Archive for September, 2006

Your Feng Shui Trust Fund

Many students often ask me why my annual China Excursion courses mostly involve visits to the tombs of dead Emperors and imperial ministers. There are a few Yang Houses thrown in, usually official palaces, but most of the time, it’s, well, dead people places or what we call Yin House, in Feng Shui-speak.

Amongst the places that I have visited with my students include Yong Ling Mausoleum in Liao Ning province, where the early ancestors of the founders of the Qing Dynasty are buried, the Eastern Qing Tombs in Hebei where renown Qing Emperors like KangXi and Qian Long have their tombs, the tomb of Zhu Yuan Zhang, the first Ming Emperor and the tomb of Sun Yat Sen in Nanking, and the tomb of Mao Tse Tung’s grandfather in Hunan and Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China in Xian. You see, the quest for Feng Shui knowledge actually begins in the Yin House.

It is from the Yin House that we can see how long prosperity will be with a person’s family and the number of generations that will enjoy prosperity. For example, if you visit the tomb of Mao Tse Tung’s grandfather in Hunan, you can see that the Feng Shui formations that surround the tomb, whilst powerful enough to create an Emperor or all-powerful leader and supported by a superb 9 Curve Water Formation, unique Dragon Vein and meridian spot structure, does not have afford longevity and staying power. It is only good enough to provide a Feng Shui boost to one generation of descendants - namely, Mao himself. By contrast, the Feng Shui formations in Yong Ling Mausoleum, the burial ground of the Qing Dynasty’s founding ancestor, has a Reverse Dragon Facing Ancestor Formation with 12 lumps, signifying at least 12 generations in power.


Yin House can also influence which son (daughters didn’t count in the old Imperial days) will be the most outstanding. If you visit the tomb of Emperor Kang Xi, it is extremely obvious which of his 14 sons would stand to inherit the Qing throne, especially since the Qing Emperors were not selected based on progenitorship, but by ability.

Even something as simple as checking which side of the embrace (Sha Shou) dominates the mountain formations at a Yin House can be telling. If you have visited all the tombs of the Qing Emperors, as my students have, a subtle pattern emerges - the right side of the mountain embrace, known as the White Tiger, is always slightly higher than the left side of the mountain embrace, known as the Green Dragon. The White Tiger stands for women-power whilst the Green Dragon represents the male’s power. Of course, as the Imperial lineage drew closer towards the end of the dynasty, the White Tiger in the landform formations in the Qing Imperial tombs became less subtle and more prominent. Hence, the Qing Dynasty’s last three Emperors were heavily influenced, and dominated by the Empress Dowager Ci Xi. It was the Feng Shui of the Qing Dynasty ancestors that influenced outcomes of these Emperors.

Yin before the Yang

So why is it that my students get so many visits to the houses of dead people? Many people do not know that Feng Shui in fact has its origins in Yin House or burial grounds or tombs. Originally, Feng Shui was known as Kan Yu and was used to help select burial spots during the Tang Dynasty. It was only as Feng Shui advanced and progressed, that its application and principles were extended to Yang House, or places for the living. Many of the classics written during the Tang Dynasty renaissance era on Feng Shui relate to Yin House specifically. During the Imperial Dynasties of Ming and Qing, more attention was paid to Yin House than Yang House most of the time.

A good illustration of this is the Forbidden City in Beijing. If you’ve visited the Forbidden City, you might be falsely led into thinking that it has superior Feng Shui. Do not get distracted by the turtles, dragons and phoenixes that adorn every pillar, staircase and floor. These have nothing to do with Feng Shui and everything to do with cultural symbolism. The reality of it is that the Feng Shui of the Forbidden City is messy and only of very average quality. If Yang House was all-important, surely more attention would have been paid to it?

Hence, any Emperor, upon his immediate ascent to the Dragon Throne, would deal with selecting his own tomb as one of the first orders of business during his reign. Emperors who were careless with the selection of their tombs never paid the price themselves of course. But their descendants would, as the empire crumbled and the dynasty was overthrown. This is because Yin House Feng Shui is to ensure descendant luck. When the tombs or burial spots are not well-managed and properly selected, it is not the individual who feels the effects, but their descendants.

