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Philosophy of Feng Shui
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A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF FENG SHUI

BY SALLIE TSUI SIEN (FENG SHUI STORE EUROPE)

I grew up in a very superstitious environment where although my mother is a practising Taoist, the teachings of Taoism at her time had been shrouded behind the veil of Buddhism. Hence, we participated in many Buddhists ceremonious rituals performed regularly at home. Because Feng Shui dates back to such a distant time that stories often re-told became myth that a great deal of folklore was assimilated into the practise of Feng Shui. They were fascinating stories. However our upbringing was in total accord with Taoist philosophy.

My mother understood that, as in the natural world, we could live in perfect grace, harmony and truth by recognising and accepting the changes of life. Her philosophy was: to take “all good and bad as it comes with grace”, count our blessings when good things happen and respond but not react to the bad things that come our way. Mother Nature will always give us both good and bad; keep the good with gratitude but let the bad pass, learn the lesson from it and let it go.

This philosophy kept her strong bringing up seven children on her own after my father passed away when we were young. My mother also applied concepts of Feng Shui to avoid misfortune and help maintain a balanced spatial and temporal harmony in our lives. Basic to her belief is the conviction that one must not wait passively for one’s share of good fortune, but must actively strive to attain optimal spatial and temporal relations.

With seven children to raise in a small apartment in Singapore, it was not easy to follow the Feng Shui principles laid out in the Eight Mansions theory. As a result, the Four Pillars (Ba Zi) and Xuan Kong system of Feng Shui were central to her quest for spatial harmony.

THE FOUR PILLARS (BA ZI)

My mother was often seen holding a pocket size black and red notebook that contained the birth information of all her children. She was constantly examining the “eight characters” of our birth dates whenever something went wrong with us in education or behavioural problems. I do not know whether the behavioural changes attributable to growing up and the pains that came with it were taken into consideration, but my mother fervently believed that there was something more involved and that the cycle of the energy of the year or months has a particular influence. Many times over when she found that a particular cycle of energy was in conflict with our year or daily pillar, she would suggest colours to wear for support or to nourish our personal element.


Sample Ba Zi report (Four pillars)

The eight characters, also known as the Four Pillars or Ba Zi, relate to the year, month, day and time of our birth date, each of which is expressed in a set of paired characters. Each of these pairs consists of one Heavenly Stem and one Earthly Branch; taken together, they are critical in determining whether the configurations are in harmony with the temporal and spatial elements.

The Almanac (Tung Shu)

The almanac was another very important manual frequently seen in my mother’s hand. Auspicious dates have to be chosen carefully to determine when we move house through the different stages of our lives, or even to negotiate a day to attend an interview for a new post or travelling abroad. The principle behind it is to make sure that the interaction of these temporal elements is in affinity with our Four Pillars, otherwise nothing works and we find only obstacles in our way.

An almanac is a Chinese imperial calendar, which provides a guideline that either promotes or advises against certain tasks being undertaken on certain days depending on the combination of the Heavenly Stem and the Earthly Branch. The ten Heavenly Stems are the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal. The Twelve Earthly Branches are the twelve animals of the Chinese astrology: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The stem and branches express each other in a 60-year cycle in terms of the five elements in their yin and yang states.

TAI CHI – YIN AND YANG

My Feng Shui training on the principal concept of “The Tai Chi”- understanding yin and yang, evoked certain memories of a story told when we were young which allows me now to see the co-relation between the two. The essence of it is widely explained in this way:

“The Tai Chi” can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as the universe, there are no limits. Where two forces co-exist – tangible and intangible, they encompass the six energies, the five phases and a myriad of objects and forms.

TRADITIONAL FENG SHUI

In ancient China, Feng Shui was taught to disciples at a very young age through the recital of poems “shi-jing”. Their interpretations and meanings were shrouded in archaic language aimed to keep its secrets only for the devoted few.

In those days, the practise of Feng Shui was not only a matter of finding a suitable site for dwelling, the actual building tasks also had to be taken seriously in terms of sequence and timing in order to ensure harmony. The best dates and hours to carry essential tasks – felling trees, breaking or levelling the ground, setting the base, aligning the ridgepole of the roof, tiling the roof, digging the well and finally moving in, required prudent attention to heighten harmony and forestall adversity. They believed firmly that human modifications of landscapes do not simply bring about surface changes but create conditions that influence and even control the fortunes of those who occupy the site.

MODERN FENG SHUI

In modern days, Feng Shui is practised less prudently. Many of the construction stages of, and the division of space within, a dwelling are very much out of our hands. For this, it is important to remember that the best time to consider the application of Feng Shui for a dwelling is during the architectural planning or interior design stages.

