the energy of the room.

Cardinal Points

The four primary compass directions; North, South, East, West.


Cats symbolize protection against evil spirits since they see in the dark and frighten away bad spirits. Some refer to the Chinese astrology symbol of rabbit as cat.


Certified Business Continuity Professional is an international designation awarded by the Disaster Recovery Institute. One must be recommended for the certification, complete a rigorous exam, have two years of verifiable experience. Recertification is required every two years.

Celestial Animals

The four celestial animals are the red phoenix, green dragon, white tiger and black tortoise. The front of a building (typically the smallest area of a premises) is symbolized by the phoenix. In the rear (typically the largest area) is governed by the tortoise. Standing inside the building facing the front the dragon needs to be to the left (and takes up the second largest area of the premises). This leaves the tiger on the right (second smallest area of the premises). If any of the celestial animals are missing or not in their respective areas, there are negative consequences. Consult a qualified Feng Shui professional.


The middle of the bagua surrounded by eight trigrams. Symbolizes earth, overall health, balance (being centered), late summer, and square or flat shapes on the flying-star bagua.

Certified Business Continuity Professional


Certified Feng Shui Practitioner

A Feng Shui practitioner having achieved a certain level of expertise and/or received a certificate of achievement or completion from a Feng Shui school (see Feng Shui practitioner). Please note: While there are exceptional schools, there arenít national standards as to what qualifies a practitioner and validates their level of expertise. A code of conduct, validation process, continuing education, etc., are all best practices under development for Feng Shui professionals. Diana Garber was former Director of Education for The International Feng Shui Guildís Education Committee and championed this process.


Certified Feng Shui Consultant, a designation awarded by individual Feng Shui schools after a student completes specified requirements. Criteria varies from school to school. The International Feng Shui Guild is working toward a set of standards to provide consistency in this realm.




Are considered good Feng Shui when placed just inside or outside the home as they encourage chi to enter. They can also be hung in a corridor between facing doors to eliminate the 'confrontational effect.'


A statement of agreement of responsibilities. A formal written strategy that a person or group has undertaken.

Chen, Thunder, ìthe Arousingî

One of the eight trigrams (guas or quadrants) of the bagua, associated with the East, Spring, the number three, hard wood element, the color green, the eldest son, family, health, and other life aspects. Chen is denoted by two yin (dashed) lines over one solid line (yang).

Chen or Chíen, also Dragon

The fifth early branch in the cycle of 12 life energies represents strong and active energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars and is denoted by IV. One of the mythical, celestial animals of From School lore, the dragon is the guardian and inspiration of the East. A member of the Asian Zodiac, the dragon is highly revered in Asian societies and is represents good fortune, great strength, and leadership. It is not uncommon for Asian families to plan births of their children in the year of the dragon.

Chi, also Qi; or Ki (Japanese)

The motivating life-force also called ìcosmic breath,î ìpranaî or ìdragonís breath.î It is vital energy, primordial breath, air, breath, or energy. Existing everywhere, itís the term that refers to all forms of energy and its flow. Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and utilization of chi to create the most beneficial support for people in their environment.

Chi Cultivation

Techniques (such as meditation, qi-gong, tai chi or other rituals) such as acupuncture and Feng Shui are used to enhance or adjust personal chi, allowing it to flow smoothly throughout the body.

Chien, also Qian, Ch'ien, Chyan, Heaven, "The Creative"

See Qian.

Chinese Almanac, also called Tung Tísu

This annual Chinese publication has advice about the best, worst, and appropriate activities, locations and more, for each day of the year. It has been widely used in China to predict everything from the size of the yearly harvest to the electoral success of public officials. In its almanac form it is used for the selection of auspicious and inauspicious dates for all types of activities.

Chinese Astrology

Refers to a group of divination techniques first used in China, based on astrological (or cosmological) assessments. The most common form assigns a person a zodiac animal based on their natal year as determined by the Chinese lunar calendar. This term also refers to several other methods commonly used in Feng Shui, including Four Pillars of Destiny, Nine Star Ki, Ming Gua, Ba Zhai, Zhi Ping, Purple Star and flying stars.

Chinese Calendar

A daily calendar with the same information as the Tung Tísu contained in 365 pages, one for each day of the year.

Chinese New Year

When the solar calendar is used, this event happens during the first week of February (typically the 4th or 5th). When the lunar calendar is used, this event happens during January or February and coincides with moon cycles. Determining the start of the New Year is essential in the calculation of several divination techniques used in Feng Shui.†

Ch'ou or chou, the Ox

The second earthly branch in the cycle of 12 life energies. It represents nourishing energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and four pillars, and is denoted by II.

Chueh Ming

The severed fate or total loss location. The most inauspicious location in Eight House Feng Shui.

Clashing Doors

Doors that hit each other when opening.††††

Classic Feng Shui, also called Traditional Feng Shui

The most widely practiced category of Feng Shui worldwide. Based on the two original types first used in China, classic Feng Shui consists of Form School and Compass School principles. Contemporary classic Feng Shui is related to, and utilizes, a variety of modalities that include the directional use of the bagua, Ming Gua method, Ba Zhai method, Four Pillars, flying stars and more.


What we wear affects our personal Feng Shui. Tattered and torn clothing attracts poverty energy, which often brings about bad luck. Unflattering clothing does this too and lowers our self-confidence and yang energy (causing lethargy and vulnerability. The colors we choose can attract good or bad luck. As part of your personal report, we evaluate your Feng Shui balance (or imbalance) and provide guidance.


Symbolize heavenly blessings.


Square columns produce poison arrows which can affect the health of occupants. Round them off for better Feng Shui.

Commanding Position

1) The best Form School location for the interior placement of the bed or desk placement in a room. This position is usually farthest from the door and facing the door, with one's back to a solid wall or mountain-like feature. This position is considered the safest and most powerful, providing the widest view of the room with the ability to see the door without being directly in line with it. 2) The best Form School location of a building on its site creating the classic armchair with the black turtle in the rear, red phoenix in front, azure dragon and white tiger to the sides.

Compass School, also Fukien School

One of the two original schools of Feng Shui, it developed after Form School. At first a simple needle-and-bowl compass were utilized to determine the best direction and solar orientation of a structure. Eventually Compass School incorporated principals of the I Ching and other Taoist modalities. The compass evolved into the Loupan compass which reveals many layers of information in its complex ring system. Currently Western versions of the Lopan exist that are color coded and translated to simplify usage. In Compass School Feng Shui, the bagua is a diagrammatic representation of the Lopan compass and is oriented using the actual directions; example, North sits on North of the floor plan.


The legendary philosopher lived 479 BC. He is China's greatest sage, known throughout the world as a revered teacher and philosopher. Charity and duty towards our neighbors were his daily text, while justice and truth were highlighted as most virtuous.

Contemporary Western Feng Shui

Also see Black Sect.

Controlling Cycle

Also known as five-elements controlling cycle, dominating cycle, or some refer to it as the destructive cycle (but we donít destroy energy, it just transforms). Metal pierces wood. Water diminishes fire.


The legal right of creative artists or publishers to control the use of and reproduction of their original works. To secure the copyright on a creative work.


Straight lines are foreign to nature, so when two straight lines intersect, this is a powerful manipulation of nature energy. Corners are considered bad Feng Shui as they disrupt healthy chi flow by sending negative energy. If corners ëcutí at people in front of them, this energy needs to be remedied or deflected.


