Add as bookmark

Authentic Feng Shui

by Pauline Jeffreys(more info)

listed in feng shui, originally published in issue 35 - December 1998

I have very mixed feelings about the recent explosion of media interest in Feng Shui. As so often with a glut of articles about any alternative discipline, the facts become watered down to such an extent that a serious science becomes almost unrecognisable. I have been surprised to learn, in various newspapers, that Feng Shui is easy to do yourself at home, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with a compass, and that you can change your life, just by moving your pot plants.

The Eight-Sided Pa Kua used by the Compass School of Feng Shui

The Eight-Sided Pa Kua used by the Compass School of Feng Shui

None of those statements is true, in my opinion. At best, the valuable practice of harmonising energies that is Feng Shui becomes distorted and belittled. At worst, this type of misinformation could prove damaging to members of the public. It would be easy to make the energy flow worse whilst trying to make sense of the often conflicting information given out. Those people who are experiencing great difficulties in their life may be vulnerable to outlandish claims, and could be misled into thinking Feng Shui offers a panacea for their ills.

Many people spend time and money with little likelihood of getting a good result. And yet Feng Shui is a true energy discipline which has enhanced the lives of thousands and completely turned around my own life.

I spent several years studying with a Chinese master before becoming qualified to offer Feng Shui consultations. As well as a knowledge of Feng Shui principles, there is a certain amount of personal energy clearing that must be accomplished before one is able to recognise the subtle energy flow in people's bodies or their rooms. It is possible to get a taste of Feng Shui from DIY books and articles, and to have some success with this, given certain precautions. However, to experience fully the benefits of Feng Shui, I would advise people to seek a qualified practitioner whose skills are properly honed and tested.

Whether you are seeking a Feng Shui consultant or attempting to investigate Feng Shui principles yourself, it is important to bear in mind that there are several schools of Feng Shui, which can contradict each other.

Traditional Chinese compass school Feng Shui originated in China over 3000 years ago and was used to ensure that ancestral tombs and palaces were sited in the most auspicious places. Today almost all Chinese buildings are designed according to Feng Shui principles.

The compass school, in which I practise, uses the eight-sided symbol known as the pa kua, which refers to the eight trigrams of the I Ching and the Lo shu magic square. This provides a scientific formula to diagnose the chi or energy flow coming from the various directions.

Each of the eight sides relates to a specific compass direction which in turn represents a specific area or 'aspiration' of one's life. For example, the east represents health and family; the south east, wealth; the south west, relationships; the north, career; and so on.

By laying the pa kua on a plan of your home, you can determine which area of your home relates to which aspiration. There are various symbols and objects that can then be used to enhance particular areas of aspiration, paying attention to the balance of the whole. In traditional Chinese compass school Feng Shui, the pa kua is always placed on a plan of the house with the career section facing magnetic north.

There is also a modern version of Feng Shui, popularised in America since 1986, known as the Black Hat Sect. This does not use a compass and proceeds on the basis that the main door to the house, or even to each room, faces the career section. This system is not generally used in China and accounts for the fact that two Feng Shui consultants may give conflicting advice, depending on which school they work within.

It is advisable to ask your Feng Shui consultant which school s/he works within, so that you can stay consistent to one principle.

Before Consultation: Bedroom 1 – Head facing west, worst direction. Colours – Red & White.  After Consultation: Moved to bedroom 2. Head facing east, best direction. Colours – Soft Blue (Light) and Violet.

Before Consultation: Bedroom 1 – Head facing west, worst direction. Colours – Red & White.

After Consultation: Moved to bedroom 2. Head facing east, best direction. Colours – Soft Blue (Light) and Violet.

Case Study: Mrs C

Another side to compass school Feng Shui is in determining your own personal directions. If you think of the pa kua as relating to the areas of a building (home or office etc.) that may enhance your life aspirations, then your personal directions are the mobile Feng Shui you take with you, no matter which room you are in. For example, a couple sharing a house may have different personal directions in which they should face but the areas of the pa kua relate to their home and will be the same for them both.

Everybody has a personal kua number, calculated according to their date of birth. Your kua number dictates your four most auspicious directions and your four least auspicious directions. Once these have been calculated, it is important to face in your most auspicious direction as much as possible. Positioning your desk, choosing a chair at an important meeting, or even at the breakfast table, should all be done according to your best directions.

Sleeping in your best direction is a powerful boost for a good night's rest. This too has given rise to much confusion as to whether it is your head or feet that point to the relevant direction. If unsure, lie on your bed face down, on your stomach; when you lift your head up you should be looking towards your best direction. One client, a man who had suffered sleeplessness for many years and always woke at night, reported sleeping through the night after just one week of moving his bed to sleep in his best direction. If you and your partner sharing the bed have conflicting directions, in Feng Shui we advise that the breadwinner's directions take precedence as the entire family unit will benefit from protecting and enhancing the major source of income.

There is another school of Feng Shui known as the form school. This, too, is traditionally related to the compass but whereas your life aspirations according to the pa kua are calculated within the building, the form school is concerned with the area outside the building and the physical features of the surrounding landscape. Feng Shui translates as wind and water and this branch of Feng Shui focuses on the relationship between a building and the surrounding elements.

The four directions of the compass are symbolised by animals: a dragon in the east; a tiger in the west; a phoenix in the south; and a turtle in the north. Generally this type of Feng Shui is most useful when building a new house or, for example, re-modelling a garden.

At this point, it is worth noting that a good Feng Shui practitioner should not cost the earth and will always discuss with you in advance what degree of change you are willing and able to make. While there are certainly those clients who are already considering changes and would like advice as to how to augment change that boosts their chi, there are many more whose circumstances dictate limited change initially.

Negative aspects of energy flow can be assuaged with Feng Shui 'cures', used properly, but it is important to get these right. Indiscriminately hanging mirrors and wind chimes around your home may well just muddle things further.

Whatever changes you and your Feng Shui consultant agree on, it is worth noting that, like any other healing discipline, Feng Shui effects changes with you, rather than for you. It is a powerful, effective vehicle for change, once you are ready for changes to take place.

To this end, in my work, I combine traditional Chinese method Feng Shui with other metaphysical healing skills, such as chakra balancing and colour therapy. I have found that these work well with Feng Shui, particularly to bring about a transformation in wellbeing. I believe that disease is caused by an energy imbalance and to cleanse the chakras of the body backed up with harmonising the energies of the client's environment (Feng Shui) provides a powerful aid to health.

To give an example of this, I visited one client, Mrs.C., who for some time had been experiencing severe headaches, troubled nights and a general feeling of heaviness. Mrs. C. is an east group person but her bedroom was on the west side of the house. My suggestion was that she moved to another bedroom on the east side of the house which would be more beneficial for her. In this new room, we tapped into her best compass directions and incorporated various light blues and violet with a little green. Green is the colour of the east as well as being the healing colour of the heart chakra. Blues and violet are helpful with headaches as these are the colours for relaxing and soothing the mind.

Mrs. C. reports that she is sleeping better and no longer needs headache pills or sleeping tablets.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Pauline Jeffreys


top of the page