Category Archives: Feng Shui

Feng Shui

The Most Auspicious Feng Shui Site

Highly auspicious Feng Shui sites are known as Dragon Lairs. These sites are reservoirs of strong earthly “q”: that is beneficial for the occupants.

Before proceeding to identify these Dragon Lairs, we must understand (or try to understand) “qi”. In my opinion “qi” is one of the hardest word to explain in the Chinese Metaphysics world.

Most Chinese dictionary define is as air, vapor or vital energy. One ancient forefather describe it as something that can blow as wind, ascend as clouds, fall in rain and travel under the ground. That is a wide definition. A modern day researcher theorize “qi” as simply positive and negative ions, good “qi” being negative ions and bad “qi” being positive ions. Who is right? They are all probably correct but where does this lead us?

The good news is that we can identify Dragon Lairs even if we do not know what “qi” is, exactly. We do this by looking out for manifestation of good and bad “qi”.

For example if a mountain is covered by green trees, grass, has some water flowing in it, its soil is fertile and moist and well shaped, then this mountain must have an abundance of good “qi”. On the other hand is the mountain is dry and bare, devoid of trees and grass with only rocks, then this mountain must be low in good “qi”.

An auspicious site or Dragon Lair can be found in the mountains or in a vast plain. Most people think you need to have mountain and water to have an auspicious site. This is not correct. Stay with me and you will learn how to identify Dragon Lairs in flatland, not in this article but in the ones to come.

Dragon lairs can be large or small. When small they are usually used for a tomb or tombs as in Yin House or Burial Feng Shui. Larger ones can support a village while even larger ones are good enough to house a town.

“Qi” is found both under and above ground. Our forefathers called the ones that flow underground as earthly “qi” while the ones found above ground as heavenly qi.

In Yin House or Burial Feng Shui more emphasis is placed on earthly “qi” since the body is buried underground while for Yang House or Feng Shui of the Living, both earthly and heavenly “qi” are important.

I will focus more on Yang House or the Feng Shui of the Living but before I end this article, I would like to share with you the underlying workings of Yin House or Burial Feng Shui.

How does Yin House Feng Shui actually work? The Chinese believe that even after death, we are connected to our descendants for a few generations through some kind of mysterious “qi” energy.

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Therefore if the ancestors are buried in an auspicious site, with strong earthly “qi”, the descendants will be successful and happy. And if not, they will be unsuccessful and miserable! This connection will weaken with each generation.

Some time back, I came across a more scientific explanation. According to this author, the earth is a powerful battery while the bones of our ancestors are like antennas. The earth charges the bones and transmit a signal which only the descendants can receive due to their somewhat similar DNA structure. Ground waves carry the transmission across the globe so that the descendants can benefit even if they live on the other side of the world. As you may have already guess, the more auspicious the earthly “qi”, more the more powerful and better the quantity of the the transmission and benefits!

Finally do the earthly “qi” ever get depleted? According to our forefathers, they do. If a site has produced a number of highly successful and prominent descendants, then the “qi” is somewhat depleted and the chances of producing more of such “descendants” in the future is lower! Believe it or not.

In the next few articles you will learn more about auspicious sites and how to spot them both near the mountains and on flat land.

Optimizing the Interior Spaces

Have you ever wonder how a practitioner optimizes the interior Feng Shui of a house?

If you have seen a practitioner in action, you will notice that he usually starts by evaluating the surroundings, followed by taking a compass measurement of the facing of the house. Then he looks up a chart or plot one out on the spot or read the chart data that is embedded on his lo pan or Feng Shui compass.

He then does a bit of thinking and then proceed to recommend the optimal placement of the main door, kitchen, bedrooms, living etc. How does he do it?

I will not attempt to teach you how to optimize the Feng Shui of the interior of a house. This requires a period of study. Instead I will attempt to show you the methodology behind using the Flying Star system.

s2 facing period 7 chartIn this system, we start by plotting a chart showing the “qi” distribution in the house. This is determined by the house facing direction and the period of the house. As practitioners, we can plot the chart, off the cuff. However to minimize errors, most of use will simply read it of a chart or read the data that is embedded on the lo pan.

In the Flying Star system, we divide a house into eight(8) sectors but some other systems may divide the house into twelve(12) sectors.

The diagram shows a typically Flying Star chart for a south 2 (172.5 to 187.5 degrees) facing house built in period 8 (2004 to 2024).

