While feng shui can't deliver these things to you on a silver platter, it can help you harness the natural energies of the world to bring peace to your living space and prosperity to your overall life. It dates back thousands and thousands of years, and to this day, it has devoted practitioners all across the globe.

What is Feng Shui?

Literally meaning "wind" and "water," feng shui was first recorded by a Taoist historian in the 4th or 5th century, though it's probably even older than that. It's one of the five great arts of Chinese metaphysics along with things like divination and physiognomy. At its core, feng shui is about arranging spaces in a way that favorably aligns with or harnesses the power of qi. Qi is hard to define, but it's basically the invisible energy that moves the world; it literally means "breath," "vapor" or "air," but it's most commonly translated as "vital energy" or "vital force." Feng shui can be practiced on both a micro and macro scale. There are also many different schools of feng shui that interpret its signs and symbols in various ways. Despite its complexity, however, it's quite easy to get started with feng shui! Like any hobby, you can just play around and have fun for a while before you're ready to dive into deeper and more disciplined study.

The Core Concepts of Feng Shui

The most fundamental part of feng shui is the Bagua. This means "the eight areas," which are usually categorized as follows:

  • Zhen: Family
  • Xun/Sun: Wealth, abundance
  • Qian/Quian: Helpful people
  • Gen: Knowledge
  • Kun: Partnerships
  • Dui: Children, joy, completion
  • Li: Fame
  • K'an: Career

Each area of the Bagua is also associated with certain colors, numbers, elements, directions, seasons, and familial positions. For example, the Zhen or family area is associated with green, wood, thunder, east, and spring. You can think of the Bagua as a map that you layout over your living spaces. Many people choose to have a gigantic Bagua that encompasses their entire house; with this layout, individual rooms are the eight areas, so a home office might represent the career sphere and so on. Other people choose to create individual Bagua in each separate room, so one corner might represent wealth while another represents knowledge.

Arranging Your Bedroom With Feng Shui

Feng shui for the bedroom follows many of the same principles as feng shui for other rooms. It just has more of a focus on health, harmony, relaxation, and other domestic concepts as opposed to things like work success or financial prosperity.

That said, you can absolutely lay a Bagua over your bedroom if you'd like to delineate eight separate areas for it! It's just a bit trickier than using your bedroom as a simple Kun or Zhen area. Here are a few classic bedroom elements and how to feng shui them:

The Bed

Wood or metal is your best bet for the bed. Wood is an earth element, which harkens to calming, grounding forces, and it's also the associated element of the Zhen or family sphere. Meanwhile, metal is associated with the dui sphere of children, completion, and joy, and it goes hand-in-hand with white, circles, metallics, and the overall concept of beauty and precision. Think wood or metal for your headboard, bed frame, box springs, and so forth.

Mirrors

There are two schools of thought about mirrors in feng shui. On one hand, mirrors are seen as positive elements that reflect the soul, eliminate distance, and call to the moon and the water to promote flowing, harmonious feelings like the natural tides of the world. On the other hand, mirrors are also considered a source of yang or movement energy; in the bedroom, it's generally believed that you should cultivate more yin or rest energy. It's up to you to figure out which direction is most suitable for your personal bedroom.

Doors and Windows

Never place your bed directly across from your door. This will allow qi to flow directly to it, which could interrupt your body's natural sleep patterns by keeping it primed and alert. Instead, place your bed at a parallel angle to the door, and keep it within sight of the windows that will help to balance your body's circadian rhythms via sunrise and sunset. Be careful where you place your mirrors in relation to your doors and windows, too. A window can amplify a mirror's reflection twofold, and if you're trying to increase your yin energy, that'll be twice the problem.

Furniture

There are all kinds of furniture that you can place in a bedroom, including nightstands, dressers, vanity tables, and even old-fashioned ottomans. All furniture is fine under the guidelines of feng shui; just make sure that you're buying the right materials and placing them in the correct quadrants of your Bagua. You might also buy things in pairs to capitalize on the symmetry of yin-yang energy. These are just a few tips for bringing feng shui into your bedroom. Whether you're a complete newbie or an experienced lifestyle guru branching into a new area of spiritualism, feng shui can be a positive force for your home, your health, and your life all at once. Happy arranging!