The goal of classical Feng Shui is to always be ‘practically efficient and ritually correct’. To achieve this the two major methods of Feng Shui are utilized. The first is known as 形势 Xing Shì ‘Form and Configuration’. Sometimes called 峦头 Luan Tou ‘Mountain Top’ method or simplified as the ‘Form School’. It is chiefly spatial and deals with forces in the earth’s topography. (The second is 方位 Fāng Wèi ‘Direction and Position’. Primary temporal, it uses the compass to locate the energies of heavenly phenomena.)
The balance of Feng Shui methods has changed throughout the centuries. Originally importance was placed on the older ‘Form’ method. This was best applied in the vicinity of mountain ranges where features and shapes in the land are dominant. It is mostly suited to exteriors and generally considered easy to understand in theory, but difficult to apply in the field.
The Classical Feng Shui Model is a return to the early significance of external ‘Form’ with approximately ¾ of analysis in its favour. The reliance on this simple but powerful method, which has largely remained unchanged and unchallenged over time, is the key strength of the model. External forms are the basis of Feng Shui practice and the foundation of prosperity. Strong forms activate auspicious compass bearings, whilst reducing the inauspicious, whereas poor forms have a detrimental effect, enhancing misfortune and deactivating the beneficial.
Forms are classified by Five 诀 Jue ‘Secrets’ and Four 象 Xiang ‘Images’, the configuration of these structures is called 势 Shì. They are functional formations, not symbolic.