A legal entity monitored by the local, state, and national governments.


Long, straight corridors act as arrows projecting sha chi and can symbolize harm or relationships (healthy chi has nowhere to accumulate). Creating flow is the remedy (insert distractions or lights).


Semi-precious and/or geological stones (such as amethyst or jade) that attract and amplify energy through diffusion of light.

Cure, see Remedy

I donít use this term as it assumes we (man) have the answers. Others believe cures are objects, talisman rituals, prayers, actions or intentions used to achieve balance, harmony, and beneficial chi in a space. Classic Feng Shui only uses the five elements to support, suppress, neutralize or dissipate negative energies (or chi).

Curry Lines

A global grid-network of naturally occurring, electrically-charged lines in the earth. These run diagonally to the poles (NE-SW AND NW-SE) and were first discovered by Dr. Manfred Curry and Dr. Wittmann. The lines themselves are not necessarily problematic. The places where they intersect with other (North-South, East-West) grid lines, faults, or underwater streams are thought to be possible sources for certain health problems. They can be located by dowsing.

Cutting Chi

See poison arrow.


There are three cycles used in Feng Shui. 1) The productive cycle works clockwise on the element chart. It represents order and balance. Fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water, water produces wood, wood produces fire. 2) The reductive cycle reduces the power of the dominant phase and is used to minimize negative or dominant chi. Fire burns wood, wood absorbs water, water corrodes metal, metal moves earth and earth reduces fire. 3) The dominating cycle is exactly that, the phases dominate each other. Fire melts metal, metal pierces wood, wood burdens earth, earth blocks water, and water diminishes fire.


See Taoism.

Day Master

In Four Pillars, the self element residing in the Heavenly Stem of the day pillar.

Ding, also Ting (yin fire)

The third heavenly stem in the cycle of 10 based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more inward and recessive aspects of the fire element. It is used in Four Pillars and denoted by the number III.


The art or practice that seeks to see or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge or information by means of intuitive powers, reading omens, and/or use of a tool or interpretation of external objects. Divination is a universal cultural phenomenon that anthropologists have observed as being present in every religion and culture throughout history to the present day.

Divining Rod or Dowsing Device

Any devices of various configuration and material used for dowsing. Some of the most commonly used are the L-rod, the Y-rod, the bobber or tensor, and the pendulum.


Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.


See Hsu or Zodiac Asian.


The size, position and number of doors of a house are important factors in Feng Shui. The front door is especially significant as if it is the main point of entry for chi. It should not be obstructed or too small and should not be positioned to face hostile structures such as crosses or arrows. Bathroom and toilet doors should remain closed and doors should not face each other if possible.

Dominating Cycle

See cycles.

Double-Facing, also Xing Dao Xiang

In a flying-star chart, double stars meet in the facing palace. Example, for a cycle-eight structure both the water eight and mountain eight reside in the facing palace. The energies for this structure are said to be good for wealth but not for health or relationships.

Double-Sitting, also Xing Dao Zuo

In a flying-star chart, double stars meet in the sitting palace. Example, for cycle-eight structure both the water eight and mountain eight reside in the sitting palace. The energies for this structure are said to be good for people and health, but not good for money.

Dowsing – Geomantic Divination

Geo means earth, and mancy means the study of lines. Also see diving rods. Dowsing involves methods of locating and diagnosing unseen energies (especially those located underground) and has been used to locate underground water for thousands of years. It can also be used to locate other influences at a site or on a plan or map, and can also discover other concealed information.


Dragons bring power and influence wherever you so choose to place them. The dragon supports the water element; best placing it facing water, clean water such as an ocean, river, stream or a fountain. The dragon brings the power of rain showers for abundant harvests, the principle of heaven and male yang power. Some believe if you place a dragon inside the front entrance door, it brings protection to the premises and occupants. See chíen azure dragon, green dragon, Zodiac Asian

Dragon's Lair

In Form School Feng Shui, the location that attracts and retains the most benevolent chi. The most auspicious site to build a home or to bury the dead.

Dragon Vein

Just as the human body incorporates channels whereby life-force energy (chi) flows, so the earth contains similar channels called by the ancient Chinese, "veins of the dragon." These channels of energy, or chi, run through the earth.


A circular driveway is best for Feng Shui as the round shape signifies abundance and progress. Straight driveways form poison arrows and can direct sha chi. Never have a driveway that points directly at your door. Where possible make the driveway curve or meander. Break up its edges with overflowing flowerbeds to remove the hard angles.

Du Shu

Education with effort, one of the five aspects of destiny. Even with the best luck, we will miss out if we do not participate in life. We must do the work required.

Dui, also Tui, Lake, "the Joyousî

One of the eight trigrams (guas or quadrants) of the bagua, associated with the West; the number six; soft metal element; the colors white, silver or gold; the youngest daughter; children or descendants; creativity and other life aspects. Tui is denoted by one dashed-line (yin) over two solid lines (yang).


One of the five elements and represented by the Northeast, Southwest and center of the bagua. Related numbers are two, five and eight. Material things and earthly affairs are influenced by earth chi. Earth is also the great transformer of chi often serving as a transition between two other elements. Its colors are earth tones (yellow, tan, brown). Its movement is downward and its shape is square or flat. Earth is at the center of the eight trigrams in the Lo shu square and bagua, and represents balance, center and grounding.

Earth Base Star

In a Flying Stars chart, the energy or quality of chi indicated by a number representing the birth (closing of the roof) of a structure within a prescribed 20-year time cycle, enclosing the earth energies of that time period into the structure.

Earth Energy Grids

Sets of grids of (electro-magnetic) energy lines in the earth. The planetary energy grid exists in geometrical patterns that follow specific symmetries. The grids meet at intersecting points, forming a matrix. Some of the strongest power places on the planet are located on these grid intersection points. Earth energies at grid intersection points can affect human activity and health in a positive or negative way.

Earthly Branches

1) Refers to the twelve energies and twelve archetypes, specific divisions in time and space offering information about the quality and movement of chi. The earthly branches and the heavenly stems are the two primary components of the Four Pillars method and appear as a ring on the luopan compass. 2) The twelve animals of the Asian zodiac.


The home of the dragon and the wood element. East is symbolic of growth energy. Anything requiring uplifting energy is best placed in the east. Feng Shui practitioners may advise the eldest son live in the East, as this was the space reserved for heirs of the dynasty in days of old.

East/West System

Part of eight-house Feng Shui. People and buildings are divided into two types, the East Group and the West Group, using the Later Heaven bagua sequence. See East Life and West Life.

Eight Characters

See four pillars.

Eight-House Feng Shui, also Eight Mansions

Dividing the house into nine sections of the Lo Shu grid determines the four most auspicious and four least auspicious directions and activities for both the person and the building (excluding the center).

Eight Mansions

See Eight-House Feng Shui.

Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF)

Whenever electric current (voltage) is running through a wire or a conducting source, an electric field is present in space. Where electric current flow is present, a magnetic field is produced. Over-exposure to excessive electro-magnetic fields is harmful to health.


One of the foundations of Feng Shui theory is rooted in the interaction and balance between the five elements, which in Chinese cosmology are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of these elements governs specific aspects of life.


