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Who's Best Directions?

Sunday, October 9, 2005
By: Joey Yap
I had just landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, strolling out of the arrival lounge in my usual glad-to-back-home fashion when I caught a man intently peering at me.

I don't consider myself a particularly good looking person, so I smiled at him politely. He took this as an invitation. 'Are you Joey Yap?' he asked me.

I was trying to think if somehow I owed him money when I answered with a cautious, 'yes, good to meet you'.

'I am Mr. Chow, I sent you a question and you have yet to answer me', he said, sounding very much like I owed him money. It seems he was a big follower of my TV show and also the weekly columns in the New Straits Times.

I explained to Mr. Chow that as much as I would like to answer the questions sent to me, my mailbox has been piling up and I may not be able to answer all of them.

That would have been the end of the discussion if he had not grabbed my hand and said, 'I NEED you to answer just this ONE question. My marriage depends on it'.

In the interest of his family's happiness, I asked him what I could do to help.

'My wife is an East Group and I am a West Group Gua, we were told we need to sleep in separate rooms! What should I do? My wife has threatened to stop cooking if I go ahead with this Feng Shui technique. And if you know my wife, she is not a woman to be trifled with', he lamented.

So what REALLY is the Eight Mansions System of Feng Shui?

This is not an uncommon question that I get and I did take some time to address this in my TV program but Mr. Chow most likely missed that episode. So let me address it again in this column.

For those of you who are new to classical Feng Shui, the 8 Mansions is one of various systems of classical Feng Shui. And many of you may have already heard of your best 'personal direction' concept. Basically it categorizes people into East Group and West Group – each with positive and negative directions based on the 8 cardinal directions of the compass (North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest and so forth).

And many of you may have been told that East group people must make use of the East, South, North and Southeast as their good sectors/directions; while for West Group people, the West, Northwest, Northeast and Southwest holds true. You can refer to the table below for a clearer picture:

Now, it is invariable that at some point, a wife will discover she and her husband are not of the same Grouping or vice versa. And then the debate about sleeping in different beds, facing different directions or studies in different parts of the house becomes an issue. I have even heard of couples who sleep in the same bed, but with their feet facing each other, in order to achieve their best personal directions. Should a Feng Shui system really divide a happy couple in such a fashion?

If it sounds like hogwash, you are right. It is.

This whole situation stems from a lack of authentic education on classical Feng Shui and also a lack of proper literature on the 8 Mansions system of Feng Shui. The truth is: the 8 Mansions system of Feng Shui has another important piece of information that is often less discussed - the House Gua. Just as a person has a Life Gua, the House also has a distinctive Qi map and is classified as one of the 8 types of Guas.

This knowledge is actually clearly written in the original 8 Mansions Feng Shui classics:

1. Eight Mansions Bright Mirror Classics
2. Golden Star Classics

The 'Secret' of the House Gua

You simply cannot practice 8 Mansions Feng Shui without knowing the House Gua. It would be like trying to play tennis without a tennis racket! This piece of information is so crucial as to be considered the missing link in your practice of 8 Mansions Feng Shui. There is a huge relationship between your personal Life Gua (think of it as your personal energy map) and House Gua (house's energy map.)

Many people make this mistake of buying or renovating their house based solely on their personal Life Gua (or Ming Gua). This can often cause friction between a husband and wife; in today's situation where both the husband and wife work, who is to be regarded as the breadwinner and whose Gua then takes precedence?

How can two people get along like this when one person's best direction is the other person's worst? And which East is the best? Will facing East in Bangsar or Kepong or Subang Jaya deliver the same results? Of course it won't!

Why? Because you will be living in a different house that has its own HOUSE Gua and each House Gua has a different Qi map that alters or determines the quality of your individual Gua.

Hence why the ancient classics clearly taught us, the need to consider the quality of Qi in the house and to make doubly sure they even labeled it 8 MANSIONS system of Feng Shui in reference to 8 different types of House Gua. Somehow along the way, this crucial piece of information was lost and everyone came to know only about the personal Life Gua. Leading to many an unhappy wife or husband who felt they had to 'sacrifice' for their partners wellbeing.

Some students are even unclear on some of the terminology used in the 8 Mansions system of Feng Shui. They refer to a person's third best direction as Nien Yien when it should correctly be referred to as Yan Nian . I am not sure how this came to be or who propagated this but the translation must have been lost when it was translated into English. Ironically, when you pronounce the words incorrectly like this – it means something else altogether.

In fact, the 8 House Gua and the 8 Life Gua work hand-in-hand as the two key information required when applying the 8 Mansions system of Feng Shui.

Good for Both Parties

Even if a loving couple belongs to 'different life gua' groups, all you need to do is to identify which sectors of the house that are suitable for BOTH of them based on what's good in the house! A house has its own good and bad sectors too! Thus, irregardless of whether you are East or West group, all you need to do is to identify which are the good sectors of the house and use them accordingly! Then your problem is fixed!

As you progress further in your study of 8 Mansions Feng Shui, you will learn more advanced methods like Xing Gong Sheng Ke (Star versus Palace Growth and Counter Relationship) and the 8 Wandering Stars of 8 Mansions method (Ba Yao Xing). All advanced systems of 8 Mansions Feng Shui.

So the next time you come across someone looking to split you and your partner up, remember, it is not called the 8 LIFE Gua system of Feng Shui, it is rightly called the 8 ‘MANSIONS’ system of Feng Shui.

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