Feng Shui For Dummies

Feng Shui is part of the Chinese Metaphysics system. There are Five Arts (Wu Shu 五术) that form the study of Chinese Metaphysics:



Classical Feng Shui falls into the category of “Physiognomy”, more specifically, the “Physiognomy of the Land”. It revolves around examining the prevailing Qi flow within the landforms and determining how we can harness this Qi to maximize the positive effects on our lives – both on a macro and a micro scale! The goal of Classical Feng Shui is to identify sources of positive Qi within an environment, and position a property and ourselves, to receive this Qi.



The theory of the Five Elements – 五行 – is a cornerstone of all sciences within Chinese Metaphysics. In order to understand and use Feng Shui applications correctly, it is absolutely essential to first master the Five Elements concept.

The Five Elements are known in Chinese Metaphysics as Wu Xing五行. This translates into the “Five Transformations” or the “Five Phases” of Yin and Yang interaction, or Qi. As we have learnt, the interaction between Yin and Yang results in the creation of Qi, life energy. Depending on the different qualities or proportions of Yin and Yang within this interaction, the outcome of the Five Transformations of Qi result in different elements.

Each of the five elements has its own very unique attributes and qualities, and is used to represent different types or stages of Qi. This means that the elements can manifest in different forms – and not necessarily in their literal, physical form. It is important to note that the Five Elements do not always represent the same thing in different contexts. For example – Fire represents Passion, but it can also represent actual fire, or our heart and eyes. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself with all aspects and facets of the Five Elements, in their relevant context, in order to interpret them correctly.

In the study of Chinese Metaphysics, there exist three existential forces that govern our lives and our destiny.

These forces are known as the Cosmic Trinity and consist of:
Heaven Luck
Earth Luck
Man Luck

Each one of these forces is responsible in equal parts (33%, with 1% of good luck thrown in) for the way our lives play out.

Heaven Luck

Heaven Luck refers to the destiny we are born with. It is fixed at birth and influences our family circumstances, our talents, our health, our potential and our general path in life.

Generally speaking, it sums up all the things that lie beyond our control. We cannot decide our place of birth, or who we are born to. Neither can we pick and choose our strengths and weaknesses. Chinese Astrology – Bazi / Four Pillars of Destiny – is a popular method to analyze a person’s Heaven Luck.

Earth Luck

When we talk about Earth Luck, we mean the environment we live in and how this environment influences our lives and destiny. This is essentially Feng Shui. It relates to topography and land-forms; where mountains, water and pathways are located in relationship to a property. It is the geography, location, direction and time factors that influence destiny.

By applying Feng Shui, we can maximize the positive aspects that we are born with thanks to our Heaven Luck.

Man Luck

Man Luck quite simply refers to our actions, choices, learnt skills, education, beliefs, principles and virtues.

We are all born with free will. By making the right choices, by persevering when faced with challenges, and by using positive thinking, we can empower ourselves and indeed change the trajectory of our lives.

In analyzing the Feng Shui potential, or quality of a property, an authentic Classical Feng Shui audit will have to take four factors into consideration – regardless of which system or calculation method is used.

The four important factors that lie at the heart of every Classical Feng Shui application are:



The environment in which a property is located, plays an important role with respect to the type and quality of Qi that is present. This, in turn, has an effect on the inhabitants of the property.

External features – whether natural or man-made – conduct Qi flow and circulate it around the property. It is of utmost importance to first determine whether Sheng Qi or Sha Qi is prevalent in the environment. If Sheng Qi is present, the occupants will naturally do better.

Since Classical Feng Shui is an outside-in science, our first consideration when conducting an audit should be the environment itself.


When evaluating the Feng Shui of a building, we must consider these four important factors:

It’s Facing Direction;
It’s Shape;
It’s Internal Layout;
It’s Main Door Location

As a general rule of thumb, we want the building to look balanced and stable to facilitate harmonious Qi flow. Weird shapes – as often seen in modern architecture – are not necessarily a guarantor for good Feng Shui.

Before and after the main door we would like to see a “Bright Hall” (Ming Tang, 明堂). This is an open space where Qi can collect and subsequently meander into the building. Tight, dark and narrow hallways should be avoided.

Furthermore, the location of the main door, the kitchen stove and the bedrooms are important aspects to consider.


A building can have different outcomes for different individuals living or working in it. When auditing a family home, the specific family dynamics must also be taken into consideration.

Each person has their own personal Life Gua (Ming Gua, 命卦). This is a personal trigram that is derived by calculations based on the person’s birth date and gender. It determines a person’s favorable and unfavorable directions in Feng Shui.

Because of this, each property – be it residential or commercial – has a different impact on each individual. A property can be very auspicious for one family, but rather negative for another. Certain people thrive in a property, while others tend to struggle.


The time factor is important in all systems of Classical Feng Shui, but most of all in San Yuan Feng Shui.

Qi is dynamic and can change its pattern and energy, depending on the passing of time. In Feng Shui – and in Chinese Metaphysics in general – nothing is forever good or forever bad. Energy patterns are cyclical. Some systems in Feng Shui take a more long-term approach (180 years, 60 years, 20 years), whereas other systems are more dynamic and short-term (annual, monthly, even daily). It all depends on the requirements of the client.

Naturally, the effects of the short-term approach are much weaker and short-lived than the ones of long-term Feng Shui.

Susanne Schutz holds four Master Degrees in Chinese Metaphysics, and practices in the areas of Classical Feng Shui, Bazi Astrology, Date Selection, and Qimen Dunjia. As a Chinese Metaphysics Consultant, she works closely with her clients and through detailed consultations, identifies their goals, and provides remedies and suggestions to achieve results.

If you’d like the guidance of a professional, book a Feng Shui Consultation with Susanne before relocating to a new home, or purchasing a property.