Michael on Feng Shui

May 17, 1999

Q. In reading about feng shui, I've come across two schools of thought on the proper orientation of the bagua, which designates which sections of a house or room are the areas specific to certain functions (career, prosperity, creativity, significant relationships, etc). The compass school orients the bagua according to compass directions (the career area is at the north, for instance), while the form school orients it to the main entrance to house or room (the career area is toward the middle of the wall where the entrance is, no matter what direction the entrance faces). Comments?

A. [Michael likes the compass school somewhat better.]

By laying out according the compass rather than the layout of the house itself, the geo-energetic lines of flow can operate in the building without regard to the exigencies of landscape and street layout. We would also have to say that when buildings are aligned with compass points, then the form approach becomes more valid in that the geo-energetic flow has been provided for. For example, the feng shui of a ship is always valid no matter which way the ship is going. The same may be said of houses.

Q. Could Michael explain the ship analogy a little more?

A. When the keel of the boat is laid, its lines of force dictate the feng shui of the boat and after that no matter which way it goes the boat responds to the original feng shui of the keel. With houses, given the fact that street orientation and topology make demands on design, the original load-bearing beams define the keel of the house and orientation of the keel of the house defines the relationship to the compass.

[Public is forward; private is backward. That is, relating a house to a ship moving forward (or energy moving forward), the public part of the house marks the forward direction; the private part of the house marks the backward direction.]