Classical Feng Shui and Western Feng Shui are often confused with each other, although they have almost nothing in common.
Classical Feng Shui is the authentic, classical and traditional science of Feng Shui, practiced in Asia for thousands of years, whereas Western Feng Shui is a simplified version, watered down to suit Western perceptions of what Feng Shui really is all about. Classically educated and trained Feng Shui masters from Asia – especially Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia – scoff at the Western Feng Shui concepts and do not recognize it as a valid and proven form of this ancient science.
On the surface, Western Feng Shui resembles Classical Feng Shui – it makes use of the Ba Gua (the 8 Trigrams), the Five Elements and the concept of Yin and Yang – but with its simplistic and rather naïve interpretation and application it has become rather more like interior design with Asian “flavor”.
Contrary to popular belief, Classical Feng Shui is not about putting a frog with a coin on your desk or putting a water feature in your so-called “wealth” sector and thinking these things will bring you money. Unlike the overly simplified Western practices that claim to be Feng Shui, authentic Classical Feng Shui incorporates the influence of stars, their Qi capacity and time-tested mathematical calculations and formulas. This results in Feng Shui applications that are individual and tailor-made for the Qi flow that affects each client and each home or office differently during a particular period of time.
Many Western Feng Shui practitioners use for example the “8 Life Aspirations Mirror”, a tool that designates fixed sectors for “helpful people”, “career”, “marriage”, etc. This tool has nothing at all to do with authentic classical Feng Shui. It is a very simplified way of looking at potential energy in the eight directions of a home or an office, but it does not take the ever-moving nature of Qi into account and is therefore useless to design or appraise a home or office, not to mention any larger-sized properties.
Another major difference between the Western approach to Feng Shui and the Classical Feng Shui school is the use of a compass – a Luo Pan. Western Feng Shui practitioners are not used to using a traditional Chinese Luo Pan, which is often inscribed in Chinese only and incorporates many different Feng Shui formulas. They therefore often forego the use of a compass altogether, whereas in the Classical Feng Shui praxis, the use of a compass is absolutely mandatory to measure the directional Qi of external and internal forms, such as mountains, water, roads, highways, the main door, the bed, the stove, etc, to name just a few.
Classical Feng Shui methods and their practical applications are based on very sophisticated calculations and are very complex scientific background that is rooted in the Chinese classics. Remedies used in Classical Feng Shui focus mainly on key areas of your house, such as the Main Door, the bedroom, the kitchen and your study and aim to re-orientate them to tap into the most beneficial Qi available. Western Feng Shui, in contrast, prefers “object-placement” and makes use of mirrors, crystals, paint, etc – all of them “cures” that are not recognized in Classical Feng Shui.
Please read on if you want to learn more about Feng Shui:
- History of Feng Shui
- Types of Feng Shui
- What Feng Shui Is and Isn’t
- Uses of Feng Shui
- What happens during a Feng Shui Audit