Feng Shui Perspectives and Schools

Feng Shui is the study and discipline, thousands of years old, focusing on one’s personal space – home, office, landscape – and the flow of energy.

One of the most confusing things about Feng Shui is the differentiation between the various perspectives and schools of study. Although there are fundamental principles that apply to all perspectives, there are different applications between perspectives that create the confusion.

Compass School
Feng Shui Perspective, CompassAn early school of Feng Shui that developed after Form School. At first a simple needle and bowl compass were utilized to determine the best directional and solar orientation for a structure. Eventually Compass School incorporated principles of the I Ching and other Taoist modalities. The simple needle and bowl compass evolved into the Luopan compass which reveals many layers of information in its complex ring system. In Compass School Feng Shui, the Bagua is a diagrammatic representation of the Luopan compass and is oriented using the actual directions. e.g., North sits on North of the floor plan.

Compass school studies and stresses direction (north, south, east and west) and its relationship to the person. Compass school compares the direction of your front door to your personal life directions, calculated from the date/time of the occupants birth.

Form School
Form School Perspective LandformThe original school of Feng Shui based on the observation of topographical features and geomancy. It is the relationship of a particular place to its landform surroundings. A metaphor for the ideal form has the shape of an armchair. When looking out the front door, the structure is cradled by the Black Tortoise, the Azure Dragon on the left, the White Tiger on the right and the Red Phoenix in front. In practical terms good form places a structure with the solid stable qi/chi of a mountain or hill shape in the rear and the active energized qi/chi of active water or bright sun in the front. Finding the Dragon and Tiger energy in the landscape augments the beneficial effects. These original simple ideas evolved into specific protocols for interior placement and for exterior arrangement of a site, and are often symbolized by natural focal points such as trees, plants, hills and mountains, as well as by buildings and other man-made features.

All perspectives developed from the roots and foundation of Form School Feng Shui. Ancient shamans would use Feng Shui theory and principles to study the topography of the land. They used their knowledge to determine the most auspicious areas to place a home or village focusing on protection, water sources, and energy flow.

Black Sect Tantric Buddhist (BTB) Feng Shui, also called Black Hat
BTB Feng Shui has its roots in the pre-Buddhist, Bon religion of Tibet. It was also influenced by Indian Buddhism and later took on the traditions of Chinese philosophy including Feng Shui. It was brought to the West around 1980, and its practices spread rapidly through the Americas. The BTB Feng Shui Bagua is a modification of the Wen Wang (Later Heaven) Bagua and is superimposed on a site, building, or room using the Three Door Method which aligns the entry with one the three trigrams: Gen (Knowledge), Kan (Career) or Qian (Helpful People). BTB Feng Shui emphasizes following the flow of qi/chi (in the space and the person), the use of transcendental solutions to reinforce mundane remedies, the power of intention and self-cultivation through meditation.

“As taught by Professor Lin Yun, Black Sect Feng Shui is a synthesis of Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist, Daoist, and folk wisdom as well as modern psychology and design principals. Black Sect teaching helps bring to fruition an individual’s wish for positive change in accord with universal principals.” (source: BTB Feng Shui School)

Classical Feng Shui
Based on the two original types first used in China, Classical Feng Shui consists of Form School and Compass School principals and methods. Contemporary Classical Feng Shui is related to, and utilizes, a variety of modalities.

Classical Feng Shui is based mainly using directional energy which indicates the quality of the energy at a location or within a home. Classical practitioners use the Luo Pan compass, an essential tool in their work, to study and understand directions, energy and the opportunities of the inhabitants. The tool used to determine this directional energy is called a Luo Pan. Classical studies include direction, element, zodiac animals, the I-Ching, Flying Stars, sectors, and the characteristics of each direction.

Pyramid Feng Shui
Pyramid Feng Shui, founded by Nancilee Wydra, is the most scientifically based school of Feng Shui based on the person-place connection. “In Pyramid Feng Shui, the person is the central concern, so we incorporate the knowledge gathered from Biology, Psychology, Geology and other social/physical sciences. We also factor in the effects of color, music/sound, aroma, light and design. All of these bring Feng Shui into a contemporary paradigm, one that is responsive to life challenges and sensitive to today’s cultural diversity. Recommendations are substantiated using information from these social and scientific fields.” (Source: Sylvia Watson)

Additional perspectives and approaches include Intuitive Feng Shui® developed by William Spear and Interior Alignment® developed by Denise Linn. Both approaches dig even deeper to look at the energy, health and wellness of the individual and the space as well as the ancient connections to the soul.

What perspective is the International Feng Shui Guild
We were founded in the mid-1990s with the basic tenet to respect and honor all perspectives and traditions of Feng Shui. This tradition carries through the present day where we emphatically embrace and celebrate all perspectives. Our shared values, desires, visions, and intentions for the Feng Shui community have created a welcoming space for all consultants and schools who know that the global energy of Feng Shui, and especially the many concepts and topics that unite us all – as demonstrated in our Universal Topics – make us uniquely poised to unite in the common goodness and empowerment of Feng Shui worldwide.

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Get in touch! Email the office at office@ifsguild.org
or phone us at (816) 246-1898