Form and Shape Feng Shui in the Environment: How Form and Shape Feng Shui is the Basis For All Feng Shui In The Universe...!
by Feng Shui Master Gayle Atherton
Of all the places in the world, the mountain ranges right throughout China would have to rate amongst some of the most exquisite Feng Shui land formations on the face of the earth! It is hardly a wonder then, that the ancient Chinese scholars studied them intensely in an effort to develop the study of Feng Shui and formulate their findings based on the beautiful forms found in every part of the natural landscape.
"Form and Shape" is considered to be one of the earliest observations of Feng Shui study and according to certain Chinese historical records it was the first use of Feng Shui.
The Compass School came later, and the Chinese Lo-Pan Compass was used as a divination tool to locate unseen energies (or the things that would really affect your life!). Once the Ancient Chinese scholars realised that there were unseen energies coming from each of the eight directions - they were onto it immediately and in fact, it was the Chinese who discovered magnets and created the first Feng Shui Compass. This discovery later came to bring new understandings: that in reality, there were two main layers within Feng Shui one layer dealt with what you could see (the Form and Shape applications) and the other layer dealt with what you couldn't see (ie the unseen levels of Feng Shui energies, Flying Stars astrology for buildings).
The first known use of Feng Shui studies were applied to gravesites and burying the dead (ie positioning the dead to bring good fortune to the descendants). Even now, there are many famous gravesites throughout Asia, where family fortunes are believed to have excelled because of the way in which these first family members were buried...However, these days in many parts of Asia it is illegal to perform the traditional burial rites using Feng Shui (unless you have a lot of money) and one of the major reasons for this is the relatives of the buried person become very upset and sue the government if any buildings are built nearby that would affect the gravesite!
The Seen and the Unseen
We live in what we think is such a physical world but the reality is there is also an Unseen world taking place at the time as the Seen world. For instance, when you "see" the body you do not see the heart beating or the blood flowing within the veins but you do see someone smiling, talking, making a gesture, living their lives? Whilst you may not see the rays of the sun, if you stay in it for long periods you will get sunburnt. The same thing goes on in nature. You may not see a flower come out unless you have time lapse photography but each second the flower is opening and coming to full bloom, so, at an unseen level, there is a lot of activity taking place.
In Feng Shui, the Seen and the Unseen layers work like this: The Seen level deals with all the physical side of the consultation. For instance, your home, the rooms within the home, all the furnishings within the home and how they are arranged, the surrounding environment and how it impacts on your home. Do you live opposite a large building that over shadows the life force energy of your building? Or a crack from the sky formation where the house (and you) constantly experiences a shaft of sharp cutting energy which continually enters the home. Both of these two things in the environment can have a deep effect on the lives of the occupants but exactly how deep we need to explore further.
The Unseen layer is the missing part to the equation. It is the part that tells you how that tall overshadowing building will actually affect you. For instance, it may even be a positive feature because it falls into an area of the horoscope where it shuts down negative energy that would otherwise "hurt" your personal horoscope. In this instance, even though the building is overshadowing, it may actually be bringing benefit. Let's take the "crack from the sky formation". Rarely, in Form and Shape is this Form and Shape formation ever positive normally it will be turning any good life force into extremely negative because it shoots the Chi across other building faces to directly "hit" your building. Very occasionally, if this is in the right circumstances, ie its hitting a prosperity energy in the building horoscope (and it doesn't "hit" people living or working directly in the path of it), it may not be as negative (and it might actually stimulate your prosperity energy allowing you to be wealthier!).
In the end analysis, the truth is you need both the seen and the unseen levels in order to accurately assess Feng Shui because the Seen level represents "Earth" and the Unseen level represents "Heaven" (see article "Creating your own Feng Shui Remedies for the description on Heaven, Man and Earth Categories). The Seen layer deals with the Earth category of life force the Mountains, the rivers, the sea, the valleys, the rainforests, the desert lands, the plains and plateaus. The Heavenly life force is represented by the Unseen layer the horoscope for a building, the unseen energies that come to a building, etc.
What is "Form and Shape"?
Essentially, Form and Shape is a study of life force energy (also called Chi or Prana) and how it flows. This means how it forms, gathers, accumulates, alters, meanders and then finally flows in the landscape according to the geographical layout of the land, the shapes within the environment and the layout of the building structure.
For each different space, whether its a town, a neighbourhood, a complex of buildings, a single structure building, an open plan room or an enclosed space (ie a room) the way the life force flows will be unique to that environment. Then, the study of Form and Shape is the study of what things in the environment influence its flow. For instance an environment that's made up of windows and doors generally means there will be a lot of energy problems because the life force energy will not be able to gather, accumulate and then meander. This will have significant effects upon the owners of the building and usually the outcome is bankruptcy.
