Lately I’ve noticed there are a lot of feng shui articles on the internet that place emphasis on the interior design, colour scheme and furniture layout of a dwelling, with little or no mention of the effect of the surrounding landform. In actual fact, at least 80% of the feng shui is governed by the influence of surrounding landform, so my advice is to always look at the surrounding landform first before you even start assessing the interior of a building.
When I say ‘surrounding landform’ I’m referring to the natural and man-made forms surrounding the building, whether it’s a lake, river, mountain, pool, freeway, roundabout, cul-der-sac, deep stormwater drain, a neighbouring building, power poles, driveway, trees, electricity pylon and so on.
The whole point of the exercise with feng shui is assessing the pathway and quality of Qi as it enters a property and affects the dwelling and occupants. The easiest definition of Qi is ‘living/transformative energy’ although this definition doesn’t really do justice to the highly complex wonder known as Qi. In reality it is the driving force for change (both the potential for change and the result of change) linking matter and spirit (form and the formless) in connection with the ever changing force of yin and yang.
There are 4 main categories of Qi: Universal, Heaven, Earth and Human, with many off-shoots and definitions deriving from these main 4 labels. Qi is also made of up 2 main parts, the Hun (Yang Qi) and Po (Yin Qi) and these form the cycle of perpetual transformation. The process of this ever changing cycle is Spirit and the outcome of this ever changing cycle is Action.
So how does this relate to your house? Well think of it like this. The Po or Yin Qi affecting your home comes initially from the energy in the earth and the surrounding natural and man-made objects. Yang Qi comes to the facing side of the house (the Hun) via Water Star energy and how this affects your home (especially the finances of the occupants) depends on the character of the Water Star Qi, whether or not the facing side of the property allows you to collect and accumulate the Qi and how the occupants personally interact with this energy.
In some cases, the best Water Star energy to stimulate abundance opportunity for the occupants may enter your property from the side or rear of the block of land, so this is where you seek to capture and accumulate the Qi with a body of water strategically placed in the surrounding landform.
The whole concept of Yin and Yang can get pretty in depth and is relevant to whatever you are assessing and comparing. You can have a Yin mountain and a Yang river, but you can also have a Yin mountain and a Yang mountain or a Yin river and a Yang river. It all depends on what you are examining and comes back to the perpetual interaction and transformation of Yin and Yang.
Some people get too caught up in strict rules and definitions of Yin and Yang and thus miss the underlying beauty of perpetual cycles of transformative change. Yin Qi initiates the motion and calls out to the Yang Qi and the Yang Qi in turn responds with action.
Some feng shui professionals examine the Fei Xing/Flying Star Natal Chart of probability factors drawn over the floor plan of a home and automatically assume the energy on the chart is actually there in reality. In actual fact, the potential for the energy may be there however the reality may be that the energy trying to enter the property from that side is perpetually blocked or dispersed due to factors in the surrounding landform.
Sha Qi is when Yin and Yang Qi are in discord and thus create a state of disharmony. I had a fairly recent experience of Sha Qi generated via man-made landform and affecting the Water Star 9 Qi travelling towards the East facing orientation of an apartment on level 8 of the building. The facing side of the apartment contained 2 windows and a sliding door leading to a balcony attached to the living room.
There were 6 cranes located directly outside the balcony and at 7am each morning, 6 days a week, the main crane would start swinging and rotating randomly and very effectively dispersing the Qi of the Water Star 9. There’s a famous feng shui saying in regard to the Sha Qi effect of an object in the surrounding landform depending on its distance from the building being “within the distance of 1,000 horses”. So while not every sharp object in your surrounding landform is necessary cause for concern, the effect of the crane was actually very quick.
I subsequently discovered the previous tenants of the apartment had happily lived there until the building works began and the crane was put into position, and within a short span of time the patriarch of the home suddenly developed health issues connected to the onset of vertigo which affected his ability to work or live in a high rise building and forced him to prematurely vacate the apartment.