To practise Feng Shui correctly, understanding the fundamental concepts and the tools of its philosophy is crucial. The Pa Kua, the Lo Shu Square and the interpretation of the eight trigrams of the I Ching are the three basic tools.

THE PA KUA (BA GUA)

An eight sided symbol that corresponds to the four cardinal and four secondary directions of the compass. The south is always placed at the top, unlike a conventional compass. However, north is still magnetic north whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere.

The division of the eight-sided symbol, apart from the eight cardinal and secondary compass directions, has a Tai Chi in the middle that represents Earth. This division is called the Nine Palaces and the energies that exist in these nine palaces interact with each other. Those who reside within feel their effect. Interpreting the interactions of these energies is complex.

Each direction of the Pa Kua (Ba Gua) represents principally a trigram, a season, an element, a shape, a colour and a life aspiration. Accordingly, it is possible to activate any of these life aspirations to benefit the residents. Nature’s workings depend upon a system of fine balances among processes that may assist, hinder or block one another according to the relative strength of each in a given situation.
For more information on use of Ba Gua mirrors please click here.

The Pa Kua (Ba Gua)

THE EIGHT MANSIONS THEORY

SE South SW
Trigram – Sun (1st daughter)
The element Wood Yin
Colour of Light Green
Late Spring
Wealth, Prosperity, Abundance
Rectangular Shape
Trigram – Li (2nd daughter)
The element Fire
Colours of Red
Summer, Noonday
Recognition, Fame, Popularity
Triangle shape
Trigram – Kun (Mother)
The element Yang Earth
Colour of Yellow
Late summer, Matriarch
Matrimony, Nurturing
Square Shape
E The trigram – Chen (1st son)
The element Wood Yang
Colours of Green
Spring, Sunrise
Family Health and Relationship
Rectangular Shape
TAI CHI
Earth
Trigram – Tui (3rd daughter)
The element Yin Metal
Colours of Gold, White
Autumn, Sunset, Joy
Descendants, Hobbies, Pleasures
Round Shape
W
Trigram – Ken (3rd son)
The element Yin Earth
Colour of Beige
Late Winter, Preparation
Education, Knowledge
Square Shape
Trigram – Kan (2nd son)
The element Yin Water
Colours of Black, Blue
Winter Midnight
Career
Wavy shape
Trigram – Ch’ien (Head of family)
The element Yang Metal
Colours of Grey, Silver
Late Autumn, Patriarch
Patrons, Mentor, Helpful people
Round Shape
NE North NW

THE LO SHU SQUARE

A three by three grid where nine numbers are arranged in such a way that the three numbers added together from any given lines, vertical, horizontal or diagonal always give the result fifteen, the number of days required for a cycle of a new moon to a full moon.

Some of the most powerful Feng Shui formulas are closely related to the mysterious secrets of the Lo Shu Square like the Xuan Kong and Nine Star Ki to name but a few. Whichever formulae are used in an analysis, none deviates from the fundamental principles and rules of Feng Shui.

THE EIGHT TRIGRAMS OF THE I CHING

The eight trigrams are roots of the I Ching 64 hexagrams. Each has its own multiple sets of meaning, connotations and symbols. The meanings and implications of the trigrams give valuable clues, which can be implemented to create balance and attract auspicious Feng Shui.

Once we appreciate the underlying and basic concept, we will begin to see that Feng Shui adopts a very sensible approach to our relationship with the environment and personal living space. The challenge of Feng Shui practise lies in its many theories, methods and interpretations.

FENG SHUI FOR CHILDREN

The problems in children pertain to disobedience, lack of concentration in studies, lack of confidence and security. Feng Shui can be applied to resolve these situations.

By analysing the map of their Four Pillars, an experienced practitioner can discern the lack of or excess of elements within the map and thereby recommend a balanced presence of elements within their living space. Usually a colour change to the walls of their bedroom or a reorganisation of furniture is sufficient.

Often a change to their sleeping or sitting directions, according to the Eight Mansions Theory, can provide great improvements in behaviour.

A CHILD’S BEDROOM

  • If it is a duo purpose bedroom, for sleep and play, create separate areas. Rooms should be furnished to support them and their needs as they grow
  • Make sure that they are not allocated a bedroom at the end of a corridor.
  • Do not mount pictures of fierce animals.
  • Watch out for protruding corners of walls or columns pointing at their bed.
  • Never have their beds positioned in such a way that they sleep with their head or feet pointing directly at the door.
  • The best position for a bed is where they have a view of the door.
  • The bed should have a solid wooden headboard.
  • Wooden beds are better than metal beds because metal beds are said to be conductors of electromagnetic fields.
  • Do not place a bed under a window or under a beam or roof joist.
  • Do not have a TV or computer in the bedroom.

