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- Classical Chinese Feng Shui -

- How to find Facing and Sitting in Feng Shui -

Explorations with Heluo

Explorations with Heluo is a series of articles by Heluo on the subject of Time, Space and Destiny

articles by Heluo on the subject of Time, Space and Destiny http://www.oup.co.uk/images/oxed/childr

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And much more to read about

This is a chapter from Heluo’s Xuan Kong Feng Shui workbook (650 pages).

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Determining Facing and Sitting Directions In Xuan Kong Flying Star Feng Shui (Xuan Kong Fei Xing) and before we can arrive to the Flying Star chart, we need establish the Facing side – Facing Palace - of the built structure. This article is an attempt to cover the subject, especially for beginners or those confused over the subject, but the article covers much more.

Prior to your Xuan Kong Fei Xing Feng Shui survey, you need accurately determine the Facing side of the built structure. The Facing Palace can be either one of the eight 45 degree sectors of your built structure. It is critical that absolute accuracy be employed in this determination. However, no matter how many rules or guidelines there are to follow, it may go either way: it may happen that you determine the Facing in a split second, it may also happen that, no matter how well you weigh the many different factors you learnt, it may sometimes seem virtually impossible to assign one of the walls the Facing. This is true for beginners, but rest assured, this is true also for whomever is in whichever stage of profoundness.

No any one article on the subject will be ever able to substitute what must by far be the best way to learn how to determine Facing, formal training and be at the side of

a living teacher (only a teacher can correct you and tell you how ‘off’ your decisions

are, which is a healthy way of learning the right path). Nevertheless, nothing keeps us from showing at least some of the more persistent ins and outs, if only because not all of us are able to attend class, but we still wish to be able to assess our Feng Shui situation and proceed. To help you proceed is at the aim of this article.

This article then is an attempt to assist you in assessing principles of Facing, Sitting and Ming Tang (Bright Hall) in the correct manner. Deciding the Facing of a building can become and will remain a complex issue, so if it gives you trouble, at least you will know you are not by yourself. Just know for now that always just only one side will be the correct Facing side. The rest is your practise, your skill, your experience and one or two clues hopefully rendered by this article.

Ultimately, any built structure will produce one decisive Facing side only. Still, there are a number of considerations to include in your assessment that may keep you busy.

This article is an attempt to approach the subject and give you tools in order for you to become proficient at the task of finding Facing and Sitting. Again, don’t get disillusioned as you can rest assured that even the masters need work very careful on this account, since finding the Facing will remain a challenge throughout your practise.

Remember always that we are assessing Qi and ‘Qi is its own man’, so to speak. Rest assured that Qi will not follow any of our brain expectations. See, any and all in Oriental Metaphysics is based in paradox. If you cannot handle or accept paradox, you may have difficulty finding the Facing, because most but not all of this subject will ‘make sense’. The moment you decided the Facing, someone may tell you it was wrong for that and that reason, while you firmly believed you had followed directions and rules in their prescribed way.

Most of us can handle this fine, as our brain and spine feel most comfortable here:

If from A comes B, then from B must come C.

You shall have to get adjusted to this (and by the time this is done, for most of us a lot of water will have crossed the dyke, as we say in the Netherlands) in order to be able to handle anything in metaphysics, starting with the Facing issues:

If from A comes B, then from B may just as well come Y.

Before we can arrive to the correct Flying Star chart for a built structure, a compass reading needs to be taken at the Facing side, at the Facing Palace. You can suffice with using a normal Western compass for as long as it shows accurate degrees.

But things can become a little tricky sometimes, because we need to first decide how to define Facing side. Also, what to do if you found the correct Facing, but it is either in a different location than the architectural front – the façade -, or the lay- out of the interior does not seem to match the situation. What about apartment units. We will be looking into this also.

We will take you on a journey on Facing, Sitting, Ming Tang and lay-out of active

rooms. By the time you read this article a couple of times, we hope things became

a little more transparent. If you are running around your house and feel

disheartened, just drop the matter for a day, go over all details concerning Facing and Sitting once more and try again the next day. All will fall into place.

We look for a clean compass reading, rather than magnetic distortion. Therefore, the compass reading must be always taken outside the built structure. Compass readings taken from inside a building will be inaccurate due to the influences of metallic objects, electrical wiring, metal water pipes, ceiling pressure and various other factors. Even compass readings taken outside may sometimes be inaccurate due to certain presences uderneath the soil, e.g. rocks, water, metal, voids.

Even some masters today still take a compass reading from inside the building, which is pertinently wrong when it is our objective to read a house’s orientation to magnetic North. Some stand in the center of the house, draw an imaginary line from the center of the house to the center of the main door to take a compass reading and call the result ‘Facing’.

Likewise, taking a compass reading from the location – or even the orientation - of the main entrance, even when done outside, is not proper Xuan Kong Fei Xing Feng Shui and this may not lead to the correct Flying Star chart.

In order to determine the Facing, you will be working with several considerations all at the same time. Where three factors may then imply a certain Facing, just one other decisive factor may yet have you decide otherwise and here is why the matter can become complex. However, we are not weighing quantities, we are observing Qi. Weighing all considerations along with some of your experience, will eventually lead you into correct assessment.

A detailed and logical analysis is required to determine the Facing and Sitting of

your building. The Facing direction may or may not be at the architectural front of

your house. Then also, even if you correctly located the Facing of your house, you may perhaps not find the door in the same 45 degrees directional Palace.

Facing is determined by several different factors that must be considered and weighed simultaneously. Correct determination of Facing is absolutely critical because all of your assessments and adjustments pertain to this. Determining Facing can be the most easy part of your survey, it can also be the most challenging part.

For some modern houses it is difficult to determine Facing and Sitting. Always keep in mind that most structures have one Facing side and one Sitting side only. This rule may become more flexible when auditing apartments or business complexes, which will be discussed further down. Usually, and for a normal house, all floors will have identical Facings. However, some modern houses may be rented out in separate floors.

It is possible that each floor then has its own Facing, although you may of course not decide this being the case too easily.

One method to determine Facing and Sitting is to first determine which sides are not the Facing. Here, with four walls, we try to first rule out at least two of them, most of the time these being the side walls. Mostly this is an easy task.

It is said in one of the ancient Feng Shui Classics, that “if we cannot find the Mountain Dragon, we look for the Water Dragon”. Then, once the Water Dragon is found, we know where the Mountain Dragon is.

This is because in its most basic definition, Facing is “the side of the built structure that receives most Yang Qi”.

The Water Dragon is active, mobile and Yang, it is linked to the side of a built structure which invites the most Yang energy. It is mostly into the direction of open space, with doors and windows allowing Qi and human traffic be transported into the house.

The Mountain Dragon is passive, accumulative and Yin, it is the side of a built structure which is most supported, most tranquil.

For a built structure that is well supported at the back and to the sides, the Water Dragon approaches the built structure from the front - where we find the architectural facade - and this then becomes the Facing Side. In case of Yang Zhai (buildings) and Xuan Kong Fei Xing Feng Shui, the Mountain Dragon then sits at the architectural back – exactly 180 degrees opposite Facing - and this then becomes the Sitting side.

This is to explain that for Xuan Kong Fei Xing, the Facing and Sitting will be always 180 degrees away to one another. All examples shown here have their Facing into the indicated direction, their Sitting side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction.

side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction. We define the Facing as
side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction. We define the Facing as
side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction. We define the Facing as
side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction. We define the Facing as
side to be located at 180 degrees away from this direction. We define the Facing as

We define the Facing as the side of a built structure where the building receives most Yang Qi. In order to determine the most Yang side, we need first examine some of the basic terminologies pertinent to Feng Shui.

More often than not, what will eventually lead you to decide on the correct Facing side and where to locate the external Ming Tang, will be a combination of many different considerations – not any one single feature. Taking all these considerations together, may help you to build up a firm understanding of Facing and Sitting.

If you approach the doctrine of Facing, just as is true for your approach of anything in Metaphysics, here is a strong suggestion:

“Take two steps back to take in no position and no preference”.

