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Introduction To Feng Shui - Part Two

By WolfSpirit

Form School Feng Shui
Having looked at the Ba Gua and a little bit of Compass School Feng Shui, this post looks at the other main school of Feng Shui - Form School

Form school Feng Shui dates back to around 2000bc in South-Western China. In a nutshell, Form School is a to Shamanism what Compass School is to the Medicine Wheel. Natural forms are representative of portents/omens.

Form School Fung Shui basically uses the shape of things we see in our environment as representations of the elements, of animals or other portends (omens).

Form School Fung Shui has more to do with the environment property stands in, than the internal environment, though there is nothing to stop us using Form School in choosing furniture for a particular room or even the whole house: if you've ever walked into a room where the furniture did not seem to "fit" or a room seemed uncomfortable, even though it was nicely decorated and furnished, there are chances that elements of the room were competing in their "form", or perhaps one particular form/element domineered the room and so balance was lost.

Feng Shui goes "Off to the Hills"
South-Western China is known for its mountainous terrain - like many mountainous areas on the globe, the mountains in this part of China can sometimes be very striking and vary considerably, both in their shape and variety, and also in the number of peaks.

As we discussed earlier, the siting of the a home was considered important, and it became custom in these mountainous regions to associate the mountains with particular elements. The shape associations originally derive from acupuncture and the energy flows in the physical body (which we can discuss at the end of the series when we discuss body Feng Shui).

Recognizing the Elements
Some mountains were considered earth areas, others water, others fire etc. Over a period of time, the shape of these mountains became archetypes, long flat or square shaped mountains were earth environments (don't forget all this was long before the theories that earth is a sphere came into popular philosophies), tall slender mountains (like the trunks of trees) were wood environments etc., etc. Thus, each of the five elements is assigned a shape in Form School Feng Shui.

The Shapes of the Elements
Metal is represented by rounded-topped shapes (such as a dome). Earth is represented by low flat square or rectangular shapes (rectangles laid with their long side downward), so, anything that is rectangular shaped and is longer than it is high is generally representative of earth. (i.e. a long row of townhouses). Wood environments are column shaped rectangular shapes similar to earth, except that this time the short end is downwards like a column, so anything rectangular that is higher than it is wide is considered a representative of Wood (i.e. skyscrapers). Fire environments are represented by pointed shapes such as triangles, (ie the Pyramids). Water environments are represented by wavy zig-zag shapes (such as the Sydney Opera House).

Color and Texture in Form School
The materials a building is built of also has associations with the elements, both in terms of their texture and their color. Colors can be used as discussed under Compass school Feng Shui to represent various elements, but also the colors of the natural materials have representations.

Brick and clay colored building are representative of earth. Glass, a reflective material, is representative of water. Buildings clad in sheet materials, particularly very smooth sheet materials are representative of metal. Buildings made of wood and buildings colored green are representative of wood. Plastics and buildings colored red are representative of fire.

Conflicts can be seen in the archetypal two storey house we all drew as kids - a square with a triangular roof. The basic shape is earth, the roof is fire, with brick walls (in the UK (made of clay)) which are earth, or walls of wood in the US, with a roof covering of blue-ish black slate, (the material representing earth, yet the color representing water). The glass windows, being reflective, represent water. Window frames are often wood or metal (often painted white, a metal color), and the door is often a mixture of wood and glass (water) but painted just about any color. So, you get the picture - conflicts are common, however, these "conflicts" can also be used to bring about balance to a building: bringing all elements into the structure; debilitating the destructive cycle or helping the productive cycle.

Animals in Feng Shui
As previously discussed animals are important in Feng Shui. Many animals are given significance, the Dragon being the most important as it represents prosperity, and represents one of the "Celestial Animals", and is always sought in the environment a building is placed in.

The more features of an animal that can be found (head, eyes, feet, tails wings etc., etc.) in an environment, the better the environment. The dragon is always paired with the tiger and if one is found the other is assumed to be there, regardless of whether its form can be witnessed. However to find all four celestial animals: Dragon, Tiger, Tortoise and Phoenix, is very auspicious, to find none is very inauspicious.

