Frequently, (more times than one can count) we are asked a lot of questions about Feng Shui consultations. The most common is “What does a consultation consist of?” Most people have never experienced a Feng Shui consultation or have only heard about it by word of mouth. What should one expect? How soon does one see results? What is a fair rate? So many questions and so many different answers depending on who you ask. In this article, we will try to answer these questions and clear up some of the mystery of what is involved with a traditional Feng Shui consultation.
If we go back in history to one of the very first Feng Shui masters, Yang Yun-Sung, also known as “Yang save the poor”, we learn that Feng Shui was based on creating a balance. Following the concept of Yin and Yang, Master Yang tried to balance his work. After having served the imperial leaders in the palace, he began to assist the common people. His goal was to help people. This is and should be the foremost goal of any good Feng Shui practitioner. In fact, when analyzing a house the goal is to help the people first and the money second. If the people are in ill health or having relationship problems, the money is secondary. But, when the people are in good health and spirits, then the money will come easier. So look for a Feng Shui practitioner who you feel sincerely wants to assist you.
When providing a consultation, a qualified practitioner should be taking four things into account: the building, the environment, the time, and the people. Most books, web sites, and other literature written, speak about the building and environment. Actually, the people and timing are very important to an accurate analysis. A house that is good for one person may not be good for another and this year might bring some beneficial or unfavorable situations. Feng Shui is based on the I-Ching, or Book of Changes, which says that everything is undergoing change. Nothing is fixed. Time is consistently changing. Qi (Chi) is continually changing. So each house during different time periods is different. There is no “cookie-cutter” solution. Seek out practitioners who understand this concept and who are aware that individuals play an important part in the analysis.
Before the consultation begins, the a qualified practitioner should need the following things:
1. The birth dates of the occupants.
2. The date the building was built.
3. A proportional floor plan.
4. An appointment to actually see the building.
The birth dates determine the Trigram of the people and helps to find their best directions. The date the building was built is used in the calculations to determine the Qi within the building. The floor plan is used to properly map the Qi. And the appointment is needed, because even with photographs and accurate descriptions, there is no substitute for actually experiencing the home or building firsthand.
The actual consultation can be anywhere from one to four hours or more depending on the complexity of the building. Typically, the first thing to be examined, before anything else, is the exterior environment. The Feng Shui practitioner is looking for any “Sha” or negative influence. Things such as overgrown trees that create too “Yin” an environment, to noise “Sha” from living too close to a freeway, to construction going on nearby, can all be things that can create concern. Don’t worry though if you have these things in your environment. While they are not favorable, there are many variations of these situations and most are easily correctable. For example, trimming the trees or putting up new trees to buffer the noise from the freeway are a couple of examples.
The next step in a consultation is to examine the interior environment. Again, before any actual “analysis” is done, the Feng Shui master is looking to understand the situation. This does not mean though that he requires a full disclosure of what has been troubling you. In fact, a real master should be able to tell you some of the issues that might be going on based on their careful analysis. Don’t be looking for them to tell you your life’s story, but rather if you had some problem such as money delays or perhaps health problems, a practitioner should be able to determine this from their calculations. Another example: a person who belongs to the Chen trigram (wood) sleeping in an area that is predominantly consisting of metal qi might have problems with their throat. Metal dominates wood. Chen relates to the throat (see the Trigrams article).
Once the environmental assessment is done, then the master will find the orientation using a Lo P’an or Chinese compass. This will aid them in determining the exact orientation of the house. A few degrees of variation can make the difference between a good house and an unfavorable house. Remember Feng Shui is about making things better. Even if you might live in an unfavorable house, there are remedies that can be applied that will create the balance to even things out. After the orientation is determined, the master will perform the calculations to determine what needs to be balanced. In early China, the masters wore robes with large sleeves. They would put their hands together inside the sleeves. Little did people know, but they where using the first three fingers on their hand to perform the calculations. If you count the pads on the three fingers, you will find that there are nine pads arranged in roughly the same grid as a Trigram. Today, we “have” to be more sophisticated. We use computers or notebooks, or just simply write it out with pen and paper.
The last step is to sit down with the client and discuss the findings. The remedies suggested should fit nicely into your environment and should consist only of introducing one of the five elements into your building or home and perhaps some suggestions on how to make the environment more pleasing. Subtlety is the key here. If your house looks like it has been Feng Shui’d then it wasn’t the best application of Feng Shui remedies. Feng Shui remedies should not be apparent. It should look natural and beautiful. Not forced or uncomfortable.
After applying the suggested remedies, when should you expect results? Typically results can occur within a month. Keep in mind that many times they are so subtle and gradual you might not notice it. Other times, it is a few days later that something amazing happens. Do not expect amazing results though. Many times, Feng Shui does not change the apparent, but rather creates a space that will allow doors to open. If there are health issues, do not expect to immediately be cured. Feng Shui creates the environment that is supportive for recovery. One client was in an unfavorable house and knew it. He asked if he should sell his house. The answer given was to apply the remedies and see what happens. In about a month, he received a job offer that he couldn’t refuse and ended up moving as a necessity of the new job!
When people ask how much a consultation should cost, the answer is difficult. The best answer is to invest what is comfortable for you for a Feng Shui consultation and reasonable for the size of the project. There are millionaires who pay $70,000 for a consultation. There are little old ladies who pay with a basket of fruit. Payment does not need to be in a red envelope. Greenbacks work equally well. When providing a consultation to people, there needs to be value in it for them. Without the value, they probably will not do the recommendations or perhaps only halfway. Also understand that there are supply and demand factors at work too. Many times the higher the price, the more in demand the practitioner is. Remember to though to ask them questions and gain a comfort level that they are worth it.
Lastly, know that Feng Shui is about comfort and harmony. Do not do anything that does not sound right or make sense to you. Find a practitioner who you are comfortable with. Continue to ask questions.