The Chinese View of the Living Earth
The Winds and The Water:
Feng Shui means Wind and Water. It is called such because the Wind and Water are often what shapes the landscapes of an area, bring good fortune to a civilization, and can bring destruction just as easily as new growths and renewals. This art blends cultural superstitions with ancient wisdom.
If used properly it will enhance relationships between the residents, foster good health and prosperity, strengthen descendants, and bring happiness to the household. If used wrong, however, it can do the opposite; illness, disasters, accidents, burglaries, and financial loss. It can also result in a loss of opportunities, fading career, squandered wealth, and a collapsed reputation.
Landscapes of the World:
In Feng Shui there are four Celestial Animals representing beneficial landscapes.
- There is the Green Dragon, whose hills bring abundance and prosperity.
- The Crimson Phoenix whose water represents opportunity.
- The White Tiger whose hills offer protection.
- And the Black Turtle whose mountain provides support.
Classical Feng Shui:
First tenet of Feng Shui is to have a mountain or large hill to the back of your house, thus giving you support throughout your life. The view in front of your house should be clear, preferably with a body of water, and the horizon should be visible. A slow moving stream or river of clean and sparkling water is most preferable for the body of water visible, it brings good energy and the slow movement gives the energy a chance to settle. To the left of your house their should be more hills above your house while on the right their should be hills or dales lower then your house.
The mountain behind your house represents the Black Turtle, the river represents the Phoenix, the hills to your left represent the Green Dragon, while the hills to your right represent the White Tiger. Being nestled between the four will make for optimal positive energy flow and great Feng Shui results.
The Harmony of Yin and Yang Energies:
Feng Shui, in it's simplest terms, is a matter of balancing various Yin and Yang elements throughout and around your home. Without Yin there is no Yang, without Yang there is no Yin, and if there is more of one then the other then they are both thrown off completely. You must have balance between the two. An imbalance brings bad Feng Shui energy, balance brings good, so as I said; You must have balance.
Homes and Rooms That Are Too Yin:
A house may have to much Yin if it is near anything extremely negative such as hospitals, graveyards, prisons, police stations, these places give off the energy of death. Even temples, churches, mosques are said to give out extreme Yin energies due to the rituals of mourning that take place there.
Remedies to this include- orienting your main door so that it does not face the Yin source(putting up a blockade of some kind may help as well), do not open windows facing these Yin structures, paint your door bright red for strong Yang energy, make sure your porch is always well lit, bring in Yang sunlight by cutting back shady trees, grow trees with luscious vegetation as well as flowers, put garden lights around the house, paint your fence a bright happy color, make sure you have a red roof, introduce Yang objects such as stones, rocks, and pebbles into your garden.
Rooms that never see sunlight, are damp, decorated in shades of blue or gray, narrow and cramped, always closed and silent, or which have been occupied by a very sick/dieing person are probably full of Yin energy. These places can cause others to get sick, suffer misfortune, and cause depression.
Remedies to this include- repainting the walls with a bright Yang color(pink, yellow, or red), bring in some light, remove or stash the curtains to let sunlight in, use happy colored curtains, keep the windows open, if trees are blocking the light from outside cut them back, introduce sound by keeping a radio or TV on at all times within the targeted room, keep fresh flowers in the room, place wind chimes or other constant movers in the room.
Homes and Rooms That Are Too Yang:
Buildings that are constantly exposed to bright sunlight, loud noise, and frequent activity such as electrical transmitters, large factories, refinery chimneys, etc, are sources for Yang energy. To much Yang energy can, just as Yin energy, cause accidents and misfortune.
Remedies to this include- paint your door in any shade of blue as this is a yin color, select muted cool colors for your interior decor, avoid to much noise in the house, avoid to much light and especially red lights in the house, introduce water features such as fountains, hang paintings of rivers and lakes, maintain a good lawn in your garden, paint railings and gates black as black is a Yin color.
Rooms that have to much Yang energy are rooms with to many bright colors or activity. Rooms with red walls, yellow curtains, loud music all the time, and lots of light probably have to much Yang energy.
Remedies to this include- getting darker curtains, keeping the music quieter, maybe even adding a blue light, anything that brings more Yin into the Yang.
The Eight Sided Pa Kua Symbol:
The Pa Kua has two variations; The Early Heaven Arrangement and the Later Heaven Arrangement(See Symbols page for details). The Early Heaven Arrangement was considered a symbol of protection, luck, and was used for Yin Feng Shui. The Later Heaven Arrangement was considered a symbol of Yang, was most commonly used during Feng Shui redecoration/orientation work, and helped to interpret the other symbols. These other symbols include numbers one through nine, the Five Elements, members of the family, the Celestial Animals(mentioned previously), and the characteristics of the Eight Trigrams themselves.
