The world of property investing is vast and the emphasis these days, when it comes to property investing, is to secure positive cash-flow property rather than the out-dated negative gearing system. Many savvy investors now realise the false economy of saving some tax dollars while holding a property that is in effect costing you more than it is giving you.
Negative gearing eats up your cash reserves so you end up only being able to invest in maybe 2-3 properties plus your PPR (Principle Place of Residence). Then you find yourself in the unenviable position of being asset rich but cash poor AND looked upon poorly by the banks in regard to future property investing (esp if the banks also cross securitized) UNLESS you have a truly fabulous income coming in as well. This scenario is typical of property investors over the past 20 years, and many now find themselves having to wait for property values to increase significantly in order to gain access to greater equity in order to re-invest.
Cash-flow positive properties (via dual key occupancies, room-by-room rental and manufactured growth through renovating, granny flats, strata, subdividing and so on), allow the investor to access enough rental income to cover the mortgage cost, management fee and other associated costs. So in effect, the investor is only out of pocket for the 20% deposit and other associated purchasing costs for the property (and even less if it’s a vendor finance scenario), and this allows them access to greater equity to then go on and invest in the next property.
Now is a great time to be investing in positive cash-flow property thanks to our ridiculously low interest rates here in Australia. Then, as the interest rates inevitably rise later on, so too will your monthly rental amounts, and over time, the value of the property will also rise, making it a great long term investment.
Nobody wants to buy a rogue property! This is the sort of property that appears fine on the outside, yet for some inexplicable reason, the tenants keep damaging the property and/or experiencing sudden chronic health issues and/or financial hardship which forces them to prematurely end the lease and move out. This is exactly what the savvy property investor wants to avoid. An empty property costs them money, and the longer it is empty, the more strain they will feel on their finances.
So, having a regular rental income flowing in from happy, healthy and financially secure tenants is very important for making a long term investment in positive cash-flow property work successfully for the property investor and this is where the application of classical xuan kong feng shui can help.
I can tell straight away if a particular property is more likely to be a major issue simply from the compass orientation of the building itself. Within the 360 degrees of the compass there are certain orientations that just scream “major issues likely due to blockage and confusion of qi”
Now if you’re wondering what ‘qi’ is, the closest definition to describe it (to someone totally unfamiliar with feng shui and metaphysics in general) is living/transformative energy. It is the energy that connects and has the potential to transform all living and organic things (whether it’s a person, a thought, an animal, mountain, river, mist, tree or rock) and it flows according to magnetic pathways within and above the earth as well as within meridian pathways inside your body. The quality and character of qi as it affects a particular building can be analysed via the surrounding landform, the construction/renovation history of the building and the precise compass orientation of the building itself.
The application of xuan kong fei xing/flying star feng shui in conjunction with analysing the effect of the surrounding landform allows me to assess potential issues that may be more likely to crop up. For example there are some energy combinations that indicate a much higher probability of theft in a particular location of a property. I recently did the feng shui for a home where this energy was very high in the client’s garage. She had only moved in a year earlier and I asked her, “so what was stolen out of your garage?” She was gobsmacked and asked how on earth did I know about that? I explained it was the combination of location, surrounding landform and the fei xing that indicated a triptych effect of probability.
What I have found over the years is that when the probability of the fei xing is heightened by the annual energy also affecting the location plus the surrounding landform supports this effect – BINGO the event usually occurs within 6 months UNLESS you are aware of the probability and take the necessary steps to reduce its effect.
When looking at the investment potential of a commercial property, the application of xuan kong feng shui allows me to ascertain the type of clientele who would be more attracted to and better supported by the qi generated at the main entry to the business. In some cases, the energy may only suit a business specifically dealing in the health industry (ie pharmacy, medical practitioners and specialists etc) while for everyone else, the energy may continually and significantly drain the finances of the business. This knowledge is particularly handy when targeting your market for advertising, constructing or renovating business premises.
Sometimes, the process of renovating a business can dramatically alter the effect of the qi and I can tell you before-hand, what this effect will be, how it will affect the main entry and how to make the most of it in regard to your targeted future rental clientele.