When an ancestor is buried in a place with favourable Feng Shui, his descendants get the benefit of the favourable Yin House Feng Shui, and at the same time, their own Yang House Feng Shui becomes more powerful and strengthened. Good descendant Feng Shui helps ensure continued prosperity for the family heirs - it can be the difference between each generation building on the previous generation’s success or a generation of wastrels that squander away whatever their ancestors have worked hard to build up.

Yin House Today

Yin House Feng Shui is widely misunderstood by many people, including Feng Shui enthusiasts, often because many people do not know the origins of Feng Shui and over the years, it has moved from its roots, to become a ‘Chinese cultural practice’. Some New Age Feng Shui practitioners assert that Feng Shui is about positive energies and so any discussion or consideration of Yin House is morbid and negative. On the contrary, any serious classical Feng Shui practitioner worth his salt (and there are many of them in Malaysia) handles Yin House Feng Shui.

Of course, the approach to Feng Shui is now changing, especially since we are now in Period 8. The change of energies indicates a ‘back to basics’ approach for many things, including, Feng Shui. There is a revived interest in classical Feng Shui and with it comes a revived interest in Yin House. Some people are looking to ride the trend of burial ground real estate speculation but most people are genuinely interested in securing a good burial spot for themselves to ensure good descendant Feng Shui.

In places like Hong Kong and Taiwan, there is no morbidity or superstition attached to Yin House Feng Shui practice. In these societies, it is considered a privilege to be able to select your personal burial ground and is usually regarded as something only the wealthy and educated have the means to undertake. Up until the turn of the century in China, selecting a burial spot was exclusively the purview of wealthy merchants and Imperial officers. It was considered an important responsibility by the head of the family to make efforts to secure his own burial ground or spot, so as to head off needless hassles for the family, but more importantly, feuding and debate over who will foot the bill or find the spot, when the time comes.

In my next article, I will delve more into the practice of Yin House Feng Shui and give you an insight into the role of the Feng Shui master in Yin House Feng Shui. For now, let me say that Yin House Feng Shui should not be something that we should be fearful, superstitious or morbid about.

Yin House Feng Shui is about ensuring that your descendants get as much of a good start in life as possible and perpetuating prosperity in the family. That’s why I think one should look at selecting a good burial spot or ground for oneself as an integral part of estate planning. It’s part of making a will and setting up a trust fund for your kinds. Of course, this is a different kind of ‘trust fund’ - hence, I like to tell people to think of Yin House Feng Shui as not about picking out a place where you will “lie in eternity” but rather, a Feng Shui Trust Fund. If you want to leave them an inheritance to give them a good start in life, then making sure you are buried in a good location to give them an extra little Feng Shui boost is no different.

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The Crocodile Hunter

Like many people, I was surprised and saddened by the sudden death of Steve Irwin, the famous ‘Crocodile Hunter’. I was teaching a BaZi class in Singapore when I received an SMS during the tea break about the tragic event. Many people in the class also got the same news and students began bombarding me with questions about Steve Irwin’s BaZi.

So, in today’s article, I will talk about why Steve Irwin was who he was: the Crocodile Hunter that entertained so many people and was beloved by kids everywhere. While I do not have his actual time of birth, based on his life and the types of BaZi structures described in the classical text Yuan Hai Zi Peng, I believe his hour of birth may well be the Dragon Hour (7am-9am). However, I will discuss his chart without reference to the hour.


The Consummate Performer

Steve Irwin’s Day Master is Xin Metal. Xin Metal is jewellery metal or small metal – or we may picture this element with your Cartier rings, your Swiss Army knives or your Rolex watches. It is beautiful, elegant, and to be admired. People with Xin Metal Day Masters love attention and the limelight, besides being passionate in their work. Hence, Irwin was destined to be an entertainer or a showman - be it feeding crocodiles at Australia Zoo, or taking us on crazy nature expeditions, courtesy of Animal Planet.

