Myths About Feng Shui

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 it’s 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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