Photo of a Luo Pan.

“Uncluttered”, “soothing hues” and “good flow” might describe a nice space, but they have nothing to do with Feng Shui.

Photo of a Water Orchid by Melanie Lybrand.
Photo of a Water Orchid by Melanie Lybrand

Don’t feel bad. Most of us have no idea what Feng Shui is, much less how to differentiate between the real and the faux. The worst part is that there is very little good information when you search online for the answers, but there is lots of information. Like many of my Feng Shui colleagues, I had to spend copious hours over several years researching before I was able to discern who was providing tips based on classical training and who, most likely unknowingly, was providing recommendations based on a Westernized, and frankly, bastardized version of Classical Chinese Feng Shui.

So how can you tell? Sometimes it’s easier to start by explaining what Feng Shui is not.

  • Feng Shui is not simple.
  • Feng Shui is not a religion.
  • Feng Shui is not a style.
  • Feng Shui is not a magical solution to get rich and meet the love of your life, though it can help your chances.

Feng Shui is more science than woo woo. It was born of observation of energy patterns over time and how these patterns affected the inhabitants of a home. A certain energy would bring consistent results or patterns in the lives of people staying in a specific room. Ahh, but of course it’s not quite that simple! There are so many different factors to take into consideration even after you have been able to identify the different energies. Suffice it to say, I won’t be teaching you what Feng Shui is in today’s post. I can tell you this, if your consultant doesn’t have a compass when she comes to your house, she isn’t practicing Feng Shui. It doesn’t have to be a Luo Pan as pictured below, but it shouldn’t live on her iPhone either. I use a good old hiking compass myself.

Photo of a Luo Pan.
Photo of a Luo Pan

Another sign that the consultant is probably not practicing classical Chinese Feng Shui is if he refers to himself as a “Feng Shui Master”. In all honesty I’m not certain what the requirements are for being able to claim mastery. Still, I know it isn’t a certification you can acquire through this program or that school. I feel another blog topic coming on…but anyway, you can be sure you aren’t going to hire a “Feng Shui Master Near You” on the internet.

If you recognize the last clue (see below), you probably already purchased a “Faux Shui” report or you are a Feng Shui DIY victim because you read how to do it online. It will claim that the Wealth sector area is always in the Southeast, the Relationship sector is always in the Southwest, etc….Stop! Remember the first item on the what Feng Shui is NOT? That’s right, it’s not simple. You can’t learn it from using the “Bagua Map” to determine activations. You could cause more harm than good by implementing “Faux Shui” so just say “No” and hire someone who knows what they are doing. Look for “Flying Stars Feng Shui” consultants. That alone will weed out a lot of the bogus consultants. Again, they probably think they are practicing real Feng Shui because that is what they were told at their school where they were guaranteed to leave a “Master”. I’m sure you see the problem and the probability of doing it all wrong.

Photo of a Bagua Map.
Photo of a Bagua Map

Why do you even need to know all of this? Because Feng Shui is powerful, it can bring disastrous results when done improperly.

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