Understanding Qi from a Classical Feng Shui Perspective

Posted on August 27, 2023 by Derelle Ball

At its simplest, Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) can be thought of as 'life force' or 'transformative energy flow'. It is the ethereal essence that circulates through our bodies, our environment, and through the Universe itself. The existence of Qi stems from ancient Taoist philosophy, where it's seen as the vital force that constitutes and animates life.

The Nature of Qi

Qi is neither wholly physical nor wholly spiritual. It sits at the nexus of these two realms, binding the material and the immaterial. It flows through living beings, giving them life, and through the earth and the cosmos, determining their character and fate. Qi is not static. It's in a constant state of flux, dynamically transforming and shifting. 

Qi in Feng Shui

Within the context of Feng Shui, Qi represents the interaction between the Yin (passive, receptive force) and the Yang (active, dynamic force). The balance or imbalance of these forces determines the quality of Qi. For example:

Sheng Qi: This is the beneficial, vibrant and auspicious Qi that promotes growth, health and abundance opportunity. It's the Qi that Feng Shui Masters aim to attract and harness via the surrounding landform, magnetic orientation and design of a structure, thus marrying the occupants to their home and business in a harmonious state of synchronicity and nurturing support.

Sha Qi: Contrary to Sheng Qi, Sha Qi is harmful and unbalanced Qi. It's associated with sharp, aggressive structures or landforms that can attract misfortune or illness. Recognizing and neutralizing Sha Qi is an important aspect in Feng Shui practice.

The Role of San He and Fei Xing Feng Shui in Understanding Qi

While both San He and Fei Xing are fundamental systems of Feng Shui, they have unique methods for analysing and manipulating Qi:

San He: This school, also known as the Three Harmonies, places emphasis on the surrounding landscape and external environment. It looks at the interaction of Heaven, Earth and Man, using formulas based on certain types of landform and water sources. The goal is to attract and accumulate beneficial Qi while avoiding or mitigating the flow of Sha Qi. 

Fei Xing: Also known as Flying Stars Feng Shui, this methodology involves understanding the dynamic shifts of Qi over time. By plotting the 'flight' of water and mountain stars (yang and yin Qi) and how they interact with the surrounding landform and the construction time period and magnetic orientation of a building, practitioners can predict the quality of Qi in different sectors of a home and property at various times and how the inherent energy flow is likely to affect the occupants.

The Xian Tian and Hou Tian Baguas

Within the context of Bagua, two primary sequences are recognized: the Xian Tian Bagua (Earlier Heaven or Primordial) and the Hou Tian Bagua (Later Heaven or Manifested). Each offers unique insights into the flow and transformation of Yin and Yang Qi flow.

The Xian Tian sequence of Trigrams symbolizes the ideal state of the Universe before material manifestation – the primordial, untouched essence. It reveals the original patterns of Yin and Yang energy, while the Hou Tian sequence of Trigrams represents the post-creation state – how energies manifest and interact in the material world. 

Finding Propitious Qi with Date Selection

The harmony between an individual and the Universe is pivotal in Feng Shui and Date Selection stands as one of the primary tools to ensure this harmony. A well-selected time frame can amplify the propitious Qi, giving a boost to one's endeavours, be it a business opening, launching a new advertising campaign, signing an important contract, moving house etc. The aim is to harness the Qi that is most conducive for a specific task or event. There are many forms of Date Selection and here are some examples:

T’ong Shu: The Chinese Almanac

A time-tested method, the T’ong Shu provides daily information on which activities are deemed auspicious or inauspicious. Derived from centuries of observation and correlation, it's user-friendly and accessible. The T’ong Shu suggests favourable hours within specific days, making it easy for one to align certain activities with beneficial Qi flow.

12 Day Officer Method

In this method, each day is governed by one of the 12 'Officers', each representing a specific type of Qi. Depending on the nature of the task, certain Officers, like 'Open' or 'Establish', might be more propitious. This system, although simpler, offers an easy way to identify generally beneficial days for certain activities.