In his Month Stem and Year Stem, there is Ren Water. In BaZi, Ren Water is the Hurting Officer star (Shang Guan) of Xin Metal. This is an excellent formation as the Xin Metal needs to be washed by the Ren Water in order to be polished, shiny and beautiful. If Steve Irwin was indeed born at Dragon Hour, as I believe, then his chart will have a special formation of Xin Metal with Triple Ren Water. This special formation belongs to individuals with outstanding performance skills. In the old days, this kind of BaZi belonged to opera singers - consummate performers.

So why did Steve Irwin become the Crocodile Hunter and not the Possum Catcher or ‘Roo Hunter’? Why was he attracted to crocodiles? In BaZi, Jia Wood also can refer to ‘armour’. The crocodile is a creature with an armour. As for the penchant for handling snakes, Si (Snake), Yin (Tiger) and Shen (Monkey), along with Hai (Pig) are part of the same group of Earthly Branches. Also, Wood is very strong in this chart as there is the Tiger and Rabbit present, which is 2 out of 3 of the Branches from the season of Spring, when Wood is strongest. If Irwin is born in the Dragon Hour, then he has the entire Directional Combination for the season of Wood. Hence, he is attracted to matters of nature.

Some BaZi analysts have argued that Irwin’s chart is a formation known as Follow the Leader. This is questionable. Firstly, if that was the case, that Irwin would have hated his job. And I think it is obvious to anyone who has seen his show that he loved what he did and was extremely passionate about crocodiles and snakes and nature. Secondly, a Follow the Leader formation always manifests as a person doing something which they do not like to do but have to do as they have to conform to the strongest element. Also, if the chart is really a Follow the Leader chart, then Irwin would probably have written nature books rather than made documentaries since Wood is the book publishing business in the study of the 5 Elements.

This Xin Metal Day Master is born in the season of Wood. Wood is the Wealth Element of a Xin Metal Day Master. However, the wood inside the Tiger (Yin) is Jia Wood. Jia Wood is strong, solid tree trunks. Now, imagine a small penknife trying to chop down a redwood tree. This Xin Metal Day Master has to work extremely hard for its accomplishments. I don’t think anyone can doubt that wrestling crocodiles, handling poisonous reptiles and picking up snakes is hard or at the very least, extremely difficult work.

‘Crikey’ - he was a genuine naturalist.

In BaZi, Xin Metal is the most talkative of the Day Masters. A good Xin Metal talks a mile to a minute and always has something to say or an opinion to express. This is because Xin Metal loves to produce Water. Hence, the hyperarticulate nature of Steve Irwin. Also, Xin Metal using Hurting Officer denotes going against the order or prevailing status quo of the day. Irwin paved the way for nature documentaries that were energetic and adventurous, and a whole new form of entertainment. His style was unorthodox, vastly different from the prevailing approach to nature documentaries.

Following his fame as the Crocodile Hunter, Irwin established a nature conservation charity, known as Wildlife Warriors. Some newspaper articles I saw seemed to throw doubt on his passion for nature and conservationist intentions. His desire to help conserve the environment is doubtlessly genuine because Wood formation, in the study of the Five Elements, represents benevolence, growth and nurturing and this element is strong in Irwin’s chart. Also, Wealth element is actually negative for this Xin Metal chart because it is very strong, especially if the Dragon Hour is correct. So, establishing a charity and ‘giving’ his money away, was the correct and noble thing to do, in the BaZi context. Also, the strength of the Wood here indicates that Irwin’s motivation is a genuine interest in nature, and not the money.

Wood (both Yi Wood and Jia Wood), besides representing the Wealth Star of Xin Metal, also represents, for a man, the Wife Star. Irwin met his wife during the Luck Pillar of Yi Si (Wood Snake). Yi Wood, which is soft twines and ivy, is much easier to ‘cut’ compared to Jia Wood. Hence, Irwin met his wife during this period in his life. Si (Snake) is a Travelling Star. Within Si (Snake) is Bing Fire. Fire represents the South Direction. How did Irwin meet his wife? When she travelled to Australia from the US! The Yi Wood comes with Bing Fire inside the Snake. Bing Fire represents the Direct Officer star (Guan Xing) for a Xin Metal Day Master and denotes fame and status. Irwin filmed the first episode of Crocodile Hunter during his honeymoon with his wife! From the BaZi, clearly, she was instrumental to his becoming famous!