Keep this in mind as you go over the following factors in order to obtain Facing side. More often than not you will find that the Facing was determined, not so much by any one single factor, but by your careful weighing process.

Built structure In Feng Shui basic terminologies it does not suffice to talk about houses, or apartments, where rules pertaining to Facing equally apply to all built structures in which we need people to thrive. Instead, we use built structure, while this term may also apply to Yin Zhai (grave sites) Feng Shui, because a grave site is a built structure also, following practically the same rules – but not quite, but that is outside the realm of this article - for Mountain and Water. A built structure in a Feng Shui sense has the ability for Qi to be confined, i.e. it has walls and roof.

In terms of Feng Shui for Yang Zhai (buildings for the living), a built structure will be usually a residential or commercial building. A built structure in the sense used here, must be enclosed by walls and a roof before a complete Flying Star chart – referred to as Man chart or Ren Pan - can be constructed and applied.

We cannot use a complete Flying Star chart for open land. A complete Flying Star chart can be only used for a building that is able to confine – or lock in - Qi.

Undeveloped Land Vacant and undeveloped land can be evaluated according to Forms, attributes of the Luo Shu, and directional influences. A true Flying Star chart (Ren Pan) cannot be constructed for land, because a piece of land lacks walls and roof to contain Mountain and Water Dragons. Qi will always search for a reference point and it cannot find a fixed reference point here, for reason that a piece of land has no definite physical center. Qi here would have no reference point. For a piece of land, or for countries, regions or cities – and failing the Ren Pan - we may apply other Feng Shui tools, like the Former Heaven Gua (Xian Tian), the Later Heaven Gua (Hou Tian), or Di Pan (Earth chart), the Time Period chart or the Hexagram ring over the Luo Pan. However, in your assessment of the Facing side, open land may be a significant Yang factor for you to consider.

Architectural Front This is the side of a built structure that was architecturally designated to act as the front, usually – but not always- containing the main entrance. However, this architectural facade is not necessarily what we mean by Facing side in Feng Shui. The architectural front may or may not contain the main door or the Facing Palace. Still, if we approach a house, we would first expect the Facing Palace to be at the architectural front, so you need first either determine or rule out the Facing Palace to be located here.

Main Road Roads are a main factor in our determination of Facing. Roads can transport Qi. It can be difficult to determine the main road if there are several roads. If there are two or more roads, determine which of them is the busiest as in people and traffic, the broadest, the best furnished, has more trees, is closest to the Facing Palace or closest to your main entrance (so as to determine which of these roads will be most influential) or has water or more sun. Also, from the interior perspective of the building, assess which road runs past the most active or quiet parts of the building.

For (commercial) buildings that are located on a corner of two streets, you may need select the broader road, the busiest of two roads or the road where most customers enter the shop. Or simply determine the more Yin side of the building, which will most probably be where the storage is, where employees enter, where merchandise is delivered and decide that this road cannot be the main road. With all factors equal, you may have to choose the road by something as odd as where the mailbox is.

Landscaping In assessing the Facing side of a built structure, we would anticipate open space, in other words we would enjoy an area where Qi can freely approach our building, while also this area is then able to retain Qi, so that it does not dissapate. Any significant - well-groomed - landscaping may just as well act as your Facing side if you established that the architectural front is not (good) enough to be allocated your Facing side or Ming Tang area. The here indicated landscaping would include grass fields, trees, bushes, flower beds, furnished gardens, sports fields, parks, playgrounds, even a parking lot etc. Still considering other factors, this landscaping must be well groomed, big enough, bright and spacious enough to be considered as the Facing side, your exterior Ming Tang. It should have active human traffic.

Mountain Mountain in Classical Chinese Feng Shui pertains to either real or virtual Mountain. Mountains can be real mountains, hills, any elevations, or climbing grounds. The key word is support. ‘Mountain’ is a term that furthermore belongs to Feng Shui nomenclature and may indicate immobility, moreover the ability to accumulate energy, in other words, ‘Mountain’ when compared to ‘Water’ is more Yin. Mountain may include surrounding walls and solid fences, adjacent or neighbouring buildings, a solid row of trees, quieter (comparably more Yin) side of structure. To determine Mountain (Sitting side) and in case of equal quantities, real overrides virtual; walls override trees; elevated overrides trees; trees override calm or quieter. The ‘Mountain’ side as a definition must be away from the exterior Ming Tang.

Water Water in Classical Chinese Feng Shui pertains to either real or virtual Water. Real Water includes oceans, rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, pools and ponds. Also virtual Water, including open and active (more Yang Qi allowing) space, roads, landscaping, flat, lower or sloping land. Real Water (H 2 O) must be close enough to or be visible from the building in order to be of Feng Shui effect. To determine Water (Facing side) and in the event of equal quantities, real overrides virtual; oceans, lakes, and rivers override roads; while oceans, lakes, and rivers also override landscaping; considerable landscaping may override quiet or small roads; low or sloping land overrides landscaping; moving water overrides calm or still water; large and deep water overrides small and shallow water; clean water overrides dirty water; abundance of sun light (Yang) may override otherwise open and active space. Use your discriminative powers and judgement at all times.

Doors The main entrance is fundamental to the Qi flow of any building. However, as they are not synonymous, Facing and main door may not necessarily be at the same side of the building, or the main entrance may be even located in the same wall, but not in the same 45 degrees Palace as the Facing. The door may be at the Facing side but not in the same 45 degree compass sector.

The back door, side door, or even the garage door may be the door used most frequently, with the door at the architectural front of the house being used the least. In determining Facing side the main entrance (architectural front door) still plays an important role. Do not arbitrarily determine the Facing side to be at the back door, side door, or garage door of your house, just because this door is used most, without detailed analysis. Close observations done at the site may have you decide the people should use a different door. All depends on the Flying Star chart.

Many factors are involved in the process and conclusion of determination.

In most – but not all - cases, and when used, the main door overrides any other door. A door leading to a bigger balcony usually overrides a door leading to a smaller balcony. A door on the ground floor overrides a door on a higher floor.

A frequently used door overrides a door less frequently used. Also, according to

Feng Shui principles, the term "door" may incorporate any open pathway allowing Qi to travel from one area to another, either interior or exterior. Already a tiny – hardly descernable – sandpath in your garden can be considered a pathway for Qi.

It is essential for you to understand that an open door is a door and is considered

to be ‘Water’ according to Feng Shui principles, and a closed door has become a

wall and is considered to be ‘Mountain’ according to Feng Shui principles.

Windows Windows are also important in determining the Facing side of a building. With all other factors equal, the side with most square area of windows overrides the side with lesser square area of windows. Windows that can be opened override windows that cannot be opened. On the other hand, once you determined the Facing to clearly be at one side of the building, but the other side has more square meters of windows, than in itself this may not be enough to change the Facing to be at the side with the most square meters windows. You need use your sense for proportion.

Different situations In assessing the situation, use or draw a scaled floor plan of the building, property, and environment showing all:

- interior and exterior walls;

- all doors, if they open inward or outward, accentuating the ones used;

- all windows, accentuating windows that can be opened;

- all other openings;

- interior hallways and pathways;

- rooms, including their function, main furniture, appliances;

- the immediate landscape and environment, including buildings, objects, waters, trees;

- roads, direction, intersection and sloping of roads, traffic direction;

- any other of your assessments of (in)tangible environmental Qi.

other of your assessments of (in)tangible environmental Qi. For as long as you keep in mind

For as long as you keep in mind that the actual Flying Star chart can always still tell you otherwise, in itself a well defined house in terms of Chinese Feng Shui would be situated according to the Armchair Setting and include:

- a clearly defined Facing side including main entrance, windows, road, river, landscaping, open space, all acting as the exterior Ming Tang.

- a clearly defined Sitting side at your architectural back including elevated ground, hill, buildings, walls, trees, that is closed and calm.

- both architectural sides are locked in by other buildings or assistant mountains.

- Some sort of smaller mountain beyond the Ming Tang.

- Interior design matching the exterior situation, i.e. active rooms to the architectural front, the more passive rooms to the architectural back.

