What do you mean by "Feng Shui School"?
by Alison Marks

After people have been around the world of feng shui for a while, they often get confused... what are all these "schools" people talk about? There are at least three different ways this surprisingly elusive word is used in feng shui.

School as a place of learning. This one's pretty obvious. You received this newsletter from the Golden Gate SCHOOL of Feng Shui.

School as lineage or tradition. Feng shui has been practiced over a vast geographical area over thousands of years. Local traditions in different places at different times have emphasized and developed different aspects and practices of feng shui, which, after all, is just an umbrella term for working with the flow and containment of chi in a physical environment. A popular school of feng shui in the West is BTB or Black Sect Tradition feng shui. The Golden Gate School of Feng Shui teaches Classical Feng Shui, as commonly practiced in Asia over millennia. This school emphasizes the principles behind the feng shui advice, so that practitioners can be flexible and creative in finding solutions that take into account their clients' situation, personality, culture and aesthetic.

On an even more basic level, within classical feng shui there are two main "schools": Form School and Compass School. These schools reflect the basic Taoist concept that humanity fulfills a unique and important role in the cosmos because we are where energy from the earth and energy from the heavens come together. Form school is about working with earth energies, and compass school is about aligning the energies in a physical environment with the energies of the heavens.

  • Form School - With a little knowledge, most people can pick up basic form school principles fairly easily because it is very intuitive. Someone practicing form school feng shui works with the energies she can sense with the physical animal of her human body. Form school addresses issues such as the balance of yin and yang in an environment, use of color, flow and stagnation of chi, and use of energy-enhancing cures such as mirrors, plants, light, etc.
  • Compass School - A practitioner employing Compass School knowledge uses various techniques of measurement and calculation to create maps of the unseen energetic forces at play in an environment. Much like an acupuncturist, the feng shui practitioner follows maps of invisible energy to determine the cures that will bring about balance and flow.

Even where both Form and Compass Schools are practiced, getting the Form School right takes precedence, and accounts for about 80% of the classical feng shui practice. It doesn't help to enhance something invisibly if it causes chi on the physical plane to take a dive. For example, we would never want to see someone place a couch to block a door because a flying star chart directed them to ("flying stars" is one Compass School methodology). Nor would we insist that a client implement a suggestion that is distasteful to him, as that will surely bring down the energy in the house. In an ideal world, a practitioner would identify and correct any major Compass School problems. After that, if the Form School of the environment is strong and allows for it, any additional enhancements made according to Compass School will be like sprinkling fairy dust over your home and your life.

If you already attend, study, or employ any "school" of feng shui, studying classical feng shui as taught at the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui can a powerful tool for deepening and expanding your knowledge. You will gain both big picture and detailed views of the core concepts that gave rise to what you already know, as well as an understanding of how it all fits together in a cohesive system based on cycles of the natural world.

If you are new to feng shui, there is no better way than studying the form and compass schools of classical feng shui to get a broad overview of all the different aspects of this ancient art. With this knowledge, coupled with the hands-on training provided through the program offered by the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui, you will be able to confidently change your own and others' lives using feng shui, and you'll forever have a solid framework on which to build with whatever additional feng shui knowledge you will gain throughout your life.

Are you ready for positive change in your life or career?

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