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Scary Sha Qi

Sunday, May 21, 2006
By: Joey Yap

I've gotten a lot of emails from readers of this column for more 'how to' Feng Shui. Thus, in response to these popular requests, I've decided to tackle a Feng Shui subject that everyone, at one point or another in his life, has worried about: Sha Qi.

I have noticed, from the many questions I received from the public during my seminars and talks, that people have a lot of paranoia about Sha Qi. Sha Qi means 'Killing Qi' in case you don't already know. I do not believe that Feng Shui should be about freaking people out. That's the job of horror movies. No one should have to practice Feng Shui in paranoia, living in fear of doing anything lest it upset the cosmic flow of Qi, or worrying that the newest addition to his living room is going to shorten his life by 10 years simply because it looks vaguely pointy.

So this week, I'm going to give you some simple pointers (no pun intended) on how to discern Sha Qi and when not to be worried about Sha Qi.

Of course, an important disclaimer applies. I always tell people that when it comes to Feng Shui, there's no greater secret technique than the secret art of common sense. Common sense will tell you that if the Sha Qi is a significantly sized problem (like a pylon), any cures or remedies will be limited in their effect and impact. Also in Feng Shui, curing or remedying a situation is not always the best course of action.

What is Sha Qi?

If you're going to be scared, you better know what you should be scared of surely? Sha Qi has become a much-loved bogeyman for many New Age Feng Shui practitioners because it's so easy to invoke. If you follow New Age Feng Shui, it would seem anything with a sharp point, is evil, emanating malignant Qi and will shorten your life, deplete your bank account and or make your spouse run away, take your pick.

First, let us understand Qi a little bit better before we dwell into Sha Qi. Qi is the natural living energy that is found in the universe. It is the product of mountains and water in the environment. Formations in the environment produce two kinds of Qi: Sheng Qi or Sha Qi. The aim of the practice of Feng Shui in essence is to grow the Sheng Qi or encourage positive Qi and minimise the Sha Qi or negative Qi. By minimising the Sha Qi, Feng Shui practitioners look for ways to transform the Sha Qi, through re-alignment of the Qi pathways for example, into a more sentimental form of Qi. This is because Qi, like all forms of energy, cannot be destroyed or dissolved, it can only be transformed.

So, now that you understand Qi, let's move to Sha Qi. What is Sha Qi really? Sha Qi is sharp, fierce, merciless Qi produced as a result of energies being focused by sharp corners, straight lines or narrow gaps, creating energy that moves aggressively and quickly.

Sha Qi can come from a variety of sources: the most obvious source of Sha Qi is sharp, pointy objects - a roof-edge, a pylon, sharp mountain peaks or straight roads are examples of objects or formations that can generate Sha Qi in an environment. Gushing strong water can also produce Sha Qi. Sha Qi can also be produced when wind is 'focused' through narrow gaps, for example, by a gap between two buildings, known as 'Sky Crack Sha' in Feng Shui or by an alleyway, in a formation known as 'Pulling Nose Qi'.


Sha Qi Urban Legends

Now, having said that, this does not mean that everything that is pointy or sharp produces Sha Qi. If you take a moment to think about it, if you had to eliminate everything that was pointy or sharp in your life, there would be a lot of inconveniences in life. You can't use a pen or pencil, eat with chopsticks and you can't have any kind of furniture in your house unless it is of a round-shape. You will have to sleep in a round bed, and you'd have to find some other way to cut your food because you can't have a blender or a shredder or a knife in your house.

Plants do not produce Sha Qi. Furniture does not produce Sha Qi. I know that I have said that Qi is energy produced by the natural environment but let us be realistic: how much Sha Qi can a potted cactus produce? Even if for the sake of argument, there is Sha Qi emanating from a cactus - compare the size of the needles on the small potted cactus to the size of the average human being. Proportionality will tell you that any Sha Qi will have minimal effect at best!

If you have a giant cactus growing right in front of your Main Door, to the point that it blocks out all light from your Main Door entrance, then okay, I'll concede that you may have a problem. But it is not due to the cactus - it is because the cactus is placed in a location that obstructs Qi from entering the property, and not because the Main Door is being 'skewered' by the Sha Qi of prickly cactus needles.

That goes the same with having shelves in your room or the pointy corner of a desk aimed at your bed. These are really small and very minor issues. Of course, in Feng Shui, we prefer harmonious and rounded surfaces, but that applies to the large structures more than the small matters like your book shelves.


Of course, some of the examples here do not make sense and are absolutely outrageous but these are actually questions that I get in my email box or get asked at seminars. It is not that people are being silly - it is that they are genuinely concerned and have been given this notion by New Age Feng Shui practitioners, making them think that their new L-shaped sofa is producing Sha Qi. That is why you should not be paranoid when it comes to Sha Qi because then you will start to see Sha Qi where there is none!

You can't get rid of it all!

In this modern day and age, it is virtually impossible to live in a civilised society, without some form of something sharp, somewhere in the environment. You want to have Astro in your house? Then you're probably pointing something sharp at one of your neighbours in order to receive the signal. Unless you are prepared to go back to nature or live in the boonies without electricity or cable TV, some sharp objects have to be accepted as part of your environment.

So what is your best defence against the Sha Qi bogeyman? Be practical, use common sense and develop a sense of proportionality. A large pointy structure like a lamp post directly outside your Main Door or a pylon outside the building you live in, is obviously exerting a more significant effect on the Qi in your environment than that souvenir miniature Eiffel Tower you bought on a trip to Paris that sits on your desk. That's being practical and using your common sense. Being proportional means looking at the distance between your location and that of the Sha Qi and determining the proportion of the problem. Let's say you know that within a 10km radius of your house, there is a pylon. But this pylon cannot actually be SEEN from your house. Then it's not that big a problem.


Accordingly, when it comes to Sha Qi in your environment, before you press the panic button, you should also consider this question: does it affect any one of the 3 important factors: the Main Door, the bedroom and the Kitchen? If the Sha Qi is near, and affects your Main Door, then you may have a serious problem, which may require a Feng Shui professional's assistance to evaluate and resolve. Similarly, if you have internal Sha Qi in your house, but it points at your toilet door, your problem is minor. I mean, how many of us really do 'important business' inside the toilet?

Sha Qi is of course a cause for concern when it comes to the quality of the Feng Shui in your environment. But that does not mean you have to live in constant fear. Dealing with Sha Qi is truly a matter of understanding what it is, appreciating when it is a problem and when it is not a problem and most importantly, differentiating the Sha Qi you should be concerned about, and the negligible stuff. In my next article, I will show you some examples of major Sha Qi problems and explain how to deal with Sha Qi.

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