Before we show you some typical situations, let’s move on with some more considerations pertaining to Facing.

Main Entrance Inside a Residential Building For residential and apartment style buildings, Facing of the unit most likely is not where the main entrance to the unit is when this main entrance is inside the building and opening into a public and enclosed hallway or corridor.

The Facing side may then usually be located where most of the windows and the balcony are located because this is where most of the Yang Qi is activated, invited into the home. Also, when you share a building with other people, with you living on one of the floors, it may very well be that different floors have different Facings.

Main Entrance Inside a Commercial Building For big commercial buildings, shopping malls – or big office buildings - the Facing side for individual shops or offices may not necessarily be where the main entrance to the individual shop or office is when the main entrance is inside the building.

The Facing side for offices is usually where most of the outside windows are located because this is where most of the Qi is activated and invited into the business. Sometimes, e.g. in case of busy traffic of customers, the Ming Tang will be where (larger amounts of) customers enter the premise. In these cases you need to rely on the floor plan, the traffic of people, your assessment of the situation, what the owner tells you about the premise’s use and function.

Front in Alley When the architectural front or main entrance is in an alleyway, the Facing side will most likely be elsewhere. Look for the Facing side, Ming Tang, at the architectural back.

Front has Qi Obstructions Sometimes you have it all, a road and a river in front of your house, the main entrance at the architectural front, a lot of windows at the front. Still your Facing side may be elsewhere if your main entrance and the front windows are completely hidden behind trees or other rude obstructions of Qi and hardly or no sunlight at all can enter your space. Either take down the obstruction or look for your Facing side in your back garden, arranging all of the house’s interior likewise.

Conclusion All the above need be incorporated in your weighing process. You need feel the Qi.

Nine out of each ten times, the first house you will be determining the Facing for will be your own house. But what if comes out that exactly your house is so complex that it would be a task even for a trained eye. Then, certainly don’t focus on your house and take your practise elsewhere. If you did not have a clue about the existence of Feng Shui up to now anyway, where is the loss if you first assess other building’s situations, just to get the hang of it and then get back to assess your own house a little later.

Even if it takes you a week or a month before you can definitely point out the Facing Palace of your house, you will be busy as it is commiting other Feng Shui adjustments to your house, such as making sure you are not sleeping or sitting in line with the doors and so on. On this subject, take your time, take it easy.

Go over this article several times more. Walk around your house and also feel from within the house. A house is a living entity and if you are ready it will reveal to you where its Facing is. Never trust on others, not even masters and once you decided on the Facing, try check yourself on later date and see if you still agree.

Make sure at least, you do not focus or rely on quantity. We should not be rigidly counting the number of windows and conclude from this that this is the Facing.

Examples of Facing All examples have the main road to the same direction at the architectural front, indicated by the bottom wall. The arrow indicates the Facing Palace and this may or may not point at the original facade. Take your compass reading where the arrow is.

facade. Take your compass reading where the arrow is. Situation A FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR
facade. Take your compass reading where the arrow is. Situation A FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR
facade. Take your compass reading where the arrow is. Situation A FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR
facade. Take your compass reading where the arrow is. Situation A FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR

Situation A FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR BOTH AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT. DOOR IN SAME LOCATION AS THE FACING PALACE AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT.

Both the open and lively part of the house and the main door are at the architectural front of the house, covering the same 45 degrees Palace.

Situation B FACING PALACE AND MAIN DOOR STILL BOTH AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT. DOOR NOW IN DIFFERENT LOCATION (AWAY FROM FACING PALACE).

Arrow still showing Facing direction, despite door in different 45 degrees sector. Take compass reading at the Facing Palace and if needed along Facing wall.

Situation C FACING PALACE STILL AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT, BUT DOOR NOW AT ARCHITECTURAL SIDE OF BUILDING.

In spite of main door not being located at the architectural front (in this example door could be at either side of the structure: architectural back or at either side), Facing is still at architectural front, provided architectural front has road, windows, landscaping and all features to justify Facing Palace into direction of road.

Situation D FACING PALACE AND DOOR AT ARCHITECTURAL SIDE OF HOUSE. ROAD STILL AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT.

Although architectural front is implied by the road, here both the Facing of the structure and the main door are away from the architectural front, provided there is now some persistently strong indication of Water in front of main door and/or support from the - now - sitting side. Arrow shows Facing Palace and where to take compass.

Situation E FACING PALACE AT ARCHITECTURAL BACK. ROAD STILL AT ARCHITECTURAL FRONT OF BUILDING.

One of the most difficult situations you may come across. Can become quite confusing. Yet, you may sometimes decide to declare Facing Palace at architectural back if the environmental features are demanding enough. Main door can be at one of the sides, even still at road side. In this case, you prefer all active rooms to the back and use the back door most frequently.

Compass Reading at the Facing Side There is much more to be said about Ming Tang, Facing and Sitting and we’ll address some of the issues further down. Before we do we will somewhat reflect on the compass reading first.

Now that you have determined the Facing and Sitting, take an exact compass reading at the Facing side, outside the house. You will be measuring Magnetic North. For a general house the result of your compass measurements can be then equally applied to each floor and each individual room.

At this point you may want to also read my articles: “How to build your Flying Star chart” and “Finding the center of a built structure”.

We now also need determine the Eight 45 degrees Palaces, draw these on the floor plan according to actual directions and then take in the belonging Flying Star chart.

The Feng Shui Time Period of construction and the compass orientation at the Facing together provide the data to chart the Flying Star chart of the house.

Please realize that the determination of Facing and Sitting, or a true reading of the compass bearing cannot - or can hardly ever - be done from a floor plan.

All this, including a compass reading, requires a person to be actually present at the site to determine the Facing and Sitting, and often the Period of a building, and to calculate and interpret yet other features revealed by the Luo Pan and the Flying Star chart. The descriptions and explanations given here can never be conclusive and should not in any way be taken as covering all possibilities and exceptions. However, this should give you your preliminary diagnosis.

The first aspect of reading a compass is to understand the compass. A compass basically consists of three parts:

- the magnetic needle

- the pivot bearing

- the housing

North Arrow
North Arrow

The red part of the magnetic needle points to Magnetic North. Rotate compass housing until the red part of the magnetic needle falls exactly between the lines with the North arrow. The view line now returns your actual reading.

North arrow. The view line now returns your actual reading. View line, i.e. you aim this

View line, i.e. you aim this arrow directly at the horizon.

Red part of magnetic needle indicating Magnetic North.

Rotable compass housing

The magnetic material rests on a pivot bearing. The pivot bearing is anchored into a base for stability. The magnetic material pivots on the bearing and aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field.

The perimeter of the compass housing contains directional data. The compass directional data consists of a 360 degrees circumference. These 360 degree markings are indicated in 1 degree increments.

There are eight directions indicated by the compass. The four cardinal directions include South, West, North, and East. The four secondary directions include Southwest, Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast. Each of these directions delineates 45 degrees of arc on the circumference.

The explanation is simple because the compass is in reality a very simple tool. However, reading of the compass in Feng Shui applications becomes more complex because of all of the information generated by the determination of degree.

Any ordinary compass may be used in Feng Shui. However, there are specially designed geomantic compasses termed Luo Jing or Luo Pan which are available.

These Luo Jing and Luo Pan contain additional outer rings outside of the normal degree markings. These outer rings contain information pertinent to the geomancer including the 24 Mountains, Trigram Directions, and various other information as necessary. However, a normal Western compass will suffice well into your advanced level Xuan Kong Fei Xing studies, as long as your compass shows 360 degrees.

Perhaps one of the best Luo Pan you can wish for, supporting you well into your Xuan Kong Fei Xing and Xuan Kong Da Gua studies, can be found here. Also as a help in determining your Flying Star chart, find a chart calculator on my website.

For Feng Shui purposes, we need yet divide each individual 45 degrees compass sector into three smaller sections of 15 degrees each. Each 15 degrees sector is then called a Mountain and there are 24 of these Mountains, referred to as the 24 Mountain Ring that you will find on any Chinese compass.

