Feng shui (English pronunciation: /ˌfʌŋˈʃweɪ/ fung′-shway′, formerly /ˈfʌŋʃuː.i/ fung′-shway; traditional Chinese: 風水; simplified Chinese: 风水; pinyin: fēng shuǐ, pronounced [fə́ŋʂwèi]) is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven (astronomy) and Earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu (traditional Chinese: 堪輿; simplified Chinese: 堪舆; pinyin: kānyú; literally: Tao of heaven and earth).
The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following passage of the Zangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty:
Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water.
Traditional feng shui practice always requires an extremely accurate Chinese compass, or luo pan, in order to determine the directions in finding any auspicious sector in a desired location.