Recognizing the animals
The four celestial animals are always looked for in any environment, and there are certain land formations that are representative of the animals. Whilst it is possible to have a piece of land that does not have the tortoise or the Red bird, and still be a reasonably auspicious landscape, it is not possible not to have the tiger and the dragon and still expect auspicious surroundings.

The Tiger and the Dragon are represented by horse-shoe-shaped hills encircling an environment. The hill ridges being the back-bones of the two animals laid back to back, with their tails intertwined. The Green Dragon on the right as you look at it from the open end of the horse-shoe - will always be slightly higher than that white tiger on the left. The most opportune point is at the feet of the animals were their tails
inter-twine i.e. directly center of the area encompassed by the horse-shoe shape, the front facing the open area of the horse-shoe.

The Phoenix (red Bird) and Tortoise are represented by small hillocks both in front of and behind the house. These could be brought into the landscape if not already present by the addition of large boulders.

To gain most advantage from the Celestial animals and a general rule of Feng Shui is that main entrance doors should always face south.

Recognizing the Portends/Omens in the City
In a modern city environment, you may think it difficult to find the mountains, and so the animals. In a city environment, we look at the buildings and structures around us to represent the portends. So to have a slightly larger building than ours to the east represents the Dragon. A larger building in the west, but slightly smaller than the one in the east represents the Tiger. Similarly, smaller buildings in the north and south can be used to represent the Tortoise and the Red Bird/Phoenix.

Districts as Elements
We can ascertain from the shape of the natural features or structures in an environment whether it is a primarily one type of elemental environment or another. And by using the elemental cycles, we can decide whether any particular structure is going to be helped or hindered by the features/buildings around it.

Further, when looking at any particular site or building, both the particular site under observation is looked at and the environment as a whole, so even though a site may not be particularly auspicious, the "district" it is situated in may be, and so the site may still be a good site and visa-versa if the site is auspicious even in an inauspicious environment.

As an example of how a building's materials and shape can affect the prosperity of the occupants and its surroundings can be given by that of a speculative-developer-built, glass- paneled, pyramid-shaped office block in an area of predominantly earth-shaped, brick-clad buildings, close to where I live. The fire shape and glass (water) cladding are on the destructive cycle (the shape (the fire element) being the predominant feature of the building being destroyed by water (the glass cladding). The building stood empty for many years after first being built. It was eventually taken by a bank that has a strong ethical policy (an offspring of the largest co-operative society in the UK, and priding itself on its ethical investments). The bank's policies and background in the co-operative society support the community and the wider earth-plane: directly in the local community, but also by not exploiting the third world investment opportunities many investors now favor. Fire supports earth, so the building (through its shape) not only now supports the environment it stands in, but a much wider segment of the earth's community. The water (from the glass cladding) prevents the building (and so the bank) becoming too strong in the environment - the earth (community). The bank has gone from strength to strength.

Sharp edges and straight paths spell Feng Shui danger!
Edges of buildings, i.e. the corners of buildings, or anything tall and thin like telegraph poles, power-pylons, lamp-posts (street-lights) church spires or even trees all "point" as do other common objects such as satellite-dishes. Roads are one of the worst offenders, as are paths that lead in a straight line to the front door. All these aspects of the environment are Shar-chi (harmful chi) also referred to as "secret arrows". Power lines and telegraph wires are conductors or Shar Chi. We shall discuss ways to negate these elements under the cures section in the next posting.

Water in the environment
Water-courses play an important part in Feng Shui. Great care should be taken when considering buildings near water-courses. The flow of the water should be meandering and slow. Water represents prosperity and to see water flowing straight and fast is to see prosperity rushing past and draining away. The direction of the flow is also important for obvious reasons - water should always flow towards the property or around it, never away from it. To live with water gently flowing around your property in an L or U shape is generally good, providing you are inside the U or the L and not on the outer side. There are many, many, rules for Feng Shui and water-courses which can appear at first quite complicated and are difficult to describe without the aid of diagrams. So for this reason, i am not going to go into great detail here: just keep in mind that it should flow slowly towards you and it's course should be meandering!

If you have water flowing actually on your own land, you should not be able to see it flowing away off your land - although if it goes off your land underground this is auspicious. Water should never flow off your land from the same direction it came in, forming a loop around you (looks too much like a hangman’s rope).

In a modern city environment, roads take the place of water, so living close to a fast, straight road is not a good Feng Shui environment.