Form, Shape and the Five Elements
Actually, you cannot study Form and Shape without understanding how the five elements come into the environment. The reason why this is so important is because the five elements are going to interact with the Unseen energies. Going back to our example of the large building that is overshadowing our building, if the shape of this building is a fire shape (see fire shapes) and the unseen negative energy that was originally affecting our horoscope is earth. It means that our beneficial building has a big chance to be quite negative, whereas if the same overshadowing building is a water shape then the overshadow building, might again be benevolent.
Fire Element is represented by triangular shapes. Generally speaking the fire shape promotes activity like a flame, fast, unpredictable, out of control, intense, enlivening, enlightening and as such it represents illumination, knowledge, learning, The fire element is always strongest in colour.
Earth Element signifies a square shape and represents solidity, stability, strength, caring nature, and gentle, loyal, seeks harmony, gives balance and security. Symmetrical design gives the experience of safeness and predictability. It has the power to transform one energy into another - safely. The earth element is always strongest in form.
Metal Element is represented by round shapes (like coins) or rounded shapes ie a rounded top mountain. Metal energy signifies the transformation of life force from its fullest state into an ordered decline ie it represents the sun going down. Metal has a cooling effect, it's ordered and precise. It often represents "the business world". Metal is strongest in sound.
Water Element is indicated by wavy, asymmetrical or unusual shapes. It has a chaotic untamed energy like the ocean and is often inward, deep, detached intelligent and capable of doing a lot of things at the same time. All rives flow into the ocean to make up the ocean so water energy is often represented by different minds meeting and this is why cafés and restaurants are represented by water element. Water is strongest in running water.
Wood Element is symbolism of a small bud forcing its way up through the ice to break through and eventually become a tree. This is like a person who pioneers something and fights against all odds to create a new energy. Wood energy is enterprising, innovative and always first! Wood element is always strongest in physical trees or plants.
The Five Elements...
Wherever a building is involved, making an assessment of Form and Shape always requires a look into the Unseen influences because in fact, the five elements are so powerful that its simply not good advice to just plonk things willy-nilly. Whilst at one level, each of the eight directions do have an element associated with it, the reality is there are a few more equations to take into account and treating something on a superficial level with the five elements is not recommended. So this means, in the face of Feng Shui, if you building faces the South direction (governed by the fire element) it would be unwise to add wood element to strengthen it. Why? Because, if the South direction building was built between Feb 1944 - 1963 a front central door will have an extremely negative energy force with it and if you add wood element you will be stimulating this further!! This type of dynamic in Feng Shui is very well known for being a bankruptcy combination therefore I highly recommend against treating the five elements at such a superficial level. Feng Shui simply doesn't work this way - its way too powerful.
Where to Live?
Where it's easy to understand and use the five elements is checking the environment we live in to see if there are things going for us or against us. For instance, each of these photos's represent a different element environment and this in itself will have a dominating effect in the community. For instance, fire element communities are often chaotic, intense, aggressive and peaceless. Where as the earth type of formation (ie square and symmetrical) and creates a community that can care for each other, etc. Water element environments generally create peace and harmony including good flow in business when the water formation itself is peaceful or beneficial. Metal environments are generally the business environment and there is lots of hustle bustle, order and focus.
The Feng Shui of Hong Kong
It is generally agreed upon by all Feng Shui Masters, that Hong Kong is one of the best Form and Shape/Feng Shui landscapes in the world. Its features begin with the amazing Kun Lun dragon (mountain) range which extends eastwards across thousands of miles and is believed to form into the Tai Mo Shan dragon range at the top of northern Kowloon in the New Territories. From here this great dragon range extends down through Nathan Rd, Kowloon side and takes a dip down into Victoria Harbour, then up through Hong Kong Island side and travels directly underneath the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank to reach the top of Victoria Peak. From here the dragon then travels overland to the edge of Repulse Bay (see bottom right) and the tip of its head can be seen in the Tong Po/Ngan/Tau/Lamma Islands as the dragon turns backs its face towards Hong Kong (giving the auspicious dragon breath back to Hong Kong). Victoria harbour itself has long been considered by Feng Shui Masters to be the shape of a money purse and this is a part of the reason why they feel the harbour is so auspicious. However, in recent years, many Feng Shui Masters have become concerned about the re-claiming of land in the harbour as they feel it is a potential problem to the overall financial state of Hong Kong. Still it should be noted that Hong Kong was one of the only Asian countries NOT to go through the economic meltdown in Asia and they believe is directly related to Feng Shui.
© Copyright Gayle Atherton 2003. All Rights Reserved. This article cannot be re-used or re-printed without the written permission and consent of the author.