Now some of you may be familiar with generalised concepts such as a fixed bagua map or compass map that asserts the SE sector and/or far left corner of a building automatically corresponds to the ‘wealth’ sector and thus needs a water feature and/or a ‘money plant’ to activate the wealth qi. This is a form of new age feng shui that was invented in America in the late 1970’s and it unfortunately has very little to do with authentic xuan kong feng shui.
Over the past 15 years of my professional consulting business, I have lost count of the number of homes and business’ I have come across that have experienced significant financial and/or health loss due to the naïve application of this process – ie adding a large water feature to the SE sector and/or far left hand corner of their home or property. The truth is, if it was really so very easy, surely EVERYONE would be millionaires by now!
Anyway, another handy tool xuan kong feng shui can provide the savvy property investor is Date Selection. Now this in itself ranges in complexity from simple 12 Day Officer and Dong Gong processes to the more advanced 4 Pillars, Xuan Kong Da Gua and Qi Men Dun Jia applications. Yes, some dates are deemed much better than others for signing contracts, starting your construction and renovations, meeting with your bank manager and potential joint venture partners and so on.
Wouldn’t you like to have probability on your side when embarking on your property investment journey?
For those of you interested in cash-flow positive property investing, I recommend the teachings of the following individuals:Dymphna Boholt, Steve McNight, Ryan McLean, Robert Kiyosaki.
And finally, here are the 7 basic principles for building your wealth, as discussed in ''The Richest Man in Babylon'' (by George S. Clason):
What’s Behind the Bedhead
Ideally, your bed should be placed in the bedroom so that both sides are accessible and there is a solid wall behind the bedhead. If there is a window behind the bedhead and you are unable to shift the bed to an alternative location, then draw the blind or curtains while sleeping.
From a psychological perspective, if your bedroom is located on the ground floor and you have an open window behind your bedhead, it places you in an uneasy position at night (esp if there is a road/walkway outside your window) where strangers could theoretically peak into your bedroom while you are sleeping.
Check for Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) in the wall behind the bedhead if there is an electricity meter box or any other large electrical appliance on the other side of the wall adjoining your bedhead location.
Is the wall behind your bedhead adjoining a kitchen, laundry or bathroom? If so, check not only for EMR but also for water pipes in the wall cavity behind the bedhead. No matter how wonderful the mountain star qi may look on paper when you draw up a fei xing (flying stars) natal chart for your home and bedroom, if there is interference within the wall via EMR or water pipes, the mountain star qi is disturbed and not supportive for your health while sleeping.
I once had a client whose elderly father had recently moved into her home and he was experiencing increased headaches and difficulty sleeping. When I examined the location we discovered he was being affected by a significant amount of EMR from the transformer of a large aquarium positioned on the other side of the wall. The only solution in this case was to relocate the bed away from that wall.
The mountain star qi residing in the wall behind your bedhead is very important from a feng shui perspective. If your personal ming gua (also known as your kua) qi does not communicate well with the inherent mountain star qi in the wall, then you will not be nurtured and supported while sleeping. If the mountain star qi you absorb from the wall behind the bedhead while sleeping is a negative (sha) qi and it also attacks your personal ming gua, then increased illness and misfortune in relationships is much more likely to manifest.
Your ming gua is calculated via your solar year of birth and gender and indicates which directions best support you in your work and study environment and which mountain star qi best supports your health and relationships while sleeping. The mountain star qi in the wall behind your bedhead is determined via the surrounding landform, time period of construction and facing orientation of your home.
If you’re interested in learning more about your ming gua, mountain star qi and classical feng shui in general, I recommend you read: “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feng Shui – Third Edition”, by Elizabeth Moran, Master Joseph Yu and Master Val Biktashev.
If after addressing all of the above, you still find you are not able to sleep properly, there is a possibility your bed may be affected by geopathic stress from underground water streams etc. Often if this is the case, there will be indications in the surrounding landform via trees with cancerous growths, hedges and/or sections of flora that simply will not grow, unusual ant trails, cracks in the ground etc. If you bring a Luo Pan into the room and watch the needle carefully, you will see it waver above the stress lines. One thing you can try in this case (if you're not able to relocate the bed to another location) is to place cork tiles on the flooring under the bed to help reduce the effect felt when sleeping on the bed.
