by T Selva and Henry Fong
This is part 2 of a 2 parts article that appeared in HomeFinder, a leading property magazine. If you had not see part 1 you can view it at Vasthu & Feng Shui 1.
What is the importance and effects of surrounding features such as mountains, rivers, buildings, roadways etc?
Mountain ranges are a strong source of life supporting qi. Water like lakes or rivers on the other hand is a good accumulator. Thus in Feng Shui, the preferred location of a home should be near the mountains and/or water.
The ideal location in Feng Shui is one that is supported by mountains at the back, lower protective mountain ranges on the left (known as the Dragon Side) and right (Tiger Side). There should be water or an open area known as Virtual Water in front and smaller hills (known as Table Mountain) in the distance.
It would be even better if the Dragon and Tiger extend and protect the site like the pincers of a crab! In this configuration, the mountains will not only bring qi but also serve to protect it from being blown away by the wind.
In a flatter terrain, one should look for unusual protrusion as this indicates the presence of strong qi. In the absence of such form, find a site that faces water.
In the urban environment, buildings take over the roles of mountains. While they are not a strong source of qi, they nevertheless serve to protect the site from strong winds, conserving qi in the area.
Roadways unfortunately are unlike rivers, they do not accumulate qi like waters do. However, they can still assist in dispersing or conserving qi depending on the configuration of the roadways.
When choosing a house, buyers should avoid purchasing close to places of worships, stadiums, function halls or any place that attracts large number of people. In Vasthu Sastra, having such a large gathering in front of the house is not good for the dweller.
Mountains can be located in the western and southern area of the house while rivers or water features can be located in the eastern and northern area of the housing scheme.
In terms of roads, a house should ideally have roads on all four sides of the house to allow even flow of energy.
T-junctions, pylon cables, cemetery, lamp post etc, what are they considered as and what are their effects?
In Feng Shui we believe that certain objects like high tension pylon cables and forms such as T-junction can generate Shas of Killing Energy that can negatively affect the occupants of a house. There are many types of Shas, for example stench from a nearby oxidation pond is called Sound Sha, light reflected from the windows or curtain wall of a nearby building is known as Light Sha, T or Y junctions generate Road Sha and cemetery or places of worship generate Yin Sha.
Some Shas have very dramatic names, for instance the lamp post directly in front of the main door is called Heart Piercing Shas while facing the gap between two buildings is called Heaven Chopping Shas. Shas are also found internally such as the overhead beam over one’s bed.
Since these Shas can affect us negatively in one way or another, avoiding them is crucial. In circumstances where they cannot be avoided, then a defence mechanism must be deployed. For example, if the main door is facing a lamp post directly, one can relocate the door especially if there is a more auspicious sector. Another method in to block the ‘sha’. An example is to build an additional pathway or plant trees between the sha and the house. There are also other more aggressive defence methods such as reflecting or bouncing back.
Houses located in the T and Y junctions are very inauspicious in Vasthu Sastra because the negative energy that flows on the road opposite the house will hit into the house directly. People staying in such a property will experience no peace of mind, faced with financial problems and terminal illness.
Both Feng Shui and Vasthu Sastra share the same views on this and through experience, many dwellers in such houses have suffered in silence. Developers do not take this into consideration because they want to maximize profits and this is why such houses appear in the most unfavourable places.
How do we select areas to place the main door, bedroom, kitchen etc?
In Li or formula based systems such as the Flying Star or Eight Mansions, a house is divided into sectors of varying quality. Quality of sectors in the Flying Star system are determined by examining the mountain, water and period star (expressed in numbers) in each sector which in turn is derived from the period and facing-direction of the house. Depending on the type of the stars in each sector, the qualities of each sector is then determined and classified. The classification can range from very good, average to very bad.
The same applies to the Eight Mansions system but instead of looking at the facing-direction, the auspicious and inauspicious sectors are derived based on the sitting-direction of the house and the interaction of the Kuas in the Pa Kua or known as the Eight Trigrams. Again, these sectors range from excellent to very bad and they are given names such as Sheng Qi, Fu Wei, Jue Meng etc to reflect the quality of the qi in each of these sectors.
Feng Shui tries to place the important or frequented areas such as the main door, kitchen, bedrooms, study and living areas in the good sectors. Other areas such as the toilet or store should be placed in bad sectors. The rationale is that the more time the occupants spend in these good or auspicious sectors, the more they will be influenced by the positive qi within. And since less time is spent in the toilet or store, one will be less affected by the inauspicious qi in these areas.
As opposed to Feng Shui, a dweller will be able to determine the direction and location of the main door, bedrooms, toilet and bathrooms by using an engineering compass. For example, couples should sleep in the south-west of the house, which is the most auspicious location in a property. Bathrooms and toilets must not be located in the north-east (spiritual quadrant) and south-west (prosperity quadrant).
The main door can be located in any of the eight compass directions (north, south, east west, south-east, north-east and north-west) except south-west which is regarded as on inauspicious entry. This is because the subtle positive energy that enters into the house through the northeast should settle in the south-west and if there is any opening like a door, the energy will escape and will not benefit the dwellers.
What part do symbols play?
There are many schools of Feng Shui and some make very extensive use of symbols. For example the deity Guan Gong protects the household, the turtle provides support, the horse represents success etc.
Others such as the classical Flying Star and Eight Mansions system make very moderate use of them. In fact in these systems, the potent ingredient is not the symbols but rather the elements that make up the symbols.
Illustrating an example from the Eight Mansions system, a house that sits north, the Sheng Qi (wood element) wandering star occupies the SE sector. In the Pa Kua, the element of SE is wood. In this case, the wandering star is assisted by the sector. A practitioner would introduce more wood and water, where appropriate, in this area to further enhance this sector. Depending on the circumstances, these wood and water elements can be real plants, a water fountain or items of the colours green and blue.
To illustrate another example, this time from the Flying Star system, let’s assume the stars 2 and 5 occupy a certain sector. Both the stars 2 and 5 are earth based and are inauspicious in the current period. In the cycle of the five elements, metal exhaust earth and a practitioner would introduce a metal object to neutralise the inauspicious energy. This metal object can be a pendulum clock, copper tooling art, copper vase, ancient Chinese coins or simply a metallic ornament.
From ancient times, symbols are regarded as powerful products to avert negative energy in Vasthu Sastra. In metaphysics and prehistoric studies, symbols are regarded as visible signs of an invisible reality. Symbols act like keys that help an individual to attract a particular energy pattern he or she needs. Such patterns can be related to love, money, relationship, unity, studies, mental power, health, safety, spirituality and peace of mind. How to choose a symbol? When a symbol is in sight, one must feel a need to wear or carry it. Among the auspicious symbols include the swastika, anchor, cross, fish, bells and arrow.
So there, a quick look at two of the very profound practices of Feng Shui and Vasthu Sastra and how the earthly elements are perceived under each discipline. This concludes our two part series of Feng Shul vs Vasthu Sastra.