The 24 Mountains delineate the compass directions into further sections. Each of the eight directions delineates 45° of arc and also contains 3 of the Mountains. Each of the Mountains delineates 15° of arc on the circumference. More on this in my article: “How to build your Flying Star chart”.

The accuracy of the compass reading is absolutely critical in Feng Shui applications.

When reading a compass it is suggested that you remove all jewelry, metallic objects, and electronic devices from your person. Remain as distant as possible from any metallic objects, electrical devices, and underground water. Other materials such as wood, glass, brick, and stone have also occasionally demonstrated the ability to disrupt the compass. Of course, rather than ‘compass distortion’ we wish to arrive to ‘compass reading’.

Stand outside at the Facing of the building with your back towards the building. The direction you are facing is the Facing Direction of the building.

Hold the compass stretched away from your body at about navel height so that it is visible and easy to read. Align the compass so that the needle is correctly pointing North and South according to your particular compass. The compass will now properly display the directions.

Now you can begin to refine the reading to determine the exact degree of bearing. If you aligned the red part of the magnetic needle to fall exactly within the lines bearing the North Arrow, your reading will be where the view line coincides with the degree indicated. You obtain Magnetic North by taking as many readings you need

and from a multitude of locations and distances in front of the Facing wall as well as around the building, including the sides and Sitting locations. Note discrepancies and re-evaluate until you arrive at an accurate reading.

Repeat each reading while continually adjusting the height of the compass to knee level, navel level, and chest level and observe any anomalies. It will also become necessary to hold the compass up to chest level and adjust the square of the housing to the square of the building for accuracy.

of the housing to the square of the building for accuracy. X X X X X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Inclination of the compass needle You will find most compass readings easy.

Take three readings, one at the center of the Facing wall and two other readings to either side of the Facing wall.

Mostly the needle shows definite bearing. However, you will engage situations where the needle shows all sorts of inclinations, in which cases you want to take another series of readings a little farther away from the building, again at 3 locations along the Facing wall.

Try not impose your ‘will’ onto the compass needle, but rather have the needle ‘tell you’ how it sits.

You may wish to check your findings by taking yet another set of compass readings at the Sitting side. The house indicates good Feng Shui when the needle is stable.

Qi may be not stable if we need to take numerous readings.

X

may be not stable if we n eed to take numerous readings. X X X When

X

may be not stable if we n eed to take numerous readings. X X X When

X

When neither of the readings was satisfactory, you can “ask” the needle to tell you why.

Here, exact degrees do not matter as you will be interested only in ‘needle behavior’. Take the compass and walk along the Facing wall as indicated. While you keep your attention focused on the needle, you will be able to study its inclinations.

Carefully record all the different readings and be sure to state on your report whether the compass was at knee level, navel level, or chest level, and mark the locations on the property where the readings were obtained, and any anomalies found. If walking along the line and along the Facing wall shows any variance, there may be some presence below ground level or some apparatus inside the house.

Occasionally a compass reading may prove difficult, but it will get much easier once you forget that you are there. In other words, the needle will tell the story and you need only observe. Listen to the needle, don’t try to control it.

Use the best quality compass or Luo Pan possible, which is usually the best compass you can afford.

Never work from blueprints, survey maps, architectural drawings, or any other map or drawing regardless of who they are provided by, because maps mostly show geographic North. In Xuan Kong Fei Xing Feng Shui we determine magnetic North.

From this routine you can accurately determine the Facing degrees and construct an accurate Flying Star chart for the building.

The Flying Star chart for the house can also be superimposed onto each individual room. So when the house has three Stars in the South sector, each South sector of each room has the same Stars. However, standing at the center of the house or any given room, the door will be in a different section and we need to determine the geometric center of each and every individual floor or room. See my article:

“Finding the center of a built structure”.

Doors and windows determine a lot of the Qi qualities coming in or leaving your house, but they do not determine house horoscope. House horoscope is determined by year the house was been built (Time factor) combined with the specific orientation in degrees of the Facing side of the house (Space).

Checklist compass reading

- Be sure to use a good compass, showing exact degrees in its outher most ring. A larger needle renders a more stable reading.

- If you do not own a Luo Pan, be sure to use an accurate (digital) western compass.

- Never work from constructional drawings provided by official organisations or architects, as these will most likely bear Geographic North rather than Magnetic North which you will be needing as your Feng Shui reading.

- Never take a reading from inside a built structure.

- Stand outside the house at the Facing with your back towards the house, nose towards the horizon.

- Take several readings along the entire Facing wall, not just in one spot and find verification to your findings at the Sitting side.

- Be sure before you take a reading that you are ‘fit’, i.e. not tired and forget what you already think you ‘know’: you are now a consultant, not the occupant of your house. Be sure to have a clear, rested and efficient mind. Let the compass tell you the outcome, don’t go telling the needle what it should instead be telling you.

- Be sure you have no metal objects on your body and that you are away of any metal in the house or environment.

The result so far must be that:

A. You have determined the definite Facing side of the built structure.

B. You found the structure’s construction date, i.e. the correct Feng Shui Period.

C. You know the exact Facing degree of the compass.

D. You have arrived to the exact 15 degree Mountain as seen from the 24 mountain ring.

E. You found the physical center of the structure and superimposed the eight directions.

Finding the Flying Star chart Now, draw the Flying Star chart of the house. A house Facing South is a ‘North’ house, a house Facing North is a ‘South’ house and so on.

As an example, let us take a Period 7 house that is Facing the third 15 degrees Mountain of South.

This is how we then communicate the style of this house: Period 7: N3-S3.

As you can see, we first mention Period of construction, then the Sitting side – here N3 – and then the Facing side – here S3.

Here is a method for beginners. It will have you take in the Stars inside the interior walls, a method that may require adaptation later on in your studies, see next page.

- Take in the Period Star in the center of your floor plan. All other Numbers fly in the following sequence seen from the central Number: Center - Northwest – West - Northeast - South - North - Southwest – East - Southeast. Or, Number 7 in the Center and then Number 8 in the Northwest, 8 in the West and so on. You have now found the Time chart, or Heaven chart – Tian Pan.

- Find the Star that is in the 45 degrees Facing Palace and take it to the right hand side of the Period Star in the center. From hereon this Facing Star is called Water Dragon, governing the Water Dragon chart.

- Find the Star that is in the 45 degrees Sitting Palace and take it to the left hand side of the Period Star in the center. From hereon this Sitting Star is called Mountain Dragon, governing the Mountain Dragon chart.

- Then, you need to ‘fly’ both the Mountain Dragon and Water Dragon over the Luo Shu in the same fixed Flying Pattern, but we must halt here, because there is a special calculation to find whether the Mountain and Water Dragon at the center run in ascending or descending order. We need to look into this technique separately.

Once you are able to bring down your compass reading to the discussed code, you can look up your house chart to the back of the article “How to build your Flying Star chart”. Simply know the Period of construction, the Facing and Sitting and translate into: Period 7: N3-S3 to give you the right chart.

A complete Flying Star chart combines the Heaven chart, the Mountain Dragon chart and the Water Dragon chart and it is known as Man chart or Ren Pan.

Please realize that any Stars shown at the center – or Heaven’s Heart – are not really residing at the center. They are put there for convenience sake, not to show that Water or Mountain Dragons actually occupy the center, because this would not be possible. We can therefore not manipulate these central Stars by taking all kinds of adjustments to the physical center of a built structure.

From Qi influence to Qi effect 8 2 6 4 6 1 6 4 8
From Qi influence to Qi effect
8
2 6
4
6
1
6
4
8
5
5
9
1
9
4
9
1
5
2
8
3
7
3 7

Besides taking the Stars to the interior you could take the Stars and project

them outside the building into the eight directions.

The reason being that we study the effect of environmental Qi.

Qi of 9 Stars is carried on the back of the eight directions.

Qi as directional influence will approach a

built structure outside-in and will render effect only after it had been allowed to entered the building.

Where exactly energies then reside, depends on a lot of factors, like interior pathways, varying volumes of individual rooms, all of this pertaining to what we call Qi Distribution and pretty much outside the scope of this article.

