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The oldest Feng Shui school is "Luan Tou", usually called the "Feng Shui Form-School" or "School of Form". Within it an optimal place for a building site, embedded in and protected by a natural landscape, is determined.

Luan Tou is also being used for buildings and burial sites, with one or the other being determined more important throughout Chinese history.

After the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) two main strands and focus developed within Feng Shui: the "Li Xing Pai" - "Form School" or "the form regulating school" as well as "Li Qi Pai" - "regulating the form of energy" or "structural qi school". In the west both became known as the " Feng Shui Form-School" and "Feng Shui Compass-School".


The Feng Shui Form School

The first point of reference for the form school is the direction of an object and how it fits into its natural surroundings. In China for example it is beneficial to have a mountain to the North (behind the building), be protected by smaller surrounding hills to the left and right  and an unobstructed view towards the South (front of the building). Within China the best direction is North-South.

Byodo-In Temple auf Oahu, Hawai'i

The background to this placement is the Chinese weather axis. In the winter cold winds come from the North. The mountain behind the building protects the estate. The mountain range to the East should be a little higher than its counter-part to the West. This also has to do with the weather and it follows the natural course of the sun and the warmth connected with it. The South and the West-sun are the warmest and brings the most protection with a good temperature to the Estate.

When we want to use this method in Europe, we need to ensure that we do not follow the rule with a strict North-South direction but need to ensure an analysis of the surroundings in question. In a natural landscape the weather-axis will be of prime important, however in a city the surrounding area of buildings, streets and free areas are just as important. In Berlin for example the weather axis is North-East to South-West, so a free-standing building should be analysed with this background information.

Within the form school each surrounding can be projected to a smaller and smaller space. From the natural surrounding landscape on a larger scale, the Form school can also be used on an estate to an apartment / flat down to individual rooms. In a room for example the Four Animals find their equivalent with the placement of individual pieces of furniture.

The most important background to the Form-School is based on the natural tendency of each human being to seek protection. In a protected environment we feel more secure and can relax. This refers to a whole estate as much as for the living-room or working space.

Within the Form-School not only directions and placements are put into place, but forms (e.g. round, square, tips), colors and materials (e.g. wood, metal) also play an important part. 

It is through these various methods, that the form school can analyse and most importantly consult and advice on the placement and impact of a specific room and their connection to purpose. Combined with the philosophy of the Five Elements the Feng Shui Form school offers a great tool not just determine the perfect situation but also has tools at hand to optimize and harmonize existing structures. It can also adjust according to change of purpose.

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