The use of Feng Shui measurements was first recorded during the Sung dynasty (960 – 1128 AD). They were first applied to furniture, windows and doors for the imperial palace.
There are two sets of measurements on a Feng Shui ruler or measuring tape. The markings and dimensions on top are meant for Yang houses (homes for the living) while the ones on the bottom are meant for Yin houses (coffins and grave sites).
For Yang houses, the ruler is divided into eight sections, four of which are generally auspicious and the remaining four generally inauspicious. The ruler which is based on an ancient system of measure is equivalent to modern day 42.96 cm or 16 15/16 inches.
The auspicious sections are the first, fourth, fifth and eight and they are label ‘Cai’ (meaning wealth), ‘Yi’ (meaning noble or justice), ‘Kuan’ (meaning official) and ‘Ben’ (meaning basis or origin) respectively.
The inauspicious sections are the second called ‘Bing’ (meaning sickness), the third called ‘Li’ (meaning leave or separate), the sixth called ‘Jie’ (meaning robbery or disaster) and the seventh called ‘Hai’ (meaning harmful).
Each of the eight sections is further divided into four sub-sections of 0.525 inches or 1.34 cm. Each of the sections (1 of 8) and the four subsection within carry a meaning (either auspicious or inauspicious).
After the eighth section, the whole length (of the 8 sections) is repeated again. For shorter measurements, the standard Feng Shui ruler is adequate but for measuring longer lengths, the Feng Shui measuring tape is more convenient and gives more precise measurements.
The subsections within the first section ‘Cai’ (meaning wealth) are fortune, resource, six harmony and prosperity.
Within the second section ‘Bing’ (meaning illness) are losses, bad encounter, imprisonment and widow.
Within the third section ‘Li’ (meaning separation) are wealth denied, loss of wealth, cheated and total loss.
The subsections within the fourth section ‘Yi’ (meaning noble) are gain descendants, profits, talented offspring and great prosperity.
Within the fifth section ‘Kuan’ (meaning official) are abundance of food, indirect wealth, better income and riches.
Within the sixth section ‘Jie’ (meaning disaster) are death, loss of descendants, leave home and money loss. (In the old days having to leave home is most unfortunate.)
The subsections within the seventh ‘Hai’ (meaning harm) are calamities, possible death, sickness and quarrels.
Finally within the eighth section ‘Ben’ (meaning capital or source) are wealth, promotion opportunities, arrival of wealth and abundance.
You should be able to buy a Feng Shui ruler from your nearby Feng Shui store. Or you can make your own Feng Shui ruler. Simply cut a length of 42.96 cm and divide it into eight equal sections. Colour the first, fourth, fifth and eighth section red and the rest in black. That’s it. You have your own Feng Shui ruler!