We experienced a similar issue when we moved in (and no I had not had the luxury of viewing the apartment and its surrounding landform apart from google earth view, before signing the lease sight unseen – long story, plus the managers of the building had conveniently forgotten to mention the building works occurring directly outside the apartment). This is why when I do off-site consults for interstate and overseas clients, I make sure they take a plethora of photos of the surrounding landform from all angles around the building and I also ask them to write down what they see when looking out from the building towards the boundary lines of their property and beyond on all sides.
The upside is the fact that even though we were living away from our main home in QLD, I had tilted the main door of our QLD home to perpetually communicate with my husband's Tai Sui Hexagram (via Xuan Kong Da Gua application) and thus still offer him the benefit of the favourable feng shui there. So while one opportunity was dispersed very suddenly upon moving into the apartment opposite the crane, new opportunities simultaneously drew us back to our point of origin and supported us in the transition.
Interestingly this all occurred during a highly charged period within the Venus Retrograde when the rose coloured glasses definitely came off and we were able to see the reality of the situation and the inherent corruption brewing beneath the surface. Thank goodness for Xuan Kong Da Gua!
So, that was my experience with the crane. The effect can be even more devastating when a natural landform feature is somehow corrupted or put into Sha motion.
For example, I had a client who had enjoyed a high level of spiritual connectedness and nurturing health Qi drawn from a very well located benevolent mountain supporting the Mountain Star 8 energy in and around her home. Her health recently deteriorated and when I spoke to her over the phone trying to work out if there was a feng shui connection, I asked her to look out towards the mountain and tell me what she sees. She described the way in which a new large estate development had taken over the side of the mountain facing towards her property and it was being significantly cleared, sliced and diced and was now very upsetting for her to look at. Coincidence? What do you think?
The world of property investing is vast and the emphasis these days, when it comes to property investing, is to secure positive cash-flow property rather than the out-dated negative gearing system. Many savvy investors now realise the false economy of saving some tax dollars while holding a property that is in effect costing you more than it is giving you.
Negative gearing eats up your cash reserves so you end up only being able to invest in maybe 2-3 properties plus your PPR (Principle Place of Residence). Then you find yourself in the unenviable position of being asset rich but cash poor AND looked upon poorly by the banks in regard to future property investing (esp if the banks also cross securitized) UNLESS you have a truly fabulous income coming in as well. This scenario is typical of property investors over the past 20 years, and many now find themselves having to wait for property values to increase significantly in order to gain access to greater equity in order to re-invest.
Cash-flow positive properties (via dual key occupancies, room-by-room rental and manufactured growth through renovating, granny flats, strata, subdividing and so on), allow the investor to access enough rental income to cover the mortgage cost, management fee and other associated costs. So in effect, the investor is only out of pocket for the 20% deposit and other associated purchasing costs for the property (and even less if it’s a vendor finance scenario), and this allows them access to greater equity to then go on and invest in the next property.
Now is a great time to be investing in positive cash-flow property thanks to our ridiculously low interest rates here in Australia. Then, as the interest rates inevitably rise later on, so too will your monthly rental amounts, and over time, the value of the property will also rise, making it a great long term investment.
Nobody wants to buy a rogue property! This is the sort of property that appears fine on the outside, yet for some inexplicable reason, the tenants keep damaging the property and/or experiencing sudden chronic health issues and/or financial hardship which forces them to prematurely end the lease and move out. This is exactly what the savvy property investor wants to avoid. An empty property costs them money, and the longer it is empty, the more strain they will feel on their finances.
So, having a regular rental income flowing in from happy, healthy and financially secure tenants is very important for making a long term investment in positive cash-flow property work successfully for the property investor and this is where the application of classical xuan kong feng shui can help.
