Posted by: Stanley | August 23, 2010

We Have Moved!

We have moved

We have moved

Just a small post to let you guys know that I have moved the blog to a spiffy new address.

It’s at www.pureclassicalfengshui.com

I will be updating the blog at this new address from now on so please visit the address above by clicking on it. Thanks!

See you on the other side. :)

Posted by: Stanley | August 1, 2010

Feng Shui and Casinos

Well, it’s inevitable that I end up writing a “obligatory” article on the feng shui of a casino, in this case The Marina Bay Sands Singapore. :)

It is well known that casinos around the world utilise the principles of feng shui (yes, even the western ones) to further enhance their odds against its patrons (namely, you). Even without the use of feng shui, statistically speaking, the odds are already stacked against the player to benefit the House the moment he or she sits down. It’s like flipping a coin that is designed to open heads one thirds of the time while tails two thirds of the time and the player can only bet on heads.

Anyway back to the feng shui of the casino…

Since the casino (the clam shell looking thing in the middle) is the main focus, everything else is built around it. Looking at the two pictures above, notice the similarities? The 3 hotels acting like a “backing mountain” (tortoise) with the left and right buildings acting as “support mountains” (tiger and dragon) while the casino itself facing the open waters (phoenix).

Notice how most casinos have red decors as a major feature? Red is symbolic in feng shui as an auspicious colour. By the way it is also proven that people will actually gamble more and make riskier bets when exposed to the colour red. Look at the ceiling decoration. Don’t they look like two fishes swimming in a circle in the form of yin-yang symbols? Incidentally fish in chinese is pronounced as “yu” which exactly sounds like another chinese word for “overabundance” (of money).

Maybe I will write an article next on how to improve your odds agianst the House using feng shui when you decide to go play a hand or two. Heh. :)

Posted by: Stanley | August 1, 2010

Heaven’s secrets cannot be revealed – Oh really?

天机不可泄漏 or “heaven’s secrets cannot be revealed”.

I’d bet many of you have heard of this phrase one time or another, especially either from a fortune teller or a feng shui master.

Want to know the real story behind it?

Back in ancient China, the usage of feng shui and astrology (bazi) are closely guarded secrets that only the ministers and the emperor are privy to. Knowledge of such is punishable by death. The only people who holds the actual calculations are a few imperial scholars and astronomers. And to prevent the knowledge from falling into the wrong hands and at the same time show their literacy prowess, the information is purposely written in poems and buried in complex prose so the common population will have a hard time “decoding” what is written, let alone use it, if anyone other than the authorised personnel ever get their hands on it. But the main reason is to protect the emperor from anyone else “reading” his life or using the palace feng shui against him.

By the way the emperor is known as 天子 or heaven’s son. See the connection?

But now in present times, after talking to clients and fellow colleagues, I noticed that the phrase 天机不可泄漏 or “heaven’s secrets cannot be revealed” is used either :

1) as an excuse for not being able to answer a tough question so as not to appear incompetent and “lose face”;

2) when there is no monetary benefits in doing so;

3) due to laziness as it may take time and effort to explain to the layman, which may tie-in to point 2 above.

Posted by: Stanley | July 26, 2010

Colors and Feng Shui

Although strictly speaking colors is not and has not been a part of classical feng shui, they are still useful for physiological reasons.

In school we were taught that colors are made up of electrons vibrating at different speeds, where reds vibrate slower while blues vibrate much faster.

These vibrations has an effect on the Man portion of the Heaven, Earth and Man Trinity especially the physiology of a person. Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. This is known as chromodynamics. Which is why if you are depressed you wouldn’t want to sit in a room that is painted deep blue, or even dark red. It will probably make you take longer to “recover” or may even make you feel worst. Alternatively you will find that you feel better after a while in a room painted yellow or some light color. Your mood improves. Also people will actually gamble more and make riskier bets when seated under a red light as opposed to a blue light. That’s why casinos are have red as a primary color decor.

Below is a list of how does color affects us physically and mentally:

blue
* Calming and sedate
* Cooling
* Aids intuition

green
* Soothing
* Relaxing mentally as well as physically
* Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety
* Offers a sense of renewal, self-control and harmony

yellow
* Mentally stimulating
* Stimulates the nervous system
* Activates memory
* Encourages communication

orange
* Stimulates activity
* Stimulates appetite
* Encourages socialization

red
* Increases enthusiasm
* Stimulates energy
* Encourages action and confidence
* A sense of protection from fears and anxiety

purple
* Uplifting
* Calming to mind and nerves
* Offers a sense of spirituality
* Encourages creativity

brown
* Feeling of wholesomeness
* Stability
* Connection with the earth
* Offers a sense orderliness

white
* aids mental clarity
* encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
* evokes purification of thoughts or actions
* enables fresh beginnings

gray
* unsettling
* expectant

black
* feeling inconspicuous
* a restful emptiness
* mysterious evoking a sense of potential and possibility.

