Feng Shui Fire Element

Feng Shui Fire Element

Fire is something that has transfixed man for as long as we have had recorded history.  Fire is what keeps us warm. Fire cooks our food. Fire in proportion can be useful.  Fire out of control is devastating. The Chinese looked at fire as being one of the primary elements.  It is the most Yang of the elements. It holds mystery in its flame.  When it comes to Feng Shui, fire is a very potent and strong elemental remedy.  It is not to be used haphazardly.  Not only because of the potential risk inherent in fire, but because fire strengthens the Earth element.   Energetically speaking, the Earth elements can be a very harmful form of qi.   Using fire can strengthen the negative aspects of the earth creating accidents or sickness.  Used correctly though, it can strengthen your wealth qi.

The first question we usually get from people when discussing the five elements is “What is the fire element?” The fire element is the actual application of fire.  A candle or even a red bed spread can be used for the fire element.  As you noticed, the color red can be used too.  Ideally, the actual element should be used.  There are many times though, that the element is too dangerous to use, so we recommend something red.  A good substitute for the actual element would be a red light bulb, or a red lampshade.  These provide a vibrant color and importantly, heat.  These are more effective than a red carpet, although as an alternative a red rug or bed spread works as well.

How does it interact with the earth element?  As mentioned above, the fire element provides strength to the earth element.  This can be negative or positive.  In the eight trigrams, there are two trigrams of earth and the center, which is also earth.  When calculating the Qi of a building or house, we look for either the number 2 (the Kun trigram) or the number 5 (the center). These two trigrams, during this time period, are less favorable and can create sickness or accidents.  The Ken trigram (8) on the other hand, can bring prosperity and wealth. It is also good for children.  This is the one case where fire can be used beneficially to strengthen earth.

Fire can also be used to reduce negative wood qi.  In some cases wood qi can bring gossip arguments, and lawsuits.  This is unlike using the element of wood as mentioned in an earlier article, but rather here we are referring to the qi within a building.  Qi is a form of energy and can take on aspects of any of the elements. When it is a wood qi, it can have the effects mentioned above, or it can bring the flowering of a new relationship.

How can it be applied?  The fire element can be used in a variety of ways.  You can use a candle.  The color of the candle does not really matter so much as long as you are burning it.  If you are not burning the candle, then try to use red or purple candles.  Here it is the color, not the candle itself that is providing the remedy.  As previously mentioned, using a red lampshade or a red nightlight is an effective solution for the fire remedy. Hurricane lamps are also effective because they are safer than exposed candles.  Lastly, anything that is vibrant red can be used.  The actual element of fire is preferred though.

Fire, as a Feng Shui remedy is very potent.  It does take some understanding though on how to properly use it. Used incorrectly and it can bring sickness and separation.  Use this element safely, as it can be dangerous in a practical sense
as well.  Kids, dogs, and candles usually do not mix.  When used correctly though, it can bring money and help with relationships.  It takes a trained Feng Shui pracitioner to determine where best to apply the fire element.  Lastly, use all of the five elements judiciously and in balance. Too much of anything is not good.

Images graciously provided by “The Candleshoppe”

The Fish Factor – Feng Shui Fish Falacies

The Fish Factor – Feng Shui Fish Falacies

We frequently get questions about fish and their effect in Feng Shui. This is a Feng Shui topic that has a lot of misunderstanding, primarily because there is some basis for what is discussed, but also there is a lot of misunderstanding. There is no such thing specifically as a feng shui fish, although people tend to associate them with gold fish or with carp.

In traditional Chinese Feng Shui, the only recommended solutions are the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water element strengthens wood qi. Fish have been confused to be a Feng Shui remedy, but this is not in itself true. What it is, is a combination of superstition and misunderstanding. In Feng Shui, the number 6 and 7 are used in the calculations of the trigrams and are representative of metal, and 7= Dui or soft metal). Five Element theory says that metal strengthens water. Chinese folklore says that adding 6 gold fish and one black fish makes the water stronger. What this is trying to do is to strengthen the water effect with metal. Actually, the fish only add decoration to the tank. To really strengthen the water element, the tank should have the real metal element with the water.

Fish do add a couple of things though. One is beauty and the other is to add circulation to the water. Further, they are living creatures and they bring life to the environment. This is good Feng Shui, but it is not needed in a strict sense for the Water element to be effective. Personally, I like fish and if I were to add water to an area, I might add the fish, but for the beauty and serenity they bring, but not for the reason of strengthening the Water element. That is environmental Feng Shui, but not elemental Feng Shui. The water element will work with or without the fish, so long as it is kept clean and circulating. Avoid stagnant water. This becomes a “sha” (negative influence) and is not helpful.

Let me give you an example of how people apply fish to Feng Shui. There is a restaurant near our school that was “Feng Shui’d” by someone who knew only the folklore beliefs. All their remedies blatantly stood out. They have a giant (8 foot) fish tank at the entrance with 6 gold fish and 1 black fish. Nothing else in the tank! First, the poor gold fish have no environment to interact with and it appears very stark. This in itself is poorly applied Feng Shui. Second, all the other remedies stand out so much that they feel out of place. This is a not the way to resolve Feng Shui issues. Feng Shui is a natural science. Everything should appear natural. Properly applied, Feng Shui should be so natural that you don’t even notice that a Feng Shui master has been there, except for the feeling that the building is very comfortable. As an example, perhaps you need the Metal element in a room. By putting a beautiful bronze statue of a horse or perhaps a brass plate on the wall, you get the metal influence without it appearing out of place.

Lastly, everything in Feng Shui has an explanation. Feng Shui is based on logic and practical application. If in doubt about the information presented, question “why?” Also remember that Feng Shui properly applied, should appear natural and comfortable, both to people and to fish.

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