The 10 common misconceptions in feng shui. I wrote this article in response to some of the more commonly misunderstood and commonly believed aspects of feng shui in order to offer a little clarity to the customers I consult and also my readers. All of the instances listed below are well-known feng shui beliefs (by even people with just passing knowledge of feng shui) although I found out most only have surface understanding and often believed at face-value, just because it was written in a book or said by someone famous. Some of the misconception had caused needless worry and in some cases panic. The problem is some of them are also perpetuated by feng shui practitioners themselves. Whether it was through erroneous knowledge or just simple misunderstanding I will never know.
The 10 common feng shui misconceptions below are the findings based on my own practical feng shui consultation experience while in the field and the actual results I got back. I hope this article can offer some clearer understanding and help clear up the confusion. 🙂
1) Doors directly facing each other will cause bad blood and quarrels
Only if one of the doors is smaller than the other and only if the doors happened to open into the negative sector of your property; plus both doors have to be open. Just having doors facing each other by itself does not create adversarial or antagonistic feelings or situations. More than anything my first reaction will be to question the character/personality of the occupants rather than the feng shui of the doors. When I was younger, I had been living in public housing where the main doors were directly opposite those of the neighbour’s in close proximity (about 2 to 3m apart). The doors are open most of the day and there were hardly any quarrels. If anything, everyone was friendly and visited each other often. And this applied to many of the neighbouring units too. Plus nowadays in the newer apartment blocks, most people will just keep their doors closed even when they are at home so it is not really a problem anymore. Having said that, it is very undesirable if yours and your neighbour’s house layout happen to be like point number 5 and you have a window-to-door-to-door-to-window arrangement. Especially when all the windows and doors are all kept open.
2) Door opening out onto a staircase and stairs going down will cause your luck to “flow” out of the house
Only if the door is very near the stairs outside and the stairs themselves are steep and long. This will create a negative feng shui feature known as “Pulling Nose Sha”. If the stairs are wide, in a gentle incline and short then we do not have this problem, at least not at a scale that’s appreciable. Or else many large hotels, shopping malls and office buildings with these features would had suffered lost and likely gone out of business a long time ago. Likewise for the people living in houses with steps lead down from their main door.
3) A house located at the end of a long road will invite bad luck for its occupants and it’s close cousin, a house located at the meeting points of a T-junction is considered extremely unlucky
Only if the road is a busy one with fast moving vehicles heading TOWARDS the house, particularly if the main door is also facing the oncoming traffic. This forms what is known as the “Rushing Qi Sha”. Often in the cul-de-sac there will be a roundabout at the end. The house located at the end of the cul-de-sac with the traffic heading AWAY from it is not likely to be affected. Often just a hedge placed on the lawn in between the offending road and the house is enough to correct the problem. Alternatively, if the road is not heavily used, has slow moving traffic and more importantly, happens to have the main door open into the house’s auspicious sector, it may actually be very prosperous for the occupants.
4) In the kitchen, the stove cannot be placed directly opposite the sink
This misconception has to do with the sentence “fire and water clash opposite each other” found in classical feng shui texts. In modern context, the belief that when the stove or microwave or oven is opposite a sink or fridge or washing machine is inauspicious (what does that even mean anyway?) is an exaggeration. Considering that in Singapore (and many Asian countries) most of our public housing is small and limited in space so the chances of having a sink and stove next to or directly opposite each other is almost a given. And if the statement “fire and water opposite each other is inauspicious” then we would see a lot of troubled families but so far in my experience any problem arising is mostly from locating the stove at the incorrect location than having it opposite a sink.
5) Wealth luck will “leak away” if there is a window directly in-line opposite the main door
Yes and no. In feng shui, Qi comes in 2 basic forms; as Sha (negative) Qi if very fast moving or Sheng (positive) Qi if slow and gentle. So if you have both the window and door open at the same time and both of them are in-line with each other, very fast moving Qi will just travel in from one end and out the other without stopping and not given a chance to “gather”. Imagine a very strong wind coming into the house then exiting the next second. But please do not misunderstand me. Having some wind blowing through your house is good as it brings in fresh Qi and moves the stagnant ones but it is quite another story to have the house feel like a wind tunnel for testing jet fighters. The issue here is the speed. Qi must be slow enough for it to be able to flow throughout the whole house to benefit the occupants before exiting again. The simplest solution to this problem is just to close either the door or the window or just place a piece of furniture like a foldable screen across the path between the door and window to slow down the Qi, forcing it to meander than to travel in a straight line.