When asleep, your spiritual energy expands out from your head chakra and if confronted with the reflection from a mirror positioned on or near the bedhead you are more likely to experience disturbed sleep patterns and restlessness.
If you sleep in a room where exterior street lights or a night light shines in your bedroom while sleeping and the light is reflected and amplified in mirrors, the energy becomes yang/active in nature and can make it more difficult for you to maintain regular, deep sleep patterns. If this is the case, then relocate the mirror and/or close the curtain or blinds at night to make the room darker (more yin) while sleeping.
There is some conjecture that mirrors in the bedroom automatically equate to the risk of third party interference in the relationship. Personally I do not subscribe to this superstition. Strategically placed mirrors can open up a small room and give the illusion of additional space as well as reflecting aesthetically beautiful objects and interior design.
When lying in bed, look up and if you have a solid beam running across the bed on the ceiling above you, then the flow of qi above the bed is disrupted when it encounters the beam and this can affect relationship harmony over time. The solution is to move the bed or if this is not possible, then cover the beam with a false/dropped ceiling or fabric.
If the ceiling above the bedhead is lower than the rest of the ceiling, then place lamps that shine light up towards the ceiling on either side of the bed and paint the ceiling a light white or cream colour to give the illusion of space and height.
Mould can trigger a wide variety of health issues ranging from sinus and respiratory concerns to inflammation, neurological issues and in some cases, chronic life-threatening illness through exposure to mycotoxins. Prolonged moisture provides the perfect environment for mould to manifest, so it pays to check for condensation and leaks in the ceiling, under the floor, in the walls, near pipes and in wet areas such as your kitchen, laundry and bathroom.
DO NOT try to remove mould with bleach because it doesn’t actually kill it – it only colours it. For non-porous surfaces a combination of 80% white vinegar and 20% water in a spray bottle works best. For further information on where to look for mould and if you find it, how to deal with it, I recommend you read this great article by Nicole Bijlsma:
Advanced Feng Shui Formulae for the Bedroom
There are a variety of advanced feng shui formulae and applications to help attract romance, stimulate fertility and support health qi in the bedroom. The key to all these applications is in the action, location and timing. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of placing a wood and water combination within your personal Peach Blossom location and other times you may be required to position your bed against a particular section of wall and make the bed with fresh new bed linen during a very specific time frame on a specific day.
It’s important to remember that these types of advanced feng shui applications cover a third of your overall luck potential via your Earth Luck. Many of these formulae also take into consideration another third of your overall luck potential which is your Destiny Luck.
Your Destiny Luck (also known as Heaven Luck) refers to the time, place and circumstances of your birth which cannot be controlled. That being said, by examining your personal astrology through various means, you can determine your general life path, major energy influences that have a higher probability of affecting you at particular times, your likely strengths and potential weaknesses.
The final third of your overall luck potential is known as your Mankind Luck. It refers to your subconscious beliefs and expectations, your personal choices, skills, education, values and virtues.
If you apply advanced feng shui formulae to increase the probability of attracting new love into your life, yet your subconscious belief and expectations around relationships is that all relationships are doomed, then you have in effect wiped out a third of your overall luck potential in this area.
If you are seeking significant change in your life and have struggled to successfully implement this change, then I recommend you read the following book: “The Winner’s Bible: Rewire your Brain for Permanent Change” by Dr Kerry Spackman.
Lately I’ve noticed there are a lot of feng shui articles on the internet that place emphasis on the interior design, colour scheme and furniture layout of a dwelling, with little or no mention of the effect of the surrounding landform. In actual fact, at least 80% of the feng shui is governed by the influence of surrounding landform, so my advice is to always look at the surrounding landform first before you even start assessing the interior of a building.
When I say ‘surrounding landform’ I’m referring to the natural and man-made forms surrounding the building, whether it’s a lake, river, mountain, pool, freeway, roundabout, cul-der-sac, deep stormwater drain, a neighbouring building, power poles, driveway, trees, electricity pylon and so on.
The whole point of the exercise with feng shui is assessing the pathway and quality of Qi as it enters a property and affects the dwelling and occupants. The easiest definition of Qi is ‘living/transformative energy’ although this definition doesn’t really do justice to the highly complex wonder known as Qi. In reality it is the driving force for change (both the potential for change and the result of change) linking matter and spirit (form and the formless) in connection with the ever changing force of yin and yang.
