Feng Shui

Glossary of Terms

Ba Zhai

Bazhai is the most basic method employed by the School of the Compass.  It is used to determine whether the orientation of the dwelling is in harmony with the fate of its residents. Bahzai includes finding Kua – numbers for the house according to its foundational side.  It determines whether the house belongs to the western or eastern group and what its favourable and unfavourable sectors are.  It is considered favourable if the house and its inhabitants belong to the same life grouping. We always try to take advantage of the positive energy of the favourable sectors and minimize the negative influences of the unfavourable sectors by using the energies of the five elements.  Any changes that are made based on Bazhai must not be in contradiction to the principles of the School of Form which is always considered dominant over the School of the Compass.


With the help of Bagua (also known as Pa Kua) we divide a space into eight sectors according to the four directions of the compass.  This is the system according to the School of the Compass.  Each sector is assigned a number, the trigram, a direction and one of the five elements.  The energy of this element can be represented in several ways.  At the same time, each of the eight sectors is associated with one of the life’s areas (North – life’s path + career; South – fame + recognirion; East – the past + ancestors; West – creativity + children; SW – partnership + relationships; SE – prosperity + wealth; NE – wisdom + knowledge; NW – helpful friends + pathways). Bagua thus guides the work with the space where we are trying to strengthen some areas of life using the space around us.

Bagua Mirror

The so-called Bagua mirrors are used for protection of a house. They are place beside the front door, always with the mirror facing out so that negative energies from the surroundings are reflected outward.  This is a very powerful symbol that must be handled carefully.  These should not be hung inside the dwelling.

Chinese coins

The shape of old Chinese coins represents the harmony between Heaven and Earth. The circle represents Heaven and the square in the middle the Earth. In Feng Shui we use replicas of these coins to symbolize wealth which, however, is not material. The number of coins is very important; for example to symbolize abundance we use three coins on a red ribbon, which we can carry in our wallet, keep in a safe, or in the southeastern sector which is associated with prosperity and wealth.  We also use three coins with the help of I Ching for prophesy.

Five elements

The alpha and omega of eastern teachings of Feng Shui is the principle of the five elements and their energies. We use this principle in the School of the Compass.  These are the five elements of our physical world: water – wood – fire – earth – metal.  They form the basis of three types of cycles – nurturing/feeding, weakening/sapping and destructive.  All are useful in certain situations and their correct usage is required for creating harmony. The energies of the five elements can be expressed in a variety of ways – using colour, shapes, or materials.

Flying star

One of the astrologies of the School of the Compass.  This is the most dynamic astrology because it works with time, in cycles of 180 years.  We need to know the year in which the construction of a dwelling was completed (the “birth” of the house) which determines the twenty year span that we call age.  Currently we are in the age of 8, which goes from 2004 to 2024. The facing and the back side of a house then determine various combinations of numbers which we call Stars. Positive combinations are strengthened and negative combinations are suppressed with the help of corrective solutions and energies of the five elements.  Conclusions of the Flying star are dominant over the favourable or unfavourable changes based on Bazhai.

Four pillars

Astrological analysis of the “Four pillars of fate” shows the arrangement of the Elements and Animals at the moment of a person’s birth.  We use the year, month, day and hour of birth. Astrology examines a person’s stance toward his/her current life situation and suggests his/her strengths and weaknesses.  At the same time Elements are chosen which will help the person re-establish balance and harmony. With further calculations we can determine Happy pillars which show life in five year cycles.  The conclusions from the analysis of the Four pillars serve as a very powerful and useful instrument of Feng Shui and, except for the general principles, help us apply the art of Feng Shui to the individual. This astrology is part of the School of the Compass.

I Ching

The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, is a Chinese philosophical volume and one of the oldest books of humankind. It consists of sixty four hexagrams and their explication. Understanding of this book and its prophesy or oracle requires life-long study. In Feng Shui we use eight basic trigrams and their attributes. It is also possible to construct a hexagram that indicates the relationship between a house and its residents using a person’s Ming Kua and the Kua of the house.

Lo Pan

This is basically the only aid that is used in Feng Shui and is the object from which the School of the Compass takes its name. It consists of a square which symbolizes the Earth and a circle which symbolizes Heaven. It thus attempts to achieve harmony between heaven and earth which is the presumed foundation of human happiness. We use it to assess the space more precisely, and its rotating disks simplify calculations using the charts.