It was however only in his next Luck Pillar, Bing Wu, that Irwin became truly famous around the world. Firstly, the Wu (Horse) and the Yin (Tiger) form a half Fire combination. Secondly, Fire, to a Xin Metal Day Master, is Officer Luck, and signals fame and glory. As the sun blazes over this Xin Metal, surrounded by the Ren Water, the Xin Metal’s beauty is revealed to the world. Imagine a beautiful ring, glistening and sparkling under the sea water, illuminated by the sun. This is how we can ‘picture’ Steve Irwin’s BaZi during this luck pillar.

The Tragic Event

How do we derive the tragic occurrence of his death from Irwin’s BaZi? Firstly, he had just changed Luck Pillars, into the Luck Pillar of Ding Wei. The Ding combines with all the Ren in his chart, and successfully transforms into Wood. The element most integral to his chart’s success is removed and the element that is most negative to the chart is now enhanced.

The Wei (Goat) combines with the Mao (Rabbit) Branch. In BaZi language, we say the feet of the Day Master is combined away. This indicates movement away from home and negative events happening since Wei and Mao is a half combination that also produces Wood. So the negative element is now appearing in a double whammy formation in the BaZi.

Wei and Mao are two Branches in a Three Harmony Combination and the third animal Branch in the Combination is Hai (Pig). Inside Hai (Pig) is Ren. Ren Water is sea water and the water of great lakes and rivers. As the Hai Mao Wei combination is obviously negative (producing Wood) and the third component to complete the combination is the Hai (Pig), which contains Ren, clearly, any activity involving the sea is potentially dangerous.

Why a sting ray? Because it is a sea creature and all creatures found in the sea are regarded as being associated with Ren Water. Irwin was killed moments after a sting ray barb caught him in the chest and pierced his heart - Ding Fire represents the heart and in this luck Pillar, it is combined away by the Ren. I believe there may have been more than one stingray present during the accident because Ren and Yin (with the Jia inside) strongly suggests at least two creatures.

Finally, there is an Ungrateful Punishment Formation between the Shen (Monkey) in the month and day of the event and the Yin (Tiger). An ungrateful punishment is a relationship between the Earthly Branches and is termed an ‘ungrateful punishment’ because it involves doing good for someone but getting no gratitude in return. Ironically, Irwin was killed by one of the creatures that he had devoted his life to protecting.

In BaZi, a person’s luck continues, even though the person is no longer with us in this world. Steve Irwin’s name, and his contributions to conservation, will live on and be remembered for a long time. This is because the Ding Wei Luck Pillar is still a very strong pillar of Fire, which brings fame and good name to the Xin Metal Day Master. We will not easily forget the Crocodile Hunter, even though he is no longer with us.

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High-rise Feng Shui

In recent years, apartment and condominium living have become increasingly popular in Malaysia, If the number of questions I get about how to Feng Shui a condo unit or apartment is any evidence. Condos and apartments are a bit of a pet subject for me. I researched and studied Feng Shui under the tutelage of several renowned Hong Kong masters and Hong Kong, being a densely packed area, is chock full of condos and apartments. I cut my Feng Shui teeth on apartments and condos, and Hong Kong masters are literally masters when it comes to Feng Shui for apartments and condos. These apartments are notoriously small and there’s often very little square footage to work with so the practitioners there have to be very innovative (but not inventive!) when applying Classical Feng Shui.

Dealing with Feng Shui for apartments, condos and high rise buildings is quite different from landed property. The broad principles of Feng Shui on Qi collection are of course the same, but the application is different. For example, one of the most frequent questions from the public, when it comes to apartments, is how do you determine the Facing of the building in order to obtain the Qi map of the property, using either Eight Mansions Feng Shui or Flying Stars Feng Shui?


