Most have heard of feng-shui (fung-shway) - the Taoist principle that the land is alive with energy, and that buildings can have good or bad feng-shui depending on how they are situated in the landscape.
Feng is translated as wind, while shui is translated as water. Wind is considered yang (male/light), while water is yin (female/dark). Gentle wind and smooth water are associated with a good harvest and good health, while harsh winds and stagnant water have been linked to famine and disease. Thus, "good" feng-shui has become linked to a good livelihood and fortune, and "bad" feng-shui has become linked to hardship and misfortune.
It is quite a bit more involved than all of that, and it is a study that requires years to master, but we all have an innate sense of it, I think. This may well be one of the great attractions of Vancouver, which abounds with good feng-shui.It definitely feels very different here.
Water is yin, and mountains are yang. Earth is yin, and sky is yang. When water meets mountains or clouds drop from the sky to embrace the earth, nourishing energy is generated. Mountains that seem to disappear and reappear because of shifting clouds are said to contain tremendous energy. sourceThat's Vancouver in a nutshell, but the pace is slower with the mountains disappearing for days, or weeks at a time, and then brilliantly exposed throughout the summer. Though, by these measures, this last few months of storms and lashing winds and rain have had some bad energy.
Is it perilous to ignore feng-shui? Some say it is. The Chinese are famous for wanting addresses with auspicious numbers, and are willing to pay a premium for them. Some deals are contingent on municipal approval to change those numbers.
Feng-shui is also an issue inside the house. A clear line of sight through the middle of the house is said to be a negative. There needs to be breaks so that the energy does not just flow through - leaving the dwelling less charged. A large tree outside the front window can also be negative. Bathrooms by the entrance doors are very negative. It is said that you flush your fortune out of the house. I have always been turned off places that have "powder rooms" right by the front door. Strangely (to me), a lot of people find this to be a desirous feature.
Feng-shui is not a superstition or a set of dos and don'ts. It is the art and science of understanding the forces of nature in order to design houses and workplaces that blend with the environment instead of clashing with it. It aims to help us live in harmony with the world by promoting the flow of positive energy and neutralizing or avoiding negative or destructive energy. source
As with so many "cliche" philosophies, there is a great amount of common sense to this ideal. It is not magical, but the difference between a good living environment and a bad one can seem so.
I have been thinking of all of this since I posted on the ROAR yesterday. That project seemed to have good feng-shui to me. Then, after thinking about it all day, I read some comments over at the pope's place by will and wg2c, and it was a confirmation.
Too bad this post has poor feng-shui. It just does not flow. I added the picture of North Vancouver shrouded in clouds to bring some balance to it (when I noticed that the tall buildings at the shore were blocking the flow from sea to sky...).
I don't have time to do it justice. Your expansions on the topic are most welcome. I'm sure that some of you are much more fluent (pun intended) on the subject than I.