I can tell straight away if a particular property is more likely to be a major issue simply from the compass orientation of the building itself. Within the 360 degrees of the compass there are certain orientations that just scream “major issues likely due to blockage and confusion of qi”
Now if you’re wondering what ‘qi’ is, the closest definition to describe it (to someone totally unfamiliar with feng shui and metaphysics in general) is living/transformative energy. It is the energy that connects and has the potential to transform all living and organic things (whether it’s a person, a thought, an animal, mountain, river, mist, tree or rock) and it flows according to magnetic pathways within and above the earth as well as within meridian pathways inside your body. The quality and character of qi as it affects a particular building can be analysed via the surrounding landform, the construction/renovation history of the building and the precise compass orientation of the building itself.
The application of xuan kong fei xing/flying star feng shui in conjunction with analysing the effect of the surrounding landform allows me to assess potential issues that may be more likely to crop up. For example there are some energy combinations that indicate a much higher probability of theft in a particular location of a property. I recently did the feng shui for a home where this energy was very high in the client’s garage. She had only moved in a year earlier and I asked her, “so what was stolen out of your garage?” She was gobsmacked and asked how on earth did I know about that? I explained it was the combination of location, surrounding landform and the fei xing that indicated a triptych effect of probability.
What I have found over the years is that when the probability of the fei xing is heightened by the annual energy also affecting the location plus the surrounding landform supports this effect – BINGO the event usually occurs within 6 months UNLESS you are aware of the probability and take the necessary steps to reduce its effect.
When looking at the investment potential of a commercial property, the application of xuan kong feng shui allows me to ascertain the type of clientele who would be more attracted to and better supported by the qi generated at the main entry to the business. In some cases, the energy may only suit a business specifically dealing in the health industry (ie pharmacy, medical practitioners and specialists etc) while for everyone else, the energy may continually and significantly drain the finances of the business. This knowledge is particularly handy when targeting your market for advertising, constructing or renovating business premises.
Sometimes, the process of renovating a business can dramatically alter the effect of the qi and I can tell you before-hand, what this effect will be, how it will affect the main entry and how to make the most of it in regard to your targeted future rental clientele.
Now some of you may be familiar with generalised concepts such as a fixed bagua map or compass map that asserts the SE sector and/or far left corner of a building automatically corresponds to the ‘wealth’ sector and thus needs a water feature and/or a ‘money plant’ to activate the wealth qi. This is a form of new age feng shui that was invented in America in the late 1970’s and it unfortunately has very little to do with authentic xuan kong feng shui.
Over the past 15 years of my professional consulting business, I have lost count of the number of homes and business’ I have come across that have experienced significant financial and/or health loss due to the naïve application of this process – ie adding a large water feature to the SE sector and/or far left hand corner of their home or property. The truth is, if it was really so very easy, surely EVERYONE would be millionaires by now!
Anyway, another handy tool xuan kong feng shui can provide the savvy property investor is Date Selection. Now this in itself ranges in complexity from simple 12 Day Officer and Dong Gong processes to the more advanced 4 Pillars, Xuan Kong Da Gua and Qi Men Dun Jia applications. Yes, some dates are deemed much better than others for signing contracts, starting your construction and renovations, meeting with your bank manager and potential joint venture partners and so on.
Wouldn’t you like to have probability on your side when embarking on your property investment journey?
For those of you interested in cash-flow positive property investing, I recommend the teachings of the following individuals:Dymphna Boholt, Steve McNight, Ryan McLean, Robert Kiyosaki.
And finally, here are the 7 basic principles for building your wealth, as discussed in ''The Richest Man in Babylon'' (by George S. Clason):
Let Derelle enhance the health, wealth and nurturing potential of your home with an Off-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.
These days, the term feng shui usually evokes vague images of oriental new-age looking trinkets, a simplified map of life aspiration corners and lots of positive energy wrapped in lucky red envelopes. The new age approach to feng shui is a feel-good way to inspire positive thoughts and intentions, thus appealing to an individual’s ‘Mankind Luck’ (ie the luck you make for yourself via personal choice and attitude).
