Landform Feng Shui
Mountains beyond mountains as far as the naked eye can see. It is a journey of discovery – a discovery exploring Mother Earth’s features to understand how her fascinating dragon-like mountains rise and fall, opening up amazing flatlands for human habitation.
Discover the tremendous power of her waterways as they meander and curve in a snake-like fashion nurturing life for humanity to thrive and grow. Landscape Feng Shui utilises a greater degree of intuitive insight. In a Feng Shui sense, the writhing of the landscape and the form of the mountain ridges are interpreted as dragons. The ridges and lines in the landscape form the body, veins and pulse. These veins and water courses carry environmental Qi, the life force of the Earth. The mountain dragons are symbolic animals known as the Green Dragon and the White Tiger. Where there is an evidence of a true dragon, there will be a traceable tiger. The Green Dragon runs along the left side of the land being examined while the White Tiger runs along the opposite right side of the location.
Where they run in a curve-able course to the frontage, there is the added advantage of the appearances of a broad and open space. Here, the frontage is bounded in by a line of low lying, table-like hills named the Red Phoenix. The other animal symbolism of protection is the Black Turtle describing the protective rear of the land which is normally higher in terrain than the frontage.
These four animals can be best described as the suitable formation of an armchair. Sometimes it is referred to as a basin with the frontage much lower than the other three sides. Having this landform alone does not constitute good Feng Shui as factors of harnessing and accumulating vibrant and harmonious interaction between site and location of intended building must be present to be used to advantage.
The essence of good Feng Shui is to tap into the Qi energy flowing through the site. Its excellence lies in the ability to accumulate this life force without it going stagnant. The best line of defence for such a good spot is to store the Qi and hide the wind – this is the essence of harnessing vital earth Qi.
Feng Shui seeks to harmonise human existence with the natural landforms of locations selected. It is used to orient buildings. The main objective of selecting a good site is the clarification of its Qi content. Qi is characteristic of all living things including Earth itself. Qi acts at every level, in the ground Qi manifests itself visibly as water running in brooks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans. Qi above the surface of the Earth evaporates as mist. This active environmental energy is the life force that flows through physical forms on the land seen as hills, valleys and mountain ranges.
On the human level it is the life force energy that enlivens human functions, flowing through the meridians or channels of the body. Earth Qi is manifested in the fertile crops that are harvested. At the climatic level, Qi is felt in the winds and seen in the flowing waters. Vegetation signifies the abundance of vital Qi. Moving water is the manifestation of subtle and vibrant Qi. Strong and fast moving water is seen as aggressive and dynamic Qi – too strong to be harnessed.
The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui acknowledges that the quality of Qi flow of the interconnectedness between the site in the macrocosmic environment and its location at the micro level has a great impact on the inner peace of residents. The system relies on locating and harnessing the Qi that flows through the veins of the Earth as the accumulation or absence of it affects the quality of life on its surface.
The varying degrees of this quality of life depends on the matching and balance of Yin/Yang features, the orientation, alignment and location of any building at the micro level and interactive connection of environmental Qi flowing through the physical landform at the macro level. Feng Shui masters take great care with the orientation of each building relating it to its ability to interact with its natural environment on a larger scale.
The bigger picture lies in the choice of a favourable location in a town, village or city where the geography of its physical features is examined. It is identifying each site in its naturally based environment, taking into account the configuration of the surrounding landscape as seen from the site of the building. A harmonious interaction between the site selected and the surrounding landscape is looked upon as an essential feature of a living environment. Houses, apartments or complexes are seldom cut unthinkingly into the flesh of the land giving rise to the claim that Feng Shui has always been an unsung hero of ecology. Since Feng Shui seeks to harmonise human existence with nature, there are broad guidelines to harmonise this habitation of the land.
Nature consists of physical features like mountains and rivers. The landform of any site and location is filled with these features. Hence Feng Shui is regarded as an essential practice worthy of using to advantage. A landform is considered an entity just as the building complex is looked upon as a container filled with vibrant energy. When a container is placed on the surface of the land, Qi is trapped without any means to leave and no source of renewal unless openings in the container are made. Openings are looked upon as doorways allowing an interaction of environmental Qi to pervade and renew itself. A building is likened to such a container. Correctly located doors are placed in buildings can bring in positive Qi flow but incorrectly located doors can become an opening where there is negative Qi flow in a building.
In the land where Feng Shui philosophy first began, its principles did not encourage the slashing of land across the country in the name of economic development of township and transport lines, without due consideration of the underlying land. This great unsung hero of ecology is about respect for the basic principles of nature. Ancient Feng Shui sages feel the spirit of the land. They even name salient physical features looking like the living animals represented after the forms they depict. These physical forms live, breathe and stand in splendid isolation in space. Much is said about them but that is another story.
This great regard for the life of the land is manifested in present day principles and philosophy of traditional Feng Shui, an ancient Earth science. Feng Shui is not only about the concept and interpretation of the balance of hidden life forces in the land but it is the application of a system to harness and tap into this life force that current end-users turn to – to gain benefits for quality living. The benefits are more for opportunities to gain prosperity and abundance, stress-free living, gaining health and well being, focusing on clarity of thought and vision to pursue living a life of purpose.
Hence, it is the task of the Feng Shui master to determine the exact location of the flow of Qi and to examine whether any particular dragon vein is favourable or unfