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10 Common Misconceptions In Feng Shui


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 :)


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So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below. :)


Have questions?

Just What Is Astrology? Answers In Layman Terms.

astrology questions


… is it all in the stars?

What is Astrology?

It is a very much misunderstood issue and commonly labeled as “fortune telling”.

No doubt Astrology can be used, to give you an insight into your destiny (the “fortune telling” thing i.e. will you be married / divorced, will you have money, will you have children etc), but it’s true purpose, I feel, is for personal growth, character development and destiny charting.

Astrology can give you insights as to how you are sabotaging yourself at work and in relationships.  It brings up your level of awareness, so that you might increase the quality of your living and enjoy it to the fullest.

Getting your astrology natal chart read, shows you the challenges you face in this lifetime, together with the potential you are endowed with.

If life is a game, then just like every other game (or sport) you participate in, the game has rules.  And in order to come out the winner, you need to know what those rules are and what your advantages are.

Astrology is a good compass for a long journey of the landscape of the mind and for daily life.

But having said that, there is the element of choice and free Will.  As long as these elements are in play, it is very difficult for any one to predict what another individual will choose to do.  However, do note that our thoughts create our experiences.

You cannot change your Destiny but you certainly can decide your Fate, through conscious choices and informed decisions.

Destiny is the voice of your subconscious.

Fate is the result of action’s taken (man’s choice), based on directives issued by your Conscious Mind.


Special Note

Life is subject to 3 governing forces i.e. “Heaven”, “Earth” and “Man”.

If you are to change the course of your fate (life / karma), then you must :-

a)     Heaven – know your Destiny (i.e. this Life Reading)

b)     Earth – apply Feng Shui

c)     Man – take action to change your intrinsic reactionary responses (take note and implement the recommendations as set out in red bold font).

Each of the “forces” above, contributes 33% influence over events in your life.  As a whole, your WHOLE chart is 100% of your subconscious mind and studies have shown that our subconscious mind is 88% (or more) responsible for events in our life.

Item (a) outlined above cannot be changed.  But certainly item (b) and (c) can!


Common questions asked

Why are Astrologers able to predict (with some level of accuracy) another person’s actions and intentions? Behavioral patterns don’t change much and predictions are based on these.

If people don’t change, can fate be changed? Why? Yes, fate can be changed, with some discipline and patience and direction!  When we change our behavioral patterns, our “fate” and our journey changes.

Is Astrology about fate? No.  Astrology is a compass.  It is about the journey. It acts as a guide.  “Fate” is “destination” or “choices”. Astrology does not give you answers – it provides you with insights so that you can make informed choices.  It empowers you.

Why is Astrology a compass for life? It is a map and compass that shows you where you are headed, so that you can plan your life’s direction.  You wouldn’t go traveling or driving in a foreign land without a map, would you?  So why should you go through life without a guide?

Why do some Astrologers say that nothing is guaranteed and that destiny does not equal to fate? Only death is guaranteed, and right from the moment of birth too!  Destiny (intention) does not equal to fate (a result of the informed choices we make).

Is it true that the planets dictate our personality?  They don’t dictate our personality.  They merely reflect our intentions.

It is said that when consulting a “fortune teller” (or a “soothe sayer”), one must pay.  Why? The payment is indicative of readiness on your part, for the information about to be revealed, as well as being a symbolic exchange of energy. Most importantly, it is an indication that there is hope for you. If payment is refused, it is time to prepare for the worst.

Is Astrology about religion? No.  It is not a religion and neither is it for or against any religion. Astrology is a science, a tool. It is a skill that can be acquired over time and practice, just like any other skill (example Reiki, tarot reading, Neuro-Linguistic Programming or learning a new language).

How does a transit or life reading help with relationship problems and other problems? If you know a difficult issue is about to crop up and affect your relationships in a negative way, you can understand what those issues are and then decide on an appropriate way to handle and deal with those problems.

Why is it encouraged to consult an astrologer at least once a year? You won’t know if opportunity comes unless you’ve been told to look out for them!  It’s a worthy investment! (You would check the weather forecast if you were planning for a picnic, wouldn’t you?)

