We know that feng shui is a complicated subject, so we have prepared an easy-to-follow guide to get you startedFeng Shui means Wind and Water, but in its wider sense stands for the relations [sic] to the surroundings, nature, the influence of the landscape on the beauty of the buildings and the happiness of the inhabitants,’ said Ernst Borschmann, the great German Sinophile and scholar.
What Does Feng Shui Effect?
|Wealth and prosperity
Family relationships and health
Knowledge and education
Mentors or helpful people
Marriage and romance
Feng Shui Around The City
In ancient times, it was likely that a feng shui analysis would have been made in a rural location, where rivers and mountains were the most important landforms. Today these same principles can be applied to urban landscapes. Road systems are treated as rivers and tall buildings take the place of mountains. Road systems in cities and towns can create excellent feng shui, allowing ch’i energy to flow gently along them. However, many modern cities are full of straight lines from buildings and roads which generate a lot of sha ch’i or cutting ch’i. This occurs when the ch’i flow is either stagnant or channelled in straight lines, thus becoming an increasingly destructive form of energy.
Feng Shui Symbolism
Symbolism is an important aspect of feng shui and commonly used by the Chinese. For example, three Chinese coins tied together with a red ribbon symbolise wealth and a pair of mandarin ducks symbolise harmony in relationships.
How Does Feng Shui Work?
Ch’i (pronounced chee) is the basis of feng shui. It is all around us, in towns and cities, in the country, in the home and in each room. It is an invisible life force which animates everything. Where there is a high concentration of ch’i the environment will flourish. Put very simply, when ch’i flows well, there is good feng shui and when it stagnates or races past, there is bad feng shui. However ch’i flowing in straight lines is considered particularly bad feng shui. This can be explained if we compare ch’i flow with water. Gently flowing water is beneficial to the land whilst a stagnant marsh, a raging torrent or flooding, is detrimental.
“Feng Shui is the art of living in harmony with the land and deriving the greatest benefit, peace and prosperity from being in the right place at the right time” – GM Dr. Stephen Skinner
‘Poison arrows’, also known as cutting ch’i, emanate from anything which is angled, pointed, sharp or long and very straight. Inside the home, for example, the edges of a bookshelf can create cutting ch’i. Outside, buildings or structures such as a church steeple, a tower block or even a pillar may generate negative ch’i. Individuals can be inadvertently harmed if these ‘poison arrows’ happen to be aimed directly at their front
Schools Of Feng Shui
Over many centuries different schools of feng shui have developed. Each school has a slightly different approach to feng shui, although the basic principles remain the same. The following is a very brief introduction to the different schools of thought.
Landscape Or Form School
This school focuses predominantly on the contours of physical landscapes, their shapes, size and watercourses, and the relationship between the physical formations and a dwelling. The directions of the compass are symbolised by four animals. The East relates to the green dragon, the West the white tiger, the South the red phoenix and the North is the black turtle. It is nestled between these that you can find the most auspicious location for a house.
The Compass school uses the Eight Trigrams of the I Ching, the eight-sided pa kua symbol, and the Lo Shu magic square (used to divide up the house into nine sectors). These tools are used to diagnose the feng shui quality of locations and the ch’i flow from different Directions.
Flying Stars School
These invisible energies ‘Flying Stars’ and a good understanding of their dynamic qualities enables us to choose a good location for our home or business. Flying Star Feng Shui adds a new “time dimension” to feng shui practice reflecting the fact that the subtle energies present in our living environment are constantly changing. The flying star combinations make it possible to respond to-or prepare for-these changing energy “situations.”
This system was a rather oversimplified version of Feng Shui which was popular in the US and Malaysia in the 1980s and 1990s.
Black Hat Sect (BHS)
Widely practised in the USA is a discipline called Black Hat Sect (BHS) feng shui. In this school of thought, rather than using the traditional magnetic compass to determine Directions, each house or room is judged from the position of it’s door. BHS states that the main door to each room faces the Career sector. This results in adjacent rooms or houses having contradictory Directions.
Devised as recently as 1986 by Thomas Lin Yun (1932-2010). This version specifically removes the difficulties of teaching the lo p’an to Westerners. The basic premise of “Black Hat Sect Tibetan Buddhist feng shui” is that you don’t need to know the compass directions, but simply interpret the front door as ‘North’ (or NW or NE), and proceed from there. Practitioners accordingly sometimes refer to the system as ‘3-Door Bagua.’
Although this helped greatly to promote feng shui in the US, it delayed any real understanding of traditional feng shui, or knowledge of the lo p’ an, for some considerable time. Even now, the majority of Americans who have heard of feng shui still think of Black Hat Sect as the real thing. (excerpt from Feng Shui History Page 184)
What Else Is Related To Feng Shui?
Although feng shui is traditionally from China there are other related schools of thought from other countries such as Nine Star Ki from Japan, Vashtu Shastra from India and Space Clearing from Bali. However Form and Landscape Schools are the most traditional and commonly used Chinese feng shui schools.