Types of feng shui
Types of different feng shui schools and styles explained
Books on feng shui sometimes seem to contradict each other. This is because, over the years, feng shui has developed in various different directions, which has resulted in a variety of ‘schools’. And even when the underlying core feng shui concepts remain similar, each situation requires selective individual analysis, with the result that different feng shui consultants may offer different suggestions. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is wrong. There is usually more than one way to achieve a desired result.
The origins of feng shui
Feng shui originated in ancient China and all the classical feng shui schools and methods were developed there. The observation and analysis of landforms, waterways and structural placement are basic to traditional feng shui. So are the formulae for calculating things such as the distribution and quality of chi, elemental balance, auspicious and inauspicious directions and locations, etc, which determine the measures to be taken in order to achieve the desired outcome. Read more about history of feng shui
Different feng shui approaches: classical and contemporary
The main feng shui approaches and differences between them are summarised below.
• Form school
The form school is the oldest documented form of classical feng shui. It was originally concerned with the placement and orientation of tombs for the dead, and later its principals were transferred to the buildings used by the living. It examines and assesses the ‘form’ of physical objects and shapes in the natural and built environment, along with transformational elements, chi flow and the manifestations of yin and yang.
• Compass school
The classical compass school involves numerical calculations based on the direction in which a building faces, which is determined using a western compass or a Chinese ‘luo pan’. Analysis is then based on the eight compass sectors and the trigrams of the Ba Gua (which identifies nine key areas which influence different aspects of life), and the Luo Shu or ‘magic square’ is used for ‘flying stars’ analysis (to do with auspicious dates based on the observation of celestial bodies). Birth dates are sometimes taken into account in certain calculations that help to identify the relationship between individual people and the energy pattern of the environment.
• Contemporary feng shui
A contemporary western interpretation of feng shui has gained popularity, particularly in America, since its introduction in the 1970-80s. This approach is based on the psychology of how to achieve goals through a targeted focus on the different aspects of life as well as classical form school principles.
What feng shui is and isn’t
Feng shui is an art and has been called the art of placement.
Feng shui is not a science, as its core concepts haven’t been tested by scientific method but this is changing. There is a movement towards scientific validation of feng shui. There is now an Academic Journal of Feng Shui, and feng shui has been examined from a scientific perspective at several International Conferences on Scientific Feng Shui and the Built Environment. Read more about feng shui research
Nor is feng shui a religion, and although some of its advocates may consider it part of their religious practice, it is not necessary to follow any religion to understand or practise feng shui.
Feng shui could be considered in part a philosophical system since its core principles are concepts as such.
I’m still confused and don’t know which feng shui approach is best for me
Although the various forms of feng shui can be confusing initially, whichever approach most appeals to you is probably a good place to start. All types of feng shui (and related feng shui disciplines) have certain basic similarities, and even the traditionalists welcome the many books using non-traditional methodology which have appeared in recent years, since they have doubtless helped stimulate the current growth of feng shui and are helping feng shui to evolve and meet the needs of modern live.
1) Read our checklist: how to choose a feng shui consultant.
2) Search our site for local feng shui consultants that you resonate with
3) Talk to them and find out how they work, what style of feng shui they practice and they will be able to clarify any questions you may have about feng shui.
- History of feng shui
- What feng shui is and isn't
- Types of feng shui
- Related disciplines
- Have a consultation
- Feng shui case studies – business
- Feng shui research
- Feng shui for homes
- Feng shui for business
- Feng shui for gardens
- Feng shui for public spaces
- Feng shui case studies
- Feng shui resources
Find a feng shui consultant
Looking for a feng shui consultant in the UK or Europe? List of accredited feng shui consultants