Understanding the Differences Between Classical and Modern Feng Shui

Understanding the Differences Between Classical and Modern Feng Shui

“When you do Feng Shui you tell the Universe you want a better life – first by setting your intention then by taking action.” – TheFengShuiStudio.com

As any passenger on a long road trip can attest, music is a very personal thing. Whether it is classical, oldies, alternative, pop, easy-listening, country, or rap, everyone has a favourite. The power of music though is not diminished by its innate ability to polarize its listeners. In fact, its very essence is strengthened by this seemingly divisive quality. The underlying passion of these individual preferences increases its universal power. It does not matter what type of music you enjoy; the power lies in the enjoyment.

Feeding this energy, regardless of personal choice, is the respect for music’s origins; for without the symphonies created hundreds of years ago, today’s music would not exist. The intricate melodies of classical music will never lose their wonder; crowds still gather in darkened amphitheatres to lose themselves in the beauty of scores written long ago. Music’s growth, its morphism into our modern-day tracts, is only possible because of the chords strung together hundreds of years ago.

There are many parallels between the growth of music, and that of the practice of Feng Shui. Classical Feng Shui and Modern Feng Shui can polarize their followers. But just like music, the underlying passion of these preferences increases the universal power of Feng Shui. Does it matter what approach you take? Or is the importance in the practice itself? What exactly is Classical Feng Shui? And how is it different from Modern Feng Shui?

Classical and Modern Feng Shui: Understanding the Differences

Classical Feng Shui

Classical Feng Shui originated in China thousands of years ago. Originally used to select burial sites and safe locations for settlements, the practice analyzes landforms and compass readings to select the ideal location for a home or business. Classical Feng Shui links the destiny of humans to their environments; the fate of a homeowner’s health, wealth, and happiness, is believed to be determined by the surrounding landforms. 

This approach is also based on directions and uses the points of a compass to analyze Chi (the energy that incapsulates all living things). Each cardinal direction (north, south, east, and west) is associated with one of the Five Feng Shui Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. When these Elements are balanced, nature is in harmony. Classical Feng Shui therefore incorporates the use of a compass, as well as mathematics, a homeowner’s birthdate, and numerology.

This traditional approach to living in harmony with one’s surroundings is still utilized today. “The purpose and application of Feng Shui is to understand how the visible and invisible forces come together, so that one can calculate and interpret the inherent energy structure of a particular home or piece of land, and make the appropriate recommendations for how to manipulate (harness or avert) this information to attain the best results.” 

In other words, the external landscape and a home’s direction are analyzed to determine how ideal the location is; “a beautiful home is a waste if the energy of the surrounding landscape is not favourable or supportive”. Proponents of the Classical method believe the Feng Shui compass interacts with Earth’s energy. When used properly, all other energies become balanced, creating a path towards true happiness.

Modern Feng Shui

Just like the music of today, Modern Feng Shui is the result of an evolution. “As Chinese Feng Shui made its way to the West, especially in the 1970’s – the original practice morphed into something totally different in order to better suit and accommodate the ways of the West”. Modern Feng Shui honours its origins; it includes aspects of Classical Feng Shui while incorporating Modern factors such as electromagnetic pollution, environmental psychology, space clearing, and clutter management.  

The Modern approach focuses more on a sense of space. It analyzes floor plans, the layout of a room, décor, and furniture placement. Although Modern Feng Shui is less complex and not as concerned with calculations and compass directions, it still focuses on balancing the Five Feng Shui Elements.

Similar to music, choosing between Classical and Modern Feng Shui ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both focus on working with your natural energies to create balanced, prosperous, healthy, and harmonious environments. Feng Shui has always been used to cultivate the flow of positive energy, and this trend continues to grow. Homeowners crave a sense of empowerment; a method of creating a space which supports their health, wealth, and happiness. 

Feng Shui can be used “as a tool to improve your life, to add meaningful images and symbols, and to empower and boost your personal and professional life”. At Ultimate Academy®, we honour the Classical approach while focusing on Modern Feng Shui. Graduates of the Certified Ultimate Feng Shui Specialist™ program learn how to incorporate both into every project. For instance, each Chinese symbol utilized originally in Classical Feng Shui, represents a specific energy. Our graduates validate this history and incorporate it into today’s interior design.

The Power of Feng Shui:

Regardless of whether you utilize the Classical or Modern approach, Feng Shui provides an opportunity to use your physical space to help create a better life. Feng Shui helps you to set priorities in accordance with your values, needs, and wants. It encourages you to be mindful; to “activate and cultivate your innate resources”, empowering you to make changes, while connecting you with the energies of life. Today’s society craves this ability to set intentions; to take control of their happiness; to use Feng Shui as a tool to help them grow, develop, and thrive. Practicing either Classical or Modern Feng Shui, provides a method for activating one’s intentions. It can help rid a home of negative energy, clearing the path for positive energy to enter and flow freely.

Graduates of Ultimate Academy’s® other programs, such as the Certified UltimateStager™ and Certified Ultimate Professional Organizer™ program, hire Feng Shui Specialists™ to provide their expertise. Using a variety of strategies, symbols, and techniques, Feng Shui Specialists™ cultivate positive energy. In conjunction with staging, decluttering, and organizing, this can help sell a home, or aid a family in their journey towards a more harmonious existence. Using a home’s floor plan, as well as a room’s layout, décor and furniture placement, a Feng Shui Specialist™ can create a balanced space that supports the client’s health, wealth, and happiness.  

Like music, without the creation of Classical Feng Shui, Modern Feng Shui would not exist. The newer approach grew out of desire for an easier, quicker method. Although it has morphed into today’s version, the intricacies of Classical Feng Shui will not lose their wonder. Its history will continue to be honoured as it transforms. Followers do not always view it as a progression; some see the two methods as opposites. However, the seemingly divisive quality of these two approaches only increases the universal appeal of Feng Shui itself. The passion underlying both methods increases the power of Feng Shui. 

Upon examination, although quite different, Classical and Modern Feng Shui both benefit the follower, and in that its true power resides.

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