You will notice that there are nine boxes (or palaces) in a 3 x 3 matrix. Note also the direction and sector of each of the boxes. In practice the middle box is usually not used, leaving eight sectors.

Within each of box you see three numbers (also known as stars). They range from 1 to 9. These numbers or stars represent the quality of the “qi” or energy that resides in that sector of the house.

The star on the left (in yellow) is known as the Mountain Star (it governs relationship and health) while the one on the right (in green) is known as the Water Stars (it governs wealth). The one in the middle is know as the Period Star.

In this system, time is divided into 9 periods of 20 years each. The current period eight runs from 2004 to 2024. During this period the stars 8, 9 and 1 are auspicious. Others like stars 2, 5 and 7 are inauspicious. The rest are not too bad.

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The objective of this system is to locate the main door, master bedroom, kitchen, living, study etc in auspicious sectors. Others like the toilet/bath, store etc should ideally be in inauspicious sectors.

Since the mountain star relates to relationship and health, a bedroom should ideally be located in a sector with a good mountain stars such as 8, 9 or 1. In this case in the south sector where the 8 mountain star resides.

And since the water star relates to wealth (and career), the main door and living should be in a sector with a good water star such as 8, 9 or 1. In this case is the SW where the 8 water star resides.

The other spaces in the house such as the kitchen, dining, study can be in either sectors while the toilets and store should ideally be an inauspicious sectors such as those with stars 2 and 5.

Okay, I must admit that it is not so simple. In practice, there are lots more factors to consider such as the interaction of the mountain and water stars within the palace, interaction with the period stars as well as the presence of natural and man made structures outside the house that can enhance or degrade the quality of the stars and their efficacy. Plus the Gua number of the occupants etc.

Having said that the foundation principle is to utilize spaces where the auspicious mountain and water stars are located.

And that is how it is done!

How do we identify the auspicious and inauspicious sectors of a property?

This is done by mapping the “qi” distribution map onto the floor plan of the property.

s2 facing period 7 chartThe diagram below shows a typical “qi” distribution diagram. There are nine sectors arrange in a 3 x 3 matrix. Inside each sectors are numbers or text which tells us the varying degree of auspiciousness or in auspiciousness of each sector and as a practitioner we use these information to decide on the optimal usage of each sectors.

The traditional method to “map” the “qi” diagram to the property is known as the Palaces Method. Here the floor is divided into nine sectors in a 3 x 3 matrix much like the “qi” diagram. A modern method divides the property into 8 pie shape sectors and the “qi” is map to the floor plan accordingly. While most methods partition “qi” into 8 sectors, others may partition “qi” into 12 sectors and you should not be surprise to see them.

palaces methodThe correct way is to map the “qi” diagram onto the internal spaces of the property. The external spaces such as the porch and garden are excluded.

pie methodIf your office comprise of two separate building, you should map each of them separately. If the two buildings are adjacent to each other but with separate entrance and not connected internally, you should still map them separately. However if the two buildings are adjacent to each other but connected internally, then it should be mapped as one building.

For a multi level building you should map the “qi” map to each of the floor.

DemarcationThe Palace Method is the more popular method and it is quite convenient to use especially when the building is or a regular shape. However some modern buildings can have highly irregular shapes and in such cases the pie method may be more appropriate.

In practice, the distribution of “qi” a building floor is constrained by the walls within. For example in the diagram below, the nine sectors are non distributed equally. How to distribute the qi in buildings of different shapes and size is a constant challenge for practitioners that comes with experience.

While the distribution of “qi” is normally confined to the internal spaces in the property, it does not mean that the “qi” stops there. The same “qi” existing outside the house by extension.

What is a Gua (or Kua) Number?

Everyone of us have a Gua number that is computed from our Chinese Solar year of birth. The Chinese Solar year starts on or around the 4th February each year. If you are born after the 4th February then you are said to be born in the current Chinese Solar year. If you are born before you belong to the previous Chinese Solar year. If you are born on or close to the 4th February, then you need to refer to the Ten Thousand Year Calendar figure out exactly your Chinese Solar year of birth.

With the correct Chinese Solar year of birth, you can calculate your Kua Number manually (which I will not cover) or use one of numerous online Gua calculators (recommended). Do note that the method of calculating Gua number is different for men and for women Gua number for a male and female is usually different. In some year though they are the same.

There are although 8 numbers ranging from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9. Please note that 5 is excluded.

Some refer to the Gua Number as Ming or Life Number. Others call it a Destiny Number. Since we are but a ball of energy, the Gua Number can also be defined as an energy signature of some sort.