There are 4 main categories of Qi: Universal, Heaven, Earth and Human, with many off-shoots and definitions deriving from these main 4 labels. Qi is also made of up 2 main parts, the Hun (Yang Qi) and Po (Yin Qi) and these form the cycle of perpetual transformation. The process of this ever changing cycle is Spirit and the outcome of this ever changing cycle is Action.
So how does this relate to your house? Well think of it like this. The Po or Yin Qi affecting your home comes initially from the energy in the earth and the surrounding natural and man-made objects. Yang Qi comes to the facing side of the house (the Hun) via Water Star energy and how this affects your home (especially the finances of the occupants) depends on the character of the Water Star Qi, whether or not the facing side of the property allows you to collect and accumulate the Qi and how the occupants personally interact with this energy.
In some cases, the best Water Star energy to stimulate abundance opportunity for the occupants may enter your property from the side or rear of the block of land, so this is where you seek to capture and accumulate the Qi with a body of water strategically placed in the surrounding landform.
The whole concept of Yin and Yang can get pretty in depth and is relevant to whatever you are assessing and comparing. You can have a Yin mountain and a Yang river, but you can also have a Yin mountain and a Yang mountain or a Yin river and a Yang river. It all depends on what you are examining and comes back to the perpetual interaction and transformation of Yin and Yang.
Some people get too caught up in strict rules and definitions of Yin and Yang and thus miss the underlying beauty of perpetual cycles of transformative change. Yin Qi initiates the motion and calls out to the Yang Qi and the Yang Qi in turn responds with action.
Some feng shui professionals examine the Fei Xing/Flying Star Natal Chart of probability factors drawn over the floor plan of a home and automatically assume the energy on the chart is actually there in reality. In actual fact, the potential for the energy may be there however the reality may be that the energy trying to enter the property from that side is perpetually blocked or dispersed due to factors in the surrounding landform.
Sha Qi is when Yin and Yang Qi are in discord and thus create a state of disharmony. I had a fairly recent experience of Sha Qi generated via man-made landform and affecting the Water Star 9 Qi travelling towards the East facing orientation of an apartment on level 8 of the building. The facing side of the apartment contained 2 windows and a sliding door leading to a balcony attached to the living room.
There were 6 cranes located directly outside the balcony and at 7am each morning, 6 days a week, the main crane would start swinging and rotating randomly and very effectively dispersing the Qi of the Water Star 9. There’s a famous feng shui saying in regard to the Sha Qi effect of an object in the surrounding landform depending on its distance from the building being “within the distance of 1,000 horses”. So while not every sharp object in your surrounding landform is necessary cause for concern, the effect of the crane was actually very quick.
I subsequently discovered the previous tenants of the apartment had happily lived there until the building works began and the crane was put into position, and within a short span of time the patriarch of the home suddenly developed health issues connected to the onset of vertigo which affected his ability to work or live in a high rise building and forced him to prematurely vacate the apartment.
We experienced a similar issue when we moved in (and no I had not had the luxury of viewing the apartment and its surrounding landform apart from google earth view, before signing the lease sight unseen – long story, plus the managers of the building had conveniently forgotten to mention the building works occurring directly outside the apartment). This is why when I do off-site consults for interstate and overseas clients, I make sure they take a plethora of photos of the surrounding landform from all angles around the building and I also ask them to write down what they see when looking out from the building towards the boundary lines of their property and beyond on all sides.
The upside is the fact that even though we were living away from our main home in QLD, I had tilted the main door of our QLD home to perpetually communicate with my husband's Tai Sui Hexagram (via Xuan Kong Da Gua application) and thus still offer him the benefit of the favourable feng shui there. So while one opportunity was dispersed very suddenly upon moving into the apartment opposite the crane, new opportunities simultaneously drew us back to our point of origin and supported us in the transition.
Interestingly this all occurred during a highly charged period within the Venus Retrograde when the rose coloured glasses definitely came off and we were able to see the reality of the situation and the inherent corruption brewing beneath the surface. Thank goodness for Xuan Kong Da Gua!
So, that was my experience with the crane. The effect can be even more devastating when a natural landform feature is somehow corrupted or put into Sha motion.
