Historical Accounts of Feng Shui

One of the old practices of the Chinese people is Feng Shui, which is the so-called regulations that govern the heavens and the earth in order to attain a positive Qi. The historical accounts regarding Feng Shui is around 3, 500 years ago and it is even more ancient than the creation of the magnetic compass. It is believed today that Feng Shui's beliefs and practices have originated from early astronomy.

In early astronomy, the old instruments are used when practicing Feng Shui. Gnomon is the oldest instrument in Feng Shui which was utilized with the attempt to circumpolar the stars so that they can discover where the north and south axis are. The gnomon is used to lay down their ancient Chinese settlements.

The oldest cultures that practice Feng Shui are the Yangshao and Hongshan culture as early as 4, 000 BC when the openings of the Banpo homes were in line with the star named Yingshi once the winter solstice has gone. According to the records of Shijing, the stars provide them better solar gain and it was during the Zhou times that Yingshi was named Ding, which brought them the right time to create their capital city.

One more example of the evidences of Feng Shui practices is the tombs at Pyang which is around 3, 000 BCE ago. The grave has mosaics filled with stars named Dragon and Tiger with the Beidou, or also known as the Big Dipper in the West. The mosaics filled with stars were aligned to the north to south axis. Moreover, the Puyng tombs, Hongshan cultural ceremonial centers, and Longshan settlement also contain shapes of circles and squares. This indicates that the gaitan astronomy, which indicates there is a round and square earth, is practiced in the ancient Chinese civilization.

The liuren astrolabes are one of the most ancient instruments utilized in Feng Shui. These instruments have a lacquered, two-sided board with astronomical sightlines. The oldest liuren astrolabes were found in the tombs dated 278 BCE and 209 BCE. It shows a cord-hook figure and some even have the magic square of three. The engravings on the instruments, from the old astrolabe to the magnetic compass, were still intact.

Another evidence that Feng Shui has been practiced at around 3, 000 BCE and resembles many of the Feng Shui beliefs and instruments today is the jade artifact located in Hanshan. Even the old structures in China such as the fortresses inside the major cities carry the influence of Feng Shui whether in the design or layout. The teachings throughout the Zhou era that were obeyed by the people can be found on the Kaogong ji or also known as the Manual of Crafts.

As for the magnetic compass, it was created in order to practice Feng Shui. It is still being used up to this day. Another traditional Feng Shui device is the Luopan or the former south-pointing spoon or also known as the zhihan zhen. This data indicates that the degree of the historical accounts of Feng Shui is very deep in practice during the ancient Chinese civilization.

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