By Erica Sofrina, Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World
At its essence, Feng Shui is a collection of practical, tried and true ideas about how to create living and working environments that support, nurture and guide our lives in a direction that promotes optimum well being.
Who wouldn’t want that?
To the westerner who lives in the modern world, the word Feng Shui seems foreign. However, the term in Chinese simply means wind and water. Among other things, it refers to the observation that the elements have an impact upon us and therefore should be strongly considered when we are choosing the best site for a building. It acknowledges something that most of us intuit already: the more we live in harmony with nature, the happier our lives are.
A case in point might be a city built below sea level, right on top of a fault line or on top of an active volcano. Eventually this poor decision on the part of the original city planners will come back to roost, as we have seen in some recent disasters in the past few years.
There are different schools of Feng Shui that can be effectively used for different things. Classical Compass School Feng Shui is the best one to use when determining how to place a building on the land. It is a more complex type of Feng Shui involving Chinese astrology, a Chinese Compass and other factors, including numerology. It brings in cures from the Chinese culture, incorporating wind chimes, crystals and other objects. All of which come out of the Chinese culture and traditions.
If you are confused by Classical Compass School Feng Shui, Western Form School Feng Shui offers a more logical, practical alternative. It is simpler to learn and less esoteric.
The language in Western Form School Feng Shui is positive and seeks to show the logic in these simple, tried and true teachings. It leaves out the cultural piece, allowing for the client to bring in objects that have a personal meaning to them. Chinese Fu dogs as greeters at your front door may not be your thing. Western Feng Shui recognized the importance of having a wonderful entryway, but leaves the choice of how to get there up to the client. They may prefer a pot of colorful flowers, a sparkling water fountain, or a welcoming sign. The point is to have it be lovely and welcoming, the choice of how to get there is up to them.
Rather than recommending Chinese red for the color of the front door, Western Feng Shui recommends the client chooses the color that they love the most. The point being that this will lift your personal chi much more than Chinese red, especially if you dislike this color.
Rather than saying something is bad or negative, Western Feng Shui points out the practical reasons why the teaching makes sense. As we know, what is negative in one culture may have no meaning in another culture. Case in point: in China the number 4 is considered very negative, and sounds like the word death. The number that might have a negative connotation in the U.S. might be the number 13. Having all westerners avoid having the number 4 in their home address because this means something negative in China does not make any sense, and is part of what has contributed to people feeling like Feng Shui is a superstition.Western Feng Shui throws that part out and sticks with the practical and simple concepts at the essence of Feng Shui.