Feng Shui Schools and Disciplines
Feng Shui itself is often viewed as one single entity. To many it might seem overwhelming to understand all the rules and calculations at once. The truth is, there are many "schools" that compose what Feng Shui really is. Chances are, you've heard terms like "Flying Star" or "8 Mansions", but may not always have understood its role in the "bigger picture" of what Feng Shui is. Any Feng Shui Master who says they know all there is needed to know about this science is definitely pulling your leg. You can check with any traditional Feng Shui Master who has been practicing for decades, despite their immense knowledge and experience.
The purpose of this article is to let you understand what some of the schools are and how they fit in to the broader view of what Feng Shui is. Please note, this is an unfairly short description of some of the major schools of Feng Shui out there, but it will serve as a brief primer. Please do note, there are quite a few different schools of Feng Shui in traditional China, i've included the ones i thought are more well known and still maintaining the proper and traditonal aspects of Feng Shui.
Considered to be one of the oldest schools of Feng Shui that follow the original imperial documentation that was the core of Feng Shui then. It strives to create harmony between the celestial energies and coincides with a lot of Taoist teachings. It's very heavy on calculations and most of the other schools have used the Lung Ching as the main foundation before branching out into their specializations. However, its popularity is slowly dying out due to its inaccessibility. Virtually unknown to the West.
The main focus on the Flying Star school is the Lo Pan Compass itself and many will be accustomed easily to the longtitude/latitude process. It specalizes in birthchart predictions and the Nine Star Energies. This form was catered mainly for larger structures (e.g. fortresses, castles, mansions) and is quite popular nowadays. This science is time based, and thus when following these charts, you must take into account the sitting direction of your house, yearly charts and monthly charts. Popular in the West and easily accessible.
This school also uses the Lo Pan but on a simpler level but incorporates Kua numbers and focus on directions. Good focus on the elements and overlaps into Chinese Astrology. Usually combined with the Flying Star school for many teachings. Has the same popularity with Flying Star because they work together. Very popular globally due to its accessible and logical nature. Sometimes referred as Eight Mansions.
Dragon Breath Harmony
Focuses on the individual/family itself while taking into account the surroundings. Works together with Compass and pulls away from involving too much Toaist/Buddhism philosophies. Has strong ties with Lung Ching but not as well known as other schoosl. Incorporates the Wu Xing Destruction/Production/Exhuastment cycle. Virtually unknown to the Western hemisphere due to lack of translated documentation. Authority on item usage/placement.
Its four main directions are represented by animals: Black Turtle(N), Green Dragon(E), Red Phoenix(S) and White Tiger(W). Focuses on landscapes, structures and blueprints. Popular for settlement and landscaping. Decreasing in popularity, simply because this school was catered for less modern times. Sometimes referred to as Landscape or Luan Tou Pai (Mountain Top). Still surviving as many Western Feng Shui institutions will incorporate some aspects of this school.
The main basis of this school is on the 12 animal signs of the chinese calendar. Has strong emphasis on the Grand Duke Jupiter and Three Killings. Uses Six Combinations of Auspicious Location to dictate which parts of your house will bring in good energies and what are "direct kills" combinations. The main form of calculations are through your animal year and its co relations.
120 Bags of Gold School, Toaist Feng Shui, 8 Aspirations, 4 Pillars of Destiny, etc.
So there you have it. Contrary to what some may claim, there is no one school that is the "most powerful". Traditional Feng Shui Masters will use almost all the listed schools above. For example, let's say a Master were to be doing an almost complete Feng Shui consultation for a rich tycoon. They'd start with the 4 Pillars of Destiny for the family members. After that, they'd use Form School to check the surroundings of the mansion. Then they'll use a combination of Flying Star and Compass school for the mansion itself. After they have taken notes on it, they will use Dragon Breath Harmony Feng Shui for the family as well as its members to make sure that each individual will prosper. As you can see, in a simple consultation, there were already FIVE schools used together. There is no one school that incorporates all of them, simply because each school has to focus on one aspect of Feng Shui.
Feng Shui Schools and Popularity
Flying Star and Compass school are by and far the more popular schools, simply because there is more money to be made. These schools focus on a large structure, thus being able to tap into a large corporation or tycoon's deep pockets of wealth. For example, the new Disney Land theme park being built in Hong Kong is already employing a few Feng Shui Masters to make sure everything is auspicious and balanced. As we know, large corporate entities usually pay very well for services. A school like Dragon Breath Harmony may lack many masters as the amount of money in it is much more limited. A Master in this school will have vast knowledge of exactly what you need and how to place a certain item, but the client is free to purchase the said remedy from another person. Despite these monetary shortcomings, Dragon Breath Harmony Feng Shui Masters are still much sought after since they are agreed by other schools to be the authority on how remedies/enhancers/destroyers should be optimally used/placed for the individual/family. As you can see by now, the various schools can work very well together despite minor overlappings.
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