New Age feng shui encompasses the use of a Bagwa Map which has set life aspiration corners depending on where the doorway into a house or room is located, or a simplified octagonal map showing the 8 compass directions which are then linked to various set life aspiration areas. New age feng shui (which originated around the 1970’s and 1980’s) has basically borrowed some generalised Trigram associations from the ancient practice of feng shui (originally known as Kan Yu) and has then invented and superimposed additional life aspiration names and associated symbols to various corners or compass sectors of your home via a map which is then used to target key areas in one’s life (eg wealth corner, love corner, health corner etc).
This psychological and symbolic approach is simple, fun and helps focus the individual’s intentions on specific aspirations and goals in life. It also has very little to do with the ancient practice of authentic classical feng shui, which encompasses 2 main compass-based methodologies known as San He (the study of mountains, natural water courses and landform) and San Yuan (the study of space according to cycles of time and magnetic orientation). Both the San He and San Yuan methods of feng shui incorporate the use of a Luo Pan Compass which measures the effects of qi (unseen vibrant/living energy) in and around a building in relation to the surrounding landform.
Feng Shui literally translates as ‘wind / water’ and relates directly to the concept that qi rides the wind (ie travels via unseen magnetic pathways) and can be dispersed by the wind, and retained by water. So, the feng shui ideal has always been to attract positive (sheng) qi via magnetic orientation, supportive landform and the careful placement of water and yang activity.
When examining a modern-day approach to the ancient practice of feng shui, I believe a ‘current-age’ methodology would be to combine the ancient study of Xuan Kong Fei Xing Pai (time space flying stars school) feng shui and San He Landform & Water Methods analysis with a greater understanding and appreciation for sustainable development. The whole underlying principle behind feng shui is, after all, to live in harmony with one’s surroundings.
When planning a house site, one should approach the project with respect and acknowledgment of the land’s natural contours, climate, habitat and resources. Prerequisites for a home should include that it lets in enough natural light, that it is well insulated, well ventilated, energy efficient, secure and supportive of the occupants and designed for the climate and terrain in which it is built. Ultimately, your home should feel like a sanctuary – somewhere to rest and recharge your internal energy reserves.
“Humans require natural views of plants and animals for mental and emotional health. Studies also suggest we need nature around us as a restorative and to stimulate our higher creative functions.” (p115, “Architect’s Guide to Feng Shui’ by Cate Bramble, 2003, Architectural Press).
Xuan Kong Fei Xing (Flying Stars) feng shui addresses the unseen energy fields around us and helps orientate the occupants within a dwelling so they are sleeping in a positively energised location with favourable mountain energy in the wall behind their bedhead (which is also supported via raised landform in the external environment), thus benefiting the health and relationship harmony of the household, while also attracting positive water energy to exterior doorways, windows and active living areas in conjunction with water features placed in precise magnetic locations which benefit the occupant’s abundance potential.
Electromagnetic radiation is a current phenomenon which should also be addressed in each household. I once came across a client whose bedhead was so close to a large transformer and electricity meter box servicing the block of units in which she lived, that she could actually hear the electricity humming in the wall behind her while sleeping in bed at night. It was literally placed just on the other side of the wall, directly in line with her head while sleeping. Many people don’t realise EMR (electromagnetic radiation) can easily travel through a brick wall unless there is some sort of magnetic shielding in place. This client had a metal frame bed, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to hypothesize her continued headaches and inability to sleep might just have a connection to the high level of EMR around her bedhead. She innocently asked me if hanging a crystal above the bed would help. Apparently she’d read this bit of advice in a new age book. I recommended she completely move the bed to another room or at least to the opposite side of the room.
Dr Bill Wolverton is a retired NASA scientist who discovered certain indoor plants can be used to help clear the air of toxins such as trichloroethylene, xylene, formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia – all chemicals found in common household cleaning agents and/or emitted from photocopiers and various other appliances frequently used in offices. Of course, the first objective is to live and/or work in an environment where you can actually open the windows and allow fresh air to circulate throughout the space via cross ventilation on a regular basis. A house with closed windows and doors due to continual air conditioning can lead to health problems due to lack of fresh air (esp if the air conditioning unit is not properly maintained with the filters being cleaned regularly).