Wind in the environment
Wind is also a very important consideration in Feng Shui. Gentle breezes are considered good Feng Shui as they bring Chi (good energy). Harsh breezes dissipate Chi. Cold north winds are bad Feng Shui and are usually protected against in China. If a natural barrier to the north winds are not prevalent in the landscape, then trees are planted to buffer the wind. Front doors preferably face south where warm breezes can aid health and prosperity.

Apartments high in high-rise blocks are bad Feng Shui as they are buffeted by turbulent winds and lower floors in highly built up areas are bad Feng Shui as the areas between buildings create wind-tunnel effects as the wind has to move faster to squeeze through the smaller space between the buildings.

Lie of the land
It is good Feng Shui to have hills or gently up-sloping land behind you - the "Black Turtle Hills". This environment will support you in times of difficulty, whereas to have ground drop behind your house implies a lack of this assistance.

The ground in front of you property should, ideally be flat. To have ground sloping down towards your property at the front is bad Feng Shui and should be avoided, as your views will always be limited (both actually and metaphysically) and to have hills/mountains in front represents a lack of vision/attainment. To have land falling away from the front of your house represents money/opportunity draining away. To have open space in front of your main entrance door is auspicious and is known as the "Bright Hall".

To have a property built near a road that cuts into the side of a hillside, particularly if red rock is disturbed is considered inauspicious, as hills are the Dragon (symbol of prosperity) and the red-rock represents the blood of the Dragon: an injured or dead Dragon.

One place Feng Shui advises not to build a house is on the top of a hill: exposed to the elements and allowing prosperity to drain away - with little or no support from the directions.

Arid and Verdent Landsapes
Arid landscapes, where rocks do not have water (and so clay) to bind them together are considered inauspicious as the Dragon could not live there (not good Feng Shui news for those who live in Arizona!). By far a better landscape is a hilly green verdant landscape (England's green and pleasant land has good Feng Shui!), water to represents Yin and hills represent Yang and greenery shows that water is present. One particularly bad landscape is one threatened by seismic activity: thus areas along geometric faults are considered bad Feng Shui. Not good news for those who live in California!

Weather in Feng Shui
Feng Shui recognizes five types of weather: sunshine rain, warm, cold and wind and all five should be present. Weather Chi is the coming together of Heaven Chi and Earth Chi and is therefore very important in Feng Shui: as a moveable aspect of the landscape it demonstrates Earth's relation to Heaven, which can, and has, changed over the millennia. Such changes can occur even in a relatively short period (i.e. droughts in otherwise wetter areas) or over slightly longer periods such as the changes to weather patterns due to changes in the oceans currents that are currently occurring in the Atlantic.

Auspicious times to undertake a Form School investigation.
When considering an environment from a Form School Feng Shui perspective, it should always be done at a time when the weather is in balance - too much darkness i.e. stormy weather is too much Yin - too much Sun is too much Yang. Consider a landscape only when Yin and Yang are in balance and neither predominates. The best time is sunrise, when the way the sun lights up the land and dispels the darkness is recognizable. Is this gradual and pleasing or too fast and alarming or maybe too slow creating tension as you wait impatiently for the sun to appear? In areas with particular early morning weather features (such as the morning fog over San Francisco) the rule is still sunrise in summer but mid-day in winter, though like all rules, bend them to suit the site. In all cases the way land "feels" to you is the important factor.

Take Heart
By now many reading this may be saying "I have no chance, my house has all the negative environmental Feng Shui and none of the beneficial". In the modern world few people have choices as to the exact plot of land their property is built on, and many cures have been derived to aid us in transforming our environment. We shall discuss these in the next post.

Also, from natal astrology, certain environments may be more beneficial to some people than others! We shall be looking in more detail at natal astrology and how this effects choices from a Form School perspective later.

Lastly don't forget that Feng Shui rules are there to enhance our understanding or our surroundings, not detract from our enjoyment of them. In all cases I reiterate comments in my last post, that it is how YOU feel about your environment that matters and nothing and no-one else! If Feng Shui can improve your sense of enjoyment of your surroundings, all well and good, but it should be taken in context of all other aspects of our lives. We should take from it that which is positive, not look for that which is not!

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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