6) Where you install you mirror and it’s size will affect your feng shui
The idea most likely came from the convex reflective surface found on a Taoist bagua mirror that the olden day Chinese used to hang above their entrances and doors to deflect negative influences. So by association, mirrors are thought to be able to reflect or deflect feng shui energy flow or Qi anywhere in the house like a beam of light. The problem is, Qi is not light. For one thing, according to classical feng shui text, Qi tends to “flow” from high to low and it “gathers” at the lowest point of any given place, very much like water does. Light does not. Another misconception is the “space” created by a mirror’s reflection can be influenced by feng shui. Such as using it to create space in order to replace a sector of the house that is physically missing. Feng shui only works in the physical realm while the mirrored space is an illusion.
7) The bed cannot have a mirror or any highly reflective surface facing it
This one is purely psychological and common sense rather than feng shui per se. When you first wake up from your sleep most likely you will be a little disoriented and your mind hazy. The first impression of someone looking back at you or in the same room as you (especially if you live alone) created by the reflection in a mirror during that mental state will definitely come as a nasty surprise for anyone. By the way, if you claim you can see images or shadows moving in your mirror even while lying in bed, then feng shui might not be your problem. 🙂
8) The bed cannot be placed against a window
Well, again yes and no. While it is generally true that you should not have your bed placed up against a window, it is not a major no-no. Other more important factors need to taken into consideration first; like not placing the bed under a ceiling beam, not placing the bed across the bedroom door or ensuite toilet door and not placing the bed within a negative sector in the bedroom. Sometimes in order to avoid these negative aspects or even just because of something mundane like space limitations within the bedroom, you have no choice but to place the bed under the window. But this is not a big issue since most people will likely have curtains or blinds installed on the windows. Just close the curtains/blinds when you go to sleep. Poof! No more problem.
9) Water is wealth
This is the worst culprit of all due to the common belief that “Water = Wealth”. This misconception perpetuated the desire for swimming pools, lakes, ponds or any large body of water in front of, or at least near, the property. Although water, if used and located correctly, can bring about wealth opportunities and sometimes windfall; if used incorrectly or located at the wrong location can bring about the opposite effect or worst. Then there are the various conditions to the types of water; is it still? Is it moving? If yes, then how fast? In feng shui, water is merely an activator. It does not create nor attract wealth by itself. And since we are on the subject of water, I might as well address the belief that the type and number of fishes you have in an aquarium will also bring wealth. In reality they do not bring wealth unless we are talking about keeping them as an investment like a prized koi or champion arrowana. Then there is the, in lieu of real water, pictures or paintings of water (often in the form of “feng shui paintings”) being used. How can a picture or photograph affect one’s feng shui since it does absolutely nothing to the Qi flow of a property? The effect is like giving a person a picture of a burger to stop his hunger when he is starving instead of the real thing. That said, like the fishes, they are fine if used as a decoration or as an investment but as a feng shui tool, the only people laughing all the way to the bank will be the sellers.
10) Feng shui will solve all my problems (and make me become rich/attract my true love/become powerful)
This is the most common expectation that I regularly have to manage with people who come to me for advice. Consider this, if that be true, feng shui practitioners will be the most powerful people on the planet, no? Anyway, feng shui is only just one third of the equation. The other two being your destiny and your own actions, or lack thereof. What good feng shui really does is to create a harmonic and conducive environment for your health, to create and increase more opportunities for love and/or wealth. Whether any of these things come true for you or not depends on what you choose to do with the opportunities and how well they come true for you will depend on your destiny. There is a Chinese saying that goes 一命二运三风水四积荫德五读书. Translated it means first destiny, second luck, third feng shui, fourth charity and fifth education. There is also a saying that goes: “Your destiny shows you the problem or potential and feng shui offers the solution to both of them”. In practice it goes like this: first know your destiny and your (level of) luck then strengthen it with feng shui, charity and education. This makes perfect sense because you need to identify the problem before you can come up with a solution, don’t you agree?
