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Systems of Feng Shui

Classical Feng Shui consists of two main systems:

  • San He (3 Harmony)
    • observation of environmental forms, particularly mountains and bodies of water.
    • ‘Mountains’ can refer to actual mountains or tall buildings, telecommunication towers and so on.
    • ‘Water’ can refer to the sea, lakes, rivers or roads, pathways and so on.
  • San Yuan (3 Cycles)
    • observation of Qi influence & timeliness of stars.

The San He System

The San He System is the first and oldest school of Feng Shui. This system focuses on the surrounding physical environment to identify the convergence of qi on the land. This spot of convergence, also called the dragon’s lair, is the point where positive qi pools and is an excellent spot to locate your home, workspace and even your place of burial.

Reputedly originating from the southern part of China, the School’s philosophies came about when the ancient Chinese noticed that people who lived on the south side of a mountain often surrounded by rolling hills to break up the wind had good, prosperous lives. They also noticed that certain land formations looked like animals.

The perfect Feng Shui location, according to the San He System, is where Green Dragon hills are in the east and form a horse-shoe shape while the slightly lower White Tiger hills in the west. Black Tortoise hills are in the north and low Red Phoenix hills are in the south.

In modern day terms, buildings, trees and other terrestrial features constitute environmental forms. Hence, the Black Tortoise can be represented by a wall or fence at the back of a garden while the Tiger and the Dragon can be seen as houses and fences on each side of a house. The Phoenix can be represented as a small raised bed or a gentle downward slope on the front of the house, or a bush.

The San He System is therefore a study of the way the land is positioned around you and how to locate your most auspicious spot.

The San Yuan (3 Cycles) System

This system is based on the observation of qi influence and the timeliness of the stars. A special compass called a luopan is used together with sophisticated numerological theories to calculate the effects of time and space on an individual.The system relies on the exercise of intellect, observation and experimentation to help an individual tap into positive qi around him.

There are two popular practices within the San Yuan (3 Cycles) System.

The Eight Mansions

Eight Mansions refers to the eight cardinal directions of a compass. Under this system, these directions are divided into two groups: the East group and the West group. By calculating an individual’s personal life gua (determined by his birth year and gender), the Feng Shui master can determine to which group the individual belongs and how compatible he is with his surroundings.The Eight Mansions system also identifies your house gua, showing you the directions and locations within the premise which hold positive qi. This is important to help you plan out the location of key home features such as the main door, kitchen and bedroom(s). This knowledge can have beneficial effects on your Feng Shui. By combining your life gua and your house gua, you will be able to position yourself in your home with favourable results.

The Eight Mansions system can also help you understand your compatibility with another person and how to locate the productive areas in your office.

The Flying Stars

Flying Stars is a sophisticated system that includes the analysis of time in the study of how qi affects a building, whether a home or an office. This system considers the magnetic or physical orientation of the building, together with the year it was built, and applies the figure to a series of complex mathematical diagrams to identify its qi structure.

‘Stars’ refers to the nine numbers of the Lo Shu, the primary diagram used that denotes motion, transformation and the interaction of qi around an individual.