Does Feng Shui require a Compass?

Does Feng Shui require a Compass?

Yes, Feng Shui is only Feng Shui if a compass is used. Without it, one is only practicing design and personal preference.

Let’s see how specific it is. There are eight directions; North, South, East, West, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Northeast. On a Lo Pan, or Chinese Compass, these directions are divided into three different sections. On a Lo Pan then, there are 24 divisions of 15 degrees each. Each division’s orientation can result in a totally different house in terms of its prosperity. A few degrees one way or another is a completely different house type.At a basic level, Feng Shui does blend with interior design principals. These addresses the environment you live in. But at a deeper level, the true nature of Chinese Feng Shui is based on geomancy or “earth wisdom”. It looks at how Qi is influenced by time and direction. A Feng Shui analysis is very specific and requires the use of a feng shui compass.

One of the most important aspects of Feng Shui is time. To find out just how important the time factor is, we multiply the 24 divisions by the nine different time periods (A time period here is 20 years) and so we can see that there are really 216 different house types, not just 24. Multiply this times an unlimited number of floor plans and you get an infinite number of Feng Shui analyses. One size does not fit all. There is no fixed area for wealth, health, etc. These forms of Qi can be present, but it takes a qualified practitioner to uncover them.
All of this is based on calculations. Feng Shui can be very exact. It is not guesswork. What makes it confusing is that there are practitioners with varying degrees of knowledge. Some practitioners only look at the 8 house trigrams. Some look at the time cycles, but they do so without a deeper understanding of the correct calculations. For example, there was a book about Feng Shui written in the last few years. It is one of the few that explain the time calculations. It is one of the few that show the calculations. Unfortunately, the book. s calculations seem only work in the North Sitting, and South facing orientation. Turn the orientation 15 degrees and the calculations do not work.Further, there are variable Qi energies depending on the time. These are 180 years, 20 years, annually, monthly, and daily. So what does all this mean? Well, if you are in a house that was built between 1964 and 1983, then in 1984 it became weaker. And during this 20-year period, there is the possibility that a house can be “restricted” or have a difficult periods for either the people or money. This lasts for the particular time cycle. It can be a month, year, or even 20 years. This explains why a lot of times that a particular house can be very good, but for a certain year, money is a struggle, or perhaps relationships are difficult to find.

There are many different levels of Chinese Feng Shui. The commonly used teachings include:

Form – The Form method only addresses only the external or internal environments.

Eight House – (Also known as the East/West teachings) This method addresses the basic orientations and how best to align one’s self to the favorable directions.

Xuan Kong – (Also known as Flying Star Method) This is a Time specific Feng Shui which looks at orientations and time factors. This is used to map the specific qi within a building, room, or other area. This is a very detailed method and can be very accurate if performed correctly.

These methods are all are necessary and work together. You can analyze the Feng Shui on a Form level without a compass, but you are only dealing with such issues as “clearing the clutter” or how the outside environment affects the house. Eight House theory is based on orientation and requires a compass. If you use Xuan Kong, which deals with specific issues of Qi, then you also must look at Form as well as the Eight House theories to accurately analyze the Feng Shui. With this method, you must have an accurate compass reading.

To look at the Feng Shui any deeper than the Form Method, you must use a compass to determine the direction. Many times, people think their house faces a certain direction, but are incorrect when a compass is used. For example, many people in Los Angeles think that the ocean is West of Los Angeles. In actuality, most beaches in Los Angeles are South Facing. Many cities are based on grids that are North/South or East/West. But is it true North or magnetic North? Feng Shui looks at magnetic North. So remember, that is if there is no exact measurement of orientation, then there is no way to judge the Feng Shui beyond the basic environment. A complete Feng Shui analysis uses all three methods to accurately look at the environment of the building and how the people can feel their best in that building.

Feng Shui Earth Element

Feng Shui Earth Element

The Feng Shui Earth element can be both the bad guy and the good guy. It is at the center of the eight trigrams and is in the opposing directions of Southwest and Northeast. Looking at the Post-Heaven Trigram, it is also in the Center. Its colors are earth tones, yellows, or tans. This elemental qi is responsible for wealth and money. But watch out for it can also be responsible for delays, illnesses or accidents.