Follow a Star from influence to effect on its journey outside-in by considering this time line, read from right to left.

Note the different stages, where Qi will be environmental, at what point it impacts a building and where it becomes effectful.

Adjustments (note that we dislike and decline terms such as cure, treatment) should be done beyond the point of impact, nearer to influence. Adjustments should be therefore first taken to the exterior, rather than working on effect. Interior placements should be done nearer to point of impact.

Interior Qi Impact of Qi Environmental Qi

Interior Qi

Impact of Qi

Environmental Qi

equals Effect

on building

equals Influence

Ming Tang (明堂- Bright Hall) Míng Táng is often translated as Bright Hall, which should be explained because the word Bright here would seem to exclusively point to light or Yang, and thus the sun.

The character for Ming, however, contains the ideogram for sun - -, but it also includes

the ideogram for moon or shade - -, together .

Míng should be then considered to point to the idea of Yin and Yang merging.

This can be by combining tangible (Yang) and intangible (Yin) qualities of Qi, or by combining square (Yin and Earth) shapes with domed (Yang and Heaven) shapes. Míng pertains to the merging of the male and female principle.

Most Feng Shui practitioners consider Ming Tang to be a bright open spot where Qi is alive, active, retained and enlivened, providing a built structure with prosperous Qi, either for the dead to find peace or for people to thrive.

Besides this, Ming Tang is related to the Chinese emperor and city lay-out and so it may also pertain to an architectural structure based on observations done through astronomy.

Ming Tang for a built structure is comparably Yang in nature. Ming Tang is a collecting and production spot for Sheng Qi (Sheng Qi points to healthy energy, while Sha Qi points to malign energy). Ming Tang usually refers to the side of a built structure collecting the most Yang Qi, typically situated at the Facing side of a building, but a smaller ‘Ming Tang’ can be built for any room.

A Ming Tang would be defined around prosperous tangible and intangible Qi to be found

into what is considered to function as the front side – the Qi collecting side – of a built

structure, be it for Yin Zhai, graves and grave yards, or Yang Zhai, built stuctures in which people need to thrive.

We need to distiguish here between architectural front – façade - and what would be considered a built structure’s front – Facing side - considering Feng Shui principles. Architectural front and Qi front are not always the same.

A building’s Ming Tang can be located into any direction.

More on Ming Tang a little further down.

A house is like a ship Many people find difficulty determining the correct Facing side of a house. Even where there appears to be no problem in determining the Facing side, sometimes people may still feel unsettled when they need to assess the interior placement of active and passive rooms. This problem occurs when the Facing side is to one location of the house, the active rooms to the opposite side of the house.

house, the active rooms to the opposite side of the house. Try not to look at

Try not to look at a built structure as a static phenomenon, but look at a house as a living, moving, vehicle to Qi.

Look at this ship. It is oriented towards its front side, you wouldn’t expect it to be sailing backward. The bow is taken as the Facing. Furthermore, you would expect the bridge to be oriented into the same direction into which the ship’s bow is heading. It is no different for a house. Learn to look upon a house as a ship.

We would prefer a situation where our house will have its architectural front – bow – oriented towards the exterior Ming Tang, with its interior placements of active rooms (bridge, interior Ming Tang) to be located to the architectural front of the house.

Ship

House

Hull

Hull

Bow

Architectural front

Stern

Architectural back

Direction

Exterior Ming Tang

Bridge

Interior Ming Tang

Of course, where a ship’s bridge will be never oriented to face the stern, this could be different for houses, where some houses will have their interior Ming Tang away from the architectural front. Houses with their exterior Ming Tang to the architectural back, could be then compared by ships heading backward.

The Facing side of a house is defined as the side the building taps into Yang Qi most, as it indicates where the compass reading should be taken to determine the exact type of Yang Qi the house is tapping into.

With Yang Qi, we refer to environmental Qi, at this time not Yang Qi in the sense of where we find human activity. We also do not refer to the location of the door as the door may very well not be into the same Palace as the Facing.

The Facing side has the Ming Tang and is the deciding factor, not the architectural front of a building, nor where the lay-out of the interior shows most activity.

It means each individual case needs looked into. Many factors decide the Facing and because of so many different architectural oddities, what may appear to be the architectural front may very well be the Sitting. This is most apparent in apartment buildings, where any one individual unit may have its own Facing, taken to be at the windows or balcony, while the building as a whole could have its architectural front away from this.

The situation may be again different for a single apartment unit with nothing more than a small outside window, as compared to a unit with full sliding doors and a balcony. The former will most likely have the Facing at the door, the latter will have the Facing at the balcony.

Before we can continue our comparison between a house and a ship, we need to consider some orientations and placements.

Dealing with Ming Tang Dealing with Facing and Sitting, exterior and interior Ming Tang, the placement of active and passive rooms, possibilities may seem sheer endless.

We need a good environment and within the possibilities and limitations rendered by the environment we need a well thought out house design. The total design should be preferably in accordance with exterior Mountain and Water present.

Humans perform best when they can work in active – Yang – locations, and they will be healthier and more rested when they can sleep in passive – Yin – quarters. Some houses force us to be active within the more Yin areas of a house and be passive in the more Yang areas.

Dealing with Ming Tang issues is dealing with Facing and determining Facing side of any built structure must be the most daring in Feng Shui.

We tend to cling to our image of Mountain and Water and we trust that any built structure will have its own fair share of distinguishable Mountain and Water, making it easy on us. Then we find we always encounter situations that are just a tiny bit different and we may feel paralyzed.

Ancient Feng Shui classics show how we need to first assess where the Water Dragon is. Once we found the Water Dragon, we will find the Mountain Dragon 180 degrees away to its opposite direction.

Suppose we took this to its extreme and need to assess the Facing side of a structure, but there is no mountain at all, like a green house in utterly flat land. The structure is completely surrounded by open space. Let us go as far as to say, this glass house does not even have an entrance, nor has it any distinguishable front or pathways leading to it. Where then is the Ming Tang, how does it Face.

The ancients were quite particular about the solution. When you are not able to find the Mountain Dragon, find the Water Dragon. Once you found the Water Dragon, you will locate the Mountain Dragon 180 degrees to its opposite direction. This rule applies for the greenhouse in our example.

This rule applies for the greenhouse in our example. The Facing side is defined to be

The Facing side is defined to be at the side where a built structure receives most Yang energy. In this academic case there are no features other than direction to decide on the Facing. East and South here would be eligible, because atmosphere will be most Yang at sunrise and noon.

Anyway, this is not to say that East and South will be your deciding factor whenever you get stuck in the process of determining the Facing side, it is just to show that you can at all times locate the Facing Palace.

Now we will examine different situations. None of the examples shown, however, can override the Flying Star chart. In other words, we can encounter the most superb Armchair Setting and still find that it is unfortunate relative to the Flying Star chart. Always observe from Time, Space and Activity simultaneously and use your judgement accordingly. Examples show a one story house.

Case Studies I-V

Situation I Most desired situation seen from the perspective of Feng Shui. Human design is in full accordance with environmental Qi. The active rooms are in the Yang side, the passive rooms are in the Yin side. People tap into the right environmental Qi.

Active Rooms (interior Ming Tang)

Facing side (exterior Ming Tang)

Architectural front

Adjustment:

Much depends on the Flying Star chart of the house, but in essence this situation is what we look for in any house. We can locate the bedrooms to the architectural back of the house, as well as the storage rooms. Flying Star chart allowing, the more active rooms, like the living, family room or our home office should be located to the architectural front in this example. It is a matter of the ship’s hull, bow, bridge and course all heading into the same direction.

Situation II The exterior Ming Tang is still in the architectural front, but the active rooms are now oriented to the back of the house. The passive rooms may be then wrongly to the architectural front. This comfort providing situation is often the case in modern architecture, i.e. providing the privacy and comfort of a back yard view.

