According to Wu Xing theory, the structure of the cosmos mirrors the five phases. Each phase has a complex series of associations with different aspects of nature, as can be seen in the following table. In the ancient Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui practitioners all based their art and system on the five phases (Wu Xing). All of these phases are represented within the Ba gua. Associated with these phases are colors, seasons and shapes; all of which are interacting with each other.
Feng Shui literally means wind and water and is an ancient Chinese practice that is commonly associated with the fortuitous positioning of homes. Building a home that optimizes the well-being of its dwellers was, and continues to be, much sought after.
Centuries ago in China, natural landforms such as mountains, valleys and rivers were prevalent and the houses were popularly oriented towards the South.
Living standards and needs were basic and as such, Feng Shui practices were simpler and revolved around architecture and culture.
Nonetheless, the knowledge of Feng Shui was so coveted that its secrets were passed only to descendants or selected protégés by word of mouth. Manuscripts were closely guarded and deliberately written incomplete or with mistakes to prevent the knowledge from landing in the wrong hands.
Even today when lifestyles and desires have since evolved, the pursuit to constantly improve one’s well-being in all aspects still remains.
Thus the practice of Feng Shui and the interpretation of its science and art form has adapted to the environment and the people of today.
Landscapes, especially in cities, are now dense and cluttered, with an absence of space and natural elements.
Therefore our challenge as 21st century practitioners must be to adapt this ancient art and apply its classical principles in a modern world so as to suit our ever changing environment and diverse cultures.
History and our own life experiences teaches us that our luck can go up or down and that no building enjoys complete good fortune for ever. This is because we are affected not only by the physical forms in our environment, but also by certain invisible energies. These energies are dynamic and change over time and hence we need to design our buildings so that they face towards an auspicious direction in order to promote good fortune and well being.
This aspect of Feng Shui is called ‘Compass School’ and it requires us to make very accurate directional measurements. The compass, or ‘LoPan’, is therefore an indispensable instrument for the professional Feng Shui Consultant in ascertaining the influence of these invisible energies.
In modern terms the relationship between Form & Compass School can be compared to the ‘hardware’ & ‘software’ of a computer. they are interdependent of each other and can not be separated.
In Feng Shui we call these invisible energies ‘Flying Stars’ and a good understanding of their dynamic qualities enables us to choose a good location for our home or business. It can even help us to locate our desk, computer, cash register and decorative objects to ensure a balanced and harmonious flow of energy. The Chinese believe that if everything is placed in accordance with Feng Shui principles, we can create a happy, healthy and prosperous environment and improve our quality of life. If the Feng Shui energy of one location is not good, we can either rearrange our environment or simply relocate to another place.
Therefore our physical surroundings and the natural forces that move in them, the ‘Flying Stars’, are the two most important aspects to consider when selecting a site and organizing a living or working environment. They are vitally interdependent and act like the hardware and software of a computer. It is the objective of Feng Shui to find ways of making use of the positive influences and avoiding or controlling the negative ones.
The ‘Flying Stars’ themselves are symbolized by numbers from 1 to 9. The numbers 8, 9 and 1 represent current, future and distant prosperity and the numbers 2, 3 and 5 represent the three major negative Feng Shui energies. When a bad star is present in an important position of our home or office, such as our bedroom or main entrance, then trouble or misfortune is more likely to occur. It is therefore necessary to know the positions of all the ‘Flying Stars’ so that we can take remedial action to minimize the negative effects and enhance the positive ones.
The Four Pillars of Destiny is a system of Chinese Solar Astrology. It can be used to ascertain a person’s general characteristics and energy dynamics and also to determine what elements are favorable to them. As with all systems of astrology, Four Pillars of Destiny is an interpretation of the cosmological energy qualities, represented by characters, which are present at each moment of time. A chart of this energy configuration can be drawn up and is called a natal chart.
Four Pillars Astrology can interpret many qualities and themes in a person’s energetic make up, such as relationships, creativity, status, resources, money, career and health.
The cycles that are encountered over the course of a lifetime can also be listed out. They are called ‘Luck Pillars’ and illuminate which cycles are more favorable and which are more difficult. With this information we know potential energy situations and how to negotiate these time periods. Are they times of growth where we can proceed confidently, or are they more challenging times where we need to show more care, caution and discretion? The influence of each year can also be deduced.
The Four Pillars also has special emphasis to Feng Shui as a person’s favorable elements can be ascertained. This can then be used to recommend certain choices in colour, décor and furnishings which will strengthen our living and working environment.
Finally, once the dynamics of a persons Four Pillars chart is known then this information can also be used to select auspicious dates to maximize success. For example, it can determine the best times to open a new business, get married, purchase a home or travel overseas. This is a skill that is highly regarded by the Chinese and involves reference to the Chinese Almanac or ‘Tong Shu’ for selecting auspicious dates.
Another excellent way of improving your Feng Shui is to use the Eight Mansions or Pa Chai formula to work out your Kua number. Everybody has one and they are calculated according to your date of birth.
A Kua number determines your auspicious and inauspicious directions and enables you to know the direction you should face when sleeping, studying or working. It can even help you in the selection of a beneficial home, according to whether you belong to the East or West Life Group.
Everybody has four directions which are best for them and each one has its own meaning. These are:
• Prosperity Direction (Sheng Qi) – This is the prime location for creating wealth opportunities and for activating prosperity and success in the household. It is also the most auspicious location for the front door, master bedroom, study and office. Ideally the toilet or kitchen should not be placed in this sector.
• Health Direction (Tien Yi) – This part of the house brings good health, energy and beneficial relationships. The bed should face this direction when one has a chronic illness to help cure the disease. It is also suitable for dining and entertaining areas.
• Longevity Direction (Yen Nien) – This sector is good for older members of the family and is the direction which best creates harmonious relationships. Activate this sector to improve the relationships between family members (such as husband and wife), and to improve one’s chances of getting married. It is said that a bed facing this direction can result in marriage at an early age.
• Stability Direction (Fu Wei) – This promotes mild good fortune, peace and stability. This is the best direction for your head to face when sleeping. It also coincides with the back of the house and is suitable for both bedrooms and altars.
The Zi Wei Dou Shu or Purple Star concept was devised by a Taoist named Lu Chun Yang. It was then developed by Chen Xi Yi during the Song Dynasty and later on Luo Hong Xian during the Ming Dynasty to the present day format. Its exact origin, however, is still debated among the different schools, and should not be taken as a guaranteed historical context.
Advanced interpretations may reveal the following:
Class in society. For example, an individual born a peasant, does not mean that he/she will die as one and vice versa
Information about one’s soulmate.
Personality matching of compatibility and incompatibility.
What climate or region is most beneficial.
Is your mindset of eastern or western origin. Such as will you actually find it easier learning Chinese than English.
Information regarding your parents.