Feng Shui Glossary

Feng Shui: The Glossary

Definitions of Feng Shui terminology

By Tarot.com Staff

Confused by some of the words you hear associated with Feng Shui and Feng Shui reports? Delve deeper into the ancient art of Feng Shui with ease with these helpful definitions.


Used to describe favorable and beneficial influences

Ba gua

The ba gua (ba: eight; gua: area) is essentially a Feng Shui map. In most cases, it shaped like an octagon, with eight sections surrounding a central area. It is used to define which areas of your life are governed by particular areas of your living or work space. Each of the areas correspond to a different aspect of your life. This diagram is said to have been inspired centuries ago by the markings on a tortoise shell. Also called Bagua or Pa Kua.

Cardinal points

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


A general term for the vital energy that exits everywhere, and in everything. Chi refers to all form of energy and its flow. Feng Shui teaches the movement and manipulation of chi in order to create the most beneficial environment in the home or office. Also called qi or ki (Japanese).

Clashing doors

Doors that hit each other when opened. Classical Feng Shui: The vast majority of Feng Shui practitioners around the world practice this type of Feng Shui. Classical Feng Shui incorporates both Form School and Compass School (the two original practices first used in ancient China) principles and methods. Also called Traditional Feng Shui.


Protruding corners disrupt the healthy flow of chi with negative energy, and are considered bad Feng Shui. To counteract this energy, try placing a tall plant (reparably with rounded leaves) in front of it to act as a cure.


Something that is used to counteract inauspicious energy, or negative chi. It could be an object, prayer or action. Cures help ensure balance and the most positive chi in a space. Also called remedy.


One of the Five Elements. Earth chi concerns itself with material things and earthly conditions. Represented with earth tones, yellows, and tans and by objects made of crystal, stone and ceramic. Also called tu.

Feng Shui

Literally translated as "wind and water," this ancient Chinese practice is thought to be over 5000 years old. Feng Shui is the science of controlling the flow of energy in order to harmonize an individual with their environment. The strategic use of color, plants and furnishings within a house can create the best flow of benevolent chi and counteract negative energies. By carefully balancing the flow if chi, it is thought life can be influenced in a profoundly positive way.


One of the Five Elements. Fire energy is very energetic and vibrant, and is associated with fame and good name. It's symbolized by the colors red, purple, magenta, pink and orange. Objects such as candles, incense burners, lamps and fireplaces are its hallmarks. Also called huo.

Five Elements

The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The essence of Feng Shui is rooted in the interaction and balance between the five elements. Each element exists in a yin and yang form and governs certain aspects of life. Also called Wu Xing.


Loosely translated as "house" or "sector." It refers to one of the eight areas in the Feng Shui map (ba gua). Each gua represents a different aspect of your life. Also called kua.


A symbol that originates from the I-Ching, it consists of six solid or broken lines and is based on combinations of the eight trigrams. There are 64 hexagrams in the I-Ching, which represent every known correspondence and combination of energies. Hexagrams are sometimes used to discern a possible course to future events, and are often studied for their philosophical insights.


One of the great Chinese philosophical texts, I-Ching has been used for divination and for philosophical guidance for thousands of years. It depicts the movements and development of every event or phenomenon in the universe and is an important component in the formation of Feng Shui theory. Also called The Book of Changes.


Used to describe negative, unfavorable and harmful influences as well as unsuccessful results.

Integrative Feng Shui

A blending of several schools and philosophies of Feng Shui as well as other methods for Feng Shui purposes.

Intercardinal points

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

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