"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. 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.
Let Derelle enhance the nurturing potential of your home with an On-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.
Those of you who were fortunate enough to attend the recent AFSC Conference in Melbourne were treated to some exceptional discussions examining the essence of feng shui and the origin of qi. A key point brought to light during these metaphysical discussions is the way in which our modern day ‘quick fix’ approach in the pursuit of wealth can so easily overshadow the fundamental observation of qi in the surrounding landform and its inherent link to fertility/nourishment or lack thereof.
Hindsight is such a wonderful tool and in this case, I can now see the interesting dichotomy between the commercial side of the Conference title: ‘Feng Shui Water & Wealth’ compared to an alternative title which certainly sprung to mind during the Conference: ‘Feng Shui: Fertility and the Nourishment of Spirit’.
Our key note speaker for the Conference, Dr Michael Paton, highlighted the importance of getting back to the roots of feng shui via careful observation of qi in the surrounding landform. I recently read Dr Paton’s fascinating article “Feng Shui: A Continuation of ‘Art of Swindlers’?” and I laughed out loud when he mentioned Karen Kingston’s assertion about using “colonic irrigation as an extension of feng shui theory”. Oh dear – this sounds rather intrusive!
Karen Kingston is a fabulous teacher and advocate of space clearing which is a highly useful methodology that can be used alongside feng shui practice – I use it myself, however I can see where Dr Paton is coming from. There are too many so called experts out there who gain a little knowledge about feng shui without any real in depth study and then market the process as a commodity that is simplified for ease of consumer use and wrapped in vague mystical connotations without necessarily having any real substance from a classical xuan kong feng shui perspective.
As Dr Paton points out in his article through the following quote from the Xing Qian (Star Seal), this issue of confusion and potential loss and/or misunderstanding of original feng shui concepts has always been an issue facing modern day feng shui practice – it was just as relevant a thousand years ago as it is now. It appears no matter when or where – mankind has a propensity to gravitate towards a ‘cut-to-the-chase’ approach when it comes to increasing wealth and/or a position of higher office.
“The method is on the lip and in the breast.
Yet the spirit is not passed on by the eye.
And the fundamental mystery is not passed on by the heart”.
I agree with Dr Paton, this is indeed a challenge faced by all Associations and collective groups of feng shui students and practitioners – esp in our current consumer hungry and materialistic society.
Our challenge as an Association is therefore twofold. On one hand, we need to promote and research the ‘origins of feng shui practice’ and help steer new students towards authentic teachers and learning institutions (keeping in mind, one teacher cannot be the master of all knowledge – it is better to learn from more than one source and use your own observation and research to ascertain which methodologies prove sound in practice).
I would like to think we were on the right track when we invited Dr Paton to speak at our Conference, alongside the canonical literature genius of Tyler Rowe and theoretical expertise of Master Gayle Atherton, Master Jodi Brunner and Master George Bennis, interspersed with the metaphysical and astrological insight of Vic Ketis alongside a selection of practical case studies.
For me personally, Master Joseph Yu is my ‘Enlightening Teacher’ (Qi Meng Lao Shi 啓蒙老師). He is not the only Master I have studied with, however he is certainly the most profound and I love the way in which he provides succinct interpretation of the classics and then demonstrates practical application in the modern world. He encourages the student to think for themself, observe, research, debate and share experiences with other practitioners so that we may learn together, rather than blindly accepting everything he says as feng shui law.
The second challenge our Association of feng shui currently faces, is the fact that members of the Association seek not only to increase their knowledge and expertise, but also to make an actual living from this practice, whether on a full time or part time basis. This is why the first day of the Conference addressed the commercial side of putting together a feng shui business and explored ways in which to market your services and realise the value in what you provide. The need for a more structured cost per service system was highlighted and this will be an ongoing discussion in order to help provide a more uniform fee structure depending on the level of expertise of the practitioner and the service they provide.
Coming back to Dr Paton’s article, he makes a good point that:
“In the West there is a perception that much of the “magic” of life and the power of the individual has been lost to the powerful corporate conglomerates, which tend to hold the reins of scientific knowledge through dry statistical analysis. Thus, there has been a gradual increase in distrust of modern knowledge systems, whether they are economics or medicine, and a search for more meaningful humanistic knowledge systems that meld both the intellectual and the emotional.”
This leads us back to the alternative title I came up with (in hind sight) for our recent Conference: ‘Feng Shui: Fertility and the Nourishment of Spirit’. Now, from a feng shui perspective, I should probably point out the concept of 'fertility' ties in with the transformative interaction of yin and yang qi in its most nurtured form, which stimulates a state of harmonious synchronicity with one's surroundings. I believe this is the crux of what people are really searching for these days and we are certainly in a great position to help lead the way with authentic feng shui practice and application. The tricky part is finding that all too pervasive balance between commercialisation and generosity of spirit, consumer appeal and metaphysical insight/application based on key observation of the surrounding landform, the abode in which an individual works and lives and observation of the individual’s inherent strengths and weaknesses as practiced via traditional xuan kong feng shui and san cai (the trinity of luck).