Condo Challenges

First, let me assure readers who own or are living in apartments or condos that it is entirely possible to apply Feng Shui to apartments and condos. There are special techniques for handling small spaces, drawn from Xuan Kong and Xuan Kong Da Gua, which have a range of techniques for application in small-sized properties. However, there are also a lot of challenging limitations that apartments pose - you can’t renovate extensively, there is less space in which to make changes such as using different rooms.

Hence, when it comes to apartments, screening and selection is extremely important. More so perhaps than say a landed property because your options when it comes to renovations and movement are extremely restricted. With houses, greater space in the rooms affords increased flexibility, even for something as simple as changing the bed direction. With apartments, you have a limited number of rooms to use, and a limited amount of space within those rooms to make adjustments. Landed properties usually have a small garden, which facilitates the use of Water features to help collect Qi. By contrast, in an apartment or condo, you have no control over where the swimming pool is located or where the landscaped ponds go.

Finally, it is a little bit harder to Feng Shui your own apartment, compared to say, trying a bit of Feng-Shui-It-Yourself on a house. It’s harder to figure out the Facing Direction. A well-known mistake (caused by incorrect information) many people make is to fly the Flying Star chart based on the facing of the Unit if it is located above the 9th floor instead of the building’s orientation. Now, if you think about it, that means that 100 units in the same block, under the same roof, can have different period Flying Star charts (even though the building shares the same roof!). Naturally, that is illogical and is not how the Flying Star chart for an apartment unit is derived.

In practice, the facing orientation of the entire block is used to derive the Flying Star chart. Now, this would mean that every unit in the apartment block has the SAME Flying Star chart, but it does not mean that the Feng Shui of every unit is the same. The Flying Star chart of each unit is influenced by the floor it is located on, the environmental factors outside the block, the unique location of each unit’s main door, the residents and the forms within vicinity of the unit and inside.

Hence, when it comes to apartments and condos, you really do need to do a lot more checking and screening before buying because once you buy, your ability to make changes, or even work the Feng Shui yourself, is a little restricted, as compared to a house.

Selecting the Property

Before I start on the important Feng Shui considerations when it comes to apartments and condos, let me first talk about what is NOT important. The unit number is not important. The colour of the door, or the paint colour in the living room of the unit, is of no significance. Living on the 4th floor is not taboo - who knows, the apartment building that you are considering may well have fantastic Feng Shui on the 4th floor!

So, what’s important and what should you be looking out for? I know I sound a bit like a broken record when I keep repeating myself on this point but the environment always comes first. Whenever you are contemplating purchasing or renting an apartment or condo, look at the area and check the forms. Forget about the apartment or condo unit for now - when you’re shopping for an apartment or condo with good Feng Shui, you need to look at whether or not the apartment block or building is located in an area with good Qi. Find the Qi mouth of the area, assess the mountains and water in the macro area (refer to previous articles I’ve written) to get a snapshot of the Qi quality in the area.

Once you are sure it is a good environment with good forms, then you look into the building itself. Check the Xuan Kong Flying Star chart or BaZhai (Eight Mansions) chart of the building (this has been discussed in my previous articles). The last thing you should look at is the internal unit itself. If the building faces an unfavourable direction, and the Qi in the area is stagnant or negative, you can chose the unit with the best direction and it will still be all for nothing.

Picking the Unit

After the environment has passed muster, and the building’s facing has been checked out, assuming all is well, how do you know which unit to select? First, you need to determine which is the best floor to buy or rent on. Now, the upper floors or the penthouse may be the most expensive or have the best view, but that does not mean they have the best Feng Shui. Of course, the penthouse unit usually comes with a little garden, which can double up as a Bright Hall to collect Qi so the penthouse floor has its benefits but again, that does not mean it has the best Feng Shui.

Different floors are assessed differently, based on the environmental features in the vicinity and its influence on that floor, the shape of the apartment building as a whole and the Qi relationship between the environment and the particular unit. Each floor also has an elemental value, drawn from the He Tu Five Elements. The suitability of the floor’s elemental value has to be partnered with either the occupants personal Xuan Kong Gua or Na Yin.