For example, I had a client who had enjoyed a high level of spiritual connectedness and nurturing health Qi drawn from a very well located benevolent mountain supporting the Mountain Star 8 energy in and around her home. Her health recently deteriorated and when I spoke to her over the phone trying to work out if there was a feng shui connection, I asked her to look out towards the mountain and tell me what she sees. She described the way in which a new large estate development had taken over the side of the mountain facing towards her property and it was being significantly cleared, sliced and diced and was now very upsetting for her to look at. Coincidence? What do you think?
These days, the term feng shui usually evokes vague images of oriental new-age looking trinkets, a simplified map of life aspiration corners and lots of positive energy wrapped in lucky red envelopes. The new age approach to feng shui is a feel-good way to inspire positive thoughts and intentions, thus appealing to an individual’s ‘Mankind Luck’ (ie the luck you make for yourself via personal choice and attitude).
New Age feng shui encompasses the use of a Bagwa Map which has set life aspiration corners depending on where the doorway into a house or room is located, or a simplified octagonal map showing the 8 compass directions which are then linked to various set life aspiration areas. New age feng shui (which originated around the 1970’s and 1980’s) has basically borrowed some generalised Trigram associations from the ancient practice of feng shui (originally known as Kan Yu) and has then invented and superimposed additional life aspiration names and associated symbols to various corners or compass sectors of your home via a map which is then used to target key areas in one’s life (eg wealth corner, love corner, health corner etc).
This psychological and symbolic approach is simple, fun and helps focus the individual’s intentions on specific aspirations and goals in life. It also has very little to do with the ancient practice of authentic classical feng shui, which encompasses 2 main compass-based methodologies known as San He (the study of mountains, natural water courses and landform) and San Yuan (the study of space according to cycles of time and magnetic orientation). Both the San He and San Yuan methods of feng shui incorporate the use of a Luo Pan Compass which measures the effects of qi (unseen vibrant/living energy) in and around a building in relation to the surrounding landform.
Feng Shui literally translates as ‘wind / water’ and relates directly to the concept that qi rides the wind (ie travels via unseen magnetic pathways) and can be dispersed by the wind, and retained by water. So, the feng shui ideal has always been to attract positive (sheng) qi via magnetic orientation, supportive landform and the careful placement of water and yang activity.
When examining a modern-day approach to the ancient practice of feng shui, I believe a ‘current-age’ methodology would be to combine the ancient study of Xuan Kong Fei Xing Pai (time space flying stars school) feng shui and San He Landform & Water Methods analysis with a greater understanding and appreciation for sustainable development. The whole underlying principle behind feng shui is, after all, to live in harmony with one’s surroundings.
When planning a house site, one should approach the project with respect and acknowledgment of the land’s natural contours, climate, habitat and resources. Prerequisites for a home should include that it lets in enough natural light, that it is well insulated, well ventilated, energy efficient, secure and supportive of the occupants and designed for the climate and terrain in which it is built. Ultimately, your home should feel like a sanctuary – somewhere to rest and recharge your internal energy reserves.
“Humans require natural views of plants and animals for mental and emotional health. Studies also suggest we need nature around us as a restorative and to stimulate our higher creative functions.” (p115, “Architect’s Guide to Feng Shui’ by Cate Bramble, 2003, Architectural Press).
Xuan Kong Fei Xing (Flying Stars) feng shui addresses the unseen energy fields around us and helps orientate the occupants within a dwelling so they are sleeping in a positively energised location with favourable mountain energy in the wall behind their bedhead (which is also supported via raised landform in the external environment), thus benefiting the health and relationship harmony of the household, while also attracting positive water energy to exterior doorways, windows and active living areas in conjunction with water features placed in precise magnetic locations which benefit the occupant’s abundance potential.
Electromagnetic radiation is a current phenomenon which should also be addressed in each household. I once came across a client whose bedhead was so close to a large transformer and electricity meter box servicing the block of units in which she lived, that she could actually hear the electricity humming in the wall behind her while sleeping in bed at night. It was literally placed just on the other side of the wall, directly in line with her head while sleeping. Many people don’t realise EMR (electromagnetic radiation) can easily travel through a brick wall unless there is some sort of magnetic shielding in place. This client had a metal frame bed, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to hypothesize her continued headaches and inability to sleep might just have a connection to the high level of EMR around her bedhead. She innocently asked me if hanging a crystal above the bed would help. Apparently she’d read this bit of advice in a new age book. I recommended she completely move the bed to another room or at least to the opposite side of the room.
