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Matters of Mountain and Man

Sunday, August 6, 2006
By: Joey Yap

One of the frequent requests that I get from the public is for me to simplify, simplify, simplify. Complex theories and long formulas do not appeal to many people - they just want to know what is the crux of the whole subject, preferably in as short a sentence as possible.

Well, that's quite a challenge but I think there are very few fields of study that can rival Feng Shui when it comes to brevity and elegant short sentences that are loaded with meaning. Of course, the ancient Chinese sages like being cryptic. They deliberately wanted to be brief and to the point. This is because brevity in the case of the Chinese language adds an air of mystery and actually complicates the understanding and interpretation of the subject!

Take for example, the famous saying [山管人丁水管財]. Translated, this means 'Mountains Govern People, Water Governs Wealth'. Now, if you have absolutely no knowledge of Feng Shui, this would mean about as much sense to you in English, as it would in Greek. Looks simple, but is in fact not all that simple if you don't know the context. Is mountain actually mountain? Does it refer to boulders? What about that fake rock mountain in your backyard?

This phrase, aside from the obvious references to Mountains and Rivers, in fact reiterates an important principle in Feng Shui - Feng Shui is about Yin and Yang and you need both to be in perfect balance and equilibrium before you can achieve success in life. It tells us that Wealth Luck, without People Luck, is not the key to success in life. It is common for people to fixate on the Water (i.e. Wealth Luck) aspect of Feng Shui, and neglect the Mountain (i.e. People Luck) matters. You cannot have the one without the other - mountain is just as important as water, and thus, People Luck, is just as important as Wealth Luck. See, so much in just one sentence (or 7 characters, if you count it in Chinese)

Now, this week, I will be talking about the Mountain aspect of Feng Shui and giving you a simple guide to Mountains and Feng Shui. Next week, I will talk about Water. At the end of the two articles, you should have a clearer idea of how and why Mountain and Water need to be present together, in order for an area to be said to have good Feng Shui.

The Unmoving Mountains

Many people incorrectly interpret mountains as a Yang force in the Yin Yang equilibrium. In fact, Mountain is a Yin feature because Yin is unmoving, still and quiet. When was the last time you saw a mountain move?

When the saying talks about 'Mountains Governing People", it does not just mean descendants or relationships, it encompasses health, attitude and most importantly, status. You can have all the money in the world, but if you're too sick to spend it, what's the point? And all the money in the world will not matter, if you are not accepted at the upper echelons of society or if you are not recognised in society for who you are. When you have arrived, wealth is not the issue. Quality of life is. And the biggest contributor towards quality of life today is good health.

Why are you looking at Mountains? Again, many people incorrectly think that Qi in the environment comes from Water. It is the mountains that are the source of Qi because they are in effect, living star forms, created by the magnetic pull of the planetary formations, and generating the Qi in the natural environment. Qi comes from the mountains, and is collected at the boundaries of Water. So an area with no mountains and only Water is actually a case of nice to see, but not much substance. The Water is there to collect Qi, but as there are no mountains in the area, there's no Qi generated in the first place.

This is why a classical Feng Shui practitioner will judge the quality of the Qi and potential of the land for land development projects or Yin House projects, by examining and exploring the capacity, potential and outcomes of the land, as is indicated by the source of Qi in the area, namely, the mountain formations. As a lay person, if you already have your house or are going to buy a house, what you want to do is to check the quality of Qi in the area by looking at the mountains (or hills) in the vicinity of your home.

People often tell me, I see no mountains. If you live in Klang Valley, you are living in a hilly area. Most people don't notice the mountains because they don't really look. Pantai Hills, Bangsar, One Utama, Damansara Heights, Taman Tun - all these areas have very prominent hill formations. Hills and contours in the land are everywhere and these are considered as Mountains in Feng Shui.

So, now that we have established the importance of mountains, the question is where should the mountains be and what shape are they?

Getting to know your Mountain

At practitioner level, there are 81 basic mountain shapes, and further transforming formations, known as Dragon Formations. But at beginner level, focus on finding the mountain, knowing where it is in relation to your property direction-wise, and then, check what shape it is.

Where do we want to see mountains? This is a dynamic factor that depends heavily on the particular period of luck. The general principle for Period 8, which is the luck period we are currently in, is we want to see mountains in the Northeast, South, Northwest and West of the property. How do you know whether the mountain is in the right direction? Using a house plan, demarcate your house according to a 8 sector pie chart, and then ascertain where the mountains are.

Assuming you have a mountain in any of these directions, you now need to decide if the mountain is a good or bad mountain. Good mountains (also known as Healthy Dragons) are lush, green and exude nobility. Bad mountains (also known as Sick Dragons) are rocky, balding, with sharp rocks protruding out.



If you see a Sick Dragon in the area, then that tells you that the quality of the Qi in the area is aggressive and fierce and merciless, which indicates that the people in the area have difficult relationships and health issues as well. In contrast, if the mountains are Healthy Dragons, the people are more pleasant, have better quality relationships and are in better health, thus being in a better position to create wealth.

It is also important to consider the shape of the mountain. Wood element shapes bring nobility, elegance, statute and status, Metal element mountains relate to power, influence and authority. Earth shaped mountains co-relate to wealth. By knowing the shape of the mountain, and looking at your personal life goals, you will be able determine if an area is supportive towards your goals or less suitable towards supporting your goals.

Now, you probably think: everyone will rush to live in the area with Earth shaped mountains! However, there are other considerations as well to take into account: the mountain's distance from your property, its location in relation to your property and whether or not you can use it, based on the quality of land that your house is located on. Also, mountain is only half the equation - remember, you need to consider where the Water is located, to complete the puzzle and ensure Yin and Yang are in balance and harmony.

Generally, as long as you have good Dragons located in the preferred sectors, an area can be said to be reasonably good. Next week, I will talk about the Yang aspect of Feng Shui, Water.

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