The earth element is unique in that, during this time period, it is not used too frequently to correct other elemental qi. Rather, it is typically the recipient the correction. This may sound confusing, but really it is very simple. After a careful Feng Shui analysis, the practitioner maps out the qi within a building. In certain areas there might be Earth qi. This qi can be favorable or unfavorable, depending on the corresponding trigram. If there is qi present from either Kun (the Southwest Trigram represented by the number 2) or the center trigram (which has no trigram but is represented by the number 5) then it can be considered unfavorable. This earth energy can create delays or even sickness. This is usually remedied by metal.

When talking about the trigrams, we mention the directions such as Southwest, but this is not always where it is found. Feng Shui is based on the I-Ching, or “book of change” which states that all things cycle and change. Nothing is fixed. So do not consider that you will always find Kun qi in only the Southwest. That is its home, but it is not always where it is found. The same is true of Ken. Northeast is its home, but it too can be found in different places in different houses.

If the qi that is mapped out results in the Ken trigram (Northeast and represented by the number 8) then it is very favorable for money. Even generally speaking, in the Chinese culture, 8 is related to money and is a sought after number. This is folklore and not necessarily Feng Shui, but they still prefer to have an 8 in their address or license plate. Because earth is strengthened by fire, there are times that the fire element is used to enhance the potential for strong income.

If the earth element is needed itself as a remedy, then possible ways of utilizing this earth element are through the use of terracotta pots, adobe sculptures, ceramics, or even actual rocks (if they fit into the environment that you are trying to create.) To give you some examples, should you need earth in your entry, then perhaps a nice ceramic statue would work. You might also use some large adobe pots with beautiful flowers growing in them. There are a lot of creative ideas on how to use the earth element.

Earth can also be used to “ground” the fire element. Electricity can be considered fire in the cycle of elements. If you should have an electrical transformer box in your yard, consider putting some decorative stones between the house and the electrical box. Place them naturally and do not put too many either. Be sure to check with your electric company first to ensure that you do not create a problem for them, such as their access to the box, infringing on their property rights etc. Remember too that anything you do should look natural and beautiful. Do not create a “sha” or unsightly influence.

The earth element is the heart of the trigrams. It is both desired and unfavorable. Many people do not think of the earth element as being attractive, but choosing carefully, you can find very attractive earth solutions. Even jade is an earth remedy. If you are working a lot at the computer, consider putting a small jade statue on the desk between the power supply and yourself. Remember too that all Feng Shui solutions need to be carefully analyzed to ensure that you are placing them in the correct area.

The 8 Trigrams

The 8 Trigrams

The Ba Gua diagram (literally 8 houses, also spelled as Pa Kua) is the basic tool for tool for Feng Shui analysis.  When a Feng Shui analysis is performed, the practitioner refers to these basic concepts to analyze the situation within each area of the building.  From this representation, the basis of the mathematical calculations are found.  In other words, it is a tool for calculating the attributes of a building, not a general overlay to be used on a floor plan.  Additionally, the trigrams hold the keys to understanding the who or what is effected by the Feng Shui of a building.  Even beyond that, certain personalities can be found in the trigrams relating to both people and their buildings.

The three by three matrix, shown below, is called the 8 Trigrams.  Within the Eight Trigram structure is a wealth of information.  Each section is one trigram.  The Trigram is the 3 level combination of Yin and Yang.   Yin and Yang theory is the first concept needed to understand to use this tool.   Each Trigram contains bars.  These bars might be Yin or Yang depending on which Trigram we are working with.  These bars are representations of Yin and Yang.   Yang is a solid bar and Yin is a broken bar as shown here:

------

--  --

YangYin

These Yin and Yang representations are stacked three high in a combination that yields a lot of symbology including, elemental representation, family representation, a symbology, and a bodily area representation.  The trigrams are viewed from the bottom up based on:

Eldest

Middle

Youngest

------ Heaven

------ Man

------ Earth

 

Summary Interpretations

Directions

Each trigram has a corresponding home direction.   As with Yin and Yang, South is indicated at the top.  North is at the bottom.

