The second method of classical Feng Shui is 方位 Fāng Wèi ‘Direction and Position’. (The first is known as 形势 Xing Shì ‘Form and Configuration’. It is chiefly spatial and deals with forces in the earth’s topography.) It is also known as the 理气 Li Qi ‘Patterns of Qi’ method or simply, the Compass School. Primary temporal, it uses the compass to locate the energies of heavenly phenomena.
These ‘Compass’ or ‘Orientation’ methods were considered secondarily as they were developed later. In recent times it has been assumed that placing greater importance in ‘Form’ is no longer appropriate and industrialization has shifted prominence to the latter. It is true that geographically speaking, populations are now centred on low lands and past flood plains, where ‘Orientations’ are dominant. Another reason could be due to ‘Orientations’ methods being considered somewhat obscure at first, but their practice is more generalised and suitable for interiors.
The Classical Feng Shui Model is a return to the early significance of the external ‘Forms’ with only ¼ of analysis being dictated by the compass and internal measurements. A key strength of this model is lies in not relying on the multitude of overly complex, often incompatible ‘Orientation’ methods.
The 罗盘 Luópán ‘Chinese compass’ measures these Orientations, it is divided into concentric rings consisting combinations of the 8 diagrams, 10 heavenly stems, 12 earthly branches, 28 lunar lodges etc.