Tag Archives: eight mansions

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 StarMost 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 StarMost 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.


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).


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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Eight Mansion’s Wandering Stars Part 1

by Master HC Hung

Location location location, that’s the battle cry of today’s real estate business. Interestingly the same could have been an issue with the Wandering Stars of 8-Mansions fengshui, albeit in a different context.

Of late much interest has been expressed, under various forums, on the interplay of elements between the Wandering Stars and the Palaces they land on. The discussions prompted me to look up what the classical texts and other writers have to say, and in the process unearthed a plethora of divergent interpretations. I am happy to share my findings herein, and in the concluding paragraphs, table my own view and the reasoning behind.

As this paper is an attempt, feeble as it may be, at academic research, I dearly welcome comments and criticisms, all in the spirit of advancing our knowledge of 8-Mansions fengshui. Chinese writers are fond of using the phrase “throw out a brick to attract jade”. Whilst this may be labelled “unrealistic profit expectations” in today’s world, it’s a nice thought.

The classical name of the topic being discussed is “gong xing sheng ke” (宫星生克), which may be simply translated as “elemental interplay between Palace and Star”.


Whereas the 8 Wandering Stars: shengqi, tianyi, yannian, fuwei, huohai, liusha, wugui and jueming are taught at a fairly basic level in the study of 8-Mansions, less attention is paid to the fact that these Stars have intrinsic elements, and that the interplay between the element of the visiting Star and the element of the host Palace will affect the strength of the Star.

The 8 Wandering Stars, the heavenly stars associated with them, their respective metaphysical elements and polarity are tabulated below:

Wandering Star (游星)Heavenly Star (天星)ElementPolarity
shengqi (生气)Greedy Wolf (贪狼)Woodyang
tianyi (天医)Hugh Door (巨门)Earthyang
yannian (延年)Military Arts (武曲)Metalyang
fuwei (伏位)Left & Right Assistants (辅弼)Woodyin
huohai (祸害)Rewards (禄存)Earthyin
liusha (六煞)Literary Arts (文曲)Wateryang
wugui (五鬼)Chastity (廉贞)Fireyin
jueming (绝命)Broken Soldier (破军)Metalyin

The first 4 (shengqi, tianyi, yannian, fuwei) are the good guys, and the other 4 the baddies. That’s common knowledge, but how good or how bad? That will depend on where the Star lands in the luoshu (洛书) diagram, i.e. which Palace. The extent to which the Palace, as host, affects the Star, as visitor, is open to interpretation, and opinions do diverge widely between writers.

The luoshu Palaces need no introduction, but the following table is included for easy reference:

Locationluoshu NumberPalace nameElementPolarity
North1kan (坎)Wateryang
Northeast8gen (艮)Earthyang
East3zhen (震)Woodyang
West7dui (兑)Metalyin
Southwest2kun (坤)Earthyin
South9li (离)Fireyin
Southeast4xun (巽)Woodyin

This is what the classics, and other masters more learned than I, have to say:

8-Mansions Bright Mirror (八宅明镜):

Probably the best known of the 8-Mansions classics, the work is often attributed to the Taoist monk Ruo guan (箬冠道师) who lived in the early Qing Dynasty. The version that survived has a preface dated 1790 in which the writer said he obtained a copy from Ruo, but did not say Ruo actually wrote it.

” … Palace is internal, Star external. Partially negative if internal counters external, totally negative if external counters internal. yang Star countering yin Palace will harm females, whereas yin Star countering yang Palace will harm males. Example: if Rewards yin earth Star enters Kan, a yang (water) Palace denoting the middle male, the latter is affected negatively… Greedy Wolf… is in positive territory at kan, li, zhen and xun. At qian and dui, it is countered internally and turns negative. At kun and gen, it is engaged in external battle and its benevolence is reduced… Hugh Door… in positive territory at qian, dui, kun and li… countered internally at zhen and xun… external battle at kan… Military Arts… in positive territory at qian, dui, gen and kun… countered internally at li… external battle at zhen and xun… “

Note that Bright Mirror has contradicted itself. The first paragraph says Star countering Palace is more onerous, whereas the later paragraphs say otherwise.

We can summarize Bright Mirror’s stand as follows:

  • If the Palace grows the Star, or the Star grows the Palace, or the elements are mutually supportive (same), a positive Star stays positive;
  • If a negative Star enters a Palace of opposite polarity, the family member associated with the Palace is affected negatively.

Bright Mirror does not address the following issues:

  • What if a negative Star enters a Palace that grows, or is grown by, or supports the Star’s element? Will the negative Star flex its negative muscles more vigorously, or will it become more civil in a harmonious environment?
  • What about negative Star and Palace having the same polarity? Will the associated family member be affected?

