Feng Shui (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine)
Feng shui, pronounced "foong swee" (Cantonese) or "fong shway" (Mandarin) is the Chinese art of arranging buildings, objects, and space in the environment in order to achieve energy, harmony, and balance. The English translation of Feng shui is "the way of Wind (feng) and Water (shui)" or "the natural forces of the universe."
Feng shui, derived from the Chinese concept of yin and yang, has been practiced for thousands of years. Evidence of the existence of this practice can be found in the alignment and organization of graves in the Yangshao villages from 6000 B.C. In fact, there is compelling evidence that suggests that feng shui was not strictly an Asian entity. In prehistoric Europe, the practice of arranging objects and structures to be in harmony with the universe was a relatively common practice.
A popular theory regarding the origins of feng shui suggests that the practice stemmed from ancient shaman who understood the vital importance of strategically placing a village. Areas which possessed mild winds would generate plentiful harvests while harsh winds would stunt crop growth or destroy the harvest altogether. In addition, the placement of a village in close proximity to flowing water and fresh springs would stimulate growth and ensure health, while stagnant water would foster disease...
(The entire section is 1209 words.)
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