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TUTORIALS

Simple Feng Shui - For Sophisticated Living

Thursday, October 2, 2003
By: Joey Yap

How many people would like a simple solution that will bring about an immense change in the Feng Shui of their property; show of hands please?

Everybody?

Me too. Honestly.

I would really love it if Feng Shui were a weekend do-it-yourself project that required nothing more than a couple of screws, a hammer and an electric drill. And possibly a simple diagram on what goes where.

However, the truth of the matter is that Feng Shui, like any science, requires a great deal of study and is not a weekend subject. The various systems of classical Feng Shui - San Yuan, San He, Xuan Kong, Ba Zhai etc are already an indication of how vast and rich the knowledge contained in Feng Shui is.

But readers are always interested in something they can implement 'right NOW' and so, quick answers and quick fixes to problems that they are facing. It's sad that people are willing to trade quality for a quick fix that may not even work effectively.

Although there is no such thing as a quick fix, the easiest method I can prescribe for you would be simple Ba Zhai or Eight Mansions Feng Shui technique. There are many parts to this system - House Gua, Life Gua, Na Jia, Eight Mansions Water Method, to name a few.

Several distinct ancient classics relate to this particular system of Feng Shui and most of them are pretty sophisticated. The simplest method available to us is the 'Life Gua' method of Eight Mansions, which can be learned in less than 5 minutes.

My article today will focus on explaining this Life Gua method.

Your initial starting point for this methodology will be your date of birth. Based on this we will then ascertain your Life Gua or your 'Ming Gua'. Each Gua is unique and will indicate your favorable and unfavorable compass directions and locations.

A common mistake amongst beginners who attempt this method is to use the Chinese Lunar Calendar as opposed to the Chinese Solar Calendar which is used for Feng Shui calculations.

The Solar Calendar is based on the 24 Qi Seasons and each year starts on the Western Calendar's February 4th (with a variance of one day on either side). February 4th of the western Gregorian Calendar synchronizes with the first day of the Chinese Solar Calendar. A primary difference between the Chinese Solar and Lunar Calendar is that the former is based on the position of the Sun while the latter is based on the moon and as such contains an additional month every few years.

If you were born prior to February 4th of any year, use the previous year as your point of reference when calculating your Life Gua. Once having established your year of birth, refer to the following table for a step-by-step guide to calculating your Life Gua. Notice that the males and females have different methods to calculate their Life Gua's.

Calculating your Ming Gua
FOR MALES
FOR FEMALES
  • Ascertain your Year of Birth. Make sure you know the cut-off point is February 4th.
  • Add the last two digits of your year of birth up.
  • Reduce it to a single digit .
  • The result number will be your Life Gua number.

    Example year of birth
    1954
    5+ 4 = 9
    10 - 9 = 1

  • For a Male person born (after Feb 4) in 1954, his Life Gua is 1.
  • Ascertain your Year of Birth. Make sure you know the cut-off point is February 4th.
  • Add the last two digits of your year of birth up.
  • Reduce it to a single digit ยท
  • For Females, ADD 5 to this digit.
  • The result number will be your Life Gua number.

    Example year of birth
    1974
    7+ 4 = 11
    1 + 1 = 2
    2 + 5 = 7

  • For a Female person born (after Feb 4) in 1974, her Life Gua is 7.

Do take note that if your resultant number is 5, then Males will assume a Life Gua of #2 and Females will assume Gua #8.

These numbers that you've calculated represent Gua or trigrams from the Luo Shu. In Ba Zhai Life Gua, we use the Later Heaven format to ascertain an individual's life gua.

Take a look at this diagram.

These numbers are categorized into TWO groups. The East and the West Group.

Some clients have asked me, why are there no 'North and South' Groups. You see these are just names to demarcate the Greater and Lesser Yin transformation of the TaiJi. They do not literally represent directions. East Group is the Yang group while the West Group is Yin.

East Group Guas include 1, 3, 4 and 9. Those who are Guas 2, 6, 7 and 8 are West Group Guas. The following table will give you a quick reference of the Auspicious and Inauspicious compass directions of the East and West Group.

Each direction is governed by a Star. In the Chinese texts, these are called the "Wandering Stars".

Sheng Qi (Life Generating), Tian Yi (Heavenly Doctor), Yan Nian (Longevity) and Fu Wei (Stability) are Auspicious Stars. (An interesting point to note here is that in some references, 'Yan Nian' is written as 'Nian Yen'. This is incorrect. The Chinese Texts clearly states Yan Nian meaning verbatim 'Prolonging Years'. If you are serious about Feng Shui, the terminology is very important and you need to ensure that you are correct.)

The Inauspicious Stars are Ho Hai (Mishaps), Wu Gui(Five Ghost), Liu Sha(Six Killings) and Jue Ming (Life Diminishing).

I will keep my aticle short and sweet this time around but next time, I will be discussing how to use these directions to your benefit, so do make sure you catch the next installment.

Click here to access the Eight Mansions calculator.

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