Elements

Each of the trigrams has an elemental relationship.  There are two wood, two metal, three earth, one fire, and one water elements.  These elements can interact in productively, reductively, or by dominating one another.  You find that there is a distinct pattern to the elements and the rest of the 8 Trigram chart.  For example the soft metal and the soft wood relate to the feminine, while the hard metal and hard wood refer to the male trigrams.  The five elements follow a pattern based on the Yin and Yang, with wood producing fire, producing earth, producing metal, producing water, thus producing wood again.

Numbers

The numbers in the 8 Trigram chart represent perfect balance.  Summed in any direction they total 15.  This is often referred to as the “Magic Square.”  These numbers are not fixed, but change location with time.  The pattern of the number ascension remains the same; Center, Northwest,

West, Northeast, South, North, Southwest, East, Southeast.  This pattern remains, but the placement of the numbers changes depending on orientation and time factors.

Family Relationships

When a trigram has only one Yin line in it, than it is female and the family relationship is a female.  When the Yang line is alone in a trigram, it represents a male family member.  The Kun Trigram is often referred to as the Mother Trigram as it is completely Yin.  Whereas, the Qian Trigram is completely Yang so it is the Father Trigram.  The family relationship of the trigrams has implications such as when two elemental energies are found together in a domination relationship, then it is possible that the person who belongs to that trigram/element that is being dominated will have problems in a particular body area.  An example of this would be if Xun (4) wood dominates Gen (8) Earth, then the young children could be effected, or if it is an adult, then the hands or spine might be effected.

Symbology

The symbology is based largely on the yi jing.   For example, the Zhen trigram is Thunder.  This is because there are two yin lines above a yang line.  Yin is inverted from its natural position.  Yin should be on the bottom near the earth. (Because yin is coolness settling.) According to the ancient Chinese meteorologists when there is Yang in the air, and Yin at the ground, thunder and lightning strike.   This trigram can hold these characteristics in personality too.  Sometimes people born in a Chen year are prone to explosions like thunder.

Body Part

The Body Part indicates the area of the body that might be susceptable to problems if there is a problem with qi in that area.   For example if in a bedroom Xun (wood) dominates Gen (earth) then the person spending time in the room might be susceptable to back aches or problems with their fingers or small bones.  By introducing the proper elemental remedy, this problem will be eliminated.

Groupings

The trigrams are grouped into two distinct groupings.  The East Group contains all the wood, fire, and water trigrams.  The West Group contains the Metal and Earth trigrams.  People who are of a particular group (example West) find houses that have a sitting orientation to the same group (again West) more comfortable than those houses belonging to the opposite group.   The same can be said of people of different groups.  East Group people are more comfortable around East Group people, as are West Group people with West Group people.  The groupings for People can be determined by which solar year your birth date falls under.  This will be discussed in a future article.  The groupings for Buildings can be determined by the orientation of the building.

The Eight Trigrams

Xun

------

------

--  --

4

SE

Element: Soft Wood

Family Relationship: Eldest Daughter

Symbology: Wind

Body Part: Hips & Buttocks

Group: East Group

Li

------

--  --

------

9

S

Element: Fire

Family Relationship: Middle Daughter

Symbology: Brightness, the Sun

Body Part: Eyes & Heart

Group: East Group

Kun

--  --

--  --

--  --

2

SW

 

Element: Earth

Family Relationship: Mother

Symbology: “Mother Earth”

Body Part: Abdomen & Reproductive Organs

Group: West Group

Zhen

--  --

--  --

------

3

E

Element: Hard Wood

Family Relationship: Eldest Son

Symbology: Thunder

Body Part: Throat

Group: East Group

Center

5

Element: Earth

 

Dui

--  --

------

------

7

W

Element: Soft Metal

Family Relationship: Youngest Daughter

Symbology: Marsh

Body Part: Mouth area

Group: West Group

Gen

 

------

--  --

--  --

8

NE

Element: Earth

Family Relationship: Youngest Son

Symbology: Mountain, Youth

Body Part: Hands, Spine, & Small Bones

Group: West Group

Kan

 

--  --

------

--  --

1

N

Element: Water

Family Relationship: Middle Son

Symbology: Water, the Moon

Body Part: Liver, Kidneys, Inner Ear

Group: East Group

Qian

 

------

------

------

6

NW

 

Element: Hard Metal

Family Relationship: Father

Symbology: Heaven, Leader

Body Part: Head, Lungs

Group: West Group