It is more difficult to energise positive water star energy from a feng shui perspective if all the doors and windows are regularly kept closed, because water star energy literally needs an open exterior door or window to initially flow into your home on a regular basis. It can gradually enter your home via travelling through glass, brick and mortar etc, however the energy is greatly depleted via this route and by the time it then enters your home, it is not nearly as potent and useable as it could otherwise be.
So, back to the 'new age' versus 'current age' concept. Rather than simply placing a 3 legged toad near your doorway or in the far left hand corner of the room or the Southeast sector to represent money luck, (as per new age symbolic feng shui guidelines), you'll achieve far better results by placing an exterior doorway or window that is frequently opened and located in a water star 8 or 9 location according to the xuan kong feng shui natal chart of your home. This location also responds particularly well to a body of active water, thus retaining the positive qi. You could even tie in your mankind luck with the actual feng shui of the building by placing your positive aspiration object (ie the 3 legged toad or whatever else represents abundance to you) in this location.
And as for the concept of 'decluttering' which appears in many new age feng shui books, my approach is to be practical, and to stop obsessing about continual tidiness. Obviously, it is better to avoid having a house full of decomposing mess that can contribute to allergies, mould and mildew, and from a psychological point of view, a chronically cluttered and disorganised interior will often signal occupants who are not coping well with life in general. My home is not always tidy - with 3 kids that's impossible! But it is welcoming, warm and comfortable. From a decluttering perspective, it is advisable to make sure favourable water star energy is not blocked from entering the building via external or internal clutter or closed rooms that are unused, yet contain the most beneficial and as yet wasted energy.
I regularly encourage clients to create a positive internal pathway of energy within their home or office by first walking to the water star 8 abundance location of the building, opening an exterior doorway or window or placing a fountain or moving object in that favourable sector and absorbing the positive qi, before then walking throughout the home or office, thus carrying and distributing the positive energy throughout the building. The more you do this, the more you can positively energise your living or work environment.
Let Derelle enhance the health, wealth and nurturing potential of your home with an Off-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.
Derelle being presented with the Best Commercial Case Study Award from Valerie Mack, National Council Member of the Design Institute of Australia
Those of you who were fortunate enough to attend the recent AFSC Conference in Melbourne were treated to some exceptional discussions examining the essence of feng shui and the origin of qi. A key point brought to light during these metaphysical discussions is the way in which our modern day ‘quick fix’ approach in the pursuit of wealth can so easily overshadow the fundamental observation of qi in the surrounding landform and its inherent link to fertility/nourishment or lack thereof.
Hindsight is such a wonderful tool and in this case, I can now see the interesting dichotomy between the commercial side of the Conference title: ‘Feng Shui Water & Wealth’ compared to an alternative title which certainly sprung to mind during the Conference: ‘Feng Shui: Fertility and the Nourishment of Spirit’.
Our key note speaker for the Conference, Dr Michael Paton, highlighted the importance of getting back to the roots of feng shui via careful observation of qi in the surrounding landform. I recently read Dr Paton’s fascinating article “Feng Shui: A Continuation of ‘Art of Swindlers’?” and I laughed out loud when he mentioned Karen Kingston’s assertion about using “colonic irrigation as an extension of feng shui theory”. Oh dear – this sounds rather intrusive!
Karen Kingston is a fabulous teacher and advocate of space clearing which is a highly useful methodology that can be used alongside feng shui practice – I use it myself, however I can see where Dr Paton is coming from. There are too many so called experts out there who gain a little knowledge about feng shui without any real in depth study and then market the process as a commodity that is simplified for ease of consumer use and wrapped in vague mystical connotations without necessarily having any real substance from a classical xuan kong feng shui perspective.
