My house is exactly North South East West. In traditional my front door is facing South - Fame & Reputation. In Western Feng Shui my front door is Career. Exactly the opposite. I've been working on using the Western Ba gua, should I turn the whole thing around and use the Traditional Ba gua (compass)? Will that turn my life upside down?
This is one of the most popular question asked in many feng shui forum and web sites; most of the time get no response or some general reply that lead to nowhere! The main confusion is caused by the emergence of some different interpretations or creation of different school of thoughts from the classical Chinese feng shui. One good example is the Black Sect Tantric Buddhism and its ba gua map which is gaining wide acceptance and popularity in the Western world for quite a while. Adding to the mix is a new wave of self-proclaimed experts who are mixing up different school of feng shui which incredibly known as the New Age feng shui and has been causing all kind of confusions and conflicting ideas in feng shui!
As a consultant who practice the authentic Xuan Kong Flying Star feng shui, my answer to the above question is make up your mind which type of feng shui that you want to follow. Since you are referring to the Western ba gua, just stay on the guideline of the BSTB feng shui, and ignored the compass direction from the compass school. Don't be mislead by the New Age feng shui experts. According to the doctrine preached by its founder, Thomas Lin Yun, the ba gua map is always orients according to entrance of the house or room. In fact, in most of the books about BSTB feng shui, there is not a single word with reference to the directions of the compass!
I am not here to discredit any school of feng shui. Every school has its own merits and followers. Therefore, my advice to the people who want to follow feng shui is choose the type of feng shui that you want to follow or whichever make sense to you; it can be the BSTB, the Eight Mansions school or the Xuan Kong Flying Star feng shui but definitely not the New Age feng shui. Try it out, if you did not see any results, drop it and pick another school to follow. Eventually, you will find the type of feng shui that will yields effective and quick results. Don't fallen into the trap from the so-called New Age experts who are giving people only "general" feng shui advice which does not solve your specific feng shui problems! In fact, when applied correctly, feng shui shall give you positive and quick results. It is only those "mixed up" type of feng shui that have no effect at all rather than telling people to "balance the elements in the house" and " paint the rooms with certain colors" or "place a pair of mandarin ducks beside your bed to improve the romance luck"!
At the end of the day, there is no Traditional v. Western feng shui, it is the type of feng shui that works count! Just like a famous Chinese saying, "It doesn't matter it is a white cat or black cat, if it can catch mice, then it is a good cat" [不管是黑貓, 白貓, 能捉老鼠便是好貓]!