Though Feng Shui translates into “Wind & Water”, we Feng Shui practitioners are actually more interested in the mountains and water sources in our environment.
Qi flows down the mountains, is dispersed by wind, and stops at the edges of water. It therefore follows that in looking for an ideal spot for our house/flat or a bigger settlement like a village or even a city, we must make sure that we have “good” mountains, that there’s not too much wind, and most importantly, that we have a water source that keeps the Qi from escaping.
Mountains are important because they form the backbone and the skeleton of the landscape. Not only do they provide us with protection from weather, but they are also a source of food, shelter and natural resources. “Good” mountains should be lush, green and lively. A rocky outcrop or a mountain with sparse vegetation has not much positive Qi left and can even harm the people living in its vicinity. As for the water – well, we all know that without water we simply cannot survive.
Culturally, most of the ancient (and many modern) Asian cities are located in such a way to have mountains or hills in the back, and rivers, lakes or the ocean in front. Larger cities like Shanghai and Wuhan, for example, are found near the ocean or the junction of two or more rivers – a formation we call in Feng Shui terms “Water Mouth”. This makes great sense not only in Feng Shui, but also for practical reasons: Water is not just a source of life, but also a means of transportation, it facilitates trade and thereby prosperity.
As you can see – Feng Shui, although it bases itself on the study of earth powers, Yin & Yang, and the study of the 5 elements, is actually a very practical science that is very transferable to modern day life.
Most importantly, though, is that in order to keep good Feng Shui and positive Qi flow in our environment, we must first of all protect our natural environment. Mountains that are broken by mining, deforestation, erosion, etc. cannot protect us any longer. Water that is being contaminated is no longer a source of life and prosperity.
Do your part in protecting the Feng Shui of your environment. Be grateful for what nature gives you and be a bit more conscious of how you treat her in return! Remember, we are all just guests on this planet.