Anyway, if you are currently thinking about learning feng shui, a great starting point is to join the Association of Feng Shui Consultants International Inc (AFSC) which can be found at www.afsc.org.au and begin your journey surrounded by like-minded individuals seeking to enrich their metaphysical learnings with authentic teachings and via the shared experience of the collective :-)
Let Derelle enhance the nurturing potential of your home with an On-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.
Derelle being presented with the Best Commercial Case Study Award from Valerie Mack, National Council Member of the Design Institute of Australia
Hi there, for those of you who are interested in Space Clearing, I thought I'd share a recent Q&A session I had with journalist Melinda Ayre from Good Health Magazine:
1. Tell me briefly about the sort of space clearing services your business offers?
I provide general Space Clearing services and specialised Qi Activation Ceremonies which can help shift and remove stagnant or sha qi (negative energy) that may be affecting a home or business after illness, when shifting into new premises previously occupied by someone else, when seeking to energise the strongest yang qi in a home or business to literally ‘wake up and re-energise’ the space, when seeking to calm quarrelsome energy and simply when the occupants feel stuck and weighed down by the atmosphere around them.
2. How did you start space clearing and when did you discover your 'gift'?
As a Xuan Kong feng shui consultant, I’ll often come across a particular room in a house or section of a business that has suffered imbalance of elements and/or negative earth qi that is having a negative impact on the general health and well-being of the occupants. I can tell from observing the surrounding landform and the natal flying star feng shui chart of the building which areas are most affected and which elements are best utilised to effectively clear the sha qi and positively energize the space, so it was a natural progression to utilize space clearing techniques in conjunction with feng shui to help the occupants tap into a positively energised state of synchronicity and harmony within their work or living environment.
3. In your own words, can you explain what you do and what you feel when you enter a space?
First I check the surrounding landform and assess the origin and quality of qi (transformative energy) and whether there are any poison arrow features etc affecting the dwelling, as well as the natal chart of the space via flying star feng shui which requires the construction date and precise magnetic orientation of the building using a Luo Pan compass in order to ascertain the unique number chart of probability factors affecting each compass sector within that space. This (in conjunction with certain Trigram and He Tu combinations and element associations) then tells me which areas are likely to require the most attention and which elements to best use in order to gain the most effective result.
Often you will feel when a room is full of stagnant or sha qi – the overall atmosphere is heavier and there is a feeling of being pressed down and you naturally start to breathe out like a big ‘sigh’ as the depressed or blocked energy in the room envelopes you. I also tend to get a slight rash from my wrist to the elbow in rooms requiring rebalancing of the elements and space clearing. Clients are always amazed at how they feel after a space clearing – rather than feeling ‘heavy and pressured’ they now feel a bit light headed and many start to giggle. It’s really cute to see.
4. Are there any big differences between Space Clearing a home and clearing a business?
Occasionally when space clearing a home, I’ll pick up on the resonance of a particular argument or a very strong emotion that has been previously experienced in a room. I’ve had two experiences with ghost-like presences – one was a ghost cat that rubbed against my leg and had me quite surprised when the owner said I’d just felt the presence of the resident ghost cat, and the other experience revolved around the presence of an elderly woman who had previously passed away in the home and although she was no longer actually there, her personality had been so strong, there was still a very distinct feeling of her presence in a room where the occupants felt they were being judged and scolded for not behaving appropriately.
Interestingly, the flying star feng shui natal chart of that particular room contained a combination which indicated potential conflict between females of different generations, with older females being more susceptible to the influence. I used a combination of metal and a splash of fire element to balance the elements in the space, plus gave the home a thorough space clearing that was held on a specific Sun Ceremony date to ensure the spiritual entities of the home (also known as the 4 guardians) were appeased and respectfully acknowledged in order to gain their protective and nurturing influence for the occupants of the home.
When space clearing a business, I make sure the abundance locations containing the prime water star energies are decluttered and advise the clients if they would benefit by having water in that location to help retain the beneficial qi for the business. Ideally, it’s much easier to space clear a work space when it is empty – esp if you are using sage smudge sticks, because it can have the effect of making the occupants feel a little giddy and giggly and less work-oriented for a short while afterwards. But then again, I’ve had other business clients who have suddenly found their second wind after the space clearing and they are suddenly on the phone to clients and planning new events and meetings while feeling super energized!
5. Can you tell me your top Space Clearing rituals?
The space clearing process itself begins before I even leave home. It’s important that the person conducting the space clearing is currently healthy, free from emotional or mental blockages or obsessive worries and focused in a very positive way toward protecting and nurturing the clients in their home or workspace.
