There are many different versions of Feng Shui, each influenced by culture, geography, and religion. There are 7 predominant types or schools of Feng Shui:
1. The Compass School uses the 8 trigrams of the I-Ching. They are known collectively as Pa Kua, which is based on the 8 main directions of a compass. Each direction is associated with a specific chi. For example, southern is vibrant energy.
2. The Form School, based on the landscape's shape, uses 4 symbolic animals to identify the landscape. Easy to use, the Form School (along with the Compass School) increases chi both in and out of the home.
3. The Black Hat Sect uses a fixed entry point to determine the area. Although similar to the Compass School philosophy, it has differences. The Black Hat Sect also consists of psychology, Buddhism and basic design principles.
4. 8 Mansion School, also known as the 8 House Feng Shui, is based on the individual number of the person living in the home. That number is used to bring harmony and balance to the home. People who use this system have both lucky and unlucky numbers, with the west numbers being 2, 6, 7, and 8 and the east numbers being 1, 3, 4, and 9.
5. The 9 Star Key School uses stars to help identify lucky and unlucky days. This school of thought uses complicated math formulas to pinpoint when a person will get married and the astrological sign of the future marriage partners. It will also tell the practitioner how to live based on his house.
6. The most common form of Feng Shui, based on astrology and numerology, is the Flying Star Philosophy. Difficult to understand and learn, it is also based on mathematical principals and is used to determine a person's fate.
7. Four Pillars, the final school of thought, is not very common. Based on astrology tied to the person's date of birth right down to the minutes, this form of Feng Shui is also used to determine a person's fate.
5 Elements Of Feng Shui
After determining which school of thought is best for an individual, it is important to understand the 5 elements of Feng Shui. They are: Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood. Balance and harmony can be created in a home through the use of these elements. If used incorrectly, however, the energy can be lessened or even destroyed.
Each of the 5 elements is also associated with a direction:
Earth -- Southwest
Fire -- South
Water -- North
Metal -- West
Wood -- East
Beauty And Balance
In a Feng Shui home, all rooms should achieve a balance of these elements, although some items may weigh heavier than others. A chair might score 3 times more than a throw pillow, for example, because of the size difference.
Properly applied, Feng Shui brings both beauty and balance to the home or office.