Carolyn McCallum is the Director of Feng Shui Harmony. She holds a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Education in Health from the University of Sydney. She commenced her study of Feng Shui in 2004 and has been widening her knowledge in both Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology since then. In this article she shares her passion and journey thus far, into the world of Feng Shui and Chinese Metaphysics.
The Continuous Learning Journey
I commenced studying Chinese metaphysics in 2004. Originally I thought a few courses on various aspects like Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology would hold me in good stead to becoming a competent Feng Shui Consultant. I now know that there is an insurmountable amount of information to learn in one lifetime. I believe it is imperative to reinvest in yourself each and every year to ensure you not only maintain your level of competency but grow professionally as well.
I have completed well over a thousand hours of in depth study and my thirst for growing my knowledge is unquenchable. Each book I read, conference I attend, seminar or course I enrol in and networking group I meet with, enables me to tweak the way I complete my consultations and provides my clients with information, solutions and recommendations to assist in them attaining their goals, both personal and professional.
To the new student it is very beneficial to study with many teachers to get a rich palette of experiences and information that you can take components of and use in the way that you most feel fits in with your ideas around the subject. I commenced study in 2004 with Melynda Munro from the Yin Yang School of Feng Shui. The importance of annual visiting energy and the flow of Cosmic Chi was the focus in this initial study. The majority of my foundational knowledge for Compass, Form and Flying Star School was then received when I studied at the Australian College of Environmental Studies (ACES). I undertook the Certificate IV in Feng Shui here, and I believe this is one of the best foundational course offered in Australia. This course included subjects on Creating Sacred Space, Building Biology, Geomancy and Business studies as well as Form, Compass and Flying Star schools of Feng Shui. Through ACES I was introduced to Vic Ketis, Founder of the Australian Academy of Feng Shui who has also been instrumental in my knowledge with both Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui. I’ve studied with Vic over many years and the depth of experience and knowledge he has shared with students like me is quite profound.
Along the way I have also studied with Grand Master Raymond Lo whose knowledge of more complex formulas and structured way of teaching the subject is excellent, especially once you have a good foundational understanding of the Flying Star system. Grand Master Lo also runs fantastic courses on the I Ching and Chinese Astrology and I have found all of his books essential reading and still refer to them regularly.
Jerry King from White Dragon Enterprises is fairly new as a teacher but his focus on hidden elements within earthly branches and the clashes, combines and harmonies of the stems and branches within a Four Pillars chart is extremely useful to understand and apply when conducting an analysis of a client’s Four Pillars Chart.
I have also studied with Master Lillian Too who helped me appreciate the cultural aspect of Feng Shui and the importance of mandalas and remedies that can be used to harness positive energy and harmonise negative energy especially with regard to Compass School. More recently, an area of study which I have wholeheartedly incorporated within my Feng Shui Consultations concerns the placement of fire. Melynda Munro has opened my eyes to the importance of less well known fire formulas and the influence they have within a building, especially as it relates to the individual.
This month I was also lucky enough to learn from the brilliant Howard Choy. The breadth of his knowledge about everything to do with Feng Shui was astounding. He took the class through a detailed analysis of Qi flow as it relates to Business Feng Shui and looking at it from a macro to a micro level. I really appreciated his generosity in sharing his wealth of knowledge with us.
There have been many examples of teachers relaying information that I haven’t been able to grasp and accept. This has included facing directions, squaring off and finding the centre of buildings, following the cosmic flow of Four Pillar charts vs balancing the Four Pillars chart, Southern vs Northern Hemisphere debate and so on and so forth. The best way of dealing with these inner conflicts is to test as much as possible and monitor outcomes accordingly. I don’t automatically discount aspects I disagree with as it is beneficial to know that there are different ways of looking at things and different components may prove useful in specific consultations. Learning about as many approaches to Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology as possible can only be a good (if not somewhat confusing) thing to do.
Another worthwhile endeavour for those starting out is to learn to write and recognise the 12 earthly branches, the 10 heavenly stems and the 5 element theory inside out as these components are simply everywhere and need to be grasped totally to ensure competence in the area of Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology.
My next focus is to learn more about the intricacies of date selection, face reading, Taoism and Eight Mansions theory as I believe knowledge in these areas will assist me to be a better Feng Shui Consultant to my clients.
I am also looking forward to undertaking a Feng Shui Tour in China in the near future to go back to the roots of Feng Shui and see it being implemented in its natural environment. This year I am continuing my learning journey with Vic Ketis, focusing on the Major Arcana Cards of the Tarot which relates to Western Astrology and also with Melynda focusing on additional Feng Shui Formulas.
I am also really looking forward to attending the upcoming IFSA – Australia Chapter Convention in May to be held in Melbourne and learning from the Masters of Feng Shui who are speaking there. I am truly excited to be meeting and learning from Stephen Skinner at the Post Convention Workshop which will focus on the lesser used rings of the Lopan.
I would like to wish all those in the Feng Shui family a prosperous, healthy and happy 2012. I look forward to continuing my learning journey for many years to come and hopefully meet as many of you as possible at an upcoming Conference or seminar in the years ahead.