In today’s feng shui environment, erroneous information and half-baked understanding are perpetuated by the internet, books and even teachers; often “parroting” from other magazines, books and teachers, and the cycle goes on. Even so, we work hard to keep our courses and workshops practical, logical and based on actual experiences. If you want to know what practical feng shui is and are interested, please drop me a line in the comments box below or write to me on my email and I well get back to you with the details. By the way, in addition to feng shui workshops in Singapore, we also have Astrology workshops in Bali, Indonesia. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
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WHAT BUDDHISTS BELIEVE: ASTROLOGY
Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda
“I believe in astrology but not astrologers.”
Ever since early man began to think, he was deeply concerned about his relationship with the universe. When human societies became involved in agricultural activities man progressed from hunting as a livelihood and began to notice a link between the movement of the sun through the years and his own activities of planting, harvesting, and similar projects. As he became more sophisticated he was able to predict the movement of the sun and he invented time measurement, dividing into years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds.
He associated this knowledge with his existence whereby he felt that there was a relationship between his own life cycle and the movement of the planets. That gave rise to the Zodiac – a study of these movements in relation to a human being’s personal life is called a horoscope.
The study of astrology involves a great understanding of human nature, an ability to assess planetary movements precisely, together with an insight into the seemingly unexplainable phenomena in the universe. There have been many brilliant astrologers in the past and some exist even today. UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE AN EVEN LARGER NUMBER OF CHARLATANS WHO GIVE ASTROLOGY A BAD NAME. THEY HOOD-WINK PEOPLE BY PREDICTING SEEMINGLY TRUE EVENTS ABOUT THEIR FUTURE. They make large sums of money by exploiting the ignorance and fear of the gullible. As a result, for a long time scientists scoffed at astrology and did not depend on it. However their hostile attitude is not really justifiable. The main purpose of reading a horoscope should be to give one an insight into one’s own character, in the same way that an X-ray photograph can show the physical make-up of a man.
Statistics have shown that the influence of the sun in the signs of the Zodiac accounts for the birth of unusual people during certain months. Certain crimes have been found to correspond with Zodiac signs in which the sun is moving during certain months of the year.
Thus an understanding of this relationship will help a man to plot his life more meaningfully in harmony with his innate tendencies, so that there is less friction as he goes through life.
A new-born baby is like a seed. It contains within itself all the ingredients which will make it a similar, yet completely different individual from all its fellow human beings. How its potential is developed depends, like the seed, on the kind of nurture it receives. THE NATURE OF A MAN IS BORN WITHIN HIM, BUT HIS OWN FREE WILL DETERMINES WHETHER HE WILL MAKE REALLY GOOD USE OF HIS TALENTS AND ABILITIES. Whether he will overcome his potential for vice or weakness depends on how he is trained in his youth. If we recognize our nature–our tendency towards laziness, irritability, worries, frustrations, wickedness, cunnings, jealousy–we can take positive steps to overcome them. The first step in solving problems is to recognize them for what they are.
ASTROLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS INDICATE OUR INCLINATIONS AND TENDENCIES. ONCE POINTED OUT, WE MUST TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO CHART OUR LIVES IN A MANNER THAT WILL MAKE US USEFUL CITIZENS OF THE WORLD. Even a person with criminal tendencies can become a saint, if he recognizes his nature and takes steps to lead a good life.
A HOROSCOPE IS A CHART DRAWN TO SHOW THE KARMIC FORCE A MAN CARRIES, CALCULATED FROM THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH. The force determines the time of birth and knowing this time, a skillful astrologer can accurately chart a man’s destiny within a given life-span.
Everybody knows that the earth takes approximately one year to move around the sun. This movement, viewed from the Earth, places the sun in various Zodiac areas during the year. A person is born (not accidentally, but as a result of karmic influence) when the sun is on transit in one of the 12 Zodiac signs.
THROUGH THE HOROSCOPE YOU CAN DETERMINE CERTAIN TIMES IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN, OR PUSH YOURSELF TO GREAT LEVELS OF CREATIVITY, OR WHEN YOU HAVE TO WATCH YOUR ACTIVITIES AND HEALTH.