As Dr Paton points out in his article through the following quote from the Xing Qian (Star Seal), this issue of confusion and potential loss and/or misunderstanding of original feng shui concepts has always been an issue facing modern day feng shui practice – it was just as relevant a thousand years ago as it is now. It appears no matter when or where – mankind has a propensity to gravitate towards a ‘cut-to-the-chase’ approach when it comes to increasing wealth and/or a position of higher office.
“The method is on the lip and in the breast.
Yet the spirit is not passed on by the eye.
And the fundamental mystery is not passed on by the heart”.
I agree with Dr Paton, this is indeed a challenge faced by all Associations and collective groups of feng shui students and practitioners – esp in our current consumer hungry and materialistic society.
Our challenge as an Association is therefore twofold. On one hand, we need to promote and research the ‘origins of feng shui practice’ and help steer new students towards authentic teachers and learning institutions (keeping in mind, one teacher cannot be the master of all knowledge – it is better to learn from more than one source and use your own observation and research to ascertain which methodologies prove sound in practice).
I would like to think we were on the right track when we invited Dr Paton to speak at our Conference, alongside the canonical literature genius of Tyler Rowe and theoretical expertise of Master Gayle Atherton, Master Jodi Brunner and Master George Bennis, interspersed with the metaphysical and astrological insight of Vic Ketis alongside a selection of practical case studies.
For me personally, Master Joseph Yu is my ‘Enlightening Teacher’ (Qi Meng Lao Shi 啓蒙老師). He is not the only Master I have studied with, however he is certainly the most profound and I love the way in which he provides succinct interpretation of the classics and then demonstrates practical application in the modern world. He encourages the student to think for themself, observe, research, debate and share experiences with other practitioners so that we may learn together, rather than blindly accepting everything he says as feng shui law.
The second challenge our Association of feng shui currently faces, is the fact that members of the Association seek not only to increase their knowledge and expertise, but also to make an actual living from this practice, whether on a full time or part time basis. This is why the first day of the Conference addressed the commercial side of putting together a feng shui business and explored ways in which to market your services and realise the value in what you provide. The need for a more structured cost per service system was highlighted and this will be an ongoing discussion in order to help provide a more uniform fee structure depending on the level of expertise of the practitioner and the service they provide.
Coming back to Dr Paton’s article, he makes a good point that:
“In the West there is a perception that much of the “magic” of life and the power of the individual has been lost to the powerful corporate conglomerates, which tend to hold the reins of scientific knowledge through dry statistical analysis. Thus, there has been a gradual increase in distrust of modern knowledge systems, whether they are economics or medicine, and a search for more meaningful humanistic knowledge systems that meld both the intellectual and the emotional.”
This leads us back to the alternative title I came up with (in hind sight) for our recent Conference: ‘Feng Shui: Fertility and the Nourishment of Spirit’. Now, from a feng shui perspective, I should probably point out the concept of 'fertility' ties in with the transformative interaction of yin and yang qi in its most nurtured form, which stimulates a state of harmonious synchronicity with one's surroundings. I believe this is the crux of what people are really searching for these days and we are certainly in a great position to help lead the way with authentic feng shui practice and application. The tricky part is finding that all too pervasive balance between commercialisation and generosity of spirit, consumer appeal and metaphysical insight/application based on key observation of the surrounding landform, the abode in which an individual works and lives and observation of the individual’s inherent strengths and weaknesses as practiced via traditional xuan kong feng shui and san cai (the trinity of luck).
Anyway, if you are currently thinking about learning feng shui, a great starting point is to join the Association of Feng Shui Consultants International Inc (AFSC) which can be found at www.afsc.org.au and begin your journey surrounded by like-minded individuals seeking to enrich their metaphysical learnings with authentic teachings and via the shared experience of the collective :-)
Let Derelle enhance the health, wealth and nurturing potential of your home with an Off-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.