After the best floor is determined, it’s time to view the unit and check out the forms around and in the unit itself. Again, it’s the forms that impact on the unit door that concern us. The door of the unit should not open in an area with negative forms and should be located in a good sector and open to a good direction. Avoid selecting a unit with a door that is opposite the staircase. Qi will leak out of your unit. In apartment and condo Feng Shui, it is preferred for the unit’s door to open up where there is a spacious foyer and broad area so Qi can collect. Now, some units in apartments have doors that face a small garbage chute. This is not necessarily negative Feng Shui - your luck is not being tossed down the garbage bin so to speak.

While this is a bit of a challenge, not all apartment or condo units open on enclosed corridor. Some open up to the central courtyard for example. This is preferable to a unit door that opens up to a tight corridor. Also, when it comes to unit selection, a Classical Feng Shui practitioner will also consider personal birth data. Fine tuning can be administered by taking into consideration (1) the main door of the unit, (2) the bed location and (3) the stove location.

Another important aspect of assessing apartment and condo units is internal. Avoid choosing apartments or condos units with extremely odd shapes. This may look funky on the floor plan but results in very ‘un-funky’, unstable Qi and will give you a lot of problems with sharp corners. The unit’s Main Balcony also needs to be examined. This needs to tap into the positive environmental features surrounding the apartment or condo block to be really good. If there are any electrical pylons in the area, you should not select a unit where the pylons are visible from the Main Balcony. Ideally, you want to see certain forms - a good table mountain and preferably, returning Water formation in the Southwest, Southeast, North and East directions, coming towards the property. Finally, the unit door and the location of the balcony door need to be placed according to classical Feng Shui formulas in Xuan Kong Da Gua, Ba Zhai and Fei Xing that are applicable to apartments and condos. In Xuan Kong Da Gua, a unit, regardless of its size, can be demarcated into 64 segments. Once the Qi reference is identified, a practitioner can facilitate the flow of Qi in certain key points within the unit, based on its structural limitations.

The challenge that achieving good Feng Shui poses, when it comes to apartments and condos, is one of the reasons why apartment and condo owners sometimes opt for New Age Feng Shui. It is human nature to hope for the best and certainly, it’s easier to believe that the Qi of your apartment can be fixed with an item or an object than to accept that your unit has certain limitations when it comes to Feng Shui. No matter what people say, no one likes to be told that the place they are living in is ‘so-so’ or ‘limited’. The conventional reaction is always “can’t you just fix it to make it better?”

Unfortunately, Feng Shui is not a Band-Aid or plastic surgery ala Nip/Tuck. At the most minimal, Feng Shui requires either a directional or locational change, and improving a situation often requires altering the Qi path by moving things around. So in an extremely small apartment or condo unit, this can be quite challenging and requires a lot of commitment to change on the part of the owner. Ultimately, the best way to make Feng Shui work for you, when it comes to an apartment or condo, is to be judicious with your choice. Find a good area first, and select an apartment or condo in the area with favourable forms around it, and you’ve taken the first step towards achieving positive Feng Shui for your apartment or condo unit. In the coming weeks, I will discuss an example of how apartment Feng Shui is assessed and improved.

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Dear Feng Shui Master…

Since I started writing for the newspapers, my email box has been inundated with questions from readers of the column and also viewers of my television program. Some people are curious to know more about Feng Shui in general, others are seeking specific answers to their Feng Shui queries, and yet there are many who are just looking for some comfort or confirmations about some superstitions, old wives tales and myths.

So this week, I thought, for a change, I should open up my mailbag and share with my readers some of the more common (and interesting) queries I’ve received and the answers to these queries. Some of these questions may be a bit technical, others are straightforward. But most of them share a common trait of being questions that most people, at some point or another, would have thought about or considered when it comes to the subject of Feng Shui.

