The Black Sect, Black Hat or Bagua School (as it is sometimes called) of Feng Shui is a recent re-adaptation (in the last 20 years or so) by a Tibetan Buddhist Feng Shui Master based in America. It is based on the Masters own formation of the 'eight human life situations' of the Bagua and is identified by the way that it refers to a 'life situation sector' of the house.
For instance, there are the wealth, relationship, career, fame, helpful people, children, knowledge and family sectors of the building which are holographically positioned over the floor plan according to the entrance into the building or room.
Although these 'life sectors' are derived from the original Lo Shu grid of the compass, in this application there is no use of the Lo Pan compass. And because there is no consideration of directional influences these 'life situations' always have 'fixed positions'. For instance, the "wealth area" is always at the top left hand corner of a building (or a room), the "fame area" is always located at the top middle section opposite the entrance, etc, the "relationship area" is positioned in the top right hand corner and so forth. Missing sectors are considered to portray a possible 'life situation' as missing in one's life. Feng Shui Practitioners of this interpretation suggest symbolic objects to enhance life situations.
In the real application of this interpretation there is the emphasis upon 'intention,' including the use of 'transcendental cures and practices,' visualisation, mudras and mantras to activate the remedies. The five elements are also assigned to the 'designated or fixed areas'.
Actually, there are several difficulties with this interpretation of Feng Shui.
The first is that the 'new Westernised translations' of the (trigram) sectors do not completely and utterly coincide with the original translations of trigram energy associated with the directions and sectors (despite the fact that these are originally derived from the Lo Shu diagram and the Lo Pan compass).
For instance, the 'wealth sector' (always situated in the top left hand corner) does not mean wealth according to the original trigram of Sun which is situated in the south east sector.
Even though the Sun Trigram can reflect wealth, the Sun trigram in its original translation means trade, travel and romance - not wealth specifically. The Sun Trigram means 'wind' therefore it means travelling and moving around to get money, wealth and fortune and traditionally it also means a woman (the eldest daughter) who travels to join a new family (ie her husbands family and they become wealthier because of the two families uniting creating more wealth...) but it doesn't mean you've got wealth specifically and nor does it mean you will get it! What it does mean is that whilst travelling you have a large chance to encounter romance along the way so for thousands of years, the Sun trigram has been associated with both "normal romance" as well as "extra-marital romance" and in the Flying Stars Method when we stimulate this energy it usually brings romance or academic achievement - not money!
Then, this interpretation of Feng Shui does not include any understanding of directional energy which is intrinsic to how the life force energy will flow in a building. Directional influence has always played a large part in Feng Shui and how Feng Shui influences can be arranged in a building. For instance, if you live at the end of a T-intersection, the energy that comes from that direction has the potential to affect you. Therefore, the unseen infleunces that come from that direction will have a lot of bearing on your fortune. Directional energies and the flow of 'Chi,' how the 'Chi' travels, gathers and forms... cannot be left out of the practice of Feng Shui becasue interpreting these is the practice of Feng Shui...
Even in nature, we follow the awareness of directional energy. For instance, if we want to talk to someone we turn to face them. If we want to lay out the furniture in our homes we orientate it to a direction according to the room. This is why Feng Shui is called the art of 'placement'.
If there are 'toxic influences or bad unseen energies' in a building - in other words: if you enter a room and the room has a bad feeling in it..., then the black sect becomes more difficult to apply because the use of 'fixed or designated areas,' means that it cant detect the bad energy and give you the information to counter-act it of 'cure' it. The Black Sect's one-size-fits-all approach means that all you have to do to increase your wealth is add a fountain to the 'wealth area'. But, if the wealth area has really bad energy there is no remedy to address this at the deeper levels or five element levels. In fact, its fixed approach to the five elements could increase the bad energy (and so could a fountain)!!
The cures or remedies are the same for everyone because the sectors of the building are always 'fixed' for every building.
Essentially, this 'fixed' approach goes against the normal or classical principles of adding Feng Shui remedies because all Feng Shui remedies are designed to be for problems that are specific or unique to a situation, building, person or circumstance and this is how Asian Feng Shui Masters have been designing them for thousands of years. Therefore, the one-size-fits-all approach cannot cater for the uniqueness of individualised clients and situations. Even the use of the five element remedies are applied to all buildings in the same way. There is no recognition that each building is unique according to the direction it faces, the energies it attracts, the design and layout and the people in it - and yet these principles are the basis for Feng Shui and always have been...
The fact that this interpretation is so simple is what makes it difficult to apply when it comes to problem solving and understanding the deeper reasons why the last nine owners might have all gone bankrupt within an 18 month time period (other than a trancescendental reason).
Building and renovating can also be tricky because there is no provision or way of being able to calculate the unseen influences that will inhabit a building before its been built or once it has been built. Then there is the risk of aggravating genuine Feng Shui problems if malevolent unseen energies are activated by the use of 'standard Feng Shui remedies'.
Having said all of that, this school is very good for helping you to analyse any personal issues and address those in your life and this is why its always been known as the 'eight human life situations' (which is related to the trigrams and how the energies of these trigrams reflect in our lives and are applied or relevant to our lives).
Ultimately, this school of thought is not used throughout Asia or by Asian professionals because it is the Master's own re-adaptation.
In addition, many Asian Feng shui Masters prefer the adaptability of the more sophisticated interpretations of Feng Shui simply because there is more ability to problem solve Feng Shui problems, etc. For instance, at any one period in time there are two prosperity or wealth sectors active in the Flying Stars System. So this means if one prosperity energy is deactivated due to the layout of the building - the other one can usually be activated to create good financial results.
The same goes for the "Fortune aspects" of the building (including career, relationships, etc, etc) - there are the minimum of two sectors in every building!!
This black sect school of thought has been very instrumental in terms of introducing the concepts of Feng Shui to the West because it is the easiest to translate.