Buddhist Attitude Toward Astrology
The question most people ask is whether Buddhism accepts or rejects astrology. STRICTLY SPEAKING, THE BUDDHA DID NOT MAKE ANY DIRECT PRONOUNCEMENT ON THIS SUBJECT (OF ASTROLOGY) because as in many other cases, He stated that discussion on matters such as these do not pertain to spiritual development. BUDDHISM, UNLIKE SOME OTHER RELIGIONS, DOES NOT CONDEMN ASTROLOGY AND PEOPLE ARE FREE TO USE THE KNOWLEDGE THEY CAN GET FROM IT TO MAKE THEIR LIVES MORE MEANINGFUL. However, IF WE STUDY THE BUDDHA’S TEACHING CAREFULLY, WE WILL COME TO ACCEPT THAT A PROPER AND INTELLIGENT UNDERSTANDING OF ASTROLOGY CAN BE A USEFUL TOOL. There is a direct link between the life of an individual human being and the vast workings of the cosmos. Modern science is in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism. We know, for example, that there is a close link between the movement of the moon and our own behavior. This is seen especially among mentally disturbed and abnormally violent people. It is also true that certain sicknesses like asthma and bronchitis are aggravated when the moon waxes. There is, therefore, sufficient basis for us to believe that other planets can also influence our lives.
BUDDHISM ACCEPTS THAT THERE IS AN IMMENSE COSMIC ENERGY WHICH PULSATES THROUGH EVERY LIVING THINGS, INCLUDING PLANTS. THIS ENERGY INTERACTS WITH THE KARMIC ENERGY WHICH AN INDIVIDUAL GENERATES AND DETERMINES THE COURSE THAT A LIFE WILL TAKE. The birth of an individual is not the first creation of a life but the continuation of one that had always existed and will continue to exist so long as the karmic energy is not quelled through final liberation in the unconditioned state. Now, for a life to manifest itself in a new existence, certain factors, namely seasons, germinal order and nature must be fulfilled. These are supported by mental energy and karmic energy and all these elements are in constant interaction and interdependent with each other resulting in constant changes to a human being’s life.
According to astrologers, the time at which a person is born is predetermined by the cosmic energy and the karmic energy. Hence, it can be concluded that LIFE IS NOT MERELY ACCIDENTAL: IT IS THE RESULT OF THE INTERACTION BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S KARMA AND THE UNIVERSAL ENERGY FORCE. The course of a human life is predetermined, caused partly by a being’s own actions in the past and the energies that activate the cosmos. Once started, a life is controlled by the interaction between these two forces even to the moment at which a birth takes place. A skillful astrologer then, as one who understands cosmic as well as karmic influences, can chart the course of one’s life, based on the moment of the person’s birth.
While we are in one sense at the mercy of these forces, the Buddha has pointed out a way through which we can escape its influence. All karmic energies are stored in the Subconscious Mind formally described as mental purities and impurities. SINCE KARMIC FORCES INFLUENCE ONE’S DESTINY, A PERSON CAN DEVELOP HIS MIND AND NEGATE CERTAIN EVIL INFLUENCES CAUSED BY PREVIOUS BAD KARMA. A person can also ‘purify’ his mind and rid himself of all karmic energies and thus prevent rebirth. When there is no rebirth, there is no potential Life and there will consequently be no ‘future’ existence which can be predicated or charted. At such a stage of spiritual and mental development, one will have transcended the need to know about his Life because most imperfections and satisfactoriness would have been removed. A highly developed human being will have no need for a horoscope.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, psychologists and psychiatrists have come to recognize that there is much more to the human mind than the hard core materialists have been ready to accept. There is more to the world than can be seen and touched. The famous Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, used to cast the horoscopes of his patients. On one occasion when he made an astrological analysis of about 500 marriages, he discovered that the findings of Ptolemy, on which modern Western astrology is based, were still valid, that favorable aspects between the sun and the moon of the different partners did produce happy marriage.
The well-known French psychologist, Michel Gauquelin, who originally held a negative view of astrology, made a survey of about 20,000 horoscopic analyses and found to his surprise that the characteristics of the persons studied coincided with characterization produced by modern psychological methods.
