The Unique Feng Shui of Shanghai

October 2, 2015

I am in the process of preparing the lecture notes for the Feng Shui Study Tour of China coming up in a couple of weeks time. Our first stop is Shanghai, so natually I start with the Feng Shui of Shanghai:

Shanghai is China’s largest economic centre, it has a population of over 16 millions and covers a total land area of approx. 6,340 square kilometres. What makes it so prosperous is its unique location and special “pinyang long” 平洋龍 or “flat land with water dragon” feng shui.

Unlike other major in-land cities in China, like Chongqing and Beijing, which have the support of mountains at the back and a generous “Mingtang” (open space) with water in front, Shanghai is a coastal city on a flat plain, with less than 4 meters above the sea level in general. But form-wise Shanghai, unlike other less prosperous coastal cities like Tianjin and Guangzhou, has many lakes nearby and is surrounded by rivers and embraced by the sea.

Luosh-Bagua-wise, Shanghai is located in the Zhen palace to the East, which is associated with the Wuxing (the Five Phase) of Wood, and since Water generates Wood and Wood represents growth and prosperity, Shanghai is uniquely prosperous in this regard, having plenty of Water located in the Wood direction.

The Huangpu River is Shanghai’s main river; seen from the air it discharges into the Changjiang River before flowing into the Yellow Sea. There are two islands, namely the Changxing Island and the Hengsha Island in front, that in feng shui terms, lock in the prosperous Water Qi of the Huangpu and stops it from leaking into the Yellow Sea. These two islands worked as Watergate Locks for Wealth. (See Map of Shanghai and Region)

There is a feng shui saying specially related to this situation:
“源宜朝抱有情,不宜直射关闭,去口宜关闭紧密,最怕直去无收”
“There is affection when the Source Water can be embraced, it is not suitable for it to rush at the Gate, the Going Water should be locked in tight, so there is no fear of it will disappear.”

When we look closer at the original birth place of Shanghai next to the Huangpu River we can a classic Water Dragon Pattern call the “Meandering Water with a Single Wind Pattern” 曲水单朝格. Michael Paton in his book the “Five Classics of Fengshui”, has translated the meaning of this water formation and the concluding remark pointed out the special relationship of water to Shanghai”

“The beauty of this situation is indescribable because there is a complete external situation as well as solid internal qi” (See Map of Meandering Water of Shanghai and also page 215 from Paton’s book),

Since “Mountain is associated with Health and Water with Wealth” “山管人丁水管财” and Shanghai has plenty of water because of its unique geographical situation, Shanghai is in a special economic position and the city gave birth to a number of national leaders, famous scholars and celebrities from the sports and the arts.

shanghai_region_map
Meandering Water

Paton Water Dragon

One Response to “The Unique Feng Shui of Shanghai”


  1. […] road, and elevation of the land. Sometimes, this applies to a larger scale, such as a city (see a feng shui analysis on the city of Shanghai by Howard […]


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