Although technically colors will not affect the general feng shui of a place, it will help or hinder the physiology of the person living there to a certain degree. Which is why good feng shui practitioners use the so-called “color cures” as a last resort only if they have no other options available.

Posted by: Stanley | July 9, 2010

An expensive lesson, maybe?

This morning I visited an old friend that I have not seen in a long time. Upon arriving at his place I saw he had a large pair of pixiu (very similar to the one pictured above) at the doorway. So I queried him about them. I think he suddenly realised that I am also a feng shui practitioner (duh!) and an old friend (duh again!) that he appear embarrassed. Anyway, after assuring him that it’s ok that HE ENGAGED A STRANGER THAN AN OLD FRIEND TO DO HIS FENG SHUI AUDIT!? WHAT THE -?!?

But seriously, as I was saying, I asked him about the pair of pixiu at the doorway. According to him, they were bought upon the recommendations of a local feng shui practitioner (somehow the use of the word “master” is so common nowadays that I cringe when my clients or students address me that way but that’s a story for another day). Costed him $6000 for the pair (after discount some more). Originally at $3888 each but due to “affinity” to the feng shui practitioner that he got a discount as he (my friend) needed two or so he (the feng shui practitioner) says. And that’s not inclusive of the actual audit which he (my friend) claims that he forgot. Yeah rrriiiggght.

Anyhoo, the pair of stone okay, okay, jade chinese mythical creatures were supposed to pull triple duty of attracting wealth and fortune, ward of evils, as well as appease the Tai Sui or Grand Duke of Jupiter. Well, I don’t know about attracting wealth and fortune or warding off evils but I definitely wonder about the appeasing the Tai Sui part as

1) My friend’s door does not open into or located in the northeast (where the Tai Sui is located this year) nor

2) Even if it was, I seriously doubt they (the pixiu) would be of any help (maybe as very expensive door stoppers).

Which my friend somewhat agreed. I say somewhat because he might not want to admit that his $6000 feng shui “cure” is a total waste of money. Why? Because despite the economy picking up, he still lost some money in stock market earlier this year and his wife almost twisted her ankle coming down the stairs. So much for attracting wealth and fortune or warding off evil huh?

Like I’ve told him, if a place has negative feng shui, no matter how many pixiu, dragons or bagua mirrors you put, you will still have negative feng shui. Only Qi will beget Qi. And that’s what actual feng shui is. The management of good and bad Qi in a specific location.

Oh by the way, J, if you are reading this? The use of placing chinese astrological animal figures around the house for whatever feng shui reasons do not work either. :)

Posted by: Stanley | June 21, 2010

On Bazi in a Feng Shui Audit

Today I was asked this question;

Do we need a person’s bazi for a feng shui audit?

Here’s my take: yes but not necessary.

The science and art of bazi did not come along until the Song dynasty while feng shui had been in use way before that. To put it simply, the purpose of feng shui is to locate and use the good qi while avoiding the negative qi of a particular area for the benefit of people living or working there whatever their bazi are.

The inclusion of bazi into a feng shui audit is to fine tune it to suit the individual’s purpose or needs. A feng shui audit without a person’s bazi is like a doctor prescribing multi vitamins and minerals to supplement the general health of a person. If an area have good feng shui, it will benefit everyone in the family in general regardless.

Including the bazi into a feng shui audit is like allowing the doctor to pin point deficiencies or to do enhancements. For example a room is said to have superb feng shui but based on their bazi, it may be great for the wife but only generally good for the husband. Or a room might have negative feng shui but how bad is it? Sometimes, although not common, depending on the person using the room’s bazi, it could end up being “good” for him even though the room is said to have bad feng shui. But that being said, we still have to keep in mind the general negativeness of negative feng shui no matter how “good” it is to a person’s bazi.

Posted by: Stanley | June 13, 2010

How to use a Compass correctly

Although I’ve always advocated accuracy in taking of directions and bearings using a compass to determine the house or property’s orientation (compass direction), I realised that many have no idea how to use a compass so I am putting up a simple tutorial on correct compass use.

First of all, always use a quality compass. eg. I use a hiking compass (like the one pictured below) when I don’t have my Luopan; not those found on the cap of water bottles or on the strap of digital watches!

You see the red and black arrow? It’s called the compass needle. Well, on some compasses it might have other colours but the point is, the red part of it is always pointing towards the earth’s magnetic north pole. It’s as simple as that.

Stand in front of the house or property you want to take the bearings or direction of, with your back at the door or entrance facing out (as if you are exiting the building) and hold the compass in your hand with the travel arrow (long red arrow on middle of the body of the compass) pointing at the direction you want to take. And you’ll have to hold it quite flat, so that the compass needle can turn.