The planting of certain flowers, trees and vegetables at different times of a year will produce differences in strength or appearance of the plants. So there is no reason to doubt that people born in certain times of the year will have different characteristics from people born at other times. BY KNOWING HIS WEAKNESSES, FAILURES AND SHORTCOMINGS, A MAN CAN DO HIS BEST TO OVERCOME THEM AND MAKE HIMSELF A BETTER AND MORE USEFUL PERSON TO SOCIETY. It will also help him a great deal to get rid of unhappiness and disappointments. (Going away from the country where a person is born, for example, can sometimes help one avoid the influence of the stars.).
Shakespeare says: “The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves.” A well-known astrologer has said: “The stars impel; they do not compel.” St. Thomas Aquinas says: “The planets influence the more elemental part of man than passions”, but through his intellect man can arrange his life in harmony with the planets, and also cultivate his inherent talents and manipulate them for his betterment.
Astrology cannot automatically solve all your problems. You must do that yourself. JUST LIKE A DOCTOR WHO CAN DIAGNOSE THE NATURE OF DISEASES, AN ASTROLOGER CAN ONLY SHOW CERTAIN ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE AND CHARACTER. AFTER THAT IT IS LEFT TO YOU TO ADJUST YOUR WAY OF LIFE. Of course, the task will be made easier, knowing what it is you are up against. Some people are too dependent on astrology. They run to the astrologer every time something happens or if they have a dream. Remember, even today astrology is very much an imperfect science and even the best astrologers can make serious mistakes. Use astrology intelligently, just as you would use any tool which would make your life more comfortable and more enjoyable. Above all, beware of fake astrologers who are out to cheat you by telling you not the truth, but what you want to hear.
DO NOT EXPECT GOOD LUCK TO COME TO YOU OR BE HANDED TO YOU EASILY WITHOUT ANY EFFORT ON YOUR PART. If you want to reap the harvest, you must sow the seed and it must be the right seed. Remember, “Opportunity knocks at the door, but never break the lock to gain entrance.”
For a great year ahead, do this on the 1st day of Chinese New Year
Welcoming the God of Wealth, God of Nobility and God of Happiness
(or rather the year’s arriving auspicious energies)
On *Lunar New Year Day 28th January 2017 (Sat) after 12 midnight until 3am go take a short stroll outside your house/hotel/where ever you happened to be:
If you want to receive wealth & health head Southeast
If you want to receive happiness head Northwest
If you want to receive nobility and recognition head Southwest
Describe your wish as precisely and vocally in the direction of your choice. Example; “I want to achieve millionaire status by year end” vs “I want to be rich” while facing the Southeast.
If you are taoist/buddhist you can offer joss-sticks at those directions during these times.
* Please note Horse year born people doing these above avoid using 12 midnight – 1am & Goat year born people avoid after 1am.
Auspicious Timings for heading out of the house during the First day of Chinese New Year
After leaving the house, walk or drive towards the Southeast, Northwest or Southwest from wherever you are during Chinese New Year to encounter and enjoy Prosperity Luck for the rest of the year before heading towards your final destination. If it is too early to go anywhere, you can go for a walk towards any of these 3 directions near your home. Just follow the compass direction on your smartphone.
If possible try to:
- Avoid heading out during these hours: 11am-3pm
- Avoid heading in these directions: East, Northeast & South
Especially avoid doing the above 2 AT THE SAME TIME!
- 3am-5am Monkey year born person shouldn’t gamble or do important stuff!
- 1pm-3pm Ox year born person shouldn’t gamble or do important stuff!
- 5pm-7pm Rabbit year born person shouldn’t gamble or do important stuff!
- 9am-11am Pig year born person shouldn’t gamble or do important stuff!
* Technically we are still in the year of the Monkey because his shift doesn’t really end until 3rd February 2017 23:35.
Some Examples of Traditional Feng Shui Cures
The time had come again to update (read: buy new stuff) your feng shui cures for the coming year; or so feng shui businesses that depends on selling you knick-knacks would want you to believe. But business opportunities aside, what actually are they? These “feng shui cures”? And why would we want to “cure” a house as if it were a sick person?