The elephant is a symbol of strength, wisdom and prudence. The elephant symbolizes the year, and is thus a celestial animal in Buddhism. The elephant is sacred because it was said to offer flowers to Buddha and also carried the gem of wishes and the sacred alms bowl of Buddha. The Elephant is regarded as an animal with high morals, and is said to understand human speech. Elephants should be placed high on a mantel or shelf or on an altar for recognition.


Feng Shui is based on the interaction between the five elements that are water, wood, fire, metal and earth. Finding a perfect balance for these five through placement is the key to good Feng Shui. Too much of an element can take over another so be sure not too use too much or too little of an element.


Electro-Magnetic Frequency.

Empty door

An interior doorway or door frame without a door.


Ethical massage therapist. Emergency medical technician.


The practice of Feng Shui concerns itself with the movement and quality of energy, or chi. Creating a healthy and positive flow of energy is said to enhance physical and emotional health and quality of life. The quality of energy is determined by its flow and the frequency of its vibration. By raising that frequency we improve its quality and beneficial influence.


An attempt to integrate the eight-house Chinese bagua system with the 12 Western astrology archetypes.


The direction that an individual or building faces. This typically represents where the strongest yang energy is.

Fei Xing

See flying star.



Feng Shui

Translates to wind water. The study of wind and water in the environment. The practice of Feng Shui is believed to be 6,000 years old. It is the art and science of harmonizing the person with their environment and heavenly influences.

Feng Shui Network Accredited Member (FSNAM)

This practitioner is an accredited member of the Feng Shui Network (FSNAM).  They are in a program of continuing professional development (CPD) and are deemed suitable for the highest standards of practice (instructor level). They are audited annually and meet specific criteria.

Feng Shui Practitioner, also called Feng Shui Consultant

A trained professional who has studied and mastered the principles and practices of Feng Shui. The modern Feng Shui practitioner is schooled in a variety of modalities hopefully originating in traditional practices. At a minimum, a competent practitioner is a graduate of, or certified by, a reputable school.

Fire Also see Li

One of five elements used as a remedy. It also represents South on the compass and bagua. Colors symbolized by red, pink, and purple. This element implies expression.


Fish represent success and when they are healthy in a pond or aquarium is said to bring good luck. Symbols of fish (or art containing fish) may be placed in the study or office to bring success or good fortune in business.

Five Areas of Influence (prioritized), see Five Aspects of Destiny

1. Ming (ming4) represents fate and destiny. We're born into it and it cannot be changed, but can be known.

2. Yun (yun4) represents luck, which fluctuates with time and can be predicted.

3. Feng Shui (feng1 shui3) represents our environment. We can manipulate it to reach the higher levels of what our fate and our luck allow.

4. Dao De (dao4 de2) represents virtue and character, and produces good karma and good will from others.

5. Du Shu (du2 shu1) represents education and effort. We're here to learn and grow.

Five Aspects of Destiny, see Five Areas of Influence

1) Karma 2) fate 3) Feng Shui 4) luck, and 5) good work. The Chinese believe these greatly affect or control the fate or destiny of individuals. Each aspect accounts for approximately 20% of life's factors.

Five Elements

1) Fire 2) earth 3) metal 4) water, and 5) wood. The foundation for Feng Shui balance. When working in harmony, they are productive to each other (see productive cycle), reductive (see reductive cycle), or dominating (see dominating cycle).

Five Element Overcoming Cycle

See cycle.

Five Element Productive Cycle (also called constructive, creative, or promoting cycle)

See cycle.

Five Element Reducing Cycle (also called reductive cycle)

See cycle.


Once fresh flowers have passed their prime, discard them as wilting flowers attract negative energy. Silk flowers are an alternative. Thorns are best removed from fresh flowers when displayed as they can act as poison arrows. Flowers provide yang energy when displayed in the bedroom of the sick. Not as desirable in bedrooms of the healthy as they can bring too much yang energy in a room designed for rest. Avoid pressed or dried flowers.


Flowerbeds reduce the effects of hazardous energy and absorb negative energy. For example plant a flower bed in front of a bedroom window to enhance your relationship or romance.


Bamboo flutes are used in some methods of Feng Shui. They are a symbol of strength and support. It is recommended that when you hang your flute, make sure that the mouthpiece is up. It is believed flutes create strength and support, and deliver a message of peace and safety. Typically they are hung over the front door for security.

Flying Star, a form of Compass School

(aka Xuan Kong, Fei Xing, Geomancy, or classic) was developed in Northern China presumably 206BC. This is likely the most complex of all methods and is based on the I Ching. A flying-star chart formulates from compass directions and the construction date of the structure (corresponds to a 20-year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn). The resulting chart becomes the birth chart of the building (or energy blueprint) whereby practitioners can read the history of the structure and its impact to occupants. In addition, based on annual and monthly cycles, they can predict when good fortune and less-desirable circumstances will likely occur. Remedies are based only on elements fire, wood, metal, water, and wood.

Form School

The oldest method of Feng Shui and was developed in Southern China several thousand years ago. This method stems from mountainous regions, and is a study of chi flow through and over the topography (land forms). Its basis is determining whether the tortoise, dragon, tiger, and phoenix appear in the terrain and how they interact. Good forms are needed to activate the elemental interaction of flying stars and to support the intentions of BTB remedies.

Four Pillars of Destiny

According to ancient Chinese philosophy, a person's life is altered by the date and time of birth (Ba-Zi). Ancient Chinese devised a method to "read" the life of a person from the birth year, month, day, and hour. The information is displayed in four columns (called pillars) each consisting of two characters; resulting in eight characters.

Four Pillars

Month, day, year, and time. The year reveals information resulting from genes, health, aptitude and family background. The month reveals information resulting from parents, brothers, sisters, friends and school. The day reveals information resulting from your personality, ambition, appearance, interests, dreams and desires. Time reflects information about one's life – marriage, family life, career, and successes.


These should always be spacious and well lit to attract positive Chi.


Frogs are said to bring auspicious luck. A family of frogs living in your garden will benefit the home and occupants.


Feng Shui Institute of America. See AFSII. A school practicing the pyramid method of Feng Shui.

Fukien School

See compass school.

Fu Wei

The area within a building that controls overall harmony. When in balance, it brings good fortune and peace with a comfortable life. This location protects you against bad fortune.


One of three immortal deities that represent achievement and happiness. Also see Luk and Sau.


See Ken.

Geng, also called Keng

The seventh heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yang metal, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more active and aggressive aspects of the metal element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.


From the Latin geo (earth) and mancy (study or prophecy of lines).1) The art of creating balance and harmony between people and the energies of the earth. The study of the energies of the earth and earth-based divination techniques that have appeared in nearly all cultures. In modern times it is a study of geomantic, geopathic and environmental influences with the intention of mitigating those energies that appear to have an adverse effect on health and well-being. 2) †Manís influence on the earth.

Geopathic Stress

An abnormal energy field generated underground and radiated upward by mineral deposits, water streams, or geological faults.


An extremely potent representation of the earth element, brings good education luck when placed in the northeast corner of a students room.


Symbolizes wealth.

Goat, also called Ram or Sheep

See Wei, Asian Zodiac.

Grand Duke Jupiter, also called Tai Sui

One of the Three Afflictions, it is an inauspicious energy needing to be remedied that moves to a different 15 degree section of the compass each year. It is dangerous to sit facing this direction or disturb or renovate in this direction sector when it is present.