Active Rooms (interior Ming Tang)

Facing side (exterior Ming Tang)

Architectural front

As an example: this villa has a definite – well defined - Ming Tang to the architectural front. The floor plan shows a spacious entrance where Qi can be fully admitted into the house. Eventhough the living room is situated into the back, it cannot justify Facing side to be to the architectural back. In our ship analogy this would be a matter of the ship still heading towards the horizon, meanwhile however the bridge facing the stern.

the horizon, meanwhile however the bridge facing the stern. Adjustment: Since the basic situation shows a
the horizon, meanwhile however the bridge facing the stern. Adjustment: Since the basic situation shows a

Adjustment:

Since the basic situation shows a house that still asks us to orient our activities towards the architectural front - and relative to the belonging Flying Star chart - we could consider to change this situation into the design shown under situation I.

Situation III Both exterior and interior Ming Tang are away from the architectural front. The Facing side is to the back of the house, with the active quarters to the back as well.

Most likely this situation is forced upon the house by the environment, where there may still be many factors for the Facing side to be at the architectural front, but closer examination of environmental features showed us the Facing side must be to the architectural back. This may be the case when there is elevated land or huge blocking buildings at the architectural front, while there is large open space – more commonly then also with a lot of human traffic - or water at the architectural back.

Also most common for apartment units – specifically so when front door opens in enclosed corridor -, in which case this situation was forced upon us by architectural design. Very common in big cities, especially in Brazil, Poland, Russia and so forth.

Active Rooms (interior Ming Tang)

Facing side (exterior Ming Tang)

Architectural front

Here is a compound with apartments, all factually oriented with the ship’s bow toward architectural front, with bedrooms and kitchen to the architectural front also.

The living rooms are at the architectural back, facing the central courtyard. This situtation may justify for the Facing of the apartments to be at the architectural back. This ship, in other words, is heading backward, bridge and movement away from the bow.

Adjustment:

Again, the passive rooms will be to the architectural front, but here at least the exterior and interior Ming Tang are connected.

at least the exterior and interior Ming Tang are connected. In case this situation applies to

In case this situation applies to a ground level house, try to arrange the landscaping at the architectural back and - the Flying Star chart allowing - use the back door.

Passive rooms like bedrooms to the architectural front as shown here, are not only less inviting, people will hardly be able to rest here, for reason that Qi is too active to permit tranquility. Study the Flying Star chart to see what can be done here.

Situation IV This could be a situation where there is a road to the architectural front, but all other features are pointing well to the exterior Ming Tang – the Facing side – being at the architectural back. To the back there could be lively landscaping, water, sloping grounds and other Yang factors.

Active Rooms (interior Ming Tang)

Facing side (exterior Ming Tang)

Architectural front

Adjustment:

Here we should do effort to change the interior, so as to have the interior Ming Tang coincide with the exterior Ming Tang. Take active rooms to the architectural back.

Were we to add floors, these diagrams could become a lot more complicated. Also, the situation for condominiums, apartment buildings and apartment units can become rather complex.

Situation V Although it may sound odd to most people, in all above shown examples, the main door played a role of much less importance than one would expect.

The main door remains quite important in assessing the type of Qi that will be admitted into the house, but you could encounter the following situation easily, e.g. in case of a large apartment building. Due to interior hallways, all factors could be oriented towards a certain direction, the main door however oriented away from all this.

Main door

Active Rooms (interior Ming Tang)

Facing side (exterior Ming Tang)

Architectural front

Tang) Facing side (exterior Ming Tang) Architectural front A condominium resembling the Chinese character Gōng (

A condominium resembling the Chinese

character Gōng () meaning work.

Clearly the Ming Tang for the building is to its architectural front, however individual apartments arranged so that each one of them allows its own view.

It is this view that most probable has a balcony

and sliding doors and needs to be thus taken as an apartment unit’s typical Facing side.

Clearly then, the main door will be away from this Facing (unit’s exterior Ming Tang) and still quite important to assess the type of Qi entering through the Palace with the door.

Also, consider the condominium’s Flying Star chart to determine in which section the unit is.

Flying Star chart to determine in which section the unit is. Facing side Entrance Condominium, to
Facing side Entrance
Facing side
Entrance

Condominium, to an extent resembling the

Chinese character Shān () meaning mountain.

Multi storied building For multi storied buildings like condominiums and apartment buildings, we need also visualize how Earth Qi - ascending spiral - and Heaven Qi - descending spiral - coincide and become one and the same Qi. The event of Earth Qi and Heaven Qi mingling, occurs just above the ground, at least for the part we are referring to in our Feng Shui use, because Heaven and Earth Qi mingle anywhere of course.

However, as much as Heaven and Earth Qi mingle below the earth surface, and however they may still mingle considerably above the earth surface, the Qi we would like to tap into in order for people to live happily, healthy and successfully would happen just above the surface of the earth.

The pressure immediately under the earth surface starts increasing to a point that we need to see that an underground environment is not fit for people. The same is true for multi-storied built structures, as the higher we go, the less appropriate for human beings the Qi will be to live in or function.

for human beings the Qi will be to live in or function. Higher above the ground

Higher above the ground – because of increased Earth Qi – we will find a much more Yin atmosphere, while deeper into the soil – because of increased Heaven Qi, any environment would have become too Yang in order for people to function in a desirable way.

Actual H 2 O placements are therefore not our first concern for high rise buildings. In fact, the higher we go in a multi story building, the more Water we will already encounter, i.e. Virtual Water. If not already we should be quite reluctant with any interior H 2 O, we need be extra careful using H 2 O for any floor beyond ground floor. Remove H 2 O when in doubt.

Look at this example. For the lower floors we may still refer to the building next to it as ‘Mountain’. All floors beyond this point will have virtual Water all around and lack support. We should take extra care of the Mountain chart for these houses.

Even in case it concerns a company building we should attend to health and well- being of the people spending extensive periods of time in such buildings and make sure they have sufficient interior Mountain and a good flow of Qi. Otherwise, this is a ‘sick’ environment. It may instigate desintegration, divorce, mental disorder.

Too much emphasize will be on money in this type of settings, people will be restless and unsettled. In case of high rise living apartments, we will see Yin movement (dispersion) – said differently, diminishment of the Yang principle - therefore family desintegration, divorce, mental disorders, hysteria and other factors that the Chinese would categorize under ‘ghosts’. Ghosts, here, is just an indication for an unsettled mind, fragmentaric thinking and mechanical actions.

In flat areas you will find many divorces and other family problems. The best way to live is on ground level. The higher up you go, the less you will find that your Feng Shui adjustments will be effective. In fact, you may just find that in these cases, normally perfectly effective Feng Shui adjustments would not work at all and that you should be especially careful in placing water H 2 0 features. It is like good Feng Shui measures don’t work, but the moment you do something wrong in a Feng Shui sense, something ‘other than human’ may start governing the house. It is like these houses lead a life of their own and you can only attempt to make bad Feng Shui energies a little less negative, but you will be hardly able to work for good Feng Shui results. Back to our ship and its journey.

A house is a moving vessel Now, let us return to our comparison between a ship and a house.

See, a lot of the obstructions we may encounter in assessing the correct Facing side of a built structure may come from a certain type of mental ‘block’. Perhaps we tend to look at a house as a static phenomena, and - being present at the site - would be inclined to compare what we observe to what we learned so far.

It is only natural. We will feel most comfortable being able to research a house

relying on straightforward Feng Shui: we located the Ming Tang and not only is the Facing obvious, also the interior design is in complete accordance with all this. We can start our audit.

The situation will get just a bit more confusing when the interior design doesn’t seem to fit this image and we find that the active rooms are away from the Facing.

Look upon a house as a living, moving, phenomena and you may have removed most of this mental block. Consider a ship, it will have its bow and bridge oriented into the same direction, always. Then, of course, we would like a similar situation for all houses we audit.

Whenever you audit a built structure and want to determine Facing, Ming Tang and active rooms lay-out, simply ask the question:

“when this house were a ship, into which direction would it be heading”.

and

“as a captain on a bridge, into what direction would I be facing, sailing this ship”.

Reflect on the following list. Optimal would be a ship with its bow and bridge oriented into the same direction, comparable to a house with its Ming Tang and active rooms located into the appointed directions. The situation will change when we consider the last column, where a house would energetically be oriented into one direction, but heading ‘backward’.

