Feng Shui: The Eight Mansions and Flying Star

The Eight Mansions and Xuan Kong Flying Star Feng Shui system are two popular classical Feng Shui systems. Both have a long history stretching at least 1000 years.


The Eight Mansions system was reputedly formulated during the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) while the Xuan Kong Flying Star (of Fei Xing) about 1000 years ago.

What is the main difference between them? The answer is time.

The fundamental core of the Xuan Kong Flying Star system is that the Feng Shui quality of a dwelling can change over time. Every house inherits a set of ‘qi’ upon completion – which can be changed by further renovations. This ‘qi’ affects the wealth, career, health and relationship potential of the occupants. The quality of this set of ‘qi’ can change as we move though time and a house that is considered highly auspicious during a certain period can lose its quality many years down the road and vice versa.

The Eight Mansions system on the other hand is less dynamic. Once the house is correctly matched to the occupants, the house continues to support the occupants. In fact the longer the occupants stay in the house, the better the Feng Shui. (It is technically incorrect to say that time does not matter in the Eight Mansions. However the time element is so small and insignificant that for all intents and purpose we can ignore it in this discussion.)

Sounds contradictory, does it? One changes with time while the other does not?

In my opinion its does not, and you will understand better, if we dig deeper into the basis of the system.

The Eight Mansions system is based on the principle that mankind is imbue with an energy signature during birth that determines his favourable sectors and directions. Based on the date of birth, mankind is classified into with the East or West Life Group. If they are in the East Life Group, their favourable sectors (in the dwelling) and directions are north, south, east and southeast. For the West Life group, the favourable sectors and directions are the remaining cardinal and inter-cardinals of northwest, southwest, west and northeast.

The fundamental belief of this system is that the occupants will be supported (benefits them) by the house if the three important factors namely, the main door, stove and bedroom are in a sector or direction that is favourable to them – there is an exception with the stove.

The Flying Star system on the other hand believes that the house is influenced by the energy exerted by the nearby planets which changes its position over time.

If you study the practical application of the Xuan Kong Flying System, you will notice that the emphasis is on the locating the main door, stove and bedroom in sectors with good and timely energy. It is likely trying to be in the right place at the right time. (It is technically incorrect to say that the Flying Stars does not consider the person. It still does – via the personal or life gua – but the emphasis is still more on the changing ‘qi’. )

Does it look like the Flying Star is trying to capitalize on the energies of heaven (cosmic and from out of space) while the Eight Mansions is trying to do the same with the earth? It is food for thoughts.

From the above, you can see that the two systems are not divergent, they simply have different emphasis. Can you combine the systems together? Not really. You cannot combine the two systems and use it together without conflict.

However this has not stopped practitioner from trying. Let me give you an example of how they are doing it. Suppose the Flying Stars says that two sectors namely south and southwest are both suitable for a bedroom. Then – assuming that all things are equal – they would use the south sector as a bedroom for an East Life person (one of his auspicious sectors). And they would use the room in the southwest sector for the West Life person (one of his auspicious sectors).

Up to now, I have not talk about the surrounding forms (e.g. mountains and rivers). It does not mean that they are not important. They are. The presence of the right form is important to both the system as they enhance the positive energies in both the systems. So it is more a similarity than a difference.

In summary, the Eight Mansions system seems to be trying to capitalize on the energies of earth while the Flying Star appears to do the same with the energies of heaven?

Think about it. It is definitely food for thoughts!

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2 thoughts on “Feng Shui: The Eight Mansions and Flying Star”

  1. Hello
    I just tumbled on your site, and this is an old post. But I am still puzzled by the fact that this old “quarrel” still exist.
    First, where to classify Ba Zhai?
    Some say it is San He; then how come it is based on guas and 8 wandering stars are derived from flipping yaos of trigrams which belongs clearly to San Yuan?
    If it is San Yuan, why deal with elemental relationships and three harmonies that are pure San He? As well as tricks like seasonal and elemental changes in 5 elements Qi as sole time factor?
    One should answer these questions first before qualifying Ba Zhai as kindergarten F.S.
    Some say BaZhai has much more depth than apparent and should be looked at as a real ZhongHe complete tool.

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