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.

Buy House Guide

Subscribe to Buy House Guide

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.

Buy House Guide

Subscribe to Buy House Guide

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.

Buy House Guide

Subscribe to Buy House Guide

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!

What Kind of Rat Are You?

What kind of Rat are you? Wood, Fire, Metal, Water or Earth?

The Rat is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese 12 Animal Zodiac. From a Chinese astrology perspective you can be either a Wood, Water, Fire, Earth or Metal Rat.

Do you know what kind of a Rat you are? Or Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog or Pig?

There is a very simple way to find this out but I will give you a roudabout answer so that you get a better picture.

Heavenly StemsThe basis of Chinese time keeping is the Heavenly Stems (Gan) and Earthly Branches (Zhi). Each of them have an associated polarity and element and in the case of the Earthly Branches they are closely related to the Zodiac Animals. For example the Branch “Zi” is associated with the “Rat”, the Branch “Chou” with the “Ox”, the branch “Yin” with the “Tiger” and so on.

The Stems are combined with the Branches to create a Stem-Branch pair. The golden rule is that only those of the same polarity can combine. For example “Jia” with “Zi” giving “Jia Zi”. Both are yang polarity. Next is “Yi” and “Chou” giving “Yi Chou”, both of which are negative polarity. “Zi” cannot combine with “Chou” because they are of opposite polarity.

Due to this limitation, there are 60 combinations instead of 120!

Earthly BranchesThe Stem Branch pair or “Gan Zhi” pairs are use to denote the year, month, day and time. For example the year 1924 is known as the “Jia Zi”. The next year 1925 is “Yi Chou” year and so on. This is repeated every 60 years. Thus 1984 is a “Jia Zi” year. And 2044 is the next “Jia Zi” year.

“Jia” is associated with Wood element. “Zi” with the Rat. Hence 1924 or 1984 are known as Wood Rat year. So is 2044.

There are 10 Heavenly Stems and they are repeated every 10 years. Therefore any year ending with the 4 such as 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974. 1984 etc are Wood Years (though the animal sign differs).

The next Stem in the series is “Yi” which is Yin Wood. Therefore 1925 is also a Wood year albeit a Yin Wood one. Again since the Stems are repeated every 10 years, any year ending with a 5 e.g. 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975 etc is a Yi or Yin Wood year.

What can you infer from the table? If you are born in a year ending with 4, you are a Yang Wood person. If ending with a 5, you are a Yin Wood person, if ending with a 6 you are a Yang Fire person, if ending with a 7, a Yin Fire person and so on.

Please refer to the table for the polarity and element for each of the years.

Sixty Jia Zi

While it is as easy as A, B C it is not too difficult either. Just sing Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Ren and Gui!

The Chinese Calendars

The Chinese Solar and Lunar Calendars

Am I a Horse or a Goat? This is very popular question encountered especially during the Chinese New Year talks on the luck of the various Chinese zodiac animals.

Why? The calendar that we use today is known as the Gregorian or Western calendar. This is the one where the new year starts on the 1st Jan. Chinese astrology obviously do not make use of this calendar. Instead it uses the Chinese calendar. Unfortunately for us, there are two Chinese Calendars. One is called the Chinese Solar Calendar (this is tied closely to the rotation of the Earth around the Sun) while the other is the Chinese Lunar Calendar (this is based on the moon cycle).

The Chinese Solar calendar is also known as the Farmer’s Calendar as it was first developed during the Xia Dynasty to regulate farming. The solar starts at the beginning of spring (also known as Li Cun) and falls on either the 4th or 5th of February each year.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the moon’s cycle. The starting date for each year can vary between late January and Late February, The Chinese New Year celebration is based on the calendar and this explain why the festival is celebrated on different days in Jan or Feb every year.

Pure lunar calendars like the ones use in Islamic countries using the moon solely for timekeeping. Unfortunately 12 months of moon cycles (29.53059 to be exact) do not equate to 365 days (time it takes for the earth to circle around the sun). Thus a moon year is shorter than a solar year.

This can be terribly confusing and the ancient Chinese choose to synchonize the Chinese Solar Salendar with the Chinese Solar Calendar by throwing in an extra “moon” or month now and then in to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is why we have and extra leap month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Back to the question on zodiac signs.

In 2015, the Chinese Solar year of the Goat starts on the 4th of Feb while the Chinese Lunar year of the Goat starts on the 19th of Feb.

Obviously if you are born after the year starts you are a Goat. If born before you are a Horse.

But which calendar do you use?

Most Chinese Astrology Systems including the 12 Zodiac Animals and Zi Wei Dou Shu uses the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

BaZi on the other hand uses the Chinese Solar Calendar. Most most Feng Shui and Date Selection systems however uses the Chinese Solar Calendar.

So the next time someone ask you whether you are a Horse or a Goat (or any two consecutive zodiac signs) you can answer more intelligently by asking him what system he is using.

Now a word about the Chinese hour. Luckily for us it is quite straight forward.

In the Gregorian Calendar, each day is made of 24 hours of 60 minutes each. In both the Chinese Calendar system, each day is made up of 12 hours of 120 minutes called “Shi Shen”. For example the “first Chinese hour” called “Zi Shi” runs between 11 PM and 1 AM. The second called “Chou Shi” runs from 1 AM to 3 AM and so on.

Since most Chinese astrology systems uses the same Chinese hour, a person born between 11 PM and 1 AM is considered born during the “Zi Shi”, regardless of the system that we are using!

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.