Two well used antidotes employed by my mother during our school days;

  • Place quartz or clear crystal balls or a round crystal sphere, with the globe etched on the crystal, on a brass stand on the left hand side (for female) and on the right hand side (for male) of the work table (when seated). Twirl it from time to time to energise the intrinsic earth energy of the crystal. This will help to focus tasks in hand, concentration and memory.
  • Always have a task light on the worktable and work with it on whether it is day or night. This also helps focus and concentration.

If you would like more details on our consultations please click here.

Sallie is based in Spain and covers much of Europe if you would like further information on consultations on site or on-line please contact her below or if you would like details on consultations in the UK follow this link.

To contact Sallie for a personal or on-line consultation: consultations.sallie@fengshuiweb.co.uk.

For UK consultations please contact
michael@fengshuiweb.co.uk or visit this page

For general enquiries, sallie@fengshuiweb.co.uk

You will find many articles on learning traditional and authentic Feng Shui. They teach you how to use cures and enhancers that nature provides us with, mainly the five elements. As many of you long time subscribers will notice some of the articles are taken from our monthly newsletter. I hope you enjoy them, we will be adding to the resource on a regular basis.

 

BUYING A NEW HOME

Feng Shui tips on what to look for in your present home/office or a new one if you are thinking about buying.

We bought our first house 23 years ago, it was a two bedroom Victorian terrace in a lovely area by the canal, a dream come true we thought.

In our ignorance we paid the asking price and Michael moved in a few months later, (the idea was he would do all the decorating etc and I would come in and arrange the napkins, it didn”t quite work out like that though) from the day we moved in the problems began, health problems, bad luck and a serious drain of what little money we had.

The house was a mess, the previous occupants had serious debt problems and we found out later from the neighbours that their situation deteriorated from the day they moved in. We used to have bailiffs (debt collectors) knocking at the door at all hours looking for the previous owners and the web untangled from then onwards, legal, health, wealth you name it.

Feng Shui in the UK in those days was practically unheard off as was the Internet so finding information on this subject was very hard, because of Michael”s upbringing in Hong Kong he made enquiries about it and how it affected the house we lived in, we soon learnt that the flying star for this house was very bad and in general regardless of your Min Gua number most people would suffer who lived in it. That is until you change and control the energy, we had a dream house that was turning into a nightmare but within three months our fortunes had changed for the better just by using a few simple cures.

They were subtle cures placed in different parts of the house, I remember my Mother becoming very worried that I had joined a cult, many people still think that Feng Shui is a religion, as you are probably aware it has nothing to do with religion or any ceremonies at all. She soon realised that I was on the right path and today my Mother uses Feng Shui in every part of her life.

The most powerful cures were pretty much the same as our 2002 cures kit on our site together with a salt water cure, which you have all heard of, in my recent newsletters. These cures are used for the 5 yellow and 2 black stars, 5 being the worst causing bad luck, sickness etc. After using them our luck seemed to change very quick. Now remember 23 years ago Feng Shui was virtually unheard off to the public and explaining why we had six Chinese coins hanging in the window, wind chime in another and a bowl of salt in another part of the house was a topic under much discussion with our neighbours. I remember having to wait about 4 weeks for the coins to arrive from Hong Kong, now I have thousands of them.

Cutting a long story very short I thought it would be a good idea of things that you should look out for in your own home and when buying or renting a new home or office.

1: This will be the best advice you will ever have, the first thing you should look at is the history of the home and also the previous occupants, this will tell you so much. If you find the home has had many owners and only held it for a short time and the fate of the previous owners has not been good, i.e. divorce, bankruptcy, health problems, problems with children, suicide and so on, I think you get the idea.

  • If it ain”t broken don”t fix it.

Do not read too much into it though, a great example is the last house we bought we obviously did all our checks of the previous owners and at one stage decided this was not the right house for us until Michael got hold of the floor plans and took compass directions and found although the house changed hands many times over its 35 year age, it was because the house had such good energy nearly every owner had become successful in a fairly short period of time of living there and then went onto bigger and better houses. The old adage definitely came true, “if it ain”t broken don”t fix it” how many people or companies have you heard of that were very successful and then moved premises and it all turned sour, that is mainly because they have probably moved from a property with good Feng Shui to a bad one. So sometimes it is better to stick with what you have especially if it is good for you. We outgrew this house 4 years ago and rather than move we extended.

