Classical Or Traditional Feng Shui

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Feng shui has its roots in ancient China. As early as 6,000 years ago the Neolithic Chinese were practicing some sort of astrological/astronomical feng shui. We know this because of a gravesite unearthed in the Henan province. The body faced north. At its sides, figures of a dragon (on the east side) and tiger (on the west side) were outlined in clam shell. In the center of the body, lay an illustration of the Big Dipper. Although we do not know the reasons why these ancient peoples oriented their graves around the revolution of the Big Digger, was can assume that direction or SPACE was an important consideration.

The creatures represented in the grave are actually macro-constellations. Formally called the Four Celestial Palaces, the four macro-constellations are the crimson bird (south), the cerulean dragon (east), the white tiger (west) and the dark turtle (north). Composed of seven constellations each, the macro-constellations comprise the 28 constellations of the Chinese zodiac. You may wonder about their choice of creatures. With the exception of the fantastic dragon, birds are more abundant in the south. They travel south. Tigers are indigenous the more west one travels toward India. Like the east’s dragon, the northern turtle is puzzling. An educated guess tells us the turtle is symbolic of turtle shell divination, which is derived from northern China.

These creatures were ancient Chinese totems. All primitive societies had its own totems that represented their environment. These were then deified as celestial bodies and worshipped in exchange for protection. At that time, the ancients were one with their environment. Any deviation from the norm rocked their world. Thunder, an earthquake, an eclipse were signs, omens, or messages from the totem.

Over the millennium, these totems have become superstitious oddities. Although the tiger is certainly a powerful animal, we now understand that its symbol doesn’t bring us courage. In the same way, does a rabbit’s foot bring us good luck? Will stepping on a crack really break our mother’s back? I guess a case can be made for the placebo effect. That if you think something has an effect, it will. But, such superstitious nonsense has no place in classical feng shui.

Somehow, the Four Celestial Palaces came down to earth to represent landforms. The key word here is ‘form.’ Form School feng shui (which is under the umbrella of classical feng shui), therefore, studies how landforms effect your well-being. In the modern world, we can extend this idea to include buildings, fences, greenery, etc. While we won’t dwell on this here, Form School is all about studying external SPACE. And doesn’t space change with TIME? Of course it does. Life is not static. We move, grow, and develop with TIME and SPACE. In fact, this idea adheres to Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. He understood that time and space were not separate entities. Instead, they are two sides of a coin. One cannot exist without the other. Succinctly, the study of TIME and SPACE is the gist of classical feng shui.

The TIME your home was born into and the TIME you were born are important considerations in a classical feng shui analysis. What’s this mean, you ask? Well, the Chinese believe the first breath you take at birth seals your innate destiny. In the same way, when the foundation is set and the roof is affixed, your home is born. It, too, has a core personality. But, remember, despite our inherent personality, we still change! So, an inherently good home will encounter TIMES of misfortune. Likewise, we go through lucky and unlucky TIMES.

In Classical feng shui we use several methods to measure how TIME and SPACE effects our well-being. Perhaps the most sophisticated method is Flying Star (aka Xuan Kong or The Nine Floating Stars). In a nutshell, this theory combines the numerology of the Luoshu, the After Heaven sequence of trigrams, and the Five Phases to analyze the quality and movement of qi (the physical and meta-physical force at the center of all things) in your home. The intention is to balance life’s vital force. With balance come better health, wealth, and relationships.

Understand that classical methods like Flying Star and Eight House (aka The East/West System) are representative of Compass School feng shui. This is because the directionality of SPACE must be measured using a compass. Today, Form School and Compass School are combined into one system commonly called Classical or Traditional feng shui.

Elizabeth Moran

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Categorized: Types Of Feng Shui

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