Feng Shui Tradition

Feng Shui is a modernized term for the ancient art and over time other terms have been used. When working with the Feng Shui classics - the ancient writings on Feng Shui - we might - besides using the term "Kanyu" come across any of these terms:


Xiang Zhai

Feng Shui Burial SiteEarly Qin period refers to siting as Xiang Zhai. Zhai is a dwelling place.

Zhai originally means a dwelling for the living. Dead people also need a place to safely rest and “sleep”, therefore, Zhai also refers to the grave site of dead people.

The art of Xiang Zhai includes both places of dwelling for the living and graves for the dead. The former is termed Yang Zhai and the latter Yin Zhai. The two are similar in that both deal with people and sites for them. After determining the site (Xiang Di), a place of rest is built. The difference is that one is for the living, the other for the dead.

Xiang Di

Although Xiang Di is often used interchangeably with Feng Shui, there are differences between them:

The idea of Xiang Di came about long before Feng Shui. In primitive society, Xiang Di came into practice because of the need to look for raw material and a safe and comfortable place to live in. People wander around seeking the best locations for settlements. They had to study the landform and the movements of water sources, as well as observing changes in vegetation and soil types. This is called Xiang Di, Feng Shui came about much later.

Xiang Di includes aspects of agriculture and hunting to the building of cities, dwellings, travel and warfare. All these require the study of Xiang Di. On the other hand, Feng Shui is restricted to dwellings and gravesites.