Why should you seek a consultation session with an astrologer to discover the right vocation? If we don’t develop our own special talents or competence at doing something meaningful to us that also helps others, then we end up working at meaningless jobs and lack that sense of fulfillment and when you aren’t fulfilled by your work, you may experience a strong tendency to fall sick.

What makes a good reader? Intuitive capacity and faculty for deduction when 2 or more forces come together (“common sense” in other words).

Can common sense be developed? Yes!  It only takes reflection, time and consideration on the part of the reader!

What is Karma? “Karma” is a Sanskrit word that means “to act” or “to take action”.  Therefore, when you are told that your life is very karmic, what it means is that if you want to achieve anything in life, you have to “take action” (work for it!).


esther 110





– Guest post by Esther Teh (Master Western Astrologer at Love & Healing


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So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below. :)


Have questions?

Feng Shui Sharing Session This Saturday

There is a feng shui sharing session happening this Saturday 26th September at Points of You cafe where I will show how to use 8 Mansions Feng Shui or Bazhai Feng Shui [八宅风水] is used to correct and improve the prosperity and luck of a house. If you’re in Singapore or is a Singaporean and would like to learn some simple and immediately applicable feng shui tips, you are welcome to drop by.

Important: remember to bring your floor plans and find out what’s your flat, condo or property’s facing direction first. :)


feng shui sharing session


A Simple Analogy To Explain How To Use 8 Mansions Feng Shui

chinese landscape painting


Explaining 8 Mansions Feng Shui by Analogy

Following my previous post about 8 Mansions Feng Shui or Ba Zhai Feng Shui [八宅风水], I thought it will be helpful to use an analogy to describe how to better apply this ancient feng shui method and to resolve certain contradictions like a East Group person living in a West Group house and vise versa. Below is the best analogy (from Master Howard Choi) on 8 Mansions Feng Shui that I feel explains the interactive relationship between the property’s House Gua and the individual’s Life Gua.


Imagine you are a traditional Chinese landscape painter and you have to find a place to exhibit your painting.

The most desirable place to do this would be an art gallery specialized in traditional Chinese painting and that would be like a Gua 4 (East Group) person living in a Gua 4 (East Group) house, where the House Gua of the house matches the Life Gua of a person, that is the house supports the person. Or a Gua 9 house (also East Group).

Imagine that you cannot get an art gallery no matter how hard you tried and all you can get is a restaurant, that would be like an Gua 4 (East Group) person living in a Gua 2 (West Group) house, where the House Gua of the house do not support the Life Gua of a person, because a restaurant is not a most supportive place to exhibit paintings.

But imagine the restaurant is a Chinese restaurant and the place has many large white walls to exhibit paintings, that would be like a Gua 4 (East Group) person living in a Gua 2 (West Group) house but the bedroom is located in the auspicious position for the person and the bed is located likewise.

Now imagine the restaurant is a Greek restaurant and the place is dim and dart, not suitable to exhibit paintings, be it Chinese or otherwise; that would be like an Gua 4 (East Group) person living in a Gua 2 (West Group) house with the bedroom located in an unfavourable position for the person and the bed is also orientated wrongly. Basically the worst combination possible.

Now what can you do?

One cannot change the place but one can change one’s attitude to the place to take whatever advantage the place can offer. This is the Man part of the Heaven-Earth-Man trinity, which is your own initiative and effort.

For example, as an accomplished Chinese landscape painter, you can paint a series of Chinese paintings based on the Acropolis and you ask the owner to shine lights on them and use them as wall decorations for the restaurant. Now you get a chance to exhibit your painting and show how talented you are.

This would be like changing the bed to suit your personal direction, even though the location of the bedroom is not suitable and you are an East Group person living in a West Group house. Depending on your skill and your attitude, you can still make a success of it, but you will need extra personal efforts and a nimble mind to understand the mutual effects of man and his environment and how to take advantage of what is available through the correlative contemplation of the symbolism of the Trigrams.


