Feng shui (Chinese: 風水), also known as Chinese geomancy, is a traditional practice originating from ancient China, which uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. Feng shui is an ancient art and science that was developed over 3,000 years ago in China. The term 'feng shui' literally translated as "wind-water" in English, while in the Chinese culture, wind and water are both associated with good health.
Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The feng shui practice discusses architecture in terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi.
Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or the compass.
Feng shui is essentially the interaction of humans and their environments. It enables you to influence these interacting energies to achieve specific life improvements. This influence is gained by positioning or designing your surroundings in harmony with principles of natural energy flow. Feng shui reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for those inhabiting it.
The goal of feng shui as practiced today is to situate the human-built environment on spots with good qi, an imagined form of "energy". The "perfect spot" is a location and an axis in time.