Golden Light Star Arrivals Classic (金光斗临经)

First published in 1779, this is another Qing Dynasty classic that is often regarded, jointly with Bright Mirror, as the definitive manuals of 8-Mansions fengshui. The 2 classics cover much common ground (wonder who copied from whom?), except Golden Light makes more use of case studies.

Surprisingly I am unable to find in Golden Light any meaningful discussion on elemental interplay between Palace and Star.

Collection of Classics on the Physiognomy of Dwellings (相宅经纂)

Purportedly written by Zeng yihang (憎一行), the venerable Tang Dynasty scholar monk and astronomer, as early as AD632, this collection of papers was edited and re-published in 1844 during the Qing Dynasty. It is a noteworthy precursor to Bright Mirror.

” … Greedy Wolf resides at the North, owner prosperous. Hugh Door arrives at Fire (South), descendants strong. Military Arts best at Earth locations (North-east, South-west). Each residing at its home location is also beneficial (GW at E & SE, etc). Only for liusha Literary Arts Water, the Central Palace being countered is not harmful (meaning unclear)… Greedy Wolf prospers the eldest son, Hugh Door the middle son. Military Arts enriches the youngest son. Literary Arts spoils the middle son, as does Rewards the youngest son. Broken Soldier and Chastity impoverish the eldest son… Greedy Wolf (Wood Star) should not enter qian or dui (Metal Palaces), the eldest son dies young, the old man is harmed. Abundant fields and silk worms but nobody to manage them. The widow watches over an empty house. Hugh Door and Rewards (Earth Stars) should not enter zhen or xun (Wood Palaces) the family fortune will be diminished first and then the old man harmed. Hugh Door entering zhen brings death to the middle son; Rewards entering xun hurts the women folk. Literary Arts (Water Star) should not enter gen or kun (Earth Palaces), the women and the old man will be harmed most. gen countering Literary Arts will harm the male; whereas kun countering Literary Arts will harm the women. Chastity (Fire Star) entering kan (Water Palace), the home of water, will lead to repeated deaths by drowning in the well or river. The eldest son loses his mind amongst thieves and robbers. Soldiers suffer a painful death under the knife and sword. Military Arts and Broken Soldier (Metal Stars) entering li (Fire Palace) leads to difficult births, diseases and ill-fated deaths. Military Arts being countered spoils the youngest son; Broken Soldier being countered impacts the eldest son negatively. Left and Right Assistants (Wood Star) entering qian or dui (Metal Palaces) dwindle the family size and fortune over time. The Central Palace is the most dangerous, requiring the old mother to take control of family matters (implying the males have all died, but relevance is unclear)… … Positive for yannian Military Arts Metal to reside at the West, and negative for tianyi Hugh Door Earth to sit East. wugui Chastity fears kan, qian and dui, never positive. liusha Literary Arts worries about kun, gen and li, always negative. Military Arts and Broken Soldier regard zhen, xun and li as their nemeses. Greedy Wolf is the enemy of kun, gen and the Central Palace. He who is grown prospers; he who is countered dies… He who does battle turns negative; he who receives support stays positive… “

Physiognomy of Dwellings’ position may be summarized as follows:

  • The positive Stars (Greedy Wolf, Huge Door, Military Arts) impact the family members associated with them positively or negatively depending on whether the Star enters a friendly or hostile Palace. In this context, Greedy Wolf impacts the eldest son, Huge Door the middle son and Military Arts the youngest son;
  • The negative Stars Broken Soldier and Chastity harm the eldest son, whereas Literary Arts injures the middle son, and Rewards the youngest son; (We know that Palaces have family members associated with them. Now it appears Stars too have their favourite sons.)
  • Stars do not like to counter or be countered by the Palaces;
  • The only favourable situations are when the Palace grows or supports the positive Star. Nothing is said about the negative Stars being grown or supported;

From the semantics, it is evident this classic considers the situation of Palace countering Star more onerous than the other way around.

Click here for part 2

(Article kind courtesy of Master HC Hung)

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Eight House Feng Shui

I know of two versions of Eight House Feng Shui.

One is based on personal Kua (or Gua) while the other on the house Kua (or Gua). The personal Kua version is very easy to learn and I will attempt to explain to you in this article.

The first step is to measure the facing direction of the house. In this system there are only eight (8) facing directions. It include the four cardinal directions of north, south, east and west and the four inter-cardinal directions of north east, south east, south west and north west. Each direction falls within a 45 degree pie.

