Understanding the Western School of Feng Shui

Benna Crawford
Feng Shui bagua

The world of feng shui consists of old and new energy practices, from the Landscape or Form School of Chinese antiquity to the interpretive and aspirational modern systems. Together, it is collectively known as the Western school feng shui. Understanding this school of feng shui can help you decide which form to follow.

Old School Feng Shui Goes West

Western School feng shui is not a formal system but an umbrella term for the fusion of classic knowledge and contemporary applications that characterize modern feng shui.

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Traditional Principles Combined With Modern Sensibilities

The Western School of feng shui uses principles of the traditional Form or Landscape School and of the contemporary BTB or Black Sect Tantric Buddhism School (minus elements of Tibetan Buddhism). It follows basic feng shui rules but adapts the more antiquated classical theories to a modern sensibility to reach a broad Western audience.

Nine Bagua Areas and Alignment

The Western bagua is divided into nine areas: Wealth, Fame, Marriage, Family, Health & Wellbeing, Children, Knowledge & Self-cultivation, Career, Helpful People & Travel. The ninth or center section of the Western bagua -- Health & Wellbeing -- is not part of the classic bagua used in Flying Star and other traditional systems. And the Western bagua is aligned with the front door and wall of the building, not with the accurate magnetic compass directions used by traditional Compass School practitioners.

How the Western School of Feng Shui Works

Western feng shui embraces the principles of the Tao, the necessity for balance between yin and yang elements in a space, and the chi or energy inherent in the landscape.

Land Formations Contribute to Healthy Chi

Land formations (mountains, foothills, rivers, lakes, valleys) have particular energies and contribute to the healthy chi in their environment. A building with a hill or mountain at its back is supported. Moving water can keep the chi in flow -- a positive thing. In contemporary terms, a fence or tree break along the backyard property line may protect a suburban home; a water feature such as a fountain in an entry way may slow and welcome beneficial chi.

Modern apartment building by land formations

The Bagua Aligns With the Front Door

The bagua is aligned with the front door to determine where in a home or office the most favorable areas for specific good outcomes are located. Enhancements and remedies are placed in those areas to amplify the energy. Artwork showing two of a subject attracts relationships in the marriage corner. Lucky coins and the color red increase wealth energy in the wealth and prosperity corner.

Western Feng Shui Enables the Flow of Positive Chi

The continuous gentle flow of positive chi is enabled. Clutter is eliminated because it represents stuck chi, a negative outcome. A front door opens to a clear, attractive entry to welcome good chi into the home. If the front and back doors are aligned, a screen, tall plant or other interference placed between them will prevent the good chi from rushing right out the back door. Bathroom doors are kept closed so good fortune is not flushed away.

Colors, Textures, and Materials Harmonize an Environment

Colors, textures, materials, and placement are carefully considered to harmonize and create an environment that is both serene and vibrant.

Western Feng Shui Trademarks and Training

One training program on the West Coast goes by the name of The Western School of Feng Shui® and teaches a method the founder calls Essential Feng Shui®. The teachings follow the principles of modern Western-style feng shui, with an emphasis on yin yang balance, liberal use of remedies, analysis using the Western bagua, and consideration of the landscape features surrounding the home or office. Students master the use of the feng shui precepts, the five elements, and associated colors in training programs and workshops offered live and online.

Western Feng Shui for You

Feng shui is a practice of making choices -- between ancient and modern methods, Flying Star and Form Schools, BTB, and other contemporary systems for applying the art of placement. The Western School embraces and accommodates Western culture with a holistic approach that relies on ancient wisdom and modern conventions of design and architecture. At its heart, feng shui (by any name) is the recognition of the power of energy to affect and direct a life of balance and good fortune.

Understanding the Western School of Feng Shui