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TUTORIALS

Apartment No. 14

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
By: Joey Yap

The Chinese have long held fervent beliefs about the phonetic meanings of certain numbers when said in Cantonese or in Mandarin, or in any of the other Chinese dialects.

My story begins with just such a situation. For privacy reasons, I will leave out the name of this caller whose question really started me on this article.

She was obviously a little disgruntled when she called my office and said, “I am in a number 14”.

“Number 14…err…what?”, I asked, quite perplexed by this caller’s initial greeting. “I’m not clear on what you mean by 14, ma’am”.

She enlightened me as to how she was facing a steady stream of bad luck since her apartment unit was number 14. In Cantonese, this supposedly sounds like ‘sure die’ – which I am inclined to agree with on some level. If you have a friend who speaks Cantonese, they may be able to give you a hand with this one.

I told her that this was not the case and in Chinese, 14 is basically 13 plus one (mathematically speaking that is), it doesn’t relate to ‘sure die’ at all.

“I know lah, but it sounds like it right?”, she retorted.

“That’s what I’m saying”, I pressed my point home, “just because it sounds like it, it doesn’t mean that the number of your unit will bring about such an effect. It’s all house-wives superstitions”.

If you’re wondering why this is merely a superstition, it’s simple really. A number that means one thing in one Chinese dialect may very well mean, or sound like, something else in another. So which dialect is a person supposed to believe? Number 14 sounds differently in different languages too. So does this mean only Chinese Cantonese speakers will be harmed and not the others who are oblivious to this sound-like meaning?

In most Asian countries, it’s not uncommon to hear people buying houses based on the house number or ensuring that their car number plates have numbers like 1-6-8 or 888. While these may ‘sound’ prosperous or nice, they really do not carry any real Feng Shui effects. Feng Shui is about the ‘environmental’ influence of Qi and how it affects the residents. Often, this involves the environment, the building, the residents and time. Feng Shui is not about the ‘sound’ of some numbers. The number “14” has no real Feng Shui significance or taboo. It sometimes causes discomfort because of people’s superstitious belief. If for any reason it does cause you some anxiety, then you should avoid this number, if only for the sake of ‘mental peace’.

Numbers in Feng Shui calculations are used to represent attributes of Qi – not because they symbolize or sound like something auspicious. Numbers are a quick reference to Gua elements and attributes.

I explained to Ms. Numerical that the real reason for her troubles were more likely related to the external and internal arrangements within her apartment.

As a guideline, here’s a quick checklist for you to run through on your own:

  • Check to see if your door is obstructed; Qi should be flowing freely into your main door’s unit. As general guide, it is not advisable to have your main door facing a straight corridor or facing a sharp cutting edge- in these scenarios the Qi may be too fierce to strong and may have a detrimental effect on the occupants.
  • Is your apartment’s door facing your favorable directions? Are you tapping into your favorable direction?
  • If it is obstructed, narrow and dark, then it is unlikely to invite auspicious QI. It is advisable to rectify this where possible.
  • Choose a good room location/sector suitable to your Gua.
  • Sleep in a good direction based on your Gua.

The number of your apartment unit bears no significance on the Feng Shui of your unit itself. However, which floor you are located in and which unit you intend to purchase within that floor may require that you seek the advice of a Professional Feng Shui Consultant prior to choosing your new home.

Should you have already moved and only just discovered some drawbacks to the unit, it’s pointless to continue worrying about this unless you are planning to move. All is not lost however, do try and apply whatever Feng Shui recommendations you can within your apartment.

Qi is directional and locational. You need to ascertain the positive and negative locations of Qi within your own apartment unit and tap into them. If you do not know how to do this, the easiest way out is to apply the Annual influences of Qi and activate it accordingly. For example, the annual star #8 (good energies) which is said to influence wealth is in the West this year. And in 2004, it will be in the Northeast sector. Activate these areas with ‘active’ objects like a TV, Aquarium or something that constantly has activity moves. If you have rooms in these beneficial areas, use them more frequently.

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