Lo Shu

This is also known as the magic square because the sum of the numbers in each row, column and diagonal is always 15. It is the basis of the astrology of nine Kua and Feng Shui.  It was discovered a thousand years ago by a Chinese emperor Fu-si, the originator of I Ching.  Even numbers correspond to Yin and odd to Yang.  The idea of Nine palaces used in the astrology of the Flying Star originates in Lo Shu (also Lou-Shu).  The Bagua and the five elements are derived from Lo Shu.

Ming Kua

Ming Kua is an astrology from the School of the Compass. A person’s birth date determines his or her Ming Kua or personal number, which determines the trigram of fate – whether we belong to the western or eastern group and which directions are favorable and unfavorable.  Favorable directions are used for orienting the front door to the house and the entrances to individual rooms. They are also used for placements of the stove, bed, office chair or favorite armchair.

Ming Tang

Ming Tang is the space just in front of an entrance and the entrance itself.  It is a very important space because the signals it emits into its surroundings create an unconscious first impression about what awaits inside. This space has the power to instill a favorable disposition in anyone who enters. This space should be rid of disturbing influences; rather, it should be welcoming, pleasant, uncluttered and dynamic. It is important that the entrance captures attention and thus entices as much energy as possible.


The symbols of Yin and Yang, or the Monad, represent one of the basic principles of Feng Shui.  The circle represents oneness or unity, and black and white are polar opposites. The small dot of the opposite colour indicates that nothing is only black or white, good or bad, etc.  Both sides should be balanced and flow from one to the other, as day flows into night and night into day. This principle is inseparable from Feng Shui; we use it for example in placement of rooms in a house.


Qi, or Chi, is the universal energy of life that exists in all living beings and inanimate objects in the material world. The purpose of Feng Shui is to create an environment in which Qi flows smoothly and calmly, to achieve harmony and with it spiritual and physical health.  Feng Shui creates and cultivates positive energy – Sheng Qi – and tries to eliminate negative energy – Sha Qi. The basic types of energies are the Wind (Feng) as the movement, the carrier of Qi and Water (Shui) as the content, a container of Qi. Further division of the energy is according to the principles of Yin and Yang or according to the energies of the five elements.


Rituals are a critical foundational principle of Feng Shui.  One is the ritual of cleansing a space of unwanted foreign energy, for example prior to moving into a new home or office, after completing a major renovation or before the arrival of something new in our life.  Another ritual can be performed at the start of a new construction. The most important thing is to allow sufficient time for the ritual and to conduct it with humility and an open mind.  Another important aspect of rituals is to envision new ideas for the future which will subconsciously re-program the new phase of our life.

School of Form

The School of Form, or Shape, is the oldest school in Feng Shui and is always dominant to all other schools. Initially its goal was to determine the proper orientation of graves because honouring dead ancestors was an important part of everyday life in China. Over time the method began to be used for orienting buildings according to geographical conditions, climate and sources of water.  Sometimes the School of Form is also called the method of the earth because it helps us determine what the particular piece of land expresses and offers.  We use it primarily for proper orientation of a house on a piece of land and to determine the optimal shape of the house.  The School of Form also entails logic and functionality of space, and we use it to place the bed, sofa, office desk, kitchen, and so on in favorable positions. To this day, with the help of the School of Form, we try to find Heaven on earth that answers to four sacred animals – Turtle, Tiger, Dragon (responsible for support) and Phoenix (representing a scene of nature with flowing water).  The School of Form is more intuitive.

School of Compass

This system was developed later and is a bit more complicated.  It considers the points of the compass and at the same time the needs of an individual.  The name comes from its most important tool – the compass.  Chinese masters used it since the beginning and today it is known as Lo Pan.  The School of the Compass goes beyond Feng Shui. Its mathematical theories were employed and adapted by Taoists, and the two philosophies are very similar. The I Ching, Bagua, Five elements, Flying Star, Ming Kua and Nazhai all belong to the School of the Compass.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, or the energy centre of a dwelling, is a very important place that influences the health of its inhabitants. It should be an open space so that the energy can flow freely.  The Tai Chi should not contain elevators, staircases, escalators, ladders, chimneys, bearing walls, disruptive elements or too much furniture.

Wind - Water

Loosely translated, Feng Shui means wind-water.  These are two fundamental energies. Wind is movement, a new impulse, idea or thought that appears like lightning.  Water catches it, unfolds it and gives it depth and direction.  According to traditional Chinese philosophy, the best placement of a house is near hills which protect it from the wind and near flowing water. We chose the Czech translation “Vitr-Voda” (Wind-Water) as our company’s name to express the idea of practicing Feng Shui in the Czech context.




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