Ship

House

Optimal

Alternative

 

Orientation

Orientation

Hull

Hull

Bow

Architectural front

North

North

Stern

Architectural back

South

South

Direction

Exterior Ming Tang

North

South

Bridge

Interior Ming Tang

North

South

A ship headed in the direction of its stern is just as odd as active rooms for a North

Facing house being located in the South.

It means, the most perfect situation would be a ship’s bridge being oriented in the

same direction as its bow. In other words, some houses have their bridge oriented away from the bow. Establish whether interior Ming Tang coincides with exterior Ming Tang.

interior Ming Tang coincides with exterior Ming Tang. Here is a situation we would prefer for

Here is a situation we would prefer for any house, where the Qi mouth – exterior Ming Tang - is represented by the mouth of the bottle. The ship’s bow is oriented towards the mouth of Qi, as is anything else going on on the ship.

The situation would be entirely different when we would rotate the ship’s hull to face away 180 degrees from the mouth of Qi.

Active and passive hours Then, we may be facing yet another problem in determining correct Facing side.

This problem may arise from the very definition how to determine the Facing side.

“The Facing side is the side where the building receives most Yang Qi”.

Well, there may be debate on what then exactly must be regarded Yin or Yang and here we must gain a working knowledge of what exactly Yin and Yang pertain to.

How many times will it happen that we added up all Yin and Yang factors for Facing and Sitting and be left with a ‘match’. In other words, there are Yang factors that would strongly indicate one of the walls to be the Facing side, on the other hand other persisting Yang factors confusing us, because these would clearly indicate for the Facing to yet appear at the other wall.

Actually, this is quite easy to solve, even for beginners, for as long as you are able to refrain from any ‘brain’, because the problem comes from the ‘adding up Yang factors’ and in order to tackle this we must just ‘take two steps back to take in no position and have no preference’.

Here is where ‘metaphysical’ thinking comes in, your ability also to handle paradox. We cannot run through any list of Yin and Yang factors just squarely, without heading into judgement problems. Nothing in itself is Yang, nothing is solely Yin, all is a merge of Yin and Yang in ever changing proportion. Meaning, nothing is as is. There is no solely Yang without Yin and vice versa.

We will here discuss some Yin and Yang and then lead you to the base observation, the common denominator, in establishing Facing side. It is all a matter of seeing proportion and understanding the difference between bigger bucket and smaller bucket and you’ll be fine from hereon. It is simply a matter of understanding why exactly we take our compass reading during day time, as we also appreciate that we are establishing Facing side for a structure, but a structure that must then fit humans and promote people to thrive when they are active, which would be of course during waking hours.

We must not seek the Facing side to be ultimately Yang, so that the Sitting side can be then ultimately Yin. All is changing and relative only to its comparison.

Yin and Yang are not opposites, they are complementary. One cannot go without the other, like the biceps and triceps cannot go without one another.

In fact, and initially, our brain may be too fast to understand that Yin and Yang are not even two, they are One, indivisible. To be even thinking in terms of Yin and Yang may become highly conceptual, we only just do so in order to be able to communicate the laws of our universe between ourselves, in order to study, but only becoming proficient at dualism so as to yet arrive back to and embrace monism.

What I mean is, when you throw a drop of water on hot oil, the drop of water will be thrown out, without any hesitation, no 'thought' or 'moment' between touch down and response. Action (Yang) and response (Yin) here are One.

On the same token, the 'difference' between Yin and Yang is not factual, it is notional. We can argue that the biceps is another muscle than the triceps, we can also say they stem from (are) one and the same cell.

There lies a world of dynamic change between what we decided was Yin and Yang.

Having obtained the Facing side, did not cancel out that Yin factors may be still at work at the Facing side. If busy human traffic was at the base of our determining the Facing side, then there will be times when the traffic settles down, e.g. during night time. It is like pushing hands, when the triceps pulls, the biceps will relax, but they work in close orchestration at all times, they are 'one and the same' muscle, so to speak.

Once we secured that you are a woman, the only thing we did is to determine that you will be likely and perhaps typically carrying your feminine pole more to the outside, still very much keeping your Yang pole, perhaps more to the inside. But why should we even bother to segmentize between your outside and inside.

Notwithstanding your altering between more Yang (active) and more Yin (passive) magnitudes all the time, we will say you are a woman throughout all of your life, which was not to say that once we determined all this, the ever changing Yin and Yang had come to a halt, because just as a house, you are an ever changing phenomenon in the Infinite Universe, a transient being.

Even if we decided that the Facing side was to be determined at the side where the built structure received most Yang energy and even if the sun in the South had been our greatest determining factor: the house is static as compared to the environment which would be answering to change, if only because the sun on its daily path will be casting its dynamic influence on the built structure by presence, absence, altitude, magnitude.

Nothing is static, Yin and Yang are cyclical, changing their face always, relative to proportion and so we need a common denominator before we can determine a phenomenon to be relatively more Yin or Yang. For example, if we take zero degrees Celcius as our denominator, minus 3 will be colder than plus 3. Yet, this is relative, as minus 3 is again warmer than minus 10 C. We can do this for as long as we mirror to zero degrees, our comparison.

Besides a denominator - zero degrees -, we also need know function. The minus zero degrees becomes cold when we need sun during our holiday, it is still too warm if we were looking to deep-freeze food. Function is pivotal and this then becomes critical in our determining of the Facing side and for obvious reason.

In Feng Shui, the house becomes the denominator, because we need a factor more stable than Yin and Yang in order to even be able to make comparisons. The thriving of people then becomes the function. This helps us obtain a sense for proportion, magnitude. It tells us when to do the assessment, when and where to perform our compass reading.

In our Feng Shui practise, we need assess whether a built stucture is fit for humans to thrive. Humans thrive best when they can be active. Activity is needed in order to survive, manifest and achieve. We therefore look for an environment that supports activity. We will be active during day time. Therefore, we also did our assessment of Facing and Sitting, performed our compass reading, during day hours, because we wanted the day time to be our mirror. Now things become easy and all will fall into place.

So, we would select a site that hosts all the appropriate Yin and Yang factors during day time, which was not to say that relatively Yin and Yang dynamics during any one day will have come to a halt and which was also not to say that relatively magnitudes of Yin and Yang were not changing. If the Facing side was most Yang, the Sitting side was relatively more Yin. Then, at night time the Facing side becomes more Yin, but of course the Sitting side relatively becomes even more Yin,

because all will stay within proportion, mutually in orcehstration relative to the denominator.

So you need use your close observation, not just of plain Yin and Yang factors, but how Yin and Yang engage into change.

In a perfect situation the house orientation answers to the Ming Tang requirements.

The architectural front side of the house is oriented to face the exterior Ming Tang, also in the architectural front. We could have the situation of architectural front of the house and Ming Tang coinciding, this situation strengthened by interior design, where the active quarters are located towards the Ming Tang also.

This is a case of interior Ming Tang being connected to exterior Ming Tang. Now it is only a matter of allowing each individual room its own Ming Tang also and connecting interior Ming Tang of rooms to promote smooth flow of Qi inside the house.

We have seen many examples where the architectural front of the building and the exterior Ming Tang coincide, but with the interior design, the active quarters, situated to the architectural back side of the house. Here we say, the interior Ming Tang is dispositioned.

In case you determined the Facing side of a house to be located at the architectural back, you need to also try locate all active rooms towards the architectural back.

Tangible Qi in a Ming Tang could be nice landscaping, waters, nice and healthy non obstructing objects, people’s activities.

Non tangible Qi, not just coming from open space, but beneficial or inauspicious Time based factors being admitted to a dwelling through this opening.

We must therefore distinguish between Ming Tang to the Facing side of a built structure and the Flying Star situation contained in the Ming Tang. Ming Tang is a location relative to a built structure.

Whichever Flying Stars we may find into the direction of the Ming Tang, these do not specifically belong to the Ming Tang itself, but Stars are part of the intangible Qi being permitted into the built structure through the Ming Tang. Some people confused the Ming Tang to be where the Prominent Water Dragon is.