I employed the services of a feng shui master (a friend of mine) when we shifted to our new house in June last year. According to her, our house is a Northeast facing (main door facing NE) and is an ‘earth’ house. She had told us not to use colours like red, blue, purple for our house but to use colours like beige, white, brown and light yellow. However, in the recent yearly review which we had asked her to do for the house, she told us we cannot use green. I had already bought green material for my curtain and sofa set since she had not mentioned not to use green the first time. Now she says green, which is a ‘wood’ colour will destroy the earth house. I still remember her saying that colours will only affect 10% of feng shui but when I asked her if it was okay if I went ahead to have green sofa set and curtain, she said definitely not. I am now very confused. I do not want to get rid of the green materials which I had spent quite a lot of money on, but on the other hand, I’m afraid it will be bad feng shui. There are other things which she has said which seems to be contradicting but since she is a friend, it is difficult for us to question her too much. Is it true that I cannot use the green color materials? Can you please let me know what are the good colors and what are the bad colors for the house? Is it true that I can put certain colors only for certain years?

In the basic study of Feng Shui, a building may be of a certain element, based on its general shape. For example, a building with a sharp pointy roof is a Fire form. Round-shaped or designed buildings are of Metal element. In Eight Mansions Feng Shui, the element of a house is based on the Sitting direction of the house. However, the element of your house really does not impact on your personal choices when it comes to interior decoration.

Your Feng Shui consultant friend seems to have based her interior design recommendations on New Age Feng Shui rather than Classical Feng Shui. The elemental quality of a building also does not dictate your interior design choices. It simply tells us what the building is better suited for, from a functionality point of view. Just because you have a Fire form house, does not mean you cannot have blue sofas or blue curtains on the over-simplified notion that ‘Water and Fire Clash’. If you like your green curtains and green sofa, keep them. The operative word here is ‘like’. Colours quite frankly have nothing very much to do with Feng Shui and their effect or impact is largely psychological.

Defining your Feng Shui by colours, based on elemental considerations, would seem highly illogical and impractical because this means you’ve got to repaint your house and change all your furniture every year since the elemental energies keep changing. Classical Feng Shui doesn’t require anything of this sort (and anyway, in the ancient days of the Tang Dynasty, most houses looked the same and had the same colours!). There are no good colours or bad colours, only colours you like, and colours you don’t like!


We bought a house recently. Is there any special date selection for moving in?

Date selection is important if we want to maximise the benefits and enjoy the long lasting effects of good Feng Shui, and for an important activity like house moving, selection of a suitable date is highly recommended.

The purpose of date selection is to do the right thing at the right time. Right time in this case means we should choose a specific date where energies of the day are in tandem with the Qi pattern that we are trying to activate, and a specific time when the positive energies in our surrounding are at the optimal, for the action or activity to be initiated.

The Tong Shu or Chinese Almanac, which has been a common house-hold item for most Chinese families for the last few hundred years, contains some generic suitable dates for moving into a new house. However, these are meant for general usage only.

Date Selection is a specialized field of study in itself, with numerous methodologies available for selecting suitable dates such as the Dong Gong Method, Xuan Kong Da Gua, Qi Men, Shen Sha and Tian Xing Method, to name a few. A really good date for any activity (be it moving house, or opening a new business) is a date personalised to the person or persons in question who are involved in the activity. This is done by matching the date to the BaZi (or Destiny Code) of the people involved.

I owned a black colour car but met 2 accidents in 8 months. I was born in the year of the Dragon, and now at the age of 31. I feel that black colour is not suitable for me and I have decided to change the paint colour this weekend. Please advise me which colour is more suitable to me.

This reminds me of a recent article my student in England sent to me about how you can Feng Shui your car and avoid accidents, thus reducing your insurance payments! Unlike a house, your car does not have a fixed Facing Direction or a location. You do not sleep or live in your car. Accordingly, your car has no Feng Shui effect on you. So, it’s not because of the ‘Feng Shui of the car’ that you have experienced accidents. Neither has the colour of your car (nor its number plate) nor the type of car anything to do with the number of accidents you have encountered. Paint your car whatever colour YOU LIKE. As for the issue of accidents, it’s more likely that there’s a problem in your BaZi or maybe your driving that is causing the problem, rather than your car!

