Eight Mansion’s Wandering Stars Part 2

by Master HC Hung

Simple 8-Mansions fengshui (易学易用八宅风水)

This is an entry level book on 8-Mansions fengshui by the Hong Kong master and prolific writer Bai heming (白鹤鸣), first published in 1996. It is not meant to be an academic treatise, but the writing style is clear, concise and easily understood.

” … Every Star is affected by the element of the Palace it enters, and the Star’s positive or negative character is enhanced or reduced, according to the general theory of interactions between elements. For example, if the shengqi Star of a qian house or qian person enters dui Palace, and as shengqi is of Wood element whereas dui is Metal, the benevolent shengqi Star is countered by the Palace element, and that reduces its benevolence. Another example: the negative jueming Star of a kun house or kun person enters kan Palace. jueming Star is Metal, whereas kan Palace is Water. As the jueming Star is being depleted, its capacity to do harm is diminished. In general, positive Stars entering favourable Palaces (being grown or supported) will become more positive, and conversely if they enter unfavourable Palaces (being countered or depleted) they will become less positive. Likewise, negative Stars entering favourable Palaces (being grown or supported) will become more negative, and in unfavourable Palaces (being countered or depleted), their capacity to do harm will be reduced. This concept is similar to the strength of stars in different palaces according to Purple Star destiny analysis… ”

In addition, the author drew up a chart showing the varying strengths of the 8 Wandering Stars in different Palaces. In the chart he indicated a Star countering the Palace element as being neutral, and said the Star is not much affected. This view is unique.

The author went on to detail the steps a student should take in assessing the effect of the Wandering Stars:

  • The reader should first understand the intrinsic positive or negative nature of each Star. This is very important. A positive Star will always be a positive Star. Under no circumstances will it turn negative. Likewise, a negative Star is always a negative Star. It cannot turn positive;
  • Examine the distribution of 8-Mansions Wandering Star map of the house. Study the interplay between the Star’s intrinsic element and the Palace element in each Palace to evaluate the relative strength of the Stars;
  • Consider the timeliness of the Stars according to the Stems and Branches of years and months to predict when the positive or negative nature of a particular Star is likely to strike.

Bai’s view is simply and clearly stated. Some of his interpretations are fairly novel, for instance, the introduction of a ‘neutral’ state. In the old classics, it’s either positive or negative and nothing in between. Bai’s assertion that a positive Star cannot turn negative is very logical. However, his reference to Purple Star principles runs contrary to what I’ve been taught: according to the zhong zhou School (中州派) of Purple Star destiny analysis, a negative Star entering a harmonious Palace will be placated and hence behave relatively well, whereas the same Star entering a hostile Palace will turn rebellious and ferocious.

Bai’s approach casts the Star as the main player, i.e. the effect of the Palace element on the Star element is paramount. Point No. 3 will be discussed later under “The Time Dimension”.

The Complete Book of 8-Mansions Techniques (八宅造福周书)

This is a modern book by Taiwanese master Huang yifeng (黄一凤), published in 1998. Despite it being a modern work, the author chose to write in classical prose, putting style before readability. Notwithstanding that inconvenience, the book does have some interesting things to say about Stars and Palaces.

” … Palace can mean a door, house or room. Star refers to the 3 positive Stars shengqi, tianyi and yannian, and the 4 negative Stars jueming, wugui, huohai and liusha. When a Stars flies into a mutual growth Palace or a mutually supportive Palace, then a positive Star becomes more positive, and a negative Star becomes less negative. It’s like a malicious person becoming more civil and less inclined to cause trouble. If the Star and Palace counter each other, then positive loses its positive nature, and negative becomes even more negative. In this case, Star countering Palace is worse than Palace countering Star. Palace is the host, and Star the guest. It is permissible for the host to triumph over the guest, but not for the guest to intimidate the host… ”

Huang takes the view that a negative Star becomes less negative in a growth or supportive environment, which is in direct opposition to Bai’s view. Huang considers it less serious for the host Palace to counter the guest Star. Note the use of the term “loses its positive nature”. Does that mean becoming negative or just neutral?

Mastery Journal Vol-2 Issue-9, 29-Oct-2004

That issue carried an article by Master Jayne Goodrick entitled “Elementally, My Dear Boy!” Master Jayne takes the view that a negative Star (jueming in her example) will be less damaging when it is supported by the Palace (dui), than would be the case if the Star were to land at a hostile Palace (zhen).

