Feng Shui Glossary

You’ve heard these terms before but are you sure what they mean? These are basic explanations without going into more esoteric detail. I hope you find this short list useful.


Bagua Eight trigrams In Black Sect feng shui the 8 trigrams become 8 life aspirations

Ba zhai  Eight house school

Ba zi  Four Pillars of Destiny, a form of astrology

Celestial Animals  White Tiger, Green Dragon, Red Phoenix and Black Turtle were originally used to denote North, South, East and West. Today they are generally used to show the right side, left side, front and back of a building.

Compass School  The actual magnetic compass reading of the facing and sitting of the building is used in conjunction with flying stars to determine and auspicious property.

Feng Shui  translates as Wind and Water

Five Elements Earth, Water, Wood, Fire, Metal

Five Elements Cycles productive, reduction and controlling

Productive cycle – Using the 5 elements so that an element creates the next in line. Water, wood, fire, earth, metal

Reduction cycle- Using the 5 elements so that and element reduces the power of the next one in line metal, earth, fire, wood, water

Controlling- Using the 5 elements to control each other (not usually recommended) metal, wood, earth, water, fire

Flying Stars Nine different personalities of energy move through the trigrams in cycles of 20 years, yearly, monthly, and daily. How these energies interact contribute to whether a building or area is auspicious during that time period.

Four kinds of houses  based on flying star theory

Wang shan wang shui=mountain star in back, water star in front, good for people, good for money

Shang shan hsia shui = mountain star in front, water star in back also known as a reversed house, against people and money

Double facing = both water star and mountain star at the front, good for money

Double sitting = both water star and mountain star at the back, good for people

Form School  The lay of the land is used to determine if a property is auspicious or not. This includes the relationship to mountains, rivers, lakes, and the quality of soils and vegetation, slope or flatness etc.

Kan Yu  old name for feng shui

Luo Pan  Chinese compass used by traditional feng shui practitioners to determine the sitting and facing degrees of a building as well as other measurements.  Its many rings provide specific information for formulas and calculations.

Luo Shu Sometimes called the magic square because when you add the numbers in rows or columns they always add up to 15

Ming tang The wide open space in front of your house, also your entry hall

Sheng qi  Most active and strongest energy

Sha qi  Negative energy

Trigram Used to denote a direction, each has a family designation and a characteristic of nature. The trigram symbol is made up of three lines, either solid or broken stacked one upon the other.

Qian= Northwest, Father, Heaven

Kun= Southwest, Mother, Earth

Zhen= East, Oldest Son, Thunder

Xun= Southeast, Oldest Daughter, Wind

Kan= North, Middle Son, Water

Li= South, Middle Daughter, Fire

Gen=Northeast, Youngest Son, Mountain

Dui= West, Youngest Daughter, Lake

Twenty-four Mountains The compass is divided into segments of 15 degrees, totaling 24 segments altogether. Each of these is called a mountain.

Zodiac The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Dog, and Pig

 chinese zodiac tiger


About fengshuisuccess

Diane is a professional Feng Shui Consultant and SoulCollage Facilitator.
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