When space clearing, apart from using sage, incense, essential oils, Himalayan Rock Salt, palo santo wood etc, I also like to use a wooden clearing gong and striker which originally came from a temple in South Korea. It’s great for shifting really stagnant, sticky qi that sometimes accumulates in the corners of a room. I also use singing bowls, clearing bells and tuning forks that emit Solfeggio frequencies. One of my favourite forks is tuned to 528Hz which resonates at a deeply transformative level. It’s very subtle and gently regenerative. If the energy in a room is particularly blocked, I’ll sometimes incorporate a 417Hz frequency which is great for helping the occupants facilitate change and shift out of a stagnant situation.
Finding the right location to first ground the space clearing via a 'sacred space' within the building is essential to the process and this is where it really helps to look at the dwelling through feng shui eyes in order to establish where the qi originates in the surrounding land form, whether there are any blockages of qi flow and how it then enters the building and resonates within. The sacred space is where you first purify and combine the elements and your intentions for harmonious synchronicity for the occupants.
It’s very important to thoroughly wash and exfoliate after a space clearing. When I first started clearing homes back in the late 1990’s I once made the mistake of coming home after a particularly long space clearing and was so tired I fell asleep without first showering. Big mistake! The next morning I woke feeling terrible, with a headache and tummy ache. Sha qi is very sticky and often you will have a fine residue of the qi collected on your clothing or dusting your skin after a big clearing.
As long as you wash and exfoliate before sleeping that night, it’s usually fine, however if you allow the qi to settle into your skin, your body can easily absorb some, hence the hung-over feeling the following day. Ironically, the client phoned me the next day to tell me how wonderful the space felt and how revitalised the staff were. I’m now very pedantic about the washing and exfoliating after a clearing, to the point where if clients wish to join in with the space clearing, I repeatedly instruct them to go home and have a shower and body scrub once the clearing is over.
6. What could a reader expect from a consultation when you come to visit? Can you take us through step by step?
A lot depends on the space to be cleared, the reason the clients wish to have the space clearing and what the flying star natal chart reveals about the element balance in the building. I explain the process to the client as I go and they are welcome to join in. If the space clearing occurs in conjunction with or after I have worked on the feng shui of the building, I can ascertain which elements work best for the client personally from a 4 Pillars astrology perspective, (which is included in my feng shui reports) and then provide them with the appropriate space clearing tool to use. Clients tend to covet my collection of space clearing tools.
8. Could you give our readers a simple ritual that they could try today?
Pick a sunny morning and open up as many doors and windows as practically possible to allow a cross flow of fresh air into your home.
Dust and wipe down hard surfaces with a few drops of lavender essential oil on a damp microfiber cloth (or use some disposable Pledge Grab-It Electrostatic Dusting Cloths).
Burn a pleasant blend of essential oils (eg orange, bergamot and lavender) and open up all the internal doors so the aromatherapy is able to fill the entire space. Some people prefer to burn sandalwood incense or special space clearing charcoal, however be mindful that asthmatics may react adversely to some of the stronger substances, so when in doubt, go with essential oils.
Clear your mind and visualise a bright, beautiful golden white light beaming down on your head from above, passing through your body and then into the ground below you, connecting the Heaven, Man & Earth qi. With each breath in, focus on the cleansing beauty of the light and with each outward breath, imagine the light flowing through your body and into the earth at your feet, and forming a protective bubble of pure qi around you.
Start either in the kitchen or the main door and work your way clock-wise around the interior of the space, ringing a pleasant sounding bell, singing bowl or gong. Pick something that is pleasant to your ears – preferably with no tinniness to the sound. Metal element qi (which is terrific for space clearing) likes to begin in a specific point and then travel out in a beautiful arc of continuous pure sound (I visualise it as a protective rainbow of sound), so the longer the sound is held each time you ring the bell, gong or strike the singing bowl, the better!
Listen carefully as you emit the sound – when you encounter sha qi, the vibration tends to waver or dip slightly. The more time you spend in that area, the clearer the sound will become. If you know a chant – feel free to use it. Chanting can really help focus your mind on maintaining purity of intent while you cleanse the space. The most simple yet highly effective chant is Om Mani Pad Me Hum. It’s very easy to remember, or if you find it too difficult, simply repeat “Om” and try to feel it in your diaphragm rather than the back of your throat as you chant.
For really difficult rooms, place a small bowl of rock salt in the centre of the room to help collect the sha qi and make sure you dispose of it in a bin outside the building once you have completed the space clearing.
Once you have completed space clearing each room and are back in the kitchen or at the main door, wave your hands in a big figure of “8” while producing the metal element sound to help seal in the vibrational energy.
Finally, once you are finished, make sure you wash and exfoliate before going to bed!
Cleanse and invigorate Your Home or Office with an Energised Space Clearing.