North Vs South in the Battle for Authentic Feng Shui
One of the many questions I regularly get asked about feng shui is, “Should we make changes in feng shui for the Southern Hemisphere”? The assumption being, that since feng shui is from China, and therefore, the Northern Hemisphere, we should perhaps make adaptations to its principles when it is practised here in the Southern Hemisphere. The most common example given for supporting this notion, is a rather addled one, centring on climatic conditions; i.e. that in the Northern Hemisphere, one looks to the South for the warmth of the sun, whereas here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is said we look to the North.
It is further postulated, that consequently, changes need to be made to both the Later Heaven Sequence Ba Gua, and the cycling of the Five Elements. While the first climatic based proposition, that in the Northern Hemisphere one always looks South for warmth, and here in the South we always look North, may at first, seem reasonable and logical, it is both far from logical, and is simply factually inaccurate. Since any proposed changes to the Ba Gua and the cycles of the Five Elements are based primarily on this assumption, it must first be proved to be true. To date, the evidence shows the proposal remains completely unproven.
The debate first started in the early to mid-1990’s and has continued ever since. These days however, common sense has finally prevailed amongst the informed, and the sciences that have always under-pinned classical feng shui, show clearly, that no changes are to be made when applying classical feng shui in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, some New Age consultants still insist on promoting such changes despite these having been conclusively proved wrong.
The primary point to keep in mind here, is that when a proposition such as this is made, it must be supported by clearly demonstrable facts and that there should eventually be a considered and agreed upon consensus as to just what changes are to be made by recognised experts. To date, no such facts have emerged by the proponents of the Southern School and neither have they provided any sort of consensus amongst themselves as to just what changes they feel are required. In fact, their silence can be described as deafening.
However, not wanting to reinvent the wheel and write yet another lengthy article on the subject, I have instead, decided to reprint the two most well-reasoned and salient responses to the proposition given so far. We start with a three-piece exploration of the idea by Australian Ray Harris, who looks at the concept from a rational, scientific, perspective. You will note that none of the proponents of the Southern Hemisphere School were prepared to respond with any relevant scientific detail at all, preferring instead to take offense at the robustness of Harris’ enquiry. This in itself, is very unscientific of them.
I have then provided links to the second; two, very lengthy articles by Cate Bramble, an American who gained considerable respect in the 1990’s for her work in debunking the nonsense of the (Tibetan)-Black Sect Esoteric Buddhist school; especially in the USA, and the New Age, Western, Intuitive Schools, and finally their off-shoot, the Southern Schools. By contrast, the recognised traditional Chinese feng shui schools are all identified by their names such as the San Yuan and San He Schools, which include the Flying Stars and Ba Zhai schools. In some instances, traditional feng shui schools are also referred to as Form and Compass Schools, and both the San Yuan and San He Schools incorporate these rather loose terms. (Form School feng shui refers to specific formula in which the physical environment, specifically landscape aspects affect human habitation.) Compass School refers to those schools like San Yuan and San He, which are based on strict, set formula, centred around magnetic orientation. It is worth noting that all these traditional Chinese schools are based on well known, well documented treatises that record their developer’s names, the dates when new theories were first explored and accepted by their peers, and the lineage of their continuance down through the ages to today. No such accurate lineage exists for any of the New Age schools, including the Black Sect Esoteric Buddhist School which in fact takes its roots from pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon religion; nothing in fact to do with the Chinese Taoist roots in which classical feng shui very clearly has its roots.
I will therefore, leave the reader to come to their own conclusions, but encourage you to consider which of the arguments proposed are the most rational, logical, and scientific. It is helpful to remember that when a claim is made, it is up to the claimant to prove their claim. So far this clearly has not yet been achieved by the proponents of the so-called Southern Schools. Neither do they adequately quote appropriate sources; whereas, you will note that both Harris and Bramble give extensive sources for their arguments. Please put your thinking caps on and enjoy.
Link to Cate Bramble’s article: Goin’ South – 10 Years On.
Goin' South Part 1 - http://www.fengshui88.co.nz/north-south/goin-south-part-1
Goin' South, Part 2 - http://www.fengshui88.co.nz/north-south/goin-south-part-2
Goin' South, Part 3 - http://www.fengshui88.co.nz/north-south/goin-south-part-3