Dr Bill Wolverton is a retired NASA scientist who discovered certain indoor plants can be used to help clear the air of toxins such as trichloroethylene, xylene, formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia – all chemicals found in common household cleaning agents and/or emitted from photocopiers and various other appliances frequently used in offices. Of course, the first objective is to live and/or work in an environment where you can actually open the windows and allow fresh air to circulate throughout the space via cross ventilation on a regular basis. A house with closed windows and doors due to continual air conditioning can lead to health problems due to lack of fresh air (esp if the air conditioning unit is not properly maintained with the filters being cleaned regularly).
It is more difficult to energise positive water star energy from a feng shui perspective if all the doors and windows are regularly kept closed, because water star energy literally needs an open exterior door or window to initially flow into your home on a regular basis. It can gradually enter your home via travelling through glass, brick and mortar etc, however the energy is greatly depleted via this route and by the time it then enters your home, it is not nearly as potent and useable as it could otherwise be.
So, back to the 'new age' versus 'current age' concept. Rather than simply placing a 3 legged toad near your doorway or in the far left hand corner of the room or the Southeast sector to represent money luck, (as per new age symbolic feng shui guidelines), you'll achieve far better results by placing an exterior doorway or window that is frequently opened and located in a water star 8 or 9 location according to the xuan kong feng shui natal chart of your home. This location also responds particularly well to a body of active water, thus retaining the positive qi. You could even tie in your mankind luck with the actual feng shui of the building by placing your positive aspiration object (ie the 3 legged toad or whatever else represents abundance to you) in this location.
And as for the concept of 'decluttering' which appears in many new age feng shui books, my approach is to be practical, and to stop obsessing about continual tidiness. Obviously, it is better to avoid having a house full of decomposing mess that can contribute to allergies, mould and mildew, and from a psychological point of view, a chronically cluttered and disorganised interior will often signal occupants who are not coping well with life in general. My home is not always tidy - with 3 kids that's impossible! But it is welcoming, warm and comfortable. From a decluttering perspective, it is advisable to make sure favourable water star energy is not blocked from entering the building via external or internal clutter or closed rooms that are unused, yet contain the most beneficial and as yet wasted energy.
I regularly encourage clients to create a positive internal pathway of energy within their home or office by first walking to the water star 8 abundance location of the building, opening an exterior doorway or window or placing a fountain or moving object in that favourable sector and absorbing the positive qi, before then walking throughout the home or office, thus carrying and distributing the positive energy throughout the building. The more you do this, the more you can positively energise your living or work environment.
(Feng Shui Article by Derelle Ball www.fengshui1689.com providing Feng Shui Consultations for Brisbane, Cleveland, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast QLD
Let Derelle enhance the nurturing potential of your home with an On-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.
"The nameless is the beginning of Heaven and Earth. The named is the mother of all things." (Tao Te Ching - Lao Zi, Chapter 1)
The term ''Ba Gua'' means ''8 Symbols'' and refers to 8 Trigrams which are made up of sequences of three lines (solid and/or broken) placed in a vertical row, one on top of the other. When the Trigrams are combined (ie doubled), they become 8 x 8 different combinations known as Hexagrams, which are explored in detail within the 'I-Ching' (also known as the 'Yijing' or 'Book of Changes'), which originated around 2205B.C.E. The meanings associated with the 64 Hexagram combinations provide a blue print for exploring and understanding the various underlying patterns and cycles in nature and the unseen energy forces around us.
"The broken and unbroken lines correspond to the dots and dashes of the binary code exactly .... Scientists have also discovered that the 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching correspond to the 64 DNA genetic code that are the basis of all life on the planet. It is thus possible that in the I Ching lie the hidden meanings to life's existence." (Flying Star Feng Shui for the Master Practitioner, 2002 by Lillian Too, p10)
Trigrams are the foundation of yin and yang philosophy with the Qian Trigram (made up of 3 solid lines) representing Heaven/Yang qi and the Kun Trigram (made up of 3 broken lines) representing Earth/Yin qi. There are 2 sequences of the 8 Trigrams used in xuan kong feng shui - the Xian Tian Ba Gua and the Hou Tian Ba Gua, which are used to observe the cyclic interaction of yin and yang qi and determine how the movement of qi affects people.