It is used in some astrology system to determine our destiny and luck in life.

There are also numerous uses for the Gua Number in Feng Shui and in this article, I will give some examples of their usage.

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In the popular Eight Mansions (or Eight House) Feng Shui method, the Gua Number is uses to determine our favorable and unfavorable sectors and directions. In this system, we are classified into East and West Life groups. If your Gua Number is 1, 3, 4 or 9, you belong to the East Life Group. If your number is 2, 6, 7 or 8 you belong to the West Life Group.

If your belong to the East Life Group, your favorable sectors and directions are north, south, east and south-east. If your belong to the West Life Group, your favorable sectors and directions are north-west, south-west, west and north-east.

The concept of Gua Number also extends to a house. Thus a house also have a House Gua Number and some houses are more suitable for you depending on your Gua Number.

In the Flying Star system, you Gua Number is often used as another layer to assess your suitability for particular sectors of a house. Let’s say the east sector of a house has good energy and is highly suitable for use as a bedroom. A practitioner would then assess if you are suitable for the bedroom by checking your Gua number against the energy that is present in the bedroom. He may discover that the north sectors which is also suitable as a bedroom is more ideally suited for you and recommend you sleep there instead.

Yet another us of the Gua number is in date selection. Every year has a Gua Number as well. This concept is further extended to the month, day and hour and so you have a month Gua, day Gua and hourly Gua Numbers.

These numbers are matched against your Life Gua number to the suitability of any date and time for you for certain endeavors.

Other date selection method uses the Gua in a different way. For example in the Da Gua date selection method the Gua number of the head of the household is used to evaluate the date and the sitting direction of the house.

And the uses goes on an on!

How to Measure a House’s Facing Direction?

Measuring a House’s Facing Direction

What is the facing direction of a property? It is the direction perpendicular (or at 90 degrees) to the facade wall of the facing side of the property as shown in the diagram.

A common questions that I get is whether we should measure looking into or out of the house? Since it is the facing direction of the house, you should use the house as the principal (or host) and measure looking out of the house.

So far so good. But where should we take the measurement?

Measure Facing DirectionLogically it should be at the intersection of the the facing direction with the facade wall on the facing side. While it is logically so, it is not the best position to take the measurement. Let me explain why?

The direction of the needle of the magnetic compass can be easily affected by nearby metal objects. You can easily verify this by bring a metal object near the compass.

Most homes here are built using the RC (reinforce concrete) method. Within the beams and pillars are steel bars which can affect the reading on a compass.

For an accurate reading you should be as far away as possible from metal objects. Try to stay away from the gate which is usually made of metal or has a large metal content. It is a good practice to remove the cars from the garage as they may compromise the reading.

So where so you take the measurements?

I will illustrate with a diagram of a typical link house. I would normally take a reading at point A and at point B. Both the position are as far away as possible from the porch pillars, overhead beams, stairs and columns.

Measure House FacingIn the accompanying diagram, I have indicated imaginary lines that are parallel to the facade wall at the facing. In most homes, these lines are can be real and they are usually form by the tiles or stones that owners install on the porch. In its absence we can use our best judgement and in the worst case scenario, you have to mark it with a chalk.

Usually the reading at both the locations will the same or very close. When measuring the facing direction most system of Feng Shui measure by spans. For example S2 facing is between 172.5 to 187.5 degrees. Therefore if one reading is 181 and the other 182, it is still S2!

Another things that I have observed is the influence of the electricity meter and distribution box. The compass needle vibrates ever so slightly when you are near them. This vibration is almost never seen in buildings that have yet to receive they power supply.

Therefore, I would also advice against taking the measurements too close to them.

Do you need a Feng Shui Lou Pan (compass) to get an accurate reading? Not really but it would be good to have one as the straight edge allows you to easily align with the facing.

A navigation compass with a straight edge will do to. I do not recommend a round compass as as you cannot easily align it parallel to a straight wall or line as it does not have a flat side.

House Facing Direction

A House Facing and Sitting Direction

The sitting or facing direction of a house is also often used to determine the qi distribution or in layman terms to identify the auspicious and inauspicious sectors of the house.

Sitting and Facing Side

Sitting and Facing Side

As a rule, practitioners will try to allocate the most auspicious sectors of the house for the main door, bedrooms, kitchen and living area. The less auspicious sectors for the less important areas (Feng Shui wise) such as the toilet/baths and stores.

