Science and Feng Shui: a cultural path from the origins of Feng Shui as an ancient knowledge system to its modern applications, with the purpose of bringing a new style of design and harmonization into our homes


To write something interesting and intriguing on Feng Shui has become a difficult task: reports and definitions with a more or less degree of accuracy are now widespread in many magazines and newspapers, and books and manuals about Feng Shui have found a place in many bookshops, even in their windows.

Popular interest in this ancient discipline concerns mostly architecture and home furnishing, which allow more professional applications, but we need to deepen our analysis into rediscovering Feng Shui

This rapid escalation in the popularity of Feng Shui is the long wave of a phenomenon with a global reach, particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, but  a second reading through the origins can bring to an amazing view of rediscovering Feng Shui.

It is important to note that our culture keeps such an indelible mark of Cartesian rationalist philosophy as to have serious difficulties in understanding the high value and significance of ancient systems of knowledge as Feng Shui.
So Feng Shui not only regards architecture and techniques of furniture, but there is much more. To say the truth, it just eludes any precise definition: any can be good but none is exhaustive. So we need to go into depth through rediscovering Feng Shui……
Feng Shui has its origins at the dawn of Chinese civilization, when science was one thing with Knowledge and concerned the Whole.
4000 years ago human mankind used to live in a different dimension on the Earth: what we call today superstition with contempt and superiority was as a matter of fact the ability to “read” the signs (Fig.1) which Universal Life has left for us in the microcosm where we live.


Fig. 1. The oracular bone of the Shang dynasty

The Chinese Compass (Fig.3), intimately tied to astronomical knowledge and time calculations, is a very complex tool which shows this ability to recognize the signs and signals that nature displays in order to teach us to adapt, modify and harmonize the environment in which Man lives. All this should be done without altering the delicate and fundamental balances that make possible Life on our Earth

The Chinese Compass was used for the benefit of the whole community (Fig.2): farmers could choose the best fields and agronomic techniques, the right time for cultivation, and a profitable way to manage irrigation. Priests could choose the right site for sacred ceremonies and in particular a proper location and orientation for graves. Military strategists could identify lands with more favorable conditions for winning battles. Emperors could rule more wisely. Common men could build their homes in order to ensure a happy future for their own families


Fig. 2 – Science and technology in ancient China

The essentials of Feng Shui, represented superbly in the Ba Gua and in the Chinese Compass (Fig.3), are the fundamental space-time references, and form the basis for the understanding and teaching of this ancient system of knowledge.


Fig.3 – Chinese Compass

What is beyond our mind’s rational grasp is the analogic pattern of Feng Shui, which is based on an archaic but very effective way of our brains to put together thoughts and images: it is a method that works by association, rather than following the classical Aristotelian process of cause and effect.

Recently, science has ‘discovered’ new ways of knowledge, based on theories about the cosmos origin and structure, which questioned the old system, and at the same time epistemology opened up new possibilities.

We will consider, in particular, two scientific approaches: the abductive method and the fractal theory, which have been the subject of specific articles on this site. They explain how Feng Shui can be better understood also by a rational mind, although not having all the requirements asked in the traditional deductive method requirements.


Fig.4 – Sherlock Holmes

Also technology meets the Feng Shui necessity of understanding telluric phenomena, so the complexity of the Earth’s structure (which in past times was probed only by dowsers) can be now better understood through highly improved tools such as gaussimeters (Fig.5).


Fig.5 – Gaussimeter

We can therefore have at our disposal all the tools and methodologies useful to design and harmonize our environments, as long as we want to thoroughly address the theme, starting with the subsoil, then exploring the Earth’s surface, its landscape and the site under examination, to end up with stars alignments (Fig.6).


Fig.6 – Swastika drawn by the constellation of the Great Bear in its annual movement around the Polar Star