After the compass needle stops moving, turn the movable compass housing until the compass needle is aligned with the lines inside the compass housing like shown above. From the picture above we see that the compass is giving a northwest reading. This means that the building or property in question is facing northwest. Simple.

It is extremely important that the red, north part of the compass needle points at north in the compass housing. A second problem might be local magnetic distractions. If you are carrying something of metal like a belt buckle, keys or similar on your body, it might disturb the arrow and give an inaccurate reading. Also do not stand too near an iron gate or even a metal door handle. To be safe, take a large step forward and take another reading.

Posted by: Stanley | May 29, 2010

Chinese poem to share

Here’s a chinese poem that I found on a feng shui forum that I frequent and thought it’s meaningful enough to share with my readers. :)

存心不善 ,風水無益 ;
不孝父母 ,奉神無益;
兄弟不和,交友無益;
行止不端,讀書無益.

I will try to translate as closely as possible with my amazing (not!) command (not not!!) of the chinese language. :P

having evil intentions, feng shui is useless;
being unfilial to parents, worshipping God is futile;
own brothers in discord, making friends is meaningless;
behaving in misconduct, having knowledge is pointless.

Posted by: Stanley | May 28, 2010

It’s Buddha’s birthday today!

Here’s wishing my readers and all peoples a very blessed Vesak Day!

Commemorating the Birth, Enlightenment and Death of the Buddha.

Posted by: Stanley | May 26, 2010

On Missing Corners and Weakened Sectors

In Feng Shui, normally when we purchase a property we would like it to be as rectangular or as squarish as possible, without any missing corners or look like a piece of irregular-shaped jigsaw puzzle.

This is to make sure that the Qi within the property is as “complete” as possible. Look at the floor plans of any old property or buildings and the palaces during the ancient times in China. Almost all the buildings are blocky and squarish with all 4 corners intact. Compare that to the modern floorplans of our current housing estates. See picture above for a typical 4 room apartment for example. Notice that the southeastern corner is missing while south, east, southwest and northeast have weaken sectors.

Why do I say that the southeast is “missing” while the south, southwest, east and northeast is only “weakened”?

As I mentioned, in Feng Shui we would like to “see” a property in the shape of a rectangle or square with all 4 corners intact. Thus the red box over the floor plan above. Within this red box we further divide the areas into 3 rows and 3 columns so we have 9 smaller boxes of equal size known as a 9-grid.

So what consitutes a missing sector or corner and what consitutes a weakened sector?

Looking at the 9-grid on our floor plan, if any one of the 9 squares has an area of 70% and over or 2/3rds “missing” or outside the boundary of the property’s walls, that area’s or sector’s Qi is deemed to be “missing”. Otherwise the sector’s Qi is deemed to be weakened. So the floor plan above has a totally missing southeast corner while the south, southwest, east and northeast, having less than 70% outside the boundary of the property’s walls, is said to have weak sectors.

And how does that affect me and mine? In Feng Shui, each sector of the 9-grid is governed by a Gua and each Gua represents a family member, among other things like body parts and job types, for instance. So a missing southeast sector means that the eldest daugther or any female, living in the property, of age between 31 to 45 will be negatively affected or may have liver or bladder problems or even flu and pulmonary problems. Likelihood of happenings are even higher if there are also negative landforms outside this sector or direction. Whereas a weak sector or area just means that the Qi in that particular area is not as supportive.

Below is a list of where affects who:
North represents the middle son or male of age between 16 to 30
South represents the middle daugther or female of age between 16 to 30
East represents the eldest son or male of age between 31 to 45
West represents the youngest daugther or female of age between 1 to 15
Northeast represents the youngest son or male of age between 1 to 15
Southeast represents the eldest daugther or female of age between 31 to 45
Northwest represents the father or male of age between 46 and above
Southwest represents the mother or female of age between 46 and above

So this means that if a property has a missing southeast sector, the first-born daugther of the house or any woman, other than the mother, above the age of 46 living in the house, will be adversely affected. But if the same daugther doesn’t live there or if the family have only sons, then there is no problem.

So what can we do to solve this? Not much. Especially if the property is a flat in an apartment building.

But according to some feng shui masters, a person can replace a missing sector or corner with mirrors. The idea is that the reflections will create imaginary walls thus creating a corner. How does a person replace something which was not there in the first place?? A person can still strengthen a weakened area “elementally” using the Five Elements Theory but short of putting up physical walls to form a corner, using mirrors is like using a placebo. Since the “walls” are imaginary, I would think any benefits bestowed from that would also be imaginary.

At least the owner of the local hardware store would be happy. :)

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