The words mean “wind & water,” a reference to the way energy moves in nature. The Chinese knew that everything in the natural world is filled with spirit and life force. They called this qi (chi.) They also understood that we live in a reciprocal relationship with nature; everything we do affects the environment, and at the same time, our surroundings have a continual and powerful affect on our daily lives. The art of feng shui is based on this principle. For thousands of years, the Chinese have cultivated the knowledge of how to create living spaces that harmonized with the environment so that the occupants could benefit from the best circulation of natural energies. When the feng shui is harmonious, the people prosper and enjoy good health.
There are several different schools of feng shui. The oldest is called Form School. Form school consultants analyze the tangible structures of your home and its surroundings. They are concerned with the flow and containment of energy. This approach is based on the age old human need for safety and comfort. In ancient times, dwellings that were situated in places that offered protection from storms, cold winds, and enemy invasions, provided the best chance for longevity and prosperity. Such sites were highly prized. To this day, the requirements of such a site remain fundamentally the same. These are often described as an armchair configuration with Four Guardian Spirits–The Black Turtle of the North, The White Tiger of the West, The Green Dragon of the East, and the Red Phoenix of the South.
Another type of feng shui, Compass School, takes into account the intangibles of time and direction. A Compass School consultant factors in the astrology of the house and its occupants. Using a sophisticated compass called a Lo Pan, the practitioner takes readings for the sitting and facing directions of the house, and overlays both the Ba Gua and the Lo Shu, or magic square, over the floor plan of the house to determine the auspices of each sector. This work is complex and must be learned from a master of this system.
In my practice I use both Form and Compass School methods. Good form is fundamental and must be addressed first if the Compass School calculations are to have an effect. But when done in the right order, and with precision, Compass School analysis can lead to powerful changes in luck.