– originally text from

A very Short Course on 8 Mansions Feng Shui

8 mansions

The basics of 8 Mansions Feng Shui

8 Mansions Feng Shui (Ba Zhai [八宅] or more properly Ba Zhai Ming Jing [八宅明镜], is a Sanhe feng shui method. Originally it was used in Yin feng shui for finding auspicious locations for grave plots during ancient times but later feng shui practitioners applied it to the houses of living people. Because of it’s relatively gentle learning curve and requirements to begin evaluations, as compared to other feng shui methods, it is one of the easier and more popular methods used to determine the auspicious and inauspicious locations of a dwelling, to analyse whether you are compatible with the house and to find out your favourable and unfavourable personal directions that promote productivity at work and supports your relationships, foster good health and successful academic pursuits.

Basically 8 Mansions feng shui uses the 8 compass directions (east, west, north, south, etc) to determine the quality of the Qi, whether it is good or bad, within each individual sector (for houses) and direction (for people). The different types of Qi are:


The Four Auspicious Qi

  • Sheng Qi (生气, Qi Generating) is 贪狼星, Tang Lang Star or Greedy Wolf Star. In five elements, this Qi is Yang Wood. This Sheng Qi may produce new Qi as it’s name states, so it will bring more wealth, productivity, and good luck. It may also used to activate career, wealth, study, pregnancy, and more. Inside the house, this sector must always have more space to let the Qi circulate and gather. If there’s water in this location, it will gather the Qi and will make this Qi stronger.
  • Tian Yi (天医, Heaven Doctor) is 巨门星, Ju Men Star or Huge Door Star. In five elements, this star is Yang Earth. This Qi is balancing, mean that everything in here is in balance. So it is good for health. The sick will recover faster. It also can used it as secondary wealth although the Qi is not strong. Suitable for health, ward off bad luck, secondary wealth and sleep.
  • Yan Nian (延年, Longevity) is 武曲星, Wu Qu Star or Military Art Star. In five elements, this star is Yang Metal. This Qi flows inwards so can be used for longevity, love, relationship and marriage. For the elderly can choose this sector to sleep and it will more healthier. Singles can activate this Qi and will improve their relationship.
  • Fu Wei (伏位, Stability) is 辅弼星, Fu Bi Star or Assist Star. In five elements, this star is Yang Wood. This Qi is moves upwards and is supporting. So this Qi gives support to everything. Suitable for study, meditating, altar, and activities that need assistance. So when you study in this sector, it will give you more stability to understanding and focus.


The Four Inauspicious Qi

  • Huo Hai (祸害, Mishaps) is 禄存星, Lu Cun Star or Fortune Storage. In five elements, this star is Yin Earth. The Qi is like a sink, and this Qi will interrupt people feeling and mentally. It causes obstacles in one’s life path and minor mishaps. It will also cause low spirits and the lack of motivation to make progress.
  • Wu Gui (五鬼, Five Ghosts) is 廉贞星, Lian Zhen Star or Chasity Star. In five elements, this star is Fire. This Qi is representative of fierceness and competitive power. It will cause much misfortune, such as accident & injury, recklessness in a person and fire hazards.
  • Liu Sha (六煞, Six Killings) is 文曲星, Wen Qu Star or Literally Art Star. In five elements, this star is Water. The Qi flows downwards and into disorder. It will destroy relationships, marriages, career and friendships. It will also cause strong carnal desires in people, betrayal and legal problems.
  • Jue Ming (绝命, Life Endanger) is 破军星, Po Jun Star or Destruct Army Star. In five elements, this star is Yin Metal. This Qi causes self-destructive tendencies and forms life threatening circumstances and endangerment. This Qi is also known for suicide. It will cause of sickness, emotional and mental instability and health issues. It is best not to accidentally activate this sector, else it may bring misfortune to you and your family members.