Anything within reasonable distance as compared to the built structure could be regarded as being part of the Ming Tang, because it is considered part of the built structure, but here more like a built structure’s aura.

Especially regarding tangible Qi, these need to be powerful and influential (emitting beneficial Qi) enough to be regarded as included in the Ming Tang. A very distant object may no longer influence the building, because it cannot emit its energy back into the structure.

In ancient times only one Ming Tang was defined. A grave would have one single Ming Tang. A city would have one single Ming Tang and the same would account for individual houses.

With changes in architecture, we may now have more complex structures, like a house with the main Ming Tang to its Facing side, but with a door to one of its side walls. The door should be regarded as a Ming Tang in itself, however smaller it may

be compared to the main Ming Tang, but it remains to be seen whether the door is to be found in the Facing Palace.

Smaller here may not as a definition mean less influential, as the door remains one of the main influential factors in assessing the Feng Shui for any house.

In ancient China, Ming Tang was often a central courtyard built externally, but within the confines of a buildings’ structure. It was essentially an open courtyard enclosed by the square of a building. A good house permits the connection of the exterior Ming Tang to the interior Ming Tang.

of the exterior Ming Tang to the interior Ming Tang. A central courtyard should have its

A central courtyard should have its design well thought over, where any placement should be in accordance with the current Period Star. Temples may sometimes have central incense burners, trees, metallic objects or water, depending on the current Period Star.

Water is represented by Star 1.

During Period 7 this central pond will not only deplete the basic Metal energy of Star 7, it may also lead to sex scandals, the combo 1-7 not only being one of the Peach Blossoms, but both trigrams 1 and 7 being linked to water and therefore Kidneys and sex. You can guess what type of sex. During Period 8, this feature becomes highly unfavorable also, as Star 8 and Star 1 are hardly allies, once more probably leading to sickness and dispute.

The main entryway needs to be opened to admit beneficial Qi to enter the house. Whatever Water Star resides at the door, each time the door is used it will glue itself to the people, who will then further transport it throughout the building.

Because once inside the house, we aim for good flow of Qi, it goes without saying that the door must be wide enough in relation to the size of the building. Special care needs to be taken as to its design and alignment.

Into the direction of the Facing wall of the structure needs to be sufficient open space, well designed too, to allow for a good Ming Tang.

Ming Tang and door will now cooperate to define amount of Qi that will be admitted into the house, so we need a spacious entry hall.

Again, the main hall leading us to the rest of the house should be in harmony with the size of the building, as it makes little sense to have a tiny hall, as Qi will be obstructed and not able to flow throughout the house. Instead of being able to enter the house, a tiny hall may force Qi back outside the house again.

Beneath the hall at the entrance of the house, we need to permit Qi to travel to the center of the house, where it meets with another Ming Tang, e.g. a self constructed spot where we attract, retain and accumulate Qi. Here we can install plants, lights, water, moving objects, round objects, in whatever shape or form we find would be in accordance with the Flying Star chart of the house.

Special focus should be on the Sitting wall, that may not permit Qi to leave the house before it had a chance to nurture the house and the people. The Sitting wall should be solid, at least having the solid, stable, furniture in order to design a place where Qi can be retained and emitted back into the house and representing the Turtle.

Using this principle, we may apply Feng Shui even before we attended to the Flying Star chart of a built structure, adjusting a place based on observation and common sense. But, Ming Tang is more than a spot in front of a dwelling. It is also the name of a structural design for the emperor to live in.

The emperor

The emperor Here is the Chinese character Wáng ( 王 ), meaning King. It shows the

Here is the Chinese character Wáng (), meaning King. It shows the spheres of Heaven, Man and Earth (San Cai) connected by a single vertical line, as the emperor was considered the ‘Son of Heaven’, and therefore worthy of being obeyed.

Obeying the emperor was synonymous to obeying Heaven, as it was understood that the emperor combined the virtues of the Three Unities in himself and possessed supernatural powers.

The character Wáng may be taken as to resemble the Trigram Heaven (Qian) connected by a vertical line.

It was understood, and in fact could be very well one of the most important basics of ancient Chinese cosmology, that ‘Heaven is Round, Earth is Square’.

The typical Chinese town, village or house would therefore be projected on a square or rectangular, or any combinations of round or domed and square or rectangular shapes and forms. A house could have a square floor plan, with a domed roof.

More than not, a town would be designed around astronomical and mathematical observations, using the numbers 2 for polarity, the number 4 for the cardinal directions, 5 to point to the Five Transformations, the 8 directions, the Nine Stars, the Twelve zodiacal signs or Earthly Branches.

As an example, a town could be having eight roads to match directions, being divided into eight areas, all this designed around a central locality holding the governmental buildings.

a central locality holding the governmental buildings. Heaven is round because the celestial heaven is roundly

Heaven is round because the celestial heaven is roundly shaped. The Chinese would consider the skies domed. Heaven can be divided into twelve zodiacal segments, pertaining to Time (Heaven).

The Heavens can be furthermore divided into 28 Lunar Mansions, which bode the Four Celestial Animals and which are positioned around the perimeter of the Luo Pan according to their directions.

The 28 Lunar Mansions are grouped into 4 separate divisions – each holding 7 Mansions - and centered to the cardinal directions.

The Luo Pan shows this idea, where its Earth base is square and the dial represents Heaven, the needle in the middle symbolizing Polaris, our current North Star.

Taken a step farther and pointing at the earth orbit around the sun, Earth is square because we can locate the points of the Equinoxes and Solstices and connect them to represent a square.

The idea is that the Bright Hall was built on a square or rectangle, representing earth.

The imperial palace, perfectly aligned to the cardinal directions and Facing South would be intelligibly

The imperial palace, perfectly aligned to the cardinal directions and Facing South would be intelligibly designed.

In Summer the emperor would move to a Palace in the South of China and reside in its Southern quarters. This Palace would be referred to as the ‘Summer Palace’.

In Winter the emperor would move to a Palace in the North of China and reside in its Northern quarters.

The emperor would live in the East during Spring and in the West during Autumn and reside in their respective quarters.

Green is the color of Spring. The emperor would wear green cloths in Spring, the Eastern quarters of the palace designed around green colors and objects. Even official announcements would be declared from the windows matching seasonal direction.

Whatever direction the emperor would occupy or have his quarters in, he would always face to sit South when involved in official duties.

The Palace would be a perfect architectural and mathematical representation of astronomical and astrological realities, e.g. symbolizing the Big Dipper (Bei Dou), Polaris, the Twelve Earthly Branches (symbolized by number and directions of door and window openings), symbols of the numbers 4, 5, 8, 9 and so forth.

This way, the imperial Palace was a sophisticated diagram depicting a Solar and Lunar year, as each side of the Palaces would represent one season and the Celestial Animals, each consisting of 7 of the 28 Lunar Mansions.

Imperial carpenters would go out of their way to select the finest woods, but not just to build the Palace from it, but cut trees, mark the wood, so that any part of a tree that used to point Southward, was used also for the Southern part of the Palace.

As the emperor would revolve around the center of the Palace, he himself would be regarded the stable center of the country, his people revolving around him. As yellow and gold belong to the center, only the emperor was permitted to wear these colors.

If you look at the above floor plan, immediately boardering the center, you see four walls, each one of them into one of the cardinal directions and thus producing nine quarters including the center. This is to symbolize the Luo Shu.

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Heluo Qi Explorations / Hèluò Qìxué 賀洛氣學 Center For Time, Space And Destiny Studies – Course
Heluo Qi Explorations / Hèluò Qìxué 賀洛氣學 Center For Time, Space And Destiny Studies – Course

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“Explorations with Heluo” is an ongoing series of articles on the subject of time, space and destiny and our attempt to make genuine teachings available to those on a quest to understand Yi. The articles have been published since 1999 and by far most have been derived from actual chapters from the extensive workbooks to our 4-day master classes in our practitioner program “Destiny Consultant”.

Teachings find you, because I feel they should have reached us during early childhood, to offer deep gratitude for once having obtained the trust of my teachers and in an attempt to help improve fate and life on this planet.

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