Getting back to the story, do some homework check the previous owners with neighbours, local councils and also the selling agent. Were they happy, did they have trouble with teenage children, money or health problems etc?

You are probably thinking this is pretty much part of modern living all these types of problems, you would be right in thinking that, just look for a long history of problems with the previous owners, don”t worry if the last couple got divorced or they went bankrupt or worse still had some serious health problems, just look for a pattern over a period of time. Most bad Feng Shui homes or offices are easy to fix and just because you have the dreaded 2 & 5 stars that will cause health, wealth and bad luck it does not mean this will happen to you, even though on the whole we have a good house with regards to Feng Shui, the south sector of our home has some awful stars and it took a while to control them and believe it or not this is where Michaels office is. This is an area that has one of the worst flying star combinations you could imagine and yet he receives hundreds of requests for consultations each month, he does on average of 3-4 newspapers and magazine articles a month and enjoys more success than the average Practitioner, so just because you have some bad areas in your home it does not mean they cannot be cured.

2: Check the surrounding of the property; is it supported in Form school Feng Shui? Has it got a Tortoise behind you? This can be a mountain, another house, a row of trees, a building, a fence anything that is considered support at the rear.

Has it got a Dragon to the left? (Looking out from the front) this can be another house, tree or even a large fence line.

A Tiger to the right (looking out from the front) this can be a smaller house or tree etc.

A phoenix to the front, open ground, road, a roundabout even a circular flower border.

For more details on Form school Feng Shui please follow this link

3: Are there any poison arrows directed at the property? Lampposts, telephone poles, corner of house pointing at you, prison, hospital etc. If so you will need a Ba Gua mirror, for more details follow this link http://www.fengshuiweb.co.uk/advice/ba_gua.htm

** TIP ** Knickers, yes you heard right (not the sort of tip I would normally give but so many people swear by it), they say if you wear red knickers to a job interview, your chances are greater of being offered a position, even a visit to your bank manager. Now I have to say this only applies to the ladies, I don”t want any men saying to their partners, that Jo from the Feng Shui Store told me to wear them. I suppose red Y fronts or boxers would have the same effect. Just to clarify, you don”t just wear the knickers; it would be advisable to wear other clothes on top, although maybe that”s why I am getting such good feedback on this advice.

4: The back garden should be larger than the front, look for balance.

5: Try and avoid having a long narrow path leading to your front door, try and have a windy path and not straight. Do not plant trees too close to the front door, this will not let Ch”i enter the home freely. If you already have a straight path place some plant pots or statues along the line to break up the line of the path.

6: Avoid a house or office with a spiral staircase, it turns positive energy into negative, if you have one already hang a faceted crystal sphere at the top to try and slow it down. It won”t cure it but it will help. A shame really because I really like this type of staircase to look at.

7: Avoid swimming pools, gazebos, patios, ponds or any other structure in the garden that dwarf the house, try and do everything in proportion to the house, garden or room, having a fireplace in a living room which is far too big is not good Feng Shui.

8: Michael recently did a consultation on a very large Manor house with 17 bedrooms and 6 reception rooms, the original part of the property dated back to the 13th century, naturally the property was riddled with beams, these are not considered good and although I love them to look at I would not like them in my home, they carry a lot of weight and cause many problems in Feng Shui. You can hang a pair of flutes over them to lessen the effects but you should never sleep or sit under them.

Faceted Crystals can also be used in place of bamboo flutes, i.e. hang under a beam to help deflect the energies that have an oppressive effect on the people in the room. They can be used in hallways to slow down or activate Ch”i. Crystals are ideal for energising dark or lifeless rooms or areas of rooms such as alcoves, as they will encourage more light and energy. Neither of these two cures will completely cure the problem but they will help.

9: When buying a new house or office try and go for a regular shaped property, avoid properties that have odd looking designs, the best shape is the good old rectangle or square, if it has a few extensions sticking out here and there don”t worry too much as they can be easily rectified.

** TIP ** Do not have clutter in your office; desks must be kept tidy and clutter free. This is so important, an office in China would not have paper trays on desks, and many UK and USA companies now employ the same casino online approach. I have just looked at my desk, oops, how does that saying go? “Practise what you preach” that”s why I love writing these newsletters, it reminds me of what I should be doing, I just had a good clear out.