"When the world began, there was Heaven and Earth. Heaven mated with the Earth and gave birth to everything in the world" (King Wen, Zhou Dynasty, 1122-256 BC).
For many people in the western world the term ''Bagua'' is known for having 8 specific Life Aspiration labels that correspond to various directions and elements, (which is loosely based on the Hou Tian sequence of Trigrams). This concept was invented in America around the late 1970's and has been simplified even further to a ''Fixed Bagua Map'' which no longer includes any actual directional aspect, other than being orientated from an external doorway leading into a building and/or the doorway leading into internal rooms.
Many clutter busters, space clearers and interior designers incorporate this simplified 8 Aspiration Fixed Bagua concept into their work and automatically label it Feng Shui. So, it is then assumed for example, the North sector and/or the front centre section of any home, business or internal room automatically corresponds to the "Career" location. This method then automatically allocates the water element to this area and dictates you can improve your ''Career Luck'' by decorating with a water feature and also by nurturing the water element with metal element colours and forms in conjunction with placing a plethora of symbolic objects in this location to support "Career Luck" for all the occupants living or working in the building.
And here is the problem - you see this is not authentic Classical Feng Shui, but rather a fun, quick fix, easy to apply, one size fits all approach that corresponds very much to an individual's Mankind Luck (ie the individual's personal aspirations). The westernized new age quick fix simplified Bagua approach does not address the inherent qi (living/transformative energy) of the surrounding land form, (which corresponds to your ''Earth Luck'' and has the greatest impact on the actual Feng Shui affecting any building) or the time period of construction and compass orientation of the building itself, which reveals the internal flow of qi affecting the occupants.
Note: the concept of Qi itself is a very complicated and fascinating topic and while in this article I refer to Qi as 'living/transformative energy' this is the most simple identifier of Qi in the english language although in reality it falls far short of the myriad of complex meaning behind the multi-layered concept of Qi. This link provides a more detailed description of Qi by Howard Choy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DlYfBAO8Tw&t=1s).
While applying the new age 8 Aspiration Bagua Methods to their home or business, most people feel empowered that they are affecting positive change in their life. This is great as long as they realise they are focusing positive energy on their individual Mankind Luck when doing so (ie their internal qi which corresponds to their personal aspirations, goals, intentions, education, values and desires in life), however they are NOT addressing the actual Feng Shui because this method does not examine the actual flow of energy and unseen forces actually affecting the building.
Classical Feng Shui examines the macro and micro Earth qi (ie external environment as well as inside a building) in order to determine who is being affected by what type of energy, where it is occurring, what the most likely result will be and how to balance, retain, protect and harmonise this energy flow inside and outside so the building is fundamentally nurturing its occupants.
Xuan Kong Da Gua is a specialised branch of Feng Shui that allows the practitioner to further fine tune nurturing potential and synchronicity of the qi affecting a home and/or business in conjunction with specific periods in time and the inter-relation this has on the Hexagrams of the individual's day and year Gua according to their date of birth. This method is great for fine tuning the strategic placement and activation of water features, internal office furniture orientations, activating for fertility and so on.
Many Classical Feng Shui practitioners examine the 4 Pillars astrology of their clients and address the inherent strengths and weaknesses, character traits, clashes and combinations of qi and periods of time deemed most favourable to them personally. This astrological practice examines the individual's Heaven Luck which cannot be changed, however it can be navigated with advice given in regard to which area of their life is currently affected in a potentially positive or negative way and recommendations on how to better deal with and approach the peaks and troughs in their life accordingly.
Space clearing is a wonderful practice for addressing built-up energy or energy voids lingering inside and around a building via the residual interaction of people via arguments, sickness, unhealthy pastimes, depression, predecessor/ghostly phenomena in conjunction with an assessment of underlying qi affecting the building via the surrounding landform.