Debating Various Aspects of yang Dwellings (阳宅诸说辨正)

This book by Taiwanese master Xie mingrui (谢明瑞), published in 2001, sets out to explain/argue various teachings of yang house fengshui. On the topic of elemental interplay between Palace and Star, the author has this to say:

 

” … What is meant by elemental interplay? If Palace and Star are both yin, their elements are also yin, or if they are all yang, like tianyi and yannian are both yang and their Palaces are also yang, then even if the elements counter each other, the issue of elemental interplay does not arise. Such a situation is called “Palace and Star walking the same path” (宫星同道). Elemental interplay only comes into being when opposite polarities counter each other. For example, shengqi is yang Wood. A gen gua person has kun as his shengqi. In this case a yang Wood Star counters the yin Earth of kun Palace. Star countering Palace is called external countering internal. Another example: a qian gua person has his shengqi at dui. shengqi is yang Wood, whereas dui Palace is yin Metal. This case of yin Metal countering yang Wood is called Palace countering Star, or internal countering external. Half negative. In the case of a yang house sitting kun facing gen, and the owner is a West group person of gen gua, kun is by right his shengqi, but shengqi is yang Wood and kun Palace is yin Earth. yang Wood countering yin Earth at a yin Palace is called external countering internal, which is totally negative… If a gen sitting house opens the main door at its shengqi location kun, the yin Earth of kun is countered by shengqi’s yang Wood. As kun represents the spleen and stomach, these organs are prone to illness, and the victim will be the mother as kun also represents the mother. If the stove is turned to face qian, then the severity will be lessened, as qian is tianyi to gen.”

Two points stand out:

  • The issue of polarity has now surfaced. We are told that the whole matter of elemental interplay between Palace and Star only applies if the Palace and Star are of opposite polarities;
  • Xie rates Star countering Palace (so-called external) as being more onerous than Palace countering Star (so-called internal). Website www.fengshui-chinese.com (术数纵横网页)

The owner of the website posted an interesting article on this topic in Nov-2004. Briefly, his stand on the matter is:

  • Palace countering Star, so-called “internal”, is more damaging than Star countering Palace, so-called “external”. However, the author makes the point that both cases are negative;
  • A yang Star entering a yang Palace, and likewise a yin Star entering a yin Palace, are excluded from elemental interplay considerations. It’s called “Palace and Star walking the same path”;
  • Only when a Star enters a Palace of the opposite polarity is it necessary to invoke the elemental interplay (growth/counter) issue. The polarity issue also surfaces here. The author goes on to list the positive and negative Palaces for each of the 8 house gua after accounting for elemental interplay.

The conclusion is that only dui, xun and kun houses manage to retain 4 favourable Palaces; kan, zhen, li houses are left with 3; whereas qian and gen houses have only 2 favourable Palaces left. House hunters beware.

The Time Dimension

When would a Wandering Star, positive or negative, be most likely to manifest its character? There seems to be fairly universal agreement on the Wood, Metal, Water and Fire Stars:

Wandering Star Most active years,  months
shengqi Greedy Wolf (Wood)
Left & Right Assistants (Wood)
hai (亥), mao (卯), wei (未), jia (甲), yi (乙)
yannian Military Arts (Metal)
jueming Broken Soldier (Metal)
si (巳), you (酉), chou (丑), geng (庚), xin (辛)
liusha Literary Arts (Water) shen (申), zi (子), chen (辰), ren (壬), gui (癸)
wugui Chastity (Fire) yin (寅), wu (午), xu (戌), bing (丙), ding (丁)

For the Earth Stars, there are two differing views:

Wandering Star Most active years,  months
tianyi Hugh Door (Earth)
huohai Rewards (Earth)
either:  chen (辰), xu (戌), chou (丑), wei (未), wu (戊), ji (己)
or:  yin (寅), wu (午), xu (戌)

The Bright Mirror even contradicted itself in respect of the Earth Stars. In one part of the text, it says the 4 Earth Branches, meaning chen, xu, chou, wei; but in another part, it says shen, zi, chen. I believe the latter is a transliteration error, which is not uncommon with old texts.

Conclusion

The reference list is by no means exhaustive, but I would think sufficient for us to form what the legal fraternity would call “a considered opinion”. The purists could well choose to follow the classics closely and disregard modern views that are ultra vires the old texts, for after all, are we not practising classical fengshui?