Great Cycle of 180 years

Comprised of nine cycles of twenty years each. The current Great Cycle began in 1864. The current twenty year cycle began in 2004. We are currently in cycle eight (2004-2023).

Green Dragon

There are nine dragons in total; each controls one aspect of the universal elements. The Green Dragon is said to be the earth Dragon. The other dragons are wind, sea, water, sky, fire, golden, mountain, and celestial.

Gua, also called Kua

Translates as house or sector. In Compass School, refers to one of the eight quadrants connected to the eight compass directions. One of the eight outer positions in the luo shu square the bagua, and the luopan compass.

Gui, also called Kuei

The tenth heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yin water, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more inward and recessive aspects of the water element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.

Hai, also called Boar, Pig

The twelfth earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of strong and active energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars.

Hartmann Lines

The Hartmann net consists of naturally occurring charged lines, running North-South and East-West named after Dr. Ernst Hartmann who first described it soon after the WWII. Alternate lines are usually positively and negatively charged, so where the lines intersect it is possible to have double positive charges and double negative charges, or one positive and one negative charge. It is the intersections that are seen to be a source of potential problems.


Note: This definition is related only to Feng Shui. One purpose of Feng Shui is to connect (spiritually and energetically) the person in their building with Heaven and earth. 1) Refers to the nature of the universal order, balance, and harmony of the cosmos. 2) In astrologically-linked Feng Shui, includes consideration of the positions of the stars and planets at a given time, and this positional influence on earthly and human affairs. 3) The primal and spiritual source of chi.

Heavenly Stems

Refers to the cycle of ten as the five elements go through the cyclical transformations of their yin and yang phases. The stems are one of the two primary components of Four Pillars astrology and represent the influence of heaven in the creation of material reality.

Heavenís Heart

The central Palace of the luo shu grid. Also refers to the center point of a structure.

A symbol from the I Ching made up of six solid or dashed lines formed from two trigrams. There are sixty four hexagrams in the I Ching representing all known combinations of energies or correspondences. They are used to divine a probable course to future events, and read for their philosophical and inspirational insights.



Ho Hai

Represents an area within a building that causes accidents and mishaps such as financial loss or other problems.


A chart that is drawn using the time, location and cosmology aspects of the birth of an individual or building, to be used for the purpose of divination or gaining an understanding of hidden information.

Horse, also called Wu

The seventh earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of expansive energy. It is used in Chinese astrology and Four Pillars. 2) The horse is represented by the direction South and symbolizes endurance, courage and speed. It can bring excessive yang energy. Artwork or pictures of horses are best hung in the South side of the living room because of its association with the element of fire. A figurine of a horse placed in the Southwest of the living room will energize luck in social interaction and placed in the Northwest for luck in examinations.


A landscape of hills forming this shape with the house in the center looking out over flat open pasture is said to bring good luck and fortune to a family for five generations.

Hostile Structures

These can be a number of things such as buildings, overpasses, hills or land features, or any large structure that forms a hidden or poison arrow. They produce and direct sha toward your home.

Hsien Tien

Time and intuition-based divination, related to Plum Blossom I Ching.

Hsu, also called Xu or Dog

The eleventh earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, it is representative of possessive, watchful and dominant energy. It is used in Chinese astrology and Four Pillars.

Hsun, also known as Xun

See Xun.

Hu Tien

Space, present time and intuition-based divination.

Huo Hai

Accidents and mishaps; the disaster location in Eight House Feng Shui.


Prosperous, vigorous.

I Ching

One of the great Chinese philosophical texts, also known as the Book of Changes, describing all movements and developments of every event or phenomenon in the universe. It consists of sixty four hexagram

s based on combinations of the eight trigrams. The I Ching has been used for divination and for philosophical guidance for thousands of years and is an important component in the formation of Feng Shui theory.

I Ching Coins

Chinese coins symbolize prosperity and their meaning originates from ancient times when coins were used as amulets as protection against disease, evil or negative energy directed at the wearer. Also used in Feng Sui and as an ancient Chinese oracle or fortune telling. Place some I Ching coins in a bowl of salty water for a great metal cure in the west and northwest sector of the premises.

I Ching Feng Shui

A Compass School method utilizing the hexagrams of the I Ching on the luopan.


A result or sign of bad Feng Shui. Think practically and check for blocked drains or stagnant water (polluted Chi). Look for signs of poison arrows around or directed at the home.


A term frequently used in Feng Shui to denote unfavorable, undesirable, harmful influences and unsuccessful results.


Incorporated. See corporation.


Incense is used for clearing and uplifting. Also used as a thanks giving gift to a deity when placed on its altar.

Inhale Exhale method

A method used to balance and harmonize personal chi.

Integrative Feng Shui

Integrative Feng Shui is a combination of different methods of Feng Shui, as determined by a particular school.

Intercardinal points

The four compass directions that reside between the cardinal points: Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest.

Intuitive Feng Shui

To feel or know (from an inner voice) what is needed in a space for placement and remedies. This utilizes shamanism and also evaluates people and their lifestyle. Practitioners may or may not have formal training. Please note the term Intuitive Feng Shui is trademarked by William Spear and should not be confused with an intuitive approach to Feng Shui.

Ji, also called Chi

The sixth heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yin earth, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more inward and recessive aspects of the earth element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.

Jia, also called Chia

The first heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yang wood, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more active and aggressive aspects of the wood element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.


Yin essence. According to the Scholar Warrior Dictionary, Jing (yin) is combined with chi (yang) to produce food and the body's fluid to make blood (refer to San Bao).

Joss Paper

Used for Feng Shui remedies. Ornate tissue-thin rice paper that is rough, feels handmade, often contains imperfections and inconsistencies, and may contain metallic leaf. Some Joss papers are blessed in Buddhist temples and are used in Asia in rituals, holiday observances and in Feng Shui.

Jue ming, also called Chueh ming

The severed fate or total loss location. The most inauspicious, worst location in Eight House Feng Shui.

Kan, also called K'an

One of the eight trigrams, guas or quadrants of the bagua, associated with the North, the symbol of the tortoise, the element water, the colors blue to black , the middle son, ears, blood (and other influences), winter, new moon, night, asymmetrical shapes, or waves. In BTB, this section of the bagua symbolizes career.

Kan Yu

The study of a site with reference to time.

Ken, also called Gen

One of the eight trigrams, guas or quadrants of the bagua, associated with the Northeast, the symbol Mountain, the element earth, the number 8, the colors brown to yellow or blue to green, the youngest son, travel, knowledge and self-actualization, and other life aspects. In the I Ching, Ken is denoted by one solid line over two broken lines.


See Geng.


The Japanese word for chi, or qi.


Color, space, form, emptiness.


See Gua.


See Gui.

Kun, also called K'un

One of the eight trigrams, guas or quadrants of the bagua. Symbolizes strong earth. Southwest , head female, abdomen (and other influences) , late summer, afternoon, and square or flat on the flying star bagua. In BTB, this section of the bagua symbolizes partnership and love.

Later Heaven Bagua, also called Later Heaven Sequence, Wen Wang Bagua
A circular or octagonal arrangement of the eight trigram directions, this is the bagua sequence used in the Feng Shui luopan compass. Kan is placed in the South, Li in the North, Chen in the East and Tui in the West. Unlike the Earlier Heaven, static bagua, this is a dynamic bagua where energies and aspects of each trigram cycle into the next.