The Five Elements:
The Five Elements is a concept that ancient Chinese Astrology, acupuncture, physical exercises, and even medicine all rely on. Feng Shui puts the idea to use by giving each part of the home one of the Five Elements based on which direction it corresponds with. These elements all are a part of two cycles; the Destructive Cycle and the Productive Cycle. The elements are Wood, Fire, Water, Metal, and Earth. The Productive Cycle is used in Feng Shui to add an element to a part of your house if that part is lacking that element. The Destructive Cycle is used in Feng Shui to remove an element to a part of your house if that part has an element that doesn't belong and is not removable otherwise.
- Wood- Represented by all shades of green. Wood element is in the East and Southeast. It's season is Spring and it's animals are the Rabbit and the Tiger. Wood's numbers are three and four.
- Fire- Represented by the color red. Fire element is in the South. It's season is Summer, number is nine, and it's animals are the Snake and the Horse.
- Water- Represented by blue or black. Water element is in the North. It's season is Winter, number is one, animals are the Rat and the Boar.
- Metal- Represented by metallic colors, gold, silver, and white. Metal element is in the West and Northwest. It's numbers are six and seven, animals are the Rooster and the Monkey.
- Earth- Represented by all shades of brown. Earth element is in the Southwest and Northeast. It's numbers are two, five, and eight. It's animals are the Ox, Dragon, Sheep, and the Dog.
Productive Cycle- In the Productive Cycle, each element supports and nourishes the following element. Wood > Fire > Earth > Metal > Water.
Destructive Cycle- In the Destructive Cycle, each element fights and defeats the following element. Wood > Earth > Water > Fire > Metal
Configuration of the Landscape:
Form School of Feng Shui utilizes the Celestial Animals, mostly. The positioning was mentioned before; mountain to the north and behind the house, hills on either side of the house, and river flowing in front of the house. This set-up cradles your home in good fortune, wealth, health, and protection.
Towns and Cities:
Hills and mountains can refer to buildings while roads can take the place of rivers. Things to make sure of when Feng Shui-ing a city home are; your main door is not blocked by a large or tall building, taller buildings are behind your home, buildings to the left of your main door when looking out from the inside are higher then the buildings on the right.
Green Dragons, White Tigers, and Cosmic Breath:
Dragons and Tigers(referring to the Celestial Animals) are never found without each other, if one is missing then they both are. Places where one(and thus both) might be missing from are places with jagged mountains or rocks and places with entirely flat ground. To identify the places where both can be found look for these clues; verdant vegetation, gentle and fresh breeze, and a balance of sunlight and shade.
To energize the Celestial Animals you should hang a depiction of a Green Dragon on the East wall of your living room, put Turtles in the North, a red Phoenix in the South, and a White Tiger in the West. You should also have a small hall coming from your main door so that the Chi that enters has a chance to settle and does not immediately disperse.
Good luck can not accumulate where Chi does not settle. To look for a place that has a large build up of Chi, look for the following signs; places where there are slow, meandering rivers will bring Chi and let it settle before moving it along. Places that are bordered by water. Places that are protected against harsh winds. And places where the surrounding hills are not to sharply pointed.
Hills and Water Courses:
These have elemental value to Feng Shui. Each hill type is one of the five elements, and each bend type for a water current is one as well.
Fire hills are conical in shape and metal element people should not be living near such hills, but earth elemental people can. Metal hills are oblong and softly rounded with a broad base and gentle slopes, wood element people should not be living near these while water elemental people should. Wood hills are round and rise straight up with a long body, good for fire elemental people while bad for earth elemental people. Earth hills are square and look like plateaus due to the flat summit, these are excellent for metal elemental people while bad for water elemental people. Water hills are ridged and appear to have several summits(like waves), this is unsuitable for fire elemental people while good for wood elemental people.
Wood water can be seen by a bend that is a soft curve, turning the water ninety degrees to either left or right. Water water will have various bends one after another, not changing the direction or course of the water. Metal water can be seen by a u-bend type turn, sending the water almost in the direction it came from. Fire water is a perfect ninety degree angle, no curves. Earth is like an S, allowing the water to go in the direction it was already going, but also causing it a slight delay. Needless to say, Water water is the most common water.