My preferred approach is to take into account all views and evaluate them on a scale of logic and reason ability, even though such a scale is invariably subjective to an extent. Taking stock of what we have thus far, I would table the following inferences which appear logical and reasonable, at least to me:

  • The positive Stars are strong if they are in Palaces of growth and support. Other than Bai heming, the other writers do not differentiate between Palace growing Star and Star growing Palace. They use the term “mutual growth” (相生), i.e. positive both ways. Hence I would disregard the issue of resource depletion in this context. (Support means both Palace and Star have the same element.)
  • There is disagreement over which is more onerous: Palace countering Star, or Star countering Palace. On balance, I would take the view that Palace countering Star is worse. When the Star is countered, it is under attack. That would put it in dire straits. On the other hand, if the Star is attacking the Palace, it is the aggressor. To be aggressive, it must be fairly strong in the first place.
  • Simple as it may sound, the concept that positive Stars can never become negative, and vice versa, is in fact quite profound. The classics only mention positive and negative (吉凶), implying that what is not positive is automatically negative. However, the laws of physics tell us that if a positively charged particle loses its positive charge, it becomes discharged, i.e. neutral. It does not take on a negative charge. For all their brilliance, the ancient Chinese did not invent the zero in mathematics, a discrete entity in between positive and negative numbers. (The all-important zero was a Middle Eastern import.) Perhaps that explains the rather intransigent mind set of the classical writers. If we follow through this line of logic, a positive Star if countered will be incapacitated partially or totally, but it should not turn negative.
  • The classics do not say much about the negative Stars in this respect. Modern writers are divided on the question of whether a negative Star will behave better, or worse, when it is grown or supported by the Palace. (Like the positive Stars, we would not differentiate between growing and being grown.) In the old days, perhaps the question was of little practical significance as the important living quarters were not located in the negative Palaces. Maybe that’s why the classics ignored it. In a modern house, it is not uncommon to find an important room at a negative Star location. So the question becomes relevant. Drawing on the principles of Purple Star destiny analysis, a negative Star entering a harmonious Palace (mutual growth or support) is likely to behave less negatively, the rationale being that the Star is placated in its comfort zone. But of course it is still negative by nature and will not turn positive.
  • Conversely, a negative Star being countered will turn even more malicious, not unlike a hoodlum showing his ugly side when ruffled or challenged. This is also in line with Purple Star principles. As to whether Palace countering negative Star is more onerous than the other way around, it hardly matters. Bad is bad enough.
  • The view that only opposite polarities between Palace and Star will invoke elemental interplay is, to my mind, inadequately substantiated. I won’t buy it yet. It is interesting the 2 authors who mentioned “Palace and Star walking the same path” come from Taiwan. Perhaps this calls for more research using Taiwanese material.
  • The classics go to some length in describing the individual family members who will be impacted by the arrival of certain Stars at certain Palaces, such as:
  • Greedy Wolf affects the eldest son, positively when the Star is strong, negatively when it is countered;
  • The classics go to some length in describing the individual family members who will be impacted by the arrival of certain Stars at certain Palaces, such as:
  1. Greedy Wolf affects the eldest son, positively when the Star is strong, negatively when it is countered;
  2. Hugh Door affects the middle son;
  3. Military Arts affects the youngest son;
  4. Broken Soldier and Chastity harm the eldest son;
  5. Literary Arts harms the middle son;
  6. Rewards harms the youngest son;
  7. Hugh Door affects the middle son;
  8. Military Arts affects the youngest son;
  9. Broken Soldier and Chastity harm the eldest son;
  10. Literary Arts harms the middle son;
  11. Rewards harms the youngest son;
  • A Star countering a Palace, or Palace countering the Star, will harm the family member associated with the Palace (qian = father, kun = mother, etc.). In interpreting a chart, do bear in mind that the chart merely indicates the potential for an event to happen. For the event to materialize, external features (luantou) must support it. Moreover, old texts tend to be alarmist in character. I would take the predictions of death and doom with a pinch of salt.
  • The analysis also provides the expected timing of an event. The Wood, Fire, Metal and Water Stars are most active during the years and months associated with the respective elements (3-Harmonies Branches, also the Stems). There is a controversy over Earth Stars. I’m inclined to go along with the Earth frame Branches (chen, xu, chou, wei) and the Earth Stems (wu, ji).

Epilogue

Elemental interplay between Palace and Star is a useful analytical tool in advanced level 8 Mansions fengshui. 8-Mansions is often labelled as inadequate or old fashioned compared with newer techniques. That is grossly unfair. This time tested technique has many hidden jewels if only one cares to look for them.

(From the ramblings of one hhc, a fengshui crazee!)

(Article kind courtesy of Master HC Hung)

 

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