Fortunately I’ve came across and would like to share with you a great article by Howard Choy, a Chinese feng shui master living in Europe explaining what constitutes a “feng shui cure” and how did it came about being:
Take it away, Howard:
In Western Feng Shui, the term “Feng Shui Cure” is often used; it gives us an impression that a Feng Shui consultant is like a house doctor, he or she can prescribe medicines to cure a sick house, this is unlikely because a sick house can only be correlated to a sick person as a metaphor; physically speaking, a house is not the same as a person and cannot be “cured” with “medicines” or objects.
So far I have not manage to find out where this term “Feng Shui Cure” originated from or who is the first to use this term in English literature on Feng Shui, my suspicion is that it refers to the popular use of objects to “Hua Sha” 化煞 as in the use of the Five Emperors coins to “Hua Sha” the yearly Tai Sui (Grand Duke) or the Five Yellow in Flying Star. But to translate “Hua Sha” as “Feng Shui Cures” is misleading, it changes the whole meaning of the original Chinese term.
“Hua Sha” is a part of the Feng Shui saying, “Jei Xiong Hua Sha” 解凶化煞 which literally means to become aware and to understand (Jie 解) what is harmful or undersirable (Xiong 凶) and then find a way to transform or to change (Hua 化) what is, or what is felt to be, negative and undesirable (Sha 煞).
You might have noticed that I did not translate the character “Sha 煞” as “killing or to kill” like most people would, because in Feng Shui if the term is used to mean “to kill”, then the character 殺 would have been used. From a Feng Shui perspective, the term “Sha 煞” is used to contrast with the term “Sheng 生” as in “Sheng Qi 生氣” and “Sha Qi 煞氣”. Sheng Qi is Qi that encourages the potential for life and for growth, while Sha Qi is Qi that stops the potential for life and for growth. The Chinese often use the term “Sha Che 煞車” to describe the act of stopping a car.
The character to kill 殺 and the character to stop the potential of killing 煞 are written differently and they have a subtle difference, and on top of this the term “Qi 氣” is used to contrast with “Xing 形” as in “Xing Qi 形氣”, the latter (Qi) is formless and intangible, its influence is indirect – an invisible potential to become while remain as formless, whereas the former (Xing) has a form/shape and is tangible, its action direct – a visible thing that has a physical effect. For this reason in Feng Shui we often use the term “Xing Sha” 形煞 and “Qi Sha” 氣煞 to differentiate a Sha that has form and is visible to a Sha that has no form and is not visible.
So to understand the true meaning of “Feng Shui Cures” and how to use them properly, one should refer to the act of “Jie Xiong Hua Sha”; that is one should first be aware and understand what caused the harmfulness or give rise to the potential in the first place; is it physical, psychological or conceptual? Often in Feng Shui the cause is conceptual, in the sense that we used correlative thinking and connected a symbol or a number with a concept that is harmful or have a harmful potential. For example, in Flying Star Compass Feng Shui, the number 5 is correlated to the colour yellow and to the element Earth and when it is out of time, we say it is a disaster “Star” that would cause trouble for us, but this is only a conceptual conclusion, it does not mean the 5 Yellow Earth is physically harmful and also the “Star” mentioned earlier do not refer to the physical stars in the sky but to the Gua Qi 卦氣 or the Qi of the Trigrams we used in the Feng Shui methods.
After “Jie Xiong 解凶” then we can “Hua Sha 化煞”, and we need to remember, a Sha can be physical, psychological or conceptual or a mixture of two or three of them, so to change it or to transform it, that is to turn the Sha Qi into Sheng Qi, we can also do it on a physical, a psychological or a conceptual level or a mixture of two or three of them, but unless we can understand the real cause of the harmfulness or the potential for harmfulness in the first place and to overcome it, the “Hau Sha” will always be incomplete and temporary.
For example, when a house is located at the end of a T-Junction, we say in Feng Shui it has “Chong Sha 冲煞” or the “Sha of Being Rushing-At” and this is harmful or has the potential to harm and it is undesirable, that is it has Xiong 凶 and we need to overcomes it and make it Ji 吉 – auspicious or desirable; in another words, to turn Sha Qi into Sheng Qi. Of course the best solution would be to avoid it in the first place; that is not to have a house located at the end of a T-junction, but what if we cannot avoid this situation? Then the first thing is for us to understand why it is not desirable or it could be harmful, that is to “Jie Xiong” (understand the reasons) before we can “Hua Sha” (make the changes).