Ley Lines

Alignment and patterns of powerful, invisible earth-energy believed to connect various sacred sites such as churches, temples, stone circles, megaliths, holy wells, burial sites, and other locations of spiritual importance.


One of the eight trigrams. Symbolizes fire, South, the phoenix, summer, second daughter, eyes, heart (and other influences), full moon, midday, and triangles on the flying-star bagua. In BTB, this section of the bagua symbolizes fame.

Li Chun

The day the annual star changes. The beginning of the Chinese Solar New Year, which usually begins February 4th or 5th each year.

Limited Liability Company

A hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It provides easy ìpass – throughî taxation (profits and losses are added to the owner(s) personal tax returns) like a sole proprietorship, with the liability protection of a corporation. Like a corporation, it is a separate legal entity; unlike a corporation, there is no stock and the duration is usually not perpetual, though it can be. The owners of an LLC are called ìmembersî, not ìshareholdersî. So in essence, itís like a corporation, with less complicated taxation and stock formalities.


See Limited – liability company.

Locked Building

A type of structure determined with flying stars. These can become locked when they donít have the elemental remedy to prevent it. Many Chinese refer to a locked building as an imprisoned building--it restricts movement. People or prosperity influences can become locked, or in rare cases both can lock at the same time. When a structure has prosperity locked the flow of money to the occupants is restricted. This usually precedes a buyout or merger. Occupants of a building that is locked on people will experience continuing health and relationship problems. A business in a building with a people lock will have difficulty keeping employees and attracting new customers.

Long Mei

Dragon veins or ley lines--the paths which chi follows through the earth.

Lo Pan, Lopan, or Loupan

Currently Western versions of this compass exist that have been color coded and translated to simplify its usage. The Lopan remains one of the most effective tools for diagnosing and diagramming the energies within a space and linking them to the eight trigrams, five elements, yin/yang and 12 energy cycles.

Lo Shu Grid

A three by three pattern (three columns with three rows) simulating the back of a giant tortoise shell.


Licensed Practical Nurse.


Good or bad fortune, composed in Feng Shui of heaven luck, earth luck, and human luck.

Lui Sha

The area in a building that brings missed business opportunities, poor health or legal problems. Itís a good place for a storage room.


One of three immortal deities that represent achievement and wealth.

Lunar New Year

Based on the cycles of the moon, is when the Chinese New Year is celebrated. This can be during January or February.

Lunar Year

354 Days, based on twelve cycles of the moon. The lunar month is the time interval between full moons, approximately twenty nine and a half days.

Luo Jing - (Mandarin)

The instrument used to measure directions (compass, Luo Pan, or Lo Pan).

Luo Shu, also called lu shu, lo shu, luo shu grid, magic square

1) A magic square containing the nine stars. 2) The foundation of all Feng Shui numerology. It is a three by three grid with a sequence of numbers said, in myth, to have been discovered on a giant tortoise shell. It is also called the magic square because any three sectors add up to fifteen along any diagonal, vertical, or horizontal line.

Luopan, also called Lopan

The divination compass used for Feng Shui which utilizes the Later Heaven or Wen Wang bagua sequence, with the chi moving out from the center. From its humble beginnings as a magnetic needle floating in a bowl of water, the luopan evolved into a complex system of rings able to reveal advanced Feng Shui information. In its modern form it has been translated and color coded to simplify its use as a Feng Shui tool. The luopan is part of the rich cultural heritage of Feng Shui.

Magic Square

Three columns with three rows whereby the placement of the nine stars totals 15 in every direction.


A ritualistic, spiritual, or sacred chant that is repeated either silently or audibly, and can result in inducing an altered state of consciousness.


To network with others for increased exposure. To promote oneís business or product.

Mao, also called Rabbit

The fourth earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of the energy of rapid growth and self-accomplishment. It is used in Chinese Astrology Method of Minor Additions. Refers to the addition of simple, natural energy (such as plants, light, water, etc.), along with intention to affect Feng Shui changes without the need for major renovations.


A title or designation of experience. This term is meant to imply someone that has 20 years of experience (Eastern practice), or has met specific criteria of a school, another master, or instructor (Western practice). Ask the person using the title what it represents. Criteria varies from school to school. The International Feng Shui Guild is working toward a set of standards to provide consistency in this realm.


Master of Business Administration.


Myers Briggs Type Indicator is an instrument developed by the mother and daughter team of Myers and Briggs. It is a personality-assessment tool whose foundation is based on Carl Jungís work. To use this designation, one must have formal education and pass the exam.


1) Doctor of Medicine (M.D. or MD, from the Latin Medicinae Doctor) is an academic degree for medical doctors. It varies between countries, from being an entry-level professional degree, to being a relatively rare higher doctoral research degree.† 2) Managing director is the term used for the chief executive of many limited companies in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and some other English speaking countries. The title reflects their role as both a member of the Board of Directors but also as the senior manager. The term Chief Executive (or its American equivalent "Chief Executive Officer" or just "CEO") is in general usage in the United Kingdom for the senior executive of public limited companies, charities and Executive Agencies. At subsidiary companies usage is more variable, with managing director often preferred.


Also see Chien or Tui. One of five elements used as a remedy or corrective. It represents West and NW on the compass and bagua. Colors symbolized by white, silver, gold, copper, and metal colors. This element implies leadership.


Ming4, life; fate, destiny, the ordinances of Heaven, order, command, or assign. A name or title. One of the five areas of influence.

Ming Gua, also called Ming Kua

1) Life gua-station or experience 2) A personís destiny trigram with its associated number, element, and life aspects, based on gender and year of birth; an astrological method of divination providing information about a subject, including the four most auspicious directions for the individual.

Ming Tang, also called Bright Hall

1) A courtyard, or entrance, especially where benevolent chi can gather 2) A defined area serving as a transition zone between one type of chi and another, sometimes containing a vortex of energy, commonly at a main entrance. 3) A gathering place.


See Shíen, Asian Zodiac.


Direction of the compass. Eight mountains refer to N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE and SW. Twenty-four mountains refer to the eight directions and three subdivisions within each.

Mountain Star

Expressed as a number denoting the quality of chi in a sector of a structure. The Mountain Star represents the sitting (rear) direction of a structure in Flying Stars Feng Shui, and is associated with people (health and relationships).

Mouth of Chi Feng Shui

Used by BTB School, Contemporary Western School and several others. It orients the bagua with the North sector at the door and is grounded in form-school principles. It focuses on creating a nourishing flow of chi through the structure, and correcting intangible factors such as "predecessor chi." It puts strong emphasis on the client's intentions for change and growth.

Moving Metal

A clock with a moving, metal pendulum or moving arms; metal sculpture with perpetually moving parts; hanging pots and pans; metal bells that ring when a door is opened; etc. A metal fan is acceptable only if blades donít cut toward people entering, sitting, or resting.


A hand gesture often used with a mantra to clear the energy of a person or place, or to offer a blessing.


Mountain-time-facing order of stars.

Natal Calendar

Nien Yen

The rich descendant's area. When in balance, it improves family relationships, prevents arguments and solves problems. It is also good for quality of home life.

Nine Star Ki

A form of divination similar to the Ming Gua method that uses the eight trigrams and all related information. It was made popular by the macrobiotic movement in the West. Although it is Japanese in origin, its use was adopted by many of the early Feng Shui practitioners in the West. It differs from the Ming Gua method in that it uses the same calculations for both male and female subjects.


