Feng Shui is the art of placement; of objects in your immediate environment to attract positive energy from the universe. It also can be used to lessen harmful effects of negative energy coming from things you cannot change in your environment; e.g. a road, mountain, neighboring buildings etc.
Feng Shui beginners usually begin their exploration of this discipline with a fascination for how it works. Quite often they will get an explanation that doesn't really answer that question, that makes it sound all very mystical, or else they think it is just about furniture placement.
Also, Feng Shui beginners are rarely exposed to the cultural aspects and origins of the discipline unless they are Chinese or learn from a Chinese Master.
Feng Shui actually isn't mystical but is akin to the science of Acupuncture, both having a 5,000 year history. It is also about getting to know yourself and your universe better so you can attract the positive energies from the universe through the placement of the objects in your environment.
Historically, Feng Shui was widely used to orient mainly spiritually significant buildings like tombs, but also dwellings and other structures, in an auspicious manner. An auspicious site could be determined by referencing to features such as stars or bodies of water. A compass is often utilized depending on the style of Feng Shui being used.
As for how it works, well as I see it and have experienced Feng Shui, it works on the principles of energy. If you understand how energy works, then the Principles of Feng Shui will be very understandable for you also and you will become very proficient in Feng Shui in the home and Office Feng Shui.
Feng Shui considers the elements to have energy.
The Feng Shui Elements, water, wood, fire, earth and metal, each have unique properties which are considered to influence our daily lives. These elements refer to what the objects in and around your home are made of and represent, and how the energy of these objects interact with each other in positive or negative ways. Acupuncture also works on this system of elements.
The way in which the objects in your home or office interact (in relationship with each other) and their locations can help (positive) or hinder (negative) the energy for attracting the particular luck we desire, eg. for love and relationships, fame and wealth, career and education, children, mentors and influential people, or health.
What is Energy?
Basically everything that exists has a frequency or vibration. All matter, atoms, molecules etc. vibrate when energy is applied. Yes even a rock, albeit a very slow one. We cannot actually see energy but we can see the effects of it by observing vibrations. Vocal chords vibrate to produce sound waves or no one would hear you speak. Without energy there would be no sound.
Energy is found in several different forms, ie. Light energy, heat energy, chemical energy, electrical energy, mechanical energy, and nuclear energy. Energy is what makes everything happen. The food we eat contains energy and that enables us to move, speak, play, work, think etc. Gasoline is the energy a car (at the moment) uses to run and move. There is a massive amount of energy in the sun, and the radiant energy it gives off makes things on Earth grow, gives us warmth and life.
If one sector of your home or office is out of whack, in Feng Shui we place a "cure" to bring it back into balance. We use these "cures" to balance energy instead of using your own energy to make things happen in your life. Really it is much easier to use a picture, statue, or move your desk than to expend your own energy - sometimes like pushing the "proverbial" up the hill! Feng Shui makes change easier.
If it has then we would love to hear how. Please share your Feng Shui story!