After a house is built, Liqi Pai 理氣派 or Compass School Feng Shui is concerned with how the building is engaging with the environment from a Gua Qi 卦氣 (Qi of the Trigrams) point of view and there are three ways to do this, according to the San Cai 三才 theory of Tian Qi, Di Qi and Ren Qi or the Three Abilities theory of Heaven Qi, Earth Qi and Human Qi:

1) To “ride” (Cheng 乘) the Earth Qi.
2) To “face” (Xiang 向) the Heaven Qi.
3) The “take in” (Na 納) the Human Qi.

For this reason, a compass method, like the Bazhai Mingjing 八宅明鏡 Eight Mansion School, would use the sitting direction, called the Fu Wei, to calculate the locations of the eight Wandering Qi through Yao line changes, the idea is to use the correlations of the compass readings to calculate how the house is “sitting on” or “riding” the Earth Qi.

Another system, like the Xuankong Sanyuan Feixing Pai 玄空三元飛星派 or Space-Time Three-Era Flying Star School, would use the facing direction to calculate the location of the flying stars, with its resultant sitting and facing star influencing health/relationship and wealth/officialdom respectively. The idea is to use the facing direction and its subsequent correlations of the eight Trigrams in the eight directions, to calculate how the house would face the Heaven Qi and whether a particular direction is auspicious or harmful (ji-xiong 吉凶) from a health and wealth perspective.

Still another method, like the Yangzhai Sanyao Bazhai Pai 陽宅三要八宅派 or the Three Essentials of a Yang Dwelling Eight-Mansion School, would use the front door as its Fu Wei, to calculate the locations of the eight Wandering Qi memorized by the Song of the Yearly Cycles (Younian Ge 遊年歌), namely Fu Wei 伏位, Sheng Qi 生氣 , Yan Nian 延年, Tian Yi 天醫, Huo Hai 禍害, Jue Ming 絕命, Liu Sha 六煞 and Wu Gui 五鬼, instead of using the sitting direction mentioned earlier.

When a house is not yet built, Feng Shui is concerned with its location to the landscape, so in systems like the four San He Water Methods, they use the incoming and outgoing water in front of the site, as well as the direction of the Coming Dragon of the mountains behind as their reference point, to set up the 12 Life-Cycle (十二長生訣), to calculate the auspicious and harmfulness of a location.

In Xuankong Dagua, the aim is match the siting of a house with its landscape (Shan Shui or Mountain and Water), so the direction of the “Coming Dragon” and “Going Water” of the land is matched with the Sitting and Facing of the house, according to the correlated numbers or Trigrams so the 4 numbers/trigram are either of the same, adding up to 5, 10 or 15 or they have Hetu pairing relationships to be ritually correct and auspicious.

Thus we can see the Compass Feng Shui Schools have different metrics to reflect the different way a house would engage its environment, and these are used as reference points for calculations, both before and after its construction, also internally and externally.

When this is understood, the compass methods may seem numerous and complicated, but they all have the same objective: how best to engage the Qi of the environment, so it can energize and nourish us in a meaningful and ritually correct way. Obviously, the best way would be for a house to be able to “ride”, to “face” and to “take in” the Qi of the environment in the most appropriate or auspicious way at the same time and this idea should be the core principles of any Compass school of Feng Shui.



30 October – 02 November 2012, European College of Feng Shui, Berlin

In the first half of this workshop we will cover the theory and the practice of all of the four major Water Methods in the San He School of Feng Shui, using the three 24 Mountains rings. The second half will be allocated to the study of the Xuan Kong Da Gua Date Selections, so some knowledge of XKDG School of Feng Shui would be advantageous but not a pre-requisite as we will cover the basics before venturing into the more advanced topics. However, the ability to recognize the 10 Heavenly Stems and the 12 Earthly Branches in the Chinese characters is expected. A comprehensive set of notes and templates for the San He and XKDG Luopan Compass will be provided free of charge for the participants.

San He Pai Feng Shui

The San He School of Feng Shui is also known as the San He Water Methods because it puts the emphasis on where the water comes in and goes out to determine the auspicious and harmfulness (Ji-Xiong) of a site. This school uses the 3 rings of the Earth, Heaven and Human plates of the 24 Mountains and the 12 Life Cycles or the 12 Qi Phases (十二長生位) to do its analysis and is a very popular school in China for locating tombs and houses in the country side, where the mountain ranges and the water courses can easily be identified. Due to urbanization in China the majority of the population increasingly moved to the towns and cities where natural environment is not so visible and this method is being over taken by methods, like Flying Star, which pays relatively less attention to the landform and more to the abstract influence of space and time on occupants in a highly populated environment.

There are quite a few San He methods using the similar terminology but different technical applications of the same philosophy. In this Master Course we will examine four of them and hopefully after the course you can incorporate these ancient techniques into your modern practice. Below showed an antique San He Luopan my teacher Master Ren Zhi-Lin gave me in 1980 at the end of my study in Hong Kong with him.

Xuan Kong Da Gua (XKDG) Date Selection

XKDG Date Selection is an extension of the XKDG Feng Shui system, so we will start the course my familiarizing ourselves with the 64 Hexagrams on the XKDG rings, which has an “elemental number” and a “period number”. These numerical concepts will form the basis for the Date Selection as much as it is for the Feng Shui techniques.

The Four Pillars (or Bazi – Eight Characters) of time (year, month, day and hours) are translated into numbers and they are used for the calculations to seek an auspicious outcome. If you decide to attend, please bring along with you a 10,000 Years Calendar.

There are many Date Selection methods and XKDG Date Selection is one of the most popular after the Chinese Almanac, because it is very easy to use and relatively flexible in it choices.

Learning this date selection method will further enhance your Feng Shui knowledge, especially when your clients ask you for an auspicious date and time to commence their tasks or projects.

Early Bird discount if paid by middle of September: Euro 520.00
Full fee: Euro 630.00 (Full set of notes include free of charge)

Gyda Anders & Howard Choy, Feng Shui Architects

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