10: Can you remember the last time you looked up at the clouds in the sky and saw the shape of a tiger a dog or your Aunty Ethel; it is amazing what you can make out of the clouds in the sky. When looking at a new home or office, try and look at the building as if you were looking at the clouds, I see so many homes on my travels that resemble creatures or certain structures (makes me sound a bit crazy that statement), a house I saw last week in Essex reminded me of a ferocious animals mouth, the brickwork around the two main windows in the centre gave the impression that they were animals teeth, or a house recently I saw looked like a prison tower on one side. Also check shadows that are cast on the house, do they resemble anything hostile?

Try and choose a regular shaped property and let your imagination run wild when viewing it, try and look for any resemblance to anything bad in the shape of the building but don”t forget to look for the good points.



Good regular shape.



Not so good irregular shapes

11: Take a look at the ground around the property, a good house with good energy will have healthy trees and plants around and plenty of wildlife, even if it is in the City you will still see some birds in the garden. Obviously I am talking in general as I am sure you will not see much wildlife in the middle of Bombay or New York, or maybe you do I don”t really know. Don”t be put off though if you see one or two dead trees or a couple of dead rose bushes, there could be any other reasons just look overall. Look for any signs of Geopathic stress. Follow this link for more details. http://www.fengshuiweb.co.uk/advice/geopathicstress.htm

12: If you have trees at the front of the house or office make sure they do not grow too high, a good height is about six foot, less than this is better although I am aware some people would prefer higher as it offers seclusion to the home. The reason it should be no higher than six foot is because not only will it cut out valuable light it will also block Ch”i entering the home. The rule is the further the tree from the house the higher the tree can be, the example above is for trees that are approximately 15 – 20 ft from the front of the house. Trees at the front should never be higher than the house though.

13: Avoid a house with a straight road running towards the front of your house or the end of a T-junction, if you have one already you should hang a Ba Gua mirror outside the front.

14: Another mistake many people make is to calculate their facing directions using the front door. Because your front door faces east this does not mean you have an east facing Tui Trigram house. As an example our front door faces east, on this side of the house we have our main door and a small window, this is not the facing direction, our facing direction is north Li Trigram because on the north side we have the most windows, it faces the road, the street sign etc. If you follow this link you will find more details on Sitting and Facing directions, this is so important if you want to use Feng Shui and get results. http://www.fengshuiweb.co.uk/advice/property.htm

15: If you can see the back door from the front door (in a straight line), ideally you should place something in between or if there is a door close it. This point causes much confusion, it is only considered bad if the front door is in a straight line with the rear door, if you can see your rear door from the front and it does not run in a straight line that is OK. Windows or doors should not be too big or small, look for a balance. Avoid ceilings that are too high or irregular shaped; flat or domed ceilings are best.

 

The best example I can give is try and imagine you are Ch”i and you need to walk about your home/Office and also round the garden. Can you walk freely without obstruction? Do this little exercise inside and outside your home. Is the large storage chest in the hallway slowing you down? Is the clutter in the office making you do a detour around it? Oops did you trip over the books in the study? Remember Ch”i is like air it needs to flow freely around a property inside and out.

There are literally hundreds of things to look for when buying a house or taking a new office, the few I mentioned above are the obvious things you should look for and believe me the perfect house does not exist (not unless you have a few million pounds to spend and build from the dirt), and you will always find something that is not right. Our house is L-shaped and it has a triangular shape rear garden, theses are not considered good Feng Shui but by adding a few simple cures they can be easily overcome.

Do not get paranoid; if you have a straight path or a triangular plot do not worry about it, there are simple and effective cures you can use, take a look at our resource pages on www.fengshuiweb.co.uk you will find we have covered many of the problems that are encountered in most homes.

** TIP ** If you own a shop try and place the till in your wealth corner, even your petty cash tin. Order books can also be placed here with 3 Chinese coins tied together with red ribbon (a very powerful cure we always use in our business). Your till should have a solid wall behind it for protection and support and it is said that if you place a mirror beside it, this represents a doubling of turnover, also hang a crystal faceted sphere over your till. I was not so sure about the last two until I spoke to a good friend of ours who tried it out in their jewellery shops and it worked as far as they were concerned.

Follow this link to look at the 3 Chinese coins: http://www.fengshuiweb.co.uk/pages/wealth.html

THE COMPLETE LIST OF ALL OUR TRADITIONAL AND AUTHENTIC FENG SHUI RESOURCE:

You will find many articles on learning traditional and authentic Feng Shui. They teach you how to use cures and enhancers that nature provides us with, mainly the five elements. As many of you long time subscribers will notice some of the articles are taken from our monthly newsletter. I hope you enjoy them, we will be adding to the resource on a regular basis.

If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter click here or if you require further details on a Feng Shui consultation please click here.

” “It will be interesting to hear the teenagers of today tell their children what they had to do without when they were young”

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