When a house is located at the end of a T-junction, it is physically annoying to have car lights shinning at it at night time and then suddenly disappear after the car has trued the corner, it also has the potential of someone running into it if a driver fails to turn the corner properly. Psychologically a house located at the end of a T-junction always has less privacy, as anyone who turns the corner will tend to look into the house, because it is more exposed. So this house has “Xing Sha” (Sha of the Form) and “Qi Sha” (Sha of the Formless) at the same time.
To overcome this, we can do it in a physical way and build a brick wall of about one and a half to two meters high in front of the house and physically and psychologically block the “Xing Sha” and the “Qi Sha” at the same time and that would be a best “Hua Sha” or Feng Shui Cure. But if we cannot do this, because we don’t own the house or we don’t have the fund to do it or we simply don’t like the idea, then we can do it in a psychological and/or conceptual way.
Psychologically we can cover it up with trees and shrub so we will not see the Form Sha nor worry about the formless Qi Sha, but to grow the trees and shrubs to a desired height and thickness will take time, so for the short duration we can use a “Hua Sha” from the conceptual level and hang a Bagua mirror in front of the house and use the Feng Shui mirror to “reflect” the Sha Qi and turn the Sha Qi into Sheng Qi conceptually. We can do this because in Feng Shui theories we correlated the Bagua diagram to symbolize changes and the mirror is able to “reflect” what is bad into good in a metaphorically way.
However, physically we have not really done anything to address the cause, so eventually we still need the physical protection to be 100% certain. So in this sense, a Hua Sha on a conceptual level, or what most people would understood to be a “Feng Shui Cure”, is like a head-ach powder, it is only effective for a short time, without getting to the cause of the problem.
Ideally, a Hua Sha should work on all three physical, psychological and conceptual levels, so in the end the problem can be overcome physically, emotionally and spiritually at the same time. This is the true meaning of “Jie Xiong Hua Sha” 解凶化煞, otherwise we are open to abuse by charlatans forever trying to sell us all sorts of “Hua Sha” or Feng Shui Cures at an exorbitant price without any long term benefits, except, over time, as a piece of Feng Shui curio!
If we can understand the true meaning of “Hua Sha”, then instead of buying some expensive and curiously looking objects, we can use this understanding to transform the quality of our environment at the same time. Below is a couple of photos of the new Star Hotels and Casino we did the Feng Shui for in Sydney Australia and here we used the Wuxing Shen-Ke concept (Five Elements Generating and Controlling Relationships) to advise our clients not to use “Fire” but to use “Metal” and “Water” at the water front façade to enhance the idea of wealth and money “Cui Ji” 催吉 or to hasten one’s “luck” and if Fire is used then we have to “Hua Sha”, since in the Wuxing theory Metal is correlated to wealth and money and Water is correlated to exchange or the gathering of wealth and money. However, whereas Fire will tend to ‘melt” the Metal. All this is not done physically but only in a conceptual level, if the users and the owners want wealth and money they still have to work for it! We can only “Cui Ji Bi Xiong” 催吉避凶 or “hasten the auspicious and avoid the harmful”, for those who can use their wealth or money wisely!
So we can see in Feng Shui, awareness/knowledge is enlightenment, as a scholar in the Ming Dynasty Wang Shou-Ren 王守仁 has this to say about Jie Hua 解化 (“to be aware and understand and to transform” as in knowing what is harmful in Feng Shui and then change it) in the lower chapter of his book “ A Transmission of a Record of Learning”: Knowledge also needs enlightenment, but without self understanding and self transformation, but mistaken hundreds of others (ideas) as one’s own. Naturally, one’s enlightenment is limited”.
解化 ＝ 理解；领悟。 明 王守仁 《传习录》卷下：“学问也要点化，但不如自家解化者自一了百当。不然，亦点化许多不得。”
* original article can be found at https://howardchoy.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/feng-shui-cures/
May 2016 be as bountiful, beautiful and full of prosperous golden opportunities as the picture above
for you and your loved ones!