I would like to know is it not good for a couple who is born in the same year to be together? My boyfriend and I were born in the Dragon year and we are always being told that we can’t be together! They said it’s “zhong” (clash). Is it true?

In the study of BaZi, there are six Earthly Branches that are in a Clash relationship with each other. The Dragon is in a Clash relationship with the Dog - so to first answer the question, there is no such thing as a Dragon-Dragon Clash.

The Clash relationships in the study of BaZi have led to some creative interpretations, extending to the conclusion that individuals should not date or marry, or engage in joint-ventures or partnerships with people whose year Branch clashes with their year Branch. For example, a person born in the year of the Pig should not partner or marry a person born in the year of the Snake. This is simply not quite correct!

Compatibility between individuals is not determined by the Year Branch alone – instead, it is done through the comparison of the entire BaZi (or Destiny Codes) of both individuals. Anyway, surely it’s illogical to have to break up a relationship with someone or exclude dating somebody or avoid doing business with someone just because they happen to be of an Animal sign that clashes with our own? We have to look at the complete BaZi charts of the individuals in order to have a more accurate conclusion.

Is it true that with your exact date and time of birth, black magic can be performed on you? If it’s true, isn’t it dangerous to give away such information?

BaZi consultants or Destiny Analysts are not in the business of hexing or performing black magic. This fear, unfortunately, stems from the old days when there were quite a number of Feng Shui masters doubling up as spiritual masters. Today, most Feng Shui and BaZi consultants are strictly masters of their own field, leaving out spiritual practices, including ghost busting activities, which, in the first place, are not part of classical Feng Shui or Chinese astrology.

The trend of Feng Shui and BaZi consultants today is already increasingly shifting back towards pure classical Feng Shui and Chinese astrology which strictly, is focused on the study of natural environment (i.e. capacity of earth energy) and destiny analysis (capacity of man). Besides, most Feng Shui and BaZi consultants today, by virtue of modern day expectations, are highly professional in their approach, and information such as birth details or house details are normally treated in a highly confidential manner. So there’s no ‘danger’ so to speak.

Of course, despite what have been discussed, you may be one of those who are still concerned and nervous about giving away such information. There is in fact a way to overcome this. Many of you may not be aware that each Chinese Hour is actually two Western Hours – as in Dragon Hour (7 am to 9 am) or Rooster Hour (5 pm to 7 pm). So if you want to have some piece of mind when engaging the services of a Feng Shui and BaZi consultant, just tell the consultant your time of birth according to the Chinese Hour!

My company intends to buy a new premises, but we have 5 directors. If I want to choose the facing direction based on an individual’s Gua number, which director’s Gua number should I follow?

This is a common question when it comes to Feng Shui for business premises. Using the personal Gua of individual directors to find a business premises is okay for a small company or a sole proprietorship but this doesn’t quite work for large corporations or companies where there are many directors and they are not all from the same personal Gua group - in other words, some directors may belong to the East Group and some to West Group. In Classical Feng Shui, the approach is not to use the directors’ personal Gua alone to find the right premises, but rather, to look to locate the office or purchase an office in an area with good environmental forms first so that the quality of Qi is good and supports that type of business. Next, a classical Feng Shui consultant will check the House Gua, which I have written about in the past. Once the House Gua is determined, the individual directors will be placed in the appropriate sectors of the building. Additional fine-tuning will then be done using the Personal Gua of the directors and Xuan Kong Flying Stars or Da Gua and also opening the Main Door in a good sector.

If the main entrance of the building of my apartment faces Southeast and my unit main door faces East - how do I get the House Gua? Based on Southeast or East?

When it comes to apartments, you will need to determine the Facing and Sitting direction of the whole apartment block, in order to accurately determine the property’s House Gua. It’s not enough to simply know the Facing Direction of the your own apartment unit’s Main Entrance as this may not always represent the facing direction of the whole apartment block.

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Copyright © 2008 by Joey Yap. All rights reserved worldwide.