Some Feng Shui systems like the Eight House or Eight Mansion systems utilizes the sitting direction while others such as the Xuan Kong Flying Star system uses the facing direction of the house. The facing or sitting direction is used by itself but often in conjunction with other factors such as the period to determine the quality of the house.

In addition, the facing direction of the house is also often used in conjunction with destiny and luck systems such as Zi Wei Dou Shu to determine the effect of the house on the occupants of the household.

The facing side of a house is usually the busier side and the side that lets in most of the environment energy into the house. The larger windows are usually at the facing side. It usually (though not necessarily) the side with street access, main door and living area. The sitting side is usually the quieter side. This is usually (though again not necessarily) the side with the kitchen, backyard or back lane. Usually (but not necessarily) there a mountains on the sitting side and flat lower land on the facing side.

Alternate Sitting and Facing Side

Alternate Sitting and Facing Side

In some cases there is a better view at the back of the house. For example houses on a hill slope or overseeing a a lake or the sea. For such houses, the architect would usually reverse the facing to take advantage of the great view.

The rear side of the house now has the larger windows and doors. The living is now move to the rear and more energy comes in from the rear and more activity takes place at the rear.

In doing so, he changes the facing of the house. The facing becomes the sitting and vice versa. The street side of the house now becomes the sitting even though the main entry door and the street access remain unchanged.

So much for the facing and sitting side.

Sitting and Facing Direction

Sitting and Facing Direction

So what then is the facing direction of the house? It is the direction that is perpendicular (angle of 90 degrees) to the facade of the facing side of the house. The sitting direction is the direction that it perpendicular to the facade on the sitting side of the house.

Must the facing direction be exactly the opposite of the sitting direction? It most cases it is but many modern design have a differing facing and sitting direction.

Which to consider will depend on the system that you are using. For example with the Eight Mansions, we use the sitting direction. With Xuan Kong Flying Star it is always the facing direction.

A common questions is they get different readings at different parts of the house. If so, then which is the correct facing direction. I will attempt to answer this in my next article.

Interior Sha

In the last few articles I discussed exterior sha. Exterior shas are of greater concern as their inauspicious effects have the potential to affect the entire house.

Interior sha usually affect an area within the house unless the sha affect critical areas such as the main door of the house.

False Ceiling

False Ceiling

The most common example of an interior sha is the overhead beam situated at the wrong location e.g. over the bed, door or stove. The typical solution is to shield the affected object such as the bed from the overhead beam with a false ceiling.

This is however not always the best fix especially when the ceiling is low and the overhead beam is large. Such a combination can result in a low overall ceiling height that gives the occupants an oppressive effect.

Thankfully in modern homes, overhead beams are sensibly placed and they usually avoid directly suppressing the main door, living and dining areas, stove and beds.

This is another reason why we prefer taller ceilings during a house selection audit!

Overhead Beam

Overhead Beam

What if the beam is not directly place over the bed but to the sides? Will the corners of the beam still affect you?

In addition to direct sha, the overhead beam technically speaking also emit corner and blade shas (as shown in the diagram). They are however in my opinion small enough to be ignored.

Corner Sha

Corner Sha

This is however not true in the case of the ‘Room Corner’ sha. This is a corner formed by two walls at 90 degrees to each. Normally this is not a problem but when the corner strikes at an occupant as shown in the diagram it becomes a sha. The toilet is often the culprit. Long term exposure to such a sha is inauspicious and can cause health problems.

In addition to the ‘Room Corner’, there is the blade sha. However like a blade sha created by the overhead beam, this is in my opinion small enough to be ignored.

Slanted Ceiling

Slanted Ceiling

Ideally the ceiling in a bedroom should be level. A low slanted ceiling is inauspicious. Sleeping in a room with a slanted ceiling can cause emotion related problems in the long run. Leveling the slanted ceiling is the normal remedy but this can result in a very low ceiling which is again oppressive to the occupants.

Given a choice you should place the bed head on the higher side of the ceiling.

What about a mirror in the bedroom?

While not technically a sha, it is a best practace not to have a large mirror in the bedroom. At the very least the mirror should not reflect the bed. Another way to look at it is you should not see yourself while on the bed. So the playboy style ceiling mounted mirror is out!

What about shelves? A lot has been written about this. The blade like shelf has the form to emit sha. However in my opinion it is too small if at all to cause any ill effect. My take on this is it is better not to have but if you can cannot avoid having it, just live with it!