Dong Gong Date Selection

This method adds yet another layer when seeking to connect with auspicious Qi via Date Selection.  By decoding the interactions of the Jia Zi during each solar month, the Dong Gong method assesses the quality of Qi for any given day, discerning the auspicious from the inauspicious.  This system helps pinpoint certain time frames supportive for activities requiring growth or expansion as well as the connection between time, a specific activity and the individual’s personal Qi.

BaZi: The 4 Pillars of Destiny

A sophisticated system, BaZi takes into account an individual's gender and birth data, breaking it down into five main components – the year, month, day and hour of birth and the individual’s personal 10 year luck pillars. Each pillar provides insight into various aspects of a person's life via the interaction of elements and Yin and Yang. For date selection, the Day Master (which is the top section of the Day of Birth pillar) is especially significant.  

Xuan Kong Da Gua

Xuan Kong Da Gua provides a profound and meticulous method for Date Selection by integrating the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching with time and space energies. This form of Date Selection encompasses certain periods of time where the Hexagrams of time connect with certain combinations of Qi such as adding to 5, 10, 15, He-Tu combinations and special time frames connecting with a specific Family of Hexagrams.  This system examines the timeliness of the Hexagrams and interaction between the individual’s Day and Year Hexagram of birth and the Hexagram of the facing and sitting orientation of a structure, main door facing Hexagram, water feature Hexagram location, bedhead positioning, work desk location etc.

Qi Men Dun Jia

Also known as the 'Mystical Doors Escaping Technique', Qi Men Dun Jia is a complex system that allows one to tap into favourable Qi for a given time frame. Primarily used for strategic decision-making in ancient times, nowadays, it is also employed for selecting auspicious dates. By analysing the intricate charts of Qi Men, one can find times when heavenly and earthly energies converge beneficially.

Choosing the Right Method: Tailoring to Your Needs

It's essential to understand that while all these methods serve the purpose of selecting auspicious dates resonating with supportive Qi, they do so with different levels of granularity and focus. 

For example, when constructing a new home, it’s important to assess the flow of Qi and how the structure connects with the surrounding landform so that the occupants can make good use of water and mountain star energies to support health, relationships and abundance potential.  Ideally the facing and sitting sides of your home should also connect with timely Zheng Shen Qi, with auspicious water connecting to Ling Shen Qi and linking favourably to the facing Hexagram of the main door and the occupant’s personal Qi. 

The more communication you have between the Hexagrams of time, location, surrounding landform and the occupant’s Day and/or Year Guas, the more harmony you will find in that home.  In some cases, where the facing and sitting Hexagram orientations are not Zheng Shen, it may be possible to tilt the main door and choose an auspicious time frame to do so.  I myself have applied this methodology to our main entry, with very auspicious results 😊

Please note: at no time in this article have I mentioned a fixed Bagua Map consisting of 9 boxes with aspirational labels such as “Fame,” “Career” and so on.  In order to assess the actual flow of Qi in and around your home and business, it takes a lot more than a cookie cutter fixed map approach.  In fact, the fixed Bagua methodology is actually a new-age system that applies purely to the Qi of your personal intentions and aspirations.  While you may feel empowered by applying this one-size fits all system and connecting certain locations with positive intentions and symbolic trinkets, please understand that it is NOT addressing the actual inherent Qi flow affecting your home or business from an authentic Feng Shui perspective.

Qi Flow in Your Body

Internally, Qi travels through your blood and circulatory system and is assimilated into your body from your parents at conception, from the air that you breathe and the food and fluid that you consume.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lists12 main meridians (pathways of Qi flow) within the human body.  There are also over 500 additional points identified throughout the body which can be targeted via various forms of TCM, exercise and breathing techniques to help rebalance and harmonise the flow of Qi internally.

Qi is not just a mystical concept; it is a reflection of the intrinsic energy interplay that affects our lives daily. As you become more attuned to the nuances of Qi around you, you'll discover a deeper connection with the world and, indeed, the Universe.

Australian Feng Shui Master/Consultant, Derelle Ball can help you enhance the health, wealth and nurturing Feng Shui potential of your home with a detailed user-friendly Feng Shui Report.  For further information click: Off-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.  

Posted in Bagua, chinese astrology, Classical Feng Shui, Date Selection, feng shui, feng shui and 4 pillars, feng shui and the bagua, feng shui for luck, positive energyflow, Qi

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