Common Feng Shui Terms and Definitions

Have you heard terms used in Feng Shui and wondered what the heck that? Or maybe you think you know what it means but you aren’t quite sure. Below are some commonly used Feng Shui terms and a basic definition of each.


Auspicious:  Used to describe favorable, positive or desired energy.

Bagua: Translates to “8 areas” and is the ‘grid’ used to map out the energy of a space. Commonly seen in its modified version as a 9-box square similar to an enclosed tic-tac-toe board, with each box corresponding to a life-area.  It is traditionally depicted as a pie-like diagram with 8 slices and a center point. Each of the slices is associated with one of the 8 cardinal directions.  Gua refers to one slice or box, depending upon the Bagua version used. Free Download

Calabash: Usually made of brass, the calabash is most often used to balance energy that can negatively impact health.

Chi:  Chi, often spelled Qi, is life energy which we strive to have flowing gently and smoothly through a space. Shen Chi is favorable. Sha Chi is not favorable.

Energy:  That unseen force that impacts us and the things around us. Think of physics and quantum physics. These are things we know and trust even though we can’t see them. The energy we speak of in Feng Shui is much the same. It impacts us and our environment even though we can’t see it. Often people attribute the feelings they have to the things they see. For example, if a room doesn’t feel good to them, they say, they don’t like the color of the paint or the upholstery of the furniture, or a picture on the wall; when in fact, they are likely responding to the unseen energy of the space.

Resident Energy: This term is used in Flying Star Feng Shui to refer to the energy of the structure that does not change over time. This energy is kind of like a person’s finger print – it would take a major action to change it.

Annual Energy:  Every year, usually in early February, the annual energy pattern changes. It impacts every structure. It interacts with the Resident Energy of the building as well. There is also a monthly energy pattern that changes each month, as well as interacting with the resident and annual energy patterns.

Feng Shui Battery: Also referred to as a Salt Water Treatment, is made up of a combination of water, salt and coins. It is used most often to treat a particular energy that can lead to conflicts and arguments. Arrogance and indecisiveness can also be a result of the energy that the Feng Shui Battery is used to balance.

Five Elements:  The five elements found in nature:  wood, fire, earth, metal and water, are used in Feng Shui for balancing energies to achieve positive Chi flow.  These are the same five elements used in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Free Download

Four Pillars:  The term used for Chinese Astrology.  Four Pillars, or 4P, charts contain four columns, or pillars; one each for the year, month, day, and time you were born.  Most people are familiar with the animal sign of the year they were born, or their Year Master. This is only one component of Chinese Astrology.

Flying Star:  Is a traditional form of Feng Shui dating back over 3,000 years. It is often referred to as “compass” Feng Shui. The star combinations impacting a structure are based on factors such as construction date, history, and the surroundings.  The energy in a specific area of the structure may be favorable or unfavorable and thus requires balancing or enhancing.   More about Flying Star Feng Shui.

Inauspicious:  The unfavorable energy that we want to neutralize and mitigate.

Moving metal: Refers to wind chimes, chiming clocks such as grandfather clocks, or any other object made of metal that moves and creates a pleasant sound. A car is not considered moving metal in Feng Shui.

Poison Arrow:  Term most often used to refer to those protruding corners, edges or objects that “point” at you. These create negative energy and thus impact people negatively. It is best not to sit in direct line of them.

Power Position:  This is most often the preferred seating position. It supports the back as well as the sides, while leaving the front open to easily receive favorable energy and see anything that approaches.

Qi:  See Chi.

Salt Water Treatment:  See Feng Shui Battery.

Water Feature:  Some consider it a fancy word for water fountain.  Although it can refer to any feature that contains moving water, such as fish tanks, ponds,  or even pools, lakes, or oceans.

Yin/Yang:  Yin/Yang is the balancing of opposites.   The two opposites make a whole and each component contains a bit of its opposite within itself.   Yin is feminine, Yang is masculine. Without one the other does not exist. Free Download


Don’t see a term you’re curious about? Let us know in a comment and we’ll do our best to post a definition for you as soon as possible.


About the Author:

Helen Arabanos is a Professional Feng Shui Consultant based in Westlake Village, CA, and the author of HE’S INTO YOU…But Is His Home? What a Man’s Feng Shui Can Reveal About Him. Get more FREE Feng Shui information at her website including Relationship Secrets  and more.



About Full Bloom Feng Shui

Feng Shui Expert, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher, House Healer.
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2 Responses to Common Feng Shui Terms and Definitions

  1. Pingback: Feng Shui Environmental Energy and Bulldog Puppy Scent « Jan Deelstra

  2. Pingback: The Philosophy of Feng Shui

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