A direction on the compass. Also see Kan and water.


A direction on the compass. Also see Ken and earth.


A direction on the compass. Also see Chien and metal.


The study of numbers and the manner in which they reflect certain aptitudes and character tendencies.


See Chou and Zodiac Asian.

Pakua, also called Pagua

See Bagua.

Name for each of the nine sections of the luo shu square (grid), used to calculate a flying stars chart.


Same as a sole proprietorship, except there is more than one person involved. The owners are personally liable for the company and its debt, income is distributed equally and is added on each ownerís personal tax returns.


An apparatus consisting of an object mounted so that it swings freely under the influence of gravity.


The peony is among the longest-used flowers in ornamental culture and is one of the national emblems of China. In Japan, Paeonia lactiflora used to be called ebisugusuri ("foreign medicine"). In kampo (the Japanese adaptation of Chinese medicine), its root was used as a treatment for convulsions. It is also cultivated as garden plant. In Japan it is said that Chinese people call Paeonia lactiflora "prime minister of flowers".


A cycle of qi, it is the primary requisite for construction of a flying-star chart. This is the beginning process of the time factor to determine the allocation of qi throughout the structure. Some schools utilize the move - in date as the essential time factor. The most widely-recognized method is to use the time of construction as the determining factor and more specifically the time of the closing of the roof. Each age or period lasts 20 years and begins on a year ending in the number four (1944, 1964, 1984, etc.).

Ph D

Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D. (informally PhD), an abbreviation for the Latin "Philosophiae Doctor"; alternatively, "Doctor Philosophiae", D.Phil. from Greek (meaning "Teacher of Philosophy"), is a doctoral degree granted upon completion of extensive academic work in a field of study. In medieval times, any research outside the fields of theology, medicine or law was calledîphilosophyî hence the Ph.D. degree covers a wide range of subjects. Contemporary Ph.D. degrees are awarded in nearly every field of the sciences and the humanities.


A symbolic animal of Form School representing summer, the color red, and the compass point South. The Phoenix represents water features in front in the Form School armchair metaphor.

Piercing Heart Doors

Three or more doors in a row.


See Bing.


See Hai, Zodiac, Asian.

Plum Blossom I Ching

I Ching divination by time and space. Used to divine a current event or any date when a present event strikes you as an omen.

Poison Arrow

A term that refers to sharp, hostile corners or objects, both indoors and out, that can cause oppressive, destructive or disruptive energy; or sha qi, to be directed at the inhabitants of a space.


An omen or sign of something to come manifested in accordance to a resonance with persisting energy; from the Eight House or Eight Mansions method. Each of the eight outer quadrants of the bagua has a portent depending on the gua calculation for the person or building it is being related to. Each portent has an auspicious or inauspicious association. This association is determined by the pattern of the changing lines of the trigram contained within that sector.



One who practices an art or discipline.

Pre-Heaven Bagua, also called Early Heaven Bagua or Sequence

The oldest arrangement of the eight trigrams. In this bagua, the trigrams opposite each other are complimentary, symbolizing the opposite forces of yin and yang, and representing an ideal state when everything is in balance or static.

Predecessor qi, also called Predecessor chi

The residual energy left behind by the previous inhabitants of a space.

Pyramid School

Qi (Mandarin)

Also known as chi.

Qi Cultivation, also called chi cultivation

Techniques, such as meditation, qi-gong, tai ji or other (usually) Asian techniques, rituals, acupuncture, and Feng Shui that are used to enhance or adjust personal chi or qi, allowing it to flow smoothly throughout the body.

Qi Kung, also called Chi gong

1) A martial art which gathers chi in the body.† 2) A series of choreographed movements based on this martial art said to bring health benefits.

Qian, also Chien, Ch'ien, Chyan, Heaven, "The Creative"

One of the eight trigrams (guas or quadrants) of the bagua, associated with the Northwest; the number six; hard-metal element; the colors grey, white, metallic gold, silver; father or boss; travel; benefactors; and other life aspects. Chien is denoted by three solid (yang) lines and is the most yang trigram.


An area defined as East, SE, South, SW, West, NW, North, NE, or center—every 45 degrees of the compass.


According to the Scholar Warrior Dictionary, [quo is] Kingdom, a term used with Tsong quo referring to China.


See Mao, Zodiac, Asian.

Ram, also called Goat, Sheep

See Wei, Zodiac Asian


See Zi, Zodiac, Asian.

Red Envelope Tradition

In BTB Feng Shui, refers to an exchange of red envelopes containing some amount of money between a client or student and a BTB Feng Shui practitioner or teacher who has been asked for, and has provided, transcendental solutions. This tradition was developed to ritualize, respect and honor the information given, and to acknowledge the exchange of energy between client and practitioner. The number of red envelopes given is relative to the significance of the information provided.


Recorded member or student of an organization.

Remedy, or Cure

Remedies consist of the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, or wood) and are used to achieve balance, harmony, and beneficial chi in a space; or to suppress, neutralize or dissipate negative or stagnant energies (or chi).

Ren, also called Jen

The ninth heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yang water, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more active and aggressive aspects of the water element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.


A type of structure determined with flying stars. It means not good people or prosperity energies. Thereís always some sort of struggle—money and people; divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, business moving in and out, residences where people move every couple years.

Reverse House, also called Shang Shan

In a Flying Stars chart, the water Star resides in the Mountain Palace and the Mountain Star resides in the water Palace. For cycle eight, the eight water Star resides in the sitting direction and the eight Mountain Star resides in the facing direction. The energies for this structure are not good for money (wealth) or for people (health and relationships).

Reversed door

A door that opens to the smallest part of the room or to a wall.


Registered Nurse.


See You, Zodiac, Asian.

Sacred architecture

The practice of architectural design based on observing the patterns occurring in nature and the cosmos, then reflecting and replicating these structures to create a resonance with nature and the divine. Temples and cathedrals were built according to these principles. The incorporation of sacred architecture in Feng Shui today combines aspects of sacred geometry and sacred proportions with an intuitive and energetic understanding of the site and the client to achieve these goals.

Sacred geometry

The study of proportion and inherent order in space, including how shapes affect energy. It is an ancient study that has been preserved in certain mystical traditions. Measurements, properties and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces and solids are observed and related to the pure principles existing in nature.

San Ban Gua

All palaces of the flying star chart contain the mountain-time-facing combinations of 147, 258, and 369. Reputedly, this structure is auspicious under all circumstances.

San cai

The three treasures; heaven, earth and humanity. An essential principle of Daoist thought and Feng Shui, it refers to the three levels of chi and luck that influence our lives.

San Yuan, also called Great Cycle of 180 years

Refers to three cycles of twenty years each comprising one cycle of sixty years, and is the basis of Flying Stars Feng Shui. A particular chi is prevalent during each twenty year cycle. These twenty year cycles are based on the cycles of the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Every twenty years they align, causing a major energy shift.


One of three immortal deities that represent achievement and longevity.

S – Corporation

After a corporation has been formed, it may elect ìS Corporation statusî by submitting a form to the Internal Revenue Service (some states require their own version). Once this filing is complete, the corporation is taxed like a partnership or sole proprietorship rather than a corporation. Thus, the income is ìpassed throughî to the shareholders for purposes of computing tax returns.

Seam Needle

One of the directional needles on a San He luopan. The seam needle reads 7.5 degrees behind the correct needle. The seam needle was originally used in yin house feng shui as the guideline to locate the "sands" and "water."

