Feng Shui and Ley Lines


....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
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up to my arse in alligators
Kindest Regards, all!

I am not sure where best to put this.

I have been reading a book on Feng Shui lately, and I noticed there are some similarities with some things I have seen in the past about Ley Lines. I was wondering if anyone else noticed this and what their impressions on the subject were.

For example, it seems to me both teachings emphasize an understanding of the unseen power of a place, that a place can be creative or destructive and in greater and lesser degrees, and that these places seem to connect to one another.

I know next to nothing of Feng Shui, and even less of Ley Lines, so any help is appreciated. Also, where did the concept of Ley Lines develop?
i dont know much about this Juan.

seems like it might be a good department for Earl since he has studied so many different origins of beliefs.:)

i found a couple of interesting things on gardens & paths. I have always been curious about the 'points' on buildings such as in Hong Kong & i have a couple of those figures in the gardens here. I also remember a little about this in the planning of a garden with paths & focal points.
I am thinking of how a japanese garden is totally different than an english garden.

this was kind of neat too.

Pronounced, in Cantonese, foong-shoi, and meaning, literally, "wind water", feng shui is a complex Chinese pseudo-science, a form of geomancy, which was widely used in ancient China (and to an extent up to the Cultural revolution) to locate propitious sites for tombs. It evolved into a complex form of town and country planning which established strict rules for the placement of buildings in the landscape. Its primary purpose was to maintain a balance in the perceived forces operating through the living earth. Thus hills would be artificially modified, water courses re-routed and pagodas erected to control the flow of the dragon's breath, or "ch'i". These forces are in constant flux and move with changes in the balance of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements (which are manifested in different topographies). Feng shui has a 'superstitious' side as well and is concerned equally with ensuring 'good fortune' (usually making money) as much as landscape harmony. The more superstitious feng shui is still practised in Hong Kong where it avoided being suppressed by the Communist regime on the mainland.


not sure if this is the same thing you are thinking of.
Kindest Regards, Bandit!

Thank you for your reply!


not sure if this is the same thing you are thinking of.

Yep, that seems to be what I was referring to. I am wondering how far back these types of teachings reach. Of course, I am guessing that I am asking a bit much. The book I am reading about Feng Shui suggests that teaching goes a very long way back indeed, into shamanic times. If the concept (if not the name) of Ley lines goes back into shamanic Europe as well, it would seem to draw another connection that coincides nicely with the Clovis/Solutrean similarities with spear points. Especially when one connects Native American beliefs in sacred places and the power of nature. Just conjecture on my part at this time, but an interesting thought to chase just the same.
My dissertation advisor worked extensively on Chinese folk nutritional and ecological sciences, which are both based on understandings of flows of chi. Feng-shui is essentially an excellent form of folk ecology, in which (like most folk sciences), solid principles of action are explained and addressed through supernatural belief systems. Many Chinese villagers still use feng-shui as the principles for house design, village planning, and so forth, with excellent results. Many of the reasons for why puts a house here, or a grave there, are supernatural, but to any ecologist, the practical good sense of it is apparent. Basically feng-shui, which does indeed mean "wind-water", maximizes the good effects and the minimizes the harmful effects of both.

I'd recommend the part of my advisor's book that deals with this as a great starting point for understanding the matter from both the insider's and scientist's perspective- the book is called "Ecologies of the Heart" and it's a great read anyway, if you're into folk ecological systems and how people think about their landscapes.

I think ley lines are something a bit different, more in line with the widespread phenomenon of "power places," places that people feel have supernatural meaning of some sort.
As I understand it, there could be interconnectedness between the two concepts, but ley lines and "power places" are more about places' energies and supernatural meaning, whereas feng-shui is more a folk science dealing with how to plan villages, houses, etc.
Kindest Regards, Path!

Thank you for your reply as well!

I will have to look for the book you mention, it sounds like it may be a good read.

I do think there seems to be an element of superstition in the application of Feng Shui, just as there seems to also be an element of basic psychology. But it all seems to stem back to an attempt to understand the power inherent in nature. In the sense that power is not exactly visible to the naked eye, I can see it being considered superstitious. Yet even science acknowledges certain forms of (unseen, as in "invisible") power that flow in and around the earth. The auroras are one big clue, as are neutrinos.

Just my rambling thoughts...
I would posit that although the explanatory models of feng-shui are superstitious, or supernaturally oriented, if you will, the real reasons and results are very pragmatic and real.

For example, according to feng-shui principles, supernatural dragons live under the mountains. No one should "cut the dragon's pulse" by cutting into the base of a mountain and building there. It is explained that if one does this, it angers the dragon, who releases mudslides- a supernatural/superstitious explanation. But the solid ecology behind the rule is apparent to any scientist- all we have to do is remember the homes buried in mud here in California last spring with the torrential rains and we know the Chinese definitely had a good rule going for them.

Another example- you shouldn't have a village that is easy to get to on a main road, or at a cross-roads of two main roads. The explanation? Demons wander the road and will cause problems in your village. The pragmatic reasons? Tax collectors and theives also wander those main roads. The more out of the way your village is, the less likely you'll encounter them. And if you build a shrine near the entrance to the small road that leads to your village, not only will you scare away demons, but you'll bring tourists and their cash! :)

Pretty much a standard folk science system- supernatural explanation, pragmatic effects. This goes for house design and decorating too. If you've ever been in a house designed and decorated according to feng-shui, you'll notice that it feels peaceful and flows right. The official reasons why may have something to do with increasing wealth and such, but the pragmatic reasons are there if you just look at the design- it minimizes noise and heat in the bedrooms, has good traffic flow, decreases clutter, and so forth.

I think feng-shui deals more with how to handle the earth's natural processes- floods, mudslides, fires, etc.- it's a system of city planning and construction. Ley lines and power places deal more with how places make people feel. There are places that make people feel good, and places that make people's hair stand on end. There are places that just feel like the veil is thinner. Ley lines/power places are different supernatural explanatory for why these qualitative differences are felt.
Thanks for the explanation, path_of_one - that's really been interesting. :)
ok but what about the pagodas? they are supposed to stop the dragons breath & are strategically paced in pathways, then somehow the points keep bad spirits from falling into the building or keep them away from the building. so this is what i have read on them & think they are a real cool design.
i notice the octagon & zig zag shapes a lot vs just square or rectangle.

i am wondering if the idea of mazes, like made out of hedges came from some of this.