Now, for those who want to practice the simplified new age 8 Aspiration Bagua Methods to their home or business, I strongly recommend you avoid painting walls red (eg DO NOT assume the SW sector and/or far right corner of the building or internal room automatically benefits your love and relationships by adding large amounts of fire element colour) and avoid using large water features (eg DO NOT assume you are automatically enhancing your abundance luck by placing a large fountain in the SE sector and/or far left corner of the building or internal room). For some homes, this may be fine, however for others it could be rather disastrous.
The reason I give you these 2 specific pieces of advice is because in the 18 plus years I have been practicing Classical Feng Shui professionally and full time, I have repeatedly come across heart breaking examples where people did add a red wall or a large water feature to their home/property according to the simplified 8 Aspiration Bagua methods which soon resulted in devastating consequences.
For example, the case where a lady painted the walls of her SW sector bedroom red in the hope of stimulating enhanced love energy with her partner. Soon after the colour change her partner hung himself in their bedroom.
I was asked to visit this home around a year after the tragic incident had occurred, and I had no idea about the history of the occupants when I arrived. According to a Classical San He and Fei Xing/Flying Star Feng Shui assessment of the home and surrounding landform, there was sha (negative) external mountain qi affecting the SW sector, the internal energy in the SW sector was inherently negative and needed a LOT of protective metal element and the room required regular access to the ruling 8 energy (which was currently blocked). I told the client the red walls in the SW sector of her home were potentially quite dangerous and should be replaced as soon as possible with metal element colour and forms, recommended a different bed orientation to draw in more supportive qi for her Ming Gua and advised screening of the negative landform outside the bedroom window. At this point of the consultation the client burst into tears and explained what had happened shortly after painting her SW sector bedroom walls red in the hope of attracting more love qi according to the 8 Aspiration Bagua compass method. She tragically lost her partner, fell into severe depression and had been suffering ongoing abdominal issues.
Of course, this could all merely be coincidence and I did not examine the 4 Pillars astrology of her former partner's birth chart, however the negative energy created by the surrounding landform and addition of fire element to the SW sector of this specific home is exactly what the Classical Feng Shui analysis indicated.
A second example is the case of an affluent client who lived in a West facing home with the main entry located in the Northwest sector. According to the Fei Xing/Flying Star Feng Shui natal chart of the building, the main entry was very positive for the client and her family because it generated the ruling 8 qi in the water star, so I advised adding a beautiful water feature to the Ming Tang in this location and positioned it according to 9 Star Water Method which supported a Ju Men water dragon for enhanced income luck. This worked VERY well for them.
Then in early 2006 I heard back from the client asking if I could advise about putting a pool in the West sector of their property. I strongly advised against putting a pool in the West sector of their property because it would unbalance the inherent qi and increase the probability of significant money loss due to legal problems, theft and deception. I emphasized the fact that the annual 5 Yellow energy was currently affecting the West sector of their property and if they chose to ignore my advice, the inherent negative flying star combination, negative surrounding landform feature in this sector of the property, plus the trigger of excavating and adding a large body of water to the West sector that year would greatly increase the probability of severe financial loss and legal problems affecting the occupants.
Of course, the West sector at the front of their home theoretically corresponded to the ''Career'' location according to the Fixed 8 Aspiration Bagua method and the West sector is known as the ''Children and Creativity" location which corresponds to Metal and is in harmony with Water according to the Compass version of the new age 8 Aspirations Bagua method.
I next heard from the client around 7 months later. She was in tears and re-read my recommendations back to me over the phone in ironic hind-sight and confessed they had decided to ignore my advice and had dug up the West sector and installed the pool. Since then, her husband's work place had unexpectedly gone bankrupt and he was left holding the blame as one of the financial advisors, while the CEO had fled the country. Their bank accounts were frozen and they were faced with a lengthy court case and terrible emotional and financial stress.
I have many other examples of negative repercussions occurring to the client's health and/or finance qi when adding a large body of water or painting a large area red in their home according to the new age 8 Aspirations Bagua methods, so like I said earlier, it's fine to use this method with positive symbols and linking them to your intentions as per your Mankind Luck, just don't confuse the issue and assume you are also addressing the actual Feng Shui of your home or business in the process.
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