Secret Arrow

Cutting chi generated by a straight alignment of landform features such as trees, poles, or nearby buildings.

See Later Heaven bagua, Pre-Heaven bagua.


Destructive, negative, harmful, inauspicious.

Sha Chi , also called Sha qi

Also known as killing breath, sha chi refers to the negative energy that is caused by sharp angles and hostile structures.


A spiritual or religious practice where shamans can intercede between humanity and spirits.

Shan - (Mandarin) - shan1

Translates as mountain.

Shang – shang4

To ascend, up, above.

Shang Shan

Above mountain, see double-facing.

Shang Shan Xia Shui

Above mountain and below water, reversed house or out-of-place mountain and water, prominent star occupies mountain in the facing and water in the sitting.

Sheep, also called Goat, Ram

See Wei, Zodiac, Asian.




Life, growth, beneficial.

Sheng Chi

Generates breath. This area within a building when in balance attracts prosperity, wealth and success in examinations (lifeís journey).

Shui (mandarin)- shui 3

Translates as water; general term for river, etc.

Shíen, also called Monkey

The ninth earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of restless and flexible energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars.

Si, also called Snake

The sixth earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of strong and active energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars.

Si Chi

Negative energy that is dull, and lifeless. It lessens the good positive chi and brings a low energy to the area.


The direction that an individual or building sits. This typically represents where the most yin energy is.


See Si, Zodiac, Asian.

Solar New Year (or Solar calendar)

Based on the sunís cycle (365 days a year), is the day the annual star changes which usually begins February 4th or 5th each year.

Sole Proprietorship

A business with one owner. A business organized as a sole proprietorship is not separate from its owner, merely a different name that the business owner operates under. The owner is personally liable for the company and its debt, all income is added on the ownerís personal tax returns (pass – through taxation).


A direction on the compass. Also see Li and fire.


A direction on the compass. Also see Hsun and wood.


A direction on the compass. Also see Kun and earth.

Space Clearing

A ceremony that rids a building of existing energies. It is not considered Feng Shui, but facilitates it. There may be residual emotional or physical negative energies from previous land or building occupants.

A number representing an energy or quality of chi which moves cyclically through time in a Flying Stars chart.

Sui Wey - Sui Xing

The star (planet) Jupiter.

Sun, also called Síun, Xun

One of the eight trigrams, guas or quadrants of the bagua, associated with the Northwest, the symbol Wind, the element wood, the number 4, the colors green or purple, the eldest daughter, wealth, prosperity and other life aspects. In the I Ching, Sun is denoted by two solid lines over one broken line.

Tai Chi or Tai Ji

Grand, ultimate. According to the Scholar Warrior Dictionary, [Tai Chi is] 1) (martial) several Taoist martial arts based on Taoist theory. Generally these arts are practiced very slowly; 2) (metaphysical) the first division of Wu Chi, it represents the primal separation into yin and yang.

Tai Sui

Is translated into Grand Duke Jupiter. It is the direction related to the year, i.e., tiger direction in a tiger year, part of the NE. It is generally acknowledged that it causes harm to disturb the earth or perform construction in these directions.

Tao (pronounced dao)

It was philosopher Lao Tze that originated Taoism after sitting on a green buffalo where he experienced an unexplainable magical moment. He saw the sky turning purple and then the buffalo also turned purple. It was then he achieved his wisdom of philosophy and started writing it into scriptures and Tao Te Ching was written (a book about moral philosophy). According to legend passed down from the ancients, it is said that Shen Tao wrote the first Tao in China during the sixth century B.C.

Taoism, also Daoism

The philosophical foundation work of most major religions in Asia. Although Taoism is not a religion but rather a way of being, Buddhism, Hinduism and Shintoism evolved out of Taoism. Taoism professes ìnon credoî; ìdo not believe any thing and accept all thingsî and is largely based on the observation of the natural order.

Ten Thousand Year Calendar

Begins 2698 BCE on the first day of the reign of Huang Di, the ìYellow Emperor.î Describes the movement of chi for ten thousand years and is an essential tool in the creation of Four Pillars charts and other forms of divination. Each volume covers 100 years of information.

Three Afflictions

Inauspicious energies that move to a different section of the compass each year.

Three Door Method

The BTB Feng Shui method of superimposing the bagua on a site, building, or room relative to the entry (Mouth of Chi) by aligning the entry with one of the three trigrams Ken (Knowledge), Kan (Career) or Qian (Helpful People). The space is analyzed and remedied from these bagua positions.

Three Harmonies method, also called San He

A method using the astrological 120 degree relationship to create harmonious relationships. There are sets of three compass positions 120 degrees apart, represented by their corresponding set of three animals of the zodiac, that are in harmony with each other. This system is used to determine those with whom a person is astrologically in resonance, or harmony.

Three killings, also called San Sha

One of the Three Afflictions, it is an inauspicious energy needing to be remedied that moves to a different 90 degree sector of the compass each year. You can face this direction but should never have it behind you.

Three Secrets, also called Three Secret Reinforcements

A transcendental and ritualized use of thought, action and speech to imbue Feng Shui adjustments with conscious intention.

Three Treasures

See San cai.

Tien chai Zhe

Heaven luck.

Tien Yi

An area within a building known as doctor from heaven. This location cures illness and improves health. When in balance, itís the best location for you when ill.

Tiger, also see Tui.

A symbolic animal in form school represented by the West, or the right side of a lot (facing as the lot faces). A tiger in the terrain is auspicious as it balances the dragon. It should not be larger than the dragon.


The linear conception of distance traveled by consciousness. Several of the methods of time calculation include Local Apparent Time, Local Mean Time, Standard Time, and Daylight-Savings Time. When determining the "double-hour" of birth in Chinese astrology, for the hour and day pillar use standard time.


See Ding.

Tortoise , also see Kan.

A symbolic animal in form school represented by the North, or back of a lot. A tortoise in the terrain is auspicious and represents the mountain (stability).

Traditional Feng Shui

See Classic Feng Shui.

Transcendental solution, also called cure, remedy

In BTB Feng Shui, a spiritual or ritualistic solution used to complement and reinforce the mundane, common sense solutions. BTB Feng Shui combines transcendental (yin) solutions with mundane (yang) solutions to achieve balance and harmony.


The eight possible combinations of symbols consisting of a combination of three yin (dashed) or yang (solid) lines. Each trigram is associated with phenomenal aspects of the world expressed as a direction, an element, a number, body organs, a color, a family member and other life aspects, and make up the essential components of "Eight House" or "Eight Mansions" Feng Shui. Each trigram is a coded description of a quality of chi. The eight trigrams are an essential component of all Baguas used in Feng Shui and can appear in two different version; the "Early Heaven Sequence" and the "Later Heaven Sequence." When stacked in pairs hexagrams are formed allowing for the 64 combinations of the I Ching. Each person has a personal trigram related to their gender and birth date, called their Ming Gua.

Tui, also Dui, Lake, ìthe Joyousî

See Dui.

Tung Tísu

Also see Chinese almanac. 10,000 year calendar begins 2698 BCA on the first day of the rein of Huang Di (Yellow Emperor). It describes the movement of chi for this period and is an essential tool in the creation of Four Pillars charts.


See Tortoise.

