The study of the intangible forces which create and surround all physical things led the sages of ancient China to form the concept of yin and yang,
the dependant opposites that must always be in balance to achieve true harmony.
The Chinese believed that man stood between heaven and earth, and that any alteration made to the environment had consequences which could prove catastrophic.
For man to live a long life in harmony and prosperity it was (and still is) necessary to treat the elemental forces and the land with respect. The living breath, or chi, which circulates through and around every living thing must be supported and harnessed, and it is this life force that every practitioner aims to locate and encourage.
As early as 2000 years BC Chinese sages were creating divination systems based upon the philosophy of yin and yang.
From their studies arose a model that, if followed, could ensure harmony between man and his environment, and therefore help him to achieve happiness, longevity and prosperity. The formalised version of this system was eventually written down some time around the ninth century, and was known as the I Ching, or The Book of Changes.
The emperor of China was considered either as a 'god' or one sent by the gods.
It was important for the country's stability to ensure his longevity. His sages attempted to achieve this by placing him in the most advantageous locations in the palace whilst he was living, and in the most auspiciously sited grave when dead. A propitious grave would ensure support for his descendants and continue his line.
The structure of the landscape, particularly in mountainous regions, had great significance to the Chinese.
Certain features became associated with animals, and some of these, like the Tiger and Dragon were believed to be beneficial when sleeping and aggressive when disturbed. By the observation of the landscape, combined with the study of the I ching ,the common man could choose an optimum home and grave site which could ensure a good harvest, a large family and a prosperous life for him and his descendants.
Eventually this study and interpretation of the form of the landscape came to be known by some as Form School Feng Shui.
In the flatlands of China sages developed increasingly sophisticated compasses to optimise their life prospects.
These luo pan compasses, still used by practitioners today, combine astrological information and the symbolism contained within the I-Ching. This style of feng shui became known, latterly, as Compass School feng shui
A classically trained practitioner will use a combination of both schools to carry out your survey.