feng shui history
Archaeologists and historians know that our current cycle of human evolution began almost 6,000 years ago in Sumeria, current day Iraq, with an incredibly advanced civilisation. Following a climatic disorder of epic proportions, an exodus ensued, leading to the establishment of advanced civilisations in various parts of the world, such as India, South America and of course China. Stories of this are commonly found in these countries cultures, myths and legends. Feng Shui history begins with the "Wandering Tribes" that colonised the area now known as China.
The Wandering Tribes
Their knowledge allowed them to establish an incredibly advanced civilisation alongside the indigenous tribes of the Yangshao and the Lungshan and part of this knowledge is still used today in Traditional or Classical Feng Shui. It is believed that tribal leaders were named after their tribes; Fu Xi was the leader of the Animal Tribes, Shen Nong the leader of the Holy Farmers and Sui Ren, the leader of the Fire Starters.
The Animal Tamers with knowledge of animal husbandry, hunting, tanning, ploughing, fishing and music which naturally leads to knowledge of mathematics and geometry. From a Feng Shui perspective, Fu Xi is most important, credited with establishing the Eight Trigrams and positioning them in an arrangement known as Xian Tian Ba Gua or "Pre Heaven" Bagua around 3300 BCE.
The Fire Starters, having knowledge of fire, chemistry and chemical processes, as well as metalworking and metallurgy. Fire was particularly advantageous as people could then cook their food, which enabled them to digest it more easily and gain more energy and nutrients from it. Cooking also makes edible some foods that would otherwise be inedible, which led to vast improvements in diet and health.
The Holy Farmers, who are credited with establishing the basics of farming and agriculture such as preserving seeds and irrigation. Their knowledge of plants and herbs also led to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the moxibustion technique used in acupuncture. They were also responsible for the Chinese Calendar or Farmers Almanac, which uses what is known as the Twenty Four Seasons or "jieqi".
The Early Days
Between 3300 BC and the beginning of the first Dynasty C.2000 BCE, much of Chinese history is shrouded in mystery. A notable hero in this period is said to be Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, who is credited with establishing the Twelve Earthly Branches and the Ten Heavenly Stems C 2736 BCE (although a similar system was already in use in Babylon many centuries before). The Stems and Branches are known to Feng Shui practitioners as the Sexagesimal Cycle and are the basis of Chinese Astrology.
Another notable figure is Da Yu, the founder of the first dynasty and inventor of hydraulic engineering. It is also believed that the first compass was invented during this period, consisting of a lodestone attached to a chariot and said to make an army invincible.