Shapes that attract ill fortune are triangular, incomplete, and/or irregular. Other unlucky shapes are L or U shaped lands and houses. Shapes that seem to be missing a part or are jutting out are also said to be unbalanced and bring various kinds of misfortune.
A Formula in Feng Shui is a design or pattern used for the Compass School of Feng Shui. The four you will read about here are the four most commonly used, but there are others that you may be able to find online or elsewhere. If you find any, please post them in the Forums here and once they are verified they will be made into a sticky so that others may profit off your knowledge even after people stop posting.
The Kua Numbers Formula:
This formula is used for discovering personalized auspicious and inauspicious directions based on date of birth.
Males calculate the Kua numbers as follows; Take you year of birth and add the last two digits, if the result is ten or higher add the two digits together to make it one digit(example, ten becomes one), now subtract the one digit number from the number ten, and this is your Kua number.
Females calculate the Kua numbers as follows; Take you year of birth and add the last two digits, if the result is ten or higher add the two digits together to make it one digit(example, ten becomes one), add five, if adding five takes it to ten or more then add the two digits together to make it a one digit number. The result is your Kua number.
Male Example: Year of Birth is 1936, 3+6=9, 10-9=1, Kua=1
Female Example: Year of Birth is 1945, 4+5=9, 9+5=14, 1+4=5, Kua=5*
An important note- There is no 5 in this system, so the female example's number is actually 8 instead. If she had been male then her number would be a 2.
1- North(FW), East(TY), Southeast(SC), and South(NY)
2- Northeast(SC), Southwest(FW), West(TY), and Northwest(NY)
3- North(TY), East(FW), Southeast(NY), South(SC)
4- North(SC), East(NY), Southeast(FW), South(TY)
6- Northeast(TY), Southwest(NY), West(SC), Northwest(NY)
7- Northeast(NY), Southwest(TY), West(FW), Northwest(SC)
8- Northeast(FW), Southwest(SC), West(NY), Northwest(TY)
9- North(NY), East(SC), Southeast(TY), South(FW)
FW = Fu Wei
TY = Tien Yi
NY = Nien Yen
SC = Sheng Chi
1- Northeast(WK), Southwest(CM), West(HH), Northwest(LS)
2- North(CM), East(HH), Southeast(WK), South(LS)
3- Northeast(LS), Southwest(HH), West(CM), Northwest(WK)
4- Northeast(CM), Southwest(WK), West(LS), Northwest(HH)
6- North(LS), East(WK), Southeast(HH), South(CM)
7- North(HH), East(CM), Southeast(LS), South(WK)
8- North(WK), East(LS), Southeast(CM), South(HH)
9- Northeast(LS), Southwest(HH), West(WK), Northwest(CM)
HH = Ho Hai
WK = Wu Kwei
CM = Chueh Ming
LS = Lui Sha
Applying the Kua Numbers Formula:
Orientate your main door to face one of your auspicious directions. Work at a desk facing one of your auspicious directions. Sleep with your head pointing at one of your good directions. Eat, negotiate, give lectures, in other words undertake most activities, facing one of your best directions. Try to avoid having to do any of the above facing any of your inauspicious directions.
On a side note, I don't think this formula is quite as serious as some of the other inauspicious scenarios mentioned. I follow an inverted Kua(always facing inauspicious and avoiding auspicious) and I have had no negative results from it.
The Eight Life Aspirations Formula:
This formula is strongly based on the Pa Kua, as the symbols surrounding the Pa Kua are said to be the Eight Life Aspirations or the eight forms of good luck. These include the attainment of wealth and prosperity, happy marriage, respect and honor along with recognition, longevity and good health, good descendants(children), attainment of knowledge and education, support of influential people, and career promotions. This formula states that you should put certain things within the corresponding direction of your household.
- Sun - Southeast, Wealth and Prosperity.
- Chen - East, Family Relationships and Health.
- Ken - Northeast, Education.
- Kan - North, Career Prospects.
- Chien - Northwest, Helpful People and Mentors.
- Tui - West, Children.
- Kun - Southwest, Marriage Prospects and Marital Happiness.
- Li - South, Recognition and Fame.
Poison Arrows and Killing Breath
The Killing Breath:
Negative Energy, or Shar Chi, is an element we are warned against in every form of Feng Shui. Things that give off Shar Chi are often referred to as Poison Arrows, but the arrows are poisonous because they carry Shar Chi to you. No matter how careful you are with Feng Shui directions; if you have the best setting for Celestial Animals, everything is set auspiciously, etc. One Poison Arrow can ruin everything. That is why it is also referred to as the Killing Breath.