Once you have the facing direction, map the nine palaces to the house as shown. In this example the house is facing south.

Nine Palaces
Nine Palaces

Next find out the Kua number of the head of the household and breadwinner. This is usually the husband but in these modern times, it may well be the wife! If the kua number is 1, 3, 4 or 9 then he or she belongs to the East Life group. If 2, 6, 7 or 8 then it is the West Life group.

For an East Life person, the favourable directions and sectors are north, south, east and south east. And for a West Life person, they are north-east, south west, west and Northwest.

In this example let’s assume that the head of the household and breadwinner is the husband and he belongs to the East Life Group.

Like most other Feng Shui system, the emphasis is to locate the main door and master bedroom in auspicious sectors and corrected oriented. However unlike other system, this Eight House Feng Shui system requires the kitchen to be located in an inauspicious sector but orientated to face an auspicious direction.

Since the husband is an East Life Group person his main door and master bedroom should be in his favourable or auspicious sectors which are north, south, east or south east. His kitchen (or rather the stove) should be in his unfavourable sector of north-east, south-west, west or north-west.


In the first option, I have place the main door in the south sector (one of his favourable sector). The main door faces south (also one of his favourable directions). I have placed the master bedroom in the south east sector (favourable sector) with the bed facing south (favourable direction). Finally I have located his kitchen in the north-east (his unfavourable sector) but with the stove facing south (favourable direction).

Error: Should be “Main Door in South East sector facing South”.

In the second option, the main door is in the south east (favorable sector) while the main door faces south (favorable direction). The bedroom is in the east (favorable sector) while the bed faces east (favorable direction). Finally the kitchen is in the north-west (unfavorable sector) while the stove faces east (favorable direction).

Both the options are favourable for an East Life person.

What if the children are from the west group? Not a problem. Simply try to locate them in a bedroom located in the north-east, south-west, west or north-west sectors.

But what if the wife is from the west group? Put her in a different room? Nope. She simply has the share the same bedroom and bed with the husband. At least this is how it was practice in the old days!

I must caution that while most schools of Feng Shui place the same emphasis on the main door, master bedroom and kitchen, the method that they use and the recommendations may be different. What I have described above is correct for this system whose foundation is the Ba Gua. Other systems have their foundation on others such the Lo Shu and are likely to yield different recommendations.

So if a consultant suggests that you – say an East person – sleeps in a room located in the west, it does not mean he is wrong. Please remember this! Different systems are founded on different principles. At the end its whether they yield the right results or not!

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Ba Zhai – True or False Feng Shui

Ba Zhai or Eight Mansion is a popular system of Feng Shui practice by many in the east. Its popularity is likely due to its simplicity where the auspicious and inauspicious sectors within a dwelling are determined simply by the sitting direction of the dwelling.

A dwelling is divided into eight sectors. Four of these are auspicious and four are not depending on the sitting direction. Houses that sit north, south, east or south-east are known as east houses while those that sit north-west, south-west, west and north-east are known as west houses.

For east houses, the sectors of north, south, east and south-east are auspicious while the others are not. For west houses, the sectors north-west, south-west, west and north-east are auspicious while the rest are not. In practice, practitioner strives to place the main door, master bedroom and kitchen in the auspicious sectors of the dwelling.

Another thing with the eight house system is that the passage of time does not affect the luck of the house unlike other systems such as the Flying Star which believe that the luck of the dwelling changes over time.

There are many who say that the Eight House is a false system. Feng Shui Master Jiang Da Hong who lived about 400 years ago, state that the system is false in his book, “The Five Songs of the Heavenly Principles”. In it he states that, “The eight house fixed by the sitting and facing is baseless. The wane and wax of the three cycles fixes the true path” implying that the auspicious and inauspicious sectors (or areas imbue with good or bad qi) is not fixed and changes with time.

Of course later commentators who practice the Eight House method insist that it shows positive results. Even today there are many practitioners of this system and they too insist that it works. So who is right?

The answer may lie in this legend. Apparently Emperor Xuan Zong (685-762 CE) of the Tang Dynasty ordered Yi Xing a buddhist monk, astronomer and royal advisor to the king to devise a false method for the ‘barbarian’ neighbours. But instead the monk created a simple one based on Feng Shui’s fundamental principles.

Although the original text is lost, this system is described in many notable text including Ba Zhai Ming Jing (Eight Mansions Bright Mirror) and Ba Zhai Zhou Shu (The Complete Book of Ba Zhai).

I believe the debate as to who is right or wrong will go on until someone comes out with enough proof that one or the other is wrong. Or maybe they will discover that both are right with their individual strengths and weakness!

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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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