What Is Western (or black hat) Feng Shui?

Western feng shui is a concept of geomancy that was developed in the last century.

While this can sound like a long time a ago, it is a small amount of time when compared to the origins of classical feng shui that can be traced as far back as 6,000 years ago. Just like 10,000 years on our plant is a drop in the ocean when compared to the age of the universe.

It bears various similarities in the application of traditional, cultural, and religious practices of feng shui… with one big difference.

When determining the energy map of a house, the determining factor is where the main door is located. This is unlike classical feng shui where the compass is used to determine exact readings of facing directions to tabulate the energy map of a property.

There are various other subtle differences between western feng shui and eastern feng shui. But the main difference that makes them drastically different from each other is the one that I’ve just mentioned.

I have to admit.

I had never heard about western school feng shui when I first started learning about Chinese metaphysics myself.

It was only through researching certain feng shui topics on the internet did I come across it.

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Western feng shui goes by many aliases. It can be referred to as black hat feng shui, black hat sect feng shui, BTB feng shui (Black Sect Tibetan Tantric), etc.

The fundamental bagua map of the western bagua is as below.

As can be observed from the illustration above, 9 aspects of life is determined by the energy map.

  • Wealth and money (wood)
  • Fame and status (fire)
  • Love and relationships (earth)
  • Health and family (wood)
  • Spirituality and well-being (earth)
  • Children and creativity (metal)
  • Knowledge and self-improvement (earth)
  • Career and work (water)
  • Mentors and travel (metal)

If you have been reading up about feng shui for a while, you might notice that this is very similar to a regular bagua with north direction aligned to the bottom center grid.


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However, application of the BTB bagua as no bearing on directions.

This energy map is imposed on a floor plan based on where the main door is.

When the main door to the house is identified on the floor plan, the floor plan is rotated to place the main door at the bottom. After which the western bagua map is imposed on it.

The different sector of the house can then be determined.

Public opinion of western feng shui

A lot of feng shui practitioners are very public with their negative opinion of black hat feng shui.

This is very much because a lot of them were first taught eastern feng shui and when western feng shui comes into the picture to challenge their reality, it can be difficult to accept that there is something else that is in stark contrast to their expertise.

And since western feng shui originate from the classical for of feng shui, many feel that it’s just a spin-off of real feng shui with no real basis.

But a lot of the critics of western feng shui can be observed to criticize everything about all concepts of feng shui as long as it’s not what they practice.

Saying that, it is noticeable that between western feng shui and classical feng shui, it’s always practitioners of the latter criticizing the former. Never the other way around.

Personally, I don’t practice western feng shui. So I am not in the position to champion or criticize it.

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