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Tread not on the Dark Side

Sunday, August 13, 2006
By: Joey Yap

I hope since last week's article, you have managed to find the mountain in your neighbourhood and have had some fun identifying the types of mountains in your area and looking at how they relate to your property. This week, I am going to talk about the other aspect of the equation: Water.

Water is the Yang aspect of the environment because Water is always moving; hence it is regarded as Yang. As I indicated last week, for an ideal Feng Shui environment, there must be Yin and Yang in balance. So if you have Mountain, you must also have Water. Likewise, if you have Water, you must also have Mountain. Remember, the goal in Feng Shui is Yin and Yang in balance.

Despite the importance of this simple basic principle of Yin and Yang in balance and the importance of having both Mountain and Water, many people unfortunately are not aware of this Feng Shui fundamental. They only remember the 2nd part of the saying 'Water governs Wealth' and forget the first part, "Mountains Govern People". This has led to not only an unhealthy fixation of just going with Water when it comes to the Feng Shui of their property, but resorting to artificial means to get the Water.

Now, the first thing to realise about Feng Shui (and I know I am going to disappoint a lot of people with this statement) is you can't fake it. You cannot make it, and it follows by extension that you cannot fake it. It has to be au naturale. Present in the environment, naturally, be it the Water, or the Mountain. Now, you can 'improve' what you have present in the environment to a certain degree but this is more applicable to large scale developments where they can undertake mass-scale landscaping, rather than residential properties. But even a property developer cannot 'make' a mountain, or create a true river.

The reason why I want to emphasise this point about Water is because many many people have unwittingly trod down the path of 'the Dark Side', lured solely by the promise of immense and great wealth. What is this 'Dark Side' you might ask? It goes by the name of 'Water Dragon'.


Separating real Dragon from the 'Lizards'

What is this Water Dragon you might ask? It is supposedly a 'secret' formula from an old book called Di Li Wu Jue (Earthly Principles, Five Verses) that states that if Water enters at a certain direction, and exits at another direction, the property will create great wealth and immense riches for the occupants. There are countless classes and courses out there which offer these 'secret' Water Dragon Formulas, often at exorbitant prices. Unfortunately, this is really a case of paying for a Dragon, but getting a lizard. Why is that?


Firstly, many people are not aware that this formula is actually not really a secret formula but one that is freely available in most Chinese bookstores. So this 'secret water Dragon' is really nothing special.

Secondly, this book is actually a compilation of environmental factors based on the alternative principles of San He, written during the Qing Dynasty. It has to be used very carefully, with the chapters read in totality and entirety, and not looking at the formulas in isolation. Furthermore, the formulas have to be qualified by the presence of certain environmental features, as is clearly stated in the text.

Thirdly, taking a formula from the text and assuming it is gospel is always dangerous because it is not just about the formula, but what circumstances it can (or can't) be used in. As I always emphasise to my students - the formula in itself is worth nothing if there is no understanding of how it is to be used, when it should and more importantly, should not be used. If you must pay for knowledge, then you would rather pay for the understanding and not just the formula. If you just want a formula, buy the book. If you are interested in the Water Dragon formulas, I have reproduced some here. Pay to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the formula because this formula comes with certain side effects. After all, you do not take drugs without knowing what is going to happen to you, right?

A formula is like a recipe - anybody can get a recipe, but a skilled cook is what makes the difference between the cake coming out like in the picture in the cookbook, and a tasteless product not fit for consumption. The moral of the story? Feng Shui is not about paying for a formula. A true Feng Shui consultation is personalised to the individual - so if all you are getting is a standard formula (or a list of formulas), then you are not using Feng Shui because it is not personalised to you.

Drains for Wealth or Draining Wealth?

The most recent incarnation of the 'Water Dragon Formula' that I have seen and heard off involves drains and koi ponds. I have had clients who have asked me to align the pumps in their koi ponds to follow the secret Water Dragon formula by having the pump pouring water into the koi pond at a certain direction, and another pump, that drains water, at another direction. I have also seen clients who in their desire to achieve a Water Dragon in their property dig a drain around their property so that water enters and exits at certain directions.

Now, this is not at all what the text envisaged. How can a drain make you rich? If that's the case, everyone should be rich because all houses have drains in Malaysia. And they don't call it a 'drain' for nothing! Also, the formation of water in the manner of a drain running directly across the Main Door ends up creating Sha Qi such as Cutting Feet Water, rather than ushering in positive Qi.

Di Li Wu Jue contains only a few of the many Water Formulas found in Classical Feng Shui. True application of Water involves the availability of mountain formations because mountain formations generate the Qi and Water harnesses the Qi. One yin, one yang. You cannot have one without the other. When it comes to making use of a Water Dragon formula, one must use the right Water Formation based on the existing Mountain formation, and then select an appropriate door or house facing.

Unfortunately today, the approach is to build the Water, based on the existing door of the house. The formulas have been diluted and bastardised to apply to drains and koi ponds, and has been modified to the extent that the environmental formation is ignored, and only the Main Door or facing is used to determine what the Water Dragon should be. This is incorrect.

Dragons, in the language and terminology of Feng Shui, refers to Water and it is Water that brings vibrant Qi, according to the old saying. So it is not wrong that Water indeed governs Wealth aspects. But, the classics, when they refer to 'Dragon', are referring to natural water - creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds that are naturally present in the environment.

It is for this reason that you cannot 'make' a Water Dragon in your house and indeed, you should not because you may find you make the situation worse, and not better. But the most important thing to remember about Dragons is that you must have them in tandem with Mountains. One Yin, One Yang is needed in order to achieve balance. So do not be fixated with just water, and ignore the mountain.

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