A Poison Arrow can be any imposing or hostile structure around. It can be a sharp cliff with the edge pointed at your house, the angle of your roof's edge, the edge of a building, or even a straight road or river. Dead plants can also be considered Poison Arrows as they give off allot of negative energy, burning the plant or turning it into fertilizer(chop it up and bury it in a targeted area) will help that problem.
Dealing with Poisonous Arrows:
Wind Chimes- Are often excellent for countering the ill effects of protrusions from ceilings and structural beams. Metal wind chimes are especially effective when they are hung in the West and Northwest corners of a room.
- Plants- Are excellent for shielding and dissolving negativity, especially when placed against corners. As they also symbolize growth, they are perfect Feng Shui when placed in the East corners of rooms.
- Screens- Are extremely popular with the Chinese as they are good at blocking energy that is moving to fast. By slowing down the pernicious breath, screens transform harmful energy into auspicious energy.
- Drapes- Are very effective when used to block out bad views of threatening structures that create negative energy. Use heavy drapes or chintz curtains. They are effective in any corner of the home, but select colors according to the elements of the corners. Use red for South, dark blue for North, green for East, and white for West.
- Mirrors- Are powerful Feng Shui tools because their reflective quality has the effect of sending negativity back to where it came from. Mirrors also widen narrow, cramped corners and extend walls to make up for missing corners. However, they should be used carefully. They must not reflect the main door, nor should they reflect toilets. Mirrors are auspicious in dining rooms, but should not reflect the bed of the master bedroom.
- Lights- Are powerful antidotes for all kinds of Feng Shui problems. They are especially good when used to dissolve the negativity of sharp edges and protruding corners, particularly when placed in the South corners of rooms. Angular lamps(the lamps with zig-zag bases) are not as efficient as others.
Toilets and bathrooms should not be located in the norther corner of the home, as it flushes away the career opportunities and promotions that enter. Staircases should ideally be curved and winding. Spiral staircases resemble a corkscrew and are harmless when placed in a corner, but deadly when placed in the center of a room or the middle of a home. Rooms should be regular in shape with kitchens and dining centers located in the back half of the home. Dining rooms should be higher then living rooms if the elevation levels are at all split. The ideal arrangement of rooms will encourage Chi to move smoothly through your home.
Residential Room Layouts:
Main door should open outward(into your home) into an empty space, termed ''The Bright Hall,'' where Chi can settle and accumulate.
Main Door Taboos:
The main door should never open into a cramped hall. Install a bright light if the space is to narrow. The main door should never open directly into a stair case, place a screen in between or curve the bottom of the stairs. There should not be a toilet to close to the main door, this causes Chi to become sour.
Office Feng Shui:
All protruding corners should be camouflaged with plants. Avoid sitting directly below an overhead beam. If a window opens to the view of a sharp, keep it permanently closed. Do not sit directly facing open book shelves.
Do not sit with your back to a door or window, this causes a lack of support and an abundance of betrayal. You should try to sit facing one of your auspicious directions, but not if this means you have your back to a door, window, or poison arrow.
Television or radio should be in the West or Northwest of a room. Fireplace should be in the Northeast, Southwest, or South. The sofa and armchairs should be arranged in the shape of the Pa Kua. Beds should not be right next to doors, rather they should be with the head resting against one of the other walls that do not have doors on them. You should not have mirrors directly pointed at your bed.
Bedrooms should be quiet with Yin energy more then Yang. To much Yang can disrupt the Yin required for a good night's sleep.
Channeling Vibrant Earth Energies:
One of the best ways to channel vibrant Earth energy into a home is to introduce Feng Shui features to a garden. If the garden is in the South, add a light. Add a fountain if it is in the North. Build a low brick wall if it is in the Northwest or Northeast. You can add all the features, but remember to add them specifically to that side of the garden, such as a fountain to the North corner and a light in the South corner while a low brick wall covers the Northeast and Northwest corners.
Longevity and Good Health with The Turtle:
Another good tip for the outdoors is to introduce the symbol of longevity in the form of the celestial turtle. Placed in the North part of your garden, real turtles bring exceptionally good luck, but a ceramic model will do a good job too. The turtle is symbolic of heavenly luck in the form of good health, protection, and support.
Balance is Everything:
Do not expect overnight success. Be patient and make subtle adjustments when necessary. If you harness and channel Earth energy in your home and environment, good fortune will follow. Remember Yin and Yang, balance is everything.