Twelve Zodiac Hours

Each Chinese hour is two western hours long and is given the name of one of the twelve animals of the Asian zodiac.

Twenty- Four Mountains

Consist of 12 earthly branches, eight heavenly stems and four corner trigrams. There are six water houses, six fire houses, six wood houses and six metal houses.

Twenty-Four Seasons

Some refer to the Twenty-Four Joints and Chi as the "Twenty-Four Seasons". Each Joint and Chi has its own significance. The Twenty-Four Seasons start approximately on February 4th with Li Chun and continue at regular fifteen-day intervals throughout the year. The four seasons begin at the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer and Winter Solstices. The exact time when each particular Joint or Chi starts depends on the Month Stem and Month Branch.

Twenty year Cycle

See San Yuan.


A method of Feng Shui founded in India and based on astrology.

Wang (Mandarin)-wang4

Translates as prosperous, vigorous.

Wang Shan (Mandarin)

Translates as prosperous mountain.

Wang Shan, Wang Shui

A type of building determined with flying stars. It is Chinese for good mountain (people energy) and good water (prosperity). Occupants are happy with their families and experience prosperity. Businesses have good people energy (employees and clients) and are affluent (donít struggle for stature and wealth).

Water, also called Kan

One of five elements used as a remedy or corrective. It also represents the North on the compass and bagua. Colors symbolized by blue and black. This element implies flow, life path, nourishment, and communication.

Water Star

The star represented as a number denoting the quality of chi that represents the facing direction (front) of a structure in Flying Stars. The water Star is associated with the energies of money.

Wei, also called Sheep, Goat, or Ram

The eighth Earthly Branch in the cycle if twelve life energies. It is representative of friendly, calm energy. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars.


A direction on the compass. Also see Tui and metal.

West life group

Northern hemisphere individuals or buildings having a gua of two, eight, six or seven are said to belong to this group. The associated directions are the Southwest, Northeast, Northwest and West. All members and buildings belonging to this group share these directions as auspicious.


Implies processes and terms founded or practiced in the Western hemisphere. In most cases it more specifically means the United States.

Western Feng Shui

Also see Black Sect and Contemporary Western Feng Shui. A method of Feng Shui practiced widely in the United States.

White Tiger

A symbolic animal of Form School and one of the four Landform Guardians. In the ideal cradle or armchair position of Form School, it refers to rolling hills or other support to the right of a home.

Wind Chimes

A common Feng Shui remedy. Considered to create very positive chi, wind chimes are appropriate in a number of circumstances. Metal chimes are often used where moving metal or strong metal is needed.

Wood, also called Chen or Hsun

One of five elements used as a remedy or corrective. It also represents East and SE directions on the compass and bagua. Colors symbolized by green or living plants. This element implies growth and strength.

Wu, also called We

The fifth heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yang earth, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more active and aggressive aspects of the earth element. It is used in Four Pillars astrology.

Wu, also called Horse

See Horse.

Wu Ji

According to the Scholar Warrior Dictionary, [Wu Chi is] no extremity. A boundless, homogeneous state. According to Taoist scripture, after the creation, the universe condensed into this state.

Wu Kwei

The area within a building that can bring fires, robbery or unemployment. It can also be the cause of family misunderstandings and arguments.


This term has been conveniently translated as five elements or five phases. The word "Wu" means five. To single out the word "Xing" and try to explain it is futile. "Wu Xing" is actually the short form of "Wu zhong liu xing zhi chi" or the five types of chi dominating at different times. Water dominates in winter, wood in spring, fire in summer, metal in autumn. At the intersection between two seasons, the transitional period is dominated by earth. Common translations are five agents, five qualities, five properties and five courses.

Xia - xia4

To descend; down, below, low.

Xia Shui

Below water, see double-sitting house.

Xin, also called Hsin

The eighth heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yin metal, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more inward and recessive aspects of the metal element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.

Xing Dao Xiang, or Double Facing

See Double Facing.

Xing Dao Zuo, or Double-Sitting

See Double Sitting.


Dark, obscure, profound, secret, time; progressing time; Xuan is a concept that describes an unknown or deep sense of meaning and is often used in a philosophical contest.

Xuan Kong

See Flying Stars. Literally translated as time and space. A method of geomancy.

Xue, also called Hsueh

The Feng Shui spot, the ideal location.

Xun, also called Hsun

One of the eight trigrams. Symbolizes soft wood; wind, SE; the number four; soft wood element; eldest daughter; thighs and hips; spring; late morning; and rectangles.

Yan Nian, also called Yen Nien

Harmony between people; relationship harmony and the third best location in Eight House Feng Shui.


Yang energy is the active half of the yin-yang concept. Yang is active, male, bright, lightweight, heat, upward/rising, noon, dry, sun, life, summer, fire, directing, South. It should be balanced with similarly opposite levels of yin energy.

Yang Chai Zhe

Houses for the living.

Yang House Feng Shui

The Feng Shui study of houses for the living.


The second heavenly stem in the cycle of ten, denoting yin wood, based on the productive cycle of the five elements as they go through their yin and yang phases. It refers to the more inward and recessive aspects of the wood element and is used in Four Pillars astrology.


See Ba Zhai.

Yi Jing, also called Yijing

See I Ching.


Yin energy is the passive half of the yin-yang concept. Yin is still, female, dark, heavy, cool, downward/falling, midnight, wet, moon, death, winter, water, receptive, North. It should be balanced by an equal presence of yang energy.

Yin, also called Tiger

The third earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of the energies of moving ahead rapidly. It is used in Chinese Astrology and Four Pillars.

Yin Chai Zhe

Translated as ìdark house,î meaning tomb or grave site.

Yin House Feng Shui

The Feng Shui study of houses for the dead (burial sites).

A concept from the I Ching denoting the opposite polarities that came into being when the universe came into manifestation; the Daoist idea that unites all opposites as complimentary inseparable forces.

You, also called Yu, Rooster

The tenth earthly branch in the cycle of twelve life energies, representative of receptive energy. It is used in Chinese astrology and Four Pillars.



1) Period of sixty years, San Yuan. 2) Unit of Chinese Currency.

Luck, which fluctuates with time and can be predicted.


To figure out something by meditation. To empty the space.

Zen Shan

A perfect moment of insight and complete understanding,

Zhen, Thunder, ìthe Arousingî

One of the eight trigrams (guas or quadrants) of the bagua, associated with the east, spring, the number three, the element wood, the color green, the eldest son, family, health and other life aspects. Zhen is denoted by two dashed lines over one solid line.

Zi, also called the Rat

The first earthly branch in the cycle of 12 life energies, representative of reproductive energy. It is used in Chinese astrology and Four Pillars.

Zi- Ping

See Four Pillars of Destiny.

Zodiac, Asian

A diagram, consisting of twelve animal archetypes that are metaphoric representations of twelve types of chi, which are linked to the cyclical movements of the heavens and earthly relationships. Although the archetypes have existed for thousands of years it is not certain when they were given their animal names. The twelve are: Rat=Zi; Ox or Buffalo=Chou; Tiger=Yin; Rabbit=Mao; Dragon=Chen; Snake=Si; Horse=Wu; Ram, Goat, Sheep or Ram=Wei; Monkey=Shen; Rooster=You; Dog=Hsu; and Pig or Boar=Hai.

Zodiac, Western

A diagram divided into the twelve astrological signs, each bearing the name of a constellation. The twelve are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.