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Feng Shui is a very ancient art. The term appears for the first time in a classic text "The Book of the Burials" by Guo Pu (276-324 AD). However, the most common term used to describe this art until the beginning of the 20th century was "Kanyu", which means to observe the sky and to observe the earth. Basically the history of Feng Shui can be written in three parts.

The first part is as old as man in the sense that he has always used discernment regarding the places he chose to live in. When he started to build permanent dwellings he had basic concerns such as basic direction, and, in the cold parts of China, the sunny side of the hill. And it was not just the dwellings for the living that aroused interest, but mainly the burial, ie the houses of the dead. The development of the principles of Chinese metaphysics on which Feng Shui is based is also very ancient. Possibly already since the time of Fuxi (~3000 BC), basic concepts such as Form, “Luan Tou”, and Direction “Di Li” were already present. However, the practical application of theoretical principles was limited by the impossibility of measuring direction accurately. Orientations were then obtained by means of of a vertical stick stuck in the ground and measurement of the respective shadow.

The great revolution and possibly the birth of Feng Shui as we know today, occurred with the appearance of the first compass, "Luo Pan". The first Luo Pan appeared at an uncertain date perhaps somewhere in the late Tang dynasty (around 700 AD). It was during that time that the first Great Master of this art, Yang Yung Sun, lived. He is credited with the creation of the 72 Dragons ring. Since then, two distinct schools were. The San He school, “Three Harmonies” which places great importance to the Landform and the San Yuan school (Three Periods) which has time as a fundamental aspect.

Classic Feng Shui was passed on in a process of secrecy that somehow lasts until today. That is why it is practically impossible to make an accurate history of the many calculations known today. However names like Jiang Da Hong (1620-1714) who first mentioned the Xuan Kong system or Tan Yang Wu who established the first school in the first half of the 20th century in Shanghai, are unavoidable figures. During the establishment of the Maoist regime in China, Feng Shui was persecuted and declared illegal, a prohibition that continues today. The best masters emigrated to Chinese communities outside of communist influence such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. These areas constituted effectively a Noah's ark of this art.

The third part of the history of Feng Shui begins in the 1980s, with the advent of contemporary Feng Shui. This modern form of Feng Shui was initiated by masters without classical training, the first being Lin Yun, a Tibetan Buddhist monk from Taiwan who emigrated to California and created the Black Hat system. From Black Hat,  numerous styles such as Intuitive Feng Shui derived. It is characterized by the fusion of cultures in the global village of today and with roots more or less linked to Chinese culture depending on the style. Modern Feng Shui can be said to be a redefinition and extension of the original concept of Feng Shui.

below, master Francis Leyau in a  yin zhai course teaching landform (Yin Zhai Luan Tou)


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