To get a full grasp and clearer understanding of Feng Shui, one has to first understand the mother system and backbone of Chinese Metaphysics itself.
The studies of Chinese Metaphysics are divided into five main disciplines aptly named the Five Arts (Wu Shu 五 术). The principles used in the Five Arts are universal and interchangeable. Yin and Yang, the Five Elements and the concept of balance form the basis of the core principles. Each discipline may have various systems. And for each system, there may be more than one school of thought or branch of study which are very well developed, complex and holistic.
The study of divination, sometimes also known as predictions based on numerical analysis, formulas of star alignments, complex calculations and dates are foundation of this art. The Yi Jing (Book of Changes) is perhaps most popular and commonly used until modern day, especially by the Chinese elites. Another well-known and highly potent system that stems from this art, is the original tool for Sun Tzu’s Art of War – Qi Men Dun Jia.
The Art of Medicine deals with health and healing. The human body is governed by 5 major organs, which in turn is represented by the 5 elements. Its core principles are that the human body operates optimally and healthily at a balanced level, and the resolution of all healing is to achieve this balance. It includes all form of traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture and medical prescriptions.
The arts that fall within this category include everything to do with man and nature. Martial arts and self-meditation are prime examples of studies that within The Mountain Arts. The principles of Tai Chi and Qi Gong are apparent and unmistakably similar to those that are used to assess the other four arts.
The study of physiognomy or appearances is the observation and analysis of forms. Face reading, naming and palmistry fall within this discipline of study. The most well known practice that is apparent even in today’s world is Feng Shui.
The study of Life, or as the Chinese refers to, as Destiny - is similar to what the western world terms as Astrology. There are 2 main systems that are used in Chinese Astrology, BaZi (Eight Characters 八子 or also known as The Four Pillars of Destiny) and Purple Star Astrology (Zi Wei Dou Shu 紫微斗数).