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The Art of Fengshui Aligning the Human and Natural Realms. Stephen L. Field, Trinity University. Introduction. The Correlative Worldview…
Stephen L. Field, Trinity University
The Correlative Worldview…
…is the belief that the world is a system where everything is related to everything else. Correlative thinking was the universal worldview until replaced by the scientific method. It is the basis of metaphorical language and is thus hardwired in the human brain. Take superstitions for example.
In ancient China, the answer to the ontological question of what constituted the cosmos was answered by a complicated correlative cosmology and several interesting cosmogonies. One of the most famous origin myths was the story of Pangu….
Chinese Five Element Correlations
The Astrophysical Environment
(the origin of fengshui theories)
The Geophysical Environment
(the basis of Form School fengshui)
The Metaphysical Environment
(the basis of Compass School fengshui)
Note the form of the tomb…
… and the figures that exist within its walls.
1.KANYU, the original name of the divinatory art now known as FENGSHUI, means: “Canopy of Heaven and Chariot of Earth”
2. A Han dynasty divining instrument called the Cosmograph was constructed of a dome-shaped Heaven disc that sat upon a square Earth plate
1. A Han dynasty funereal chest
with celestial ornamentation
A view of the northern heavens
The cosmographic view.
1. The Water Lord battles the Fire Lord
2. The Flight of the Dragon
A. What is Qi?
The Dao began in the Nebulous Void.
The Nebulous Void produced spacetime;
Spacetime produced the primordial qi. . . .
That which was pure and bright spread out to form Heaven;
The heavy and turbid congealed to form Earth. . . .
The conjoined essences of Heaven and Earth produced yin and yang.
The supercessive essences of yin and yang caused the four seasons.
* Huainanzi. See John Major, tr., Heaven and Earth in Early Han Thought, The Treatise on the Patterns of Heaven, p. 62
1. Astrophysical Qi:
The six qi of heaven--cold, heat, wind, rain, dark and light--"descend and produce the five tastes," but "produce the six diseases when they are in excess.“Zuozhuan, Duke Zhao, 1st year (540 BCE)
2. Geophysical Qi:
"Water is the root of all things and the source of all life. . . . Water is the blood and breath [qi]of the earth, functioning in similar fashion to the circulation of blood and breath in the sinews and veins." The Book of Guanzi (5th century BCE)
"Earth is the body of qi--where there is earth there is qi. Qi is the mother of water--where there is qi there is water." The Book of Burial (3rd century CE)
3. Physiological Qi:
"Man's life is the assembling of qi. The assembling is deemed birth, the dispersal is deemed death." The Book of Zhuangzi (4th century BCE)
1. Geophysical qi recharges physiological qi:
"Truly, life is accumulated qi. It solidifies into bone, which alone remains after death. Burial returns qi to the bones, which is the way the living are endowed." The Book of Burial
2. Geophysical qi can be harnessed:
"The Classic says, qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water. The ancients collected it to prevent its dissipation, and guided it to assure its retention. Thus it was called fengshui [wind/water]. According to the laws of fengshui, the site that attracts water is optimal, followed by the site that catches wind." The Book of Burial
1. Look for the Dragon Veins:
"Arteries spring from lowland terrain; bones spring from mountain terrain. They wind sinuously from east to west and from south to north. Thousands of feet high is called forces [shi]; hundreds of feet high is called features [xing]. Forces advance and finish in features…. Where the earth takes shape, qi flows accordingly; thereby things are born. For qi courses within the ground, its flow follows the contour of the ground, and its accumulation results from the halt of terrain. For burial, seek the source and ride it to its terminus." The Book of Burial
"Where forces cease and features soar high, with a stream in front and a hill behind, here hides the head of the dragon." The Book of Burial
A. White Tiger, B. Dark Warrior (Turtle), C. Green Dragon, D. Red Bird
1. “Heaven has the three lights; Earth has the five movements.” [Zuozhuan]
In its first appearance in the philosophical tradition, the wuxing were understood as natural processes such as water sinking, fire rising, wood bending, metal molding, and soil growing. By the Han dynasty the wuxing had become five states or phases of qi, analogous to the three states of water: solid, liquid, and gas.
2. Production and Destruction Orders. These phases were continually transforming into one another according to the following two laws of nature:
CourtyardD. The Palace of Nine Halls
2. The Four Eastern Halls are compatible with each other because each hall produces the other:
North hall Water
East hall Wood
Southeast hall Wood
South hall Fire
Water nourishes wood
Wood feeds fire
1. The Four WesternHalls are compatible with each other because each hall produces the other:
Southwest hall Earth
West hall Metal
Northwest hall Metal
Northeast hall Earth
Earth harbors metal
Find your year of birth in the column of your gender (1951 male). Note your Star and Element (4 green wood). Locate your star in the Palace of Nine Halls (SE of eastern halls). These are your lucky directions (N, E, SE, S). The remaining directions are unlucky for you (SW, W, NW, NE)
*If your star is 5 yellow, you are 2 black if female, and 8 white if male.
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Fengshui Readings by Master Ten Li