Each direction also has a Trigram (gua) associated with it. For example northwest represents the father. Below is a Trigram chart with its associations.


trigram chart


These 8 compass directions are further grouped into East and West. For example, south, north, southeast & east belongs to the East Group while west, northwest, southwest & northeast belongs to the West Group. The chart below can be applied to BOTH the individual and the property. The only difference being that for properties, the sitting, not the facing, of the property determines the Gua Number. For example a house with a south facing will have a north sitting. Therefore it will be known as a 1 Water Kan Gua house.


gua numbers chart


Ok, now that we have all these information, how do we put it all together?

First, You will need to find out what is your own personal Life Gua Number:

Gua Calculation for males:

First take your year of birth and reduce the numbers to a single digit.

eg. If you are born on the year 1960

1+9+6+0 = 16 = 1+6 = 7

Then take the result above and minus 11 from it

7 – 11 = 4  (ignore the negative. So -4 becomes just 4.)

So for a person born in the year 1960, his personal gua number (Life Gua) is 4.

But should the final personal gua number (Life Gua) result be a 5, the the number 8 will be assigned instead. So he’s a Life Gua 8 instead of a Life Gua 5.

Gua Calculation for females:

First take your year of birth and reduce the numbers to a single digit.

eg. If you are born on the year 1977

1+9+7+7 = 24 = 2+4 = 6

Then take the result above and add 4 to it

6 +4 = 10 = 1+0 = 1

So for a person born in the year 1977, her personal gua number (Life Gua) is 1.

But should the final personal gua number (Life Gua) result be a 5, the the number 2 will be assigned instead. So she’s a Life Gua 2 instead of a Life Gua 5.

So for easy reference…

Life Gua Sheng Qi Tian Yi Yian Nian Fu Wei Huo Hai Wu Gui Liu Sha Jue Ming

Notice there’s no Life Gua 5. The short answer is because there is no Trigram to represent the number 5 so it’s kind of a wildcard.


For the individual:

If you are a Gua 1 person, you belong to the east group and your four favourable personal directions are southeast for wealth, east for health, south for relationships and north for self development. You should try to avoid northeast and west if you can but especially the southwest and northwest at all costs.

8 Mansions work on your personal four favourable and four unfavourable directions according to your Life Gua number. For example, the location of doors plays an important role in the determining the quality of Feng Shui experienced in a property.

  1. Ensure that your front door is orientated to match your most auspicious (Sheng Chi) direction. When you are looking to buy a house, office or an apartment, look for one whose main door faces this direction. Better still if the main door is located in the house’s (House Gua) own Sheng Qi location.
  2. You will also find it beneficial if the doors that lead into your bedroom, study or office also face one of your personal auspicious directions. Refer to the chart above for your most auspicious (Sheng Chi) direction. For example, if you are a Life Gua 1 person, your Sheng Chi direction is southeast, Life Gua 2 Sheng Chi direction is to the northeast and so on.
  3. Orientate your work desk in your study or office to face one of your personal good directions. Sheng Chi direction is the best for work but if you are unable to move your desk to this direction, facing one of the good directions will do just fine.
  4. Arrange your work desk so that your child sits facing one of their good directions when studying.
  5. Sleep with the bed head orientated to your Yan Nian or Tian Yi direction if possible; otherwise one of your four auspicious directions will do if you are limited by space and the orientation of the walls. Try to avoid using the Sheng Qi direction if you can or you may end up with trouble sleeping.


For the property (house):

It is best to firstly match the property’s House Gua to the occupant’s Life Gua, based on the 5 Elements Theory. For example a Gua 1 person will do well in a Gua 6 or Gua 7 house.


5 elements theory


Next is to make sure the main door, study and bedrooms are located in the auspicious sectors according the property’s House Gua. For a property belonging to House Gua 4, for example, it is best to have the main door, study and bedrooms located in either the east, north, south or southeast sectors.

When it comes to 8 Mansions feng shui (Ba Zhai), most people tend to “look down” on it because of it’s unassuming simplicity and  relative “slow” but consistent way of showing results. The reason why it is not used often is becasue most of the materials on this powerful but misrepresented feng shui method is just the tip of the iceberg of the complete thing. The actual form of Ba Zhai Ming Jing can be as convoluted and complex as any of the feng shui methodologies out there.