aptera-spitiThis Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Divine is located next to the huge Roman Cisterns at the ancient city of Aptera. It is believe to have been built in the 7th. Century AD and remain in use until 1964 when it is abandoned permanently.

The layout is very similar to a traditional Chinese courtyard house and if we take the North as the sitting direction, where the chapel is located, then according to the Bazhai School of Feng Shui, it is a Kan House with the Door at Xun, where the auspicious Sheng Qi Wandering Star is located (see Bazhai map below). I know it is not how the original builder would have envisaged, but I find it interesting to see it from a Feng Shui perspective.

The irregular shape of the courtyard gave a distorted perspective and made the courtyard seem larger than what it is as one enters from the main door. In Feng Shui it is called a “money bag” shape.

It is quite a pleasant surprise when we walked into the courtyard from a harsh landscape, it is cool, calm and welcoming, like entering an Oasis from a desert.

In contrast to other monasteries of later periods in Crete, the chapel is not located in the centre along the East-West axis, but it is located to one side and is quite moderate in size. This made me think may be the idea of a Community of God has given away to a Worship of God over time.

I could not get my camera to work on the day, the last photo is taken from a Crete tourist site.

dear mr choy
thank you so much for your quick reply. i appreciated your research attitude in your blog about many subjects. yap cheng hai and joey yap for example,are sure that we need to imply bazhai on square . is there any book that contradict pie as well? why there are 2 version people can fight to proof them? can we say that it is all about types of chi and all the answers are true, and we can work in both way? i will try now to imply bazahi in pie but i am still confuse. i will not bother you any more. i appreciate so much your answer.
thank you

Hi Eva,

You asked if there are any books contradict the pie layout, well there is the Yangzhai Sanyao book written about the same time that uses the rectangular shape of the house to layout the 8 Wandering Qi, there are always the four cardinal and four diagonal directions to consider and the 8 Palaces are stretched to suit, I have scanned a couple of pages for your interest as well. You need to be aware that the two books derive the Fu Wei in different ways, in the Yangzhai Mingjing the Fu Wei is based on the sitting direction of the house whereas in Yangzhai Sanyao the Fu Wei is located at the front door direction.

Because Bazhai Mingjing is more concerned with how the house affect the person, I think the pie is liken to the Qi from the 8 directions affecting the person in the middle, whereas Yangzahi Sanyao is more concerned with the house Trigram relationships between the Door, the Master and the Stove, so it lays out the directions of the 8 Wandering Qi in stretched squares located in the 8 direction.

You asked why Yap Cheng-Hai and Joey Yap use the square and I use the pie, may be they based their information on the Yangzhai Sanyao rather than the Bazhai Mingjing, which I mostly work with when I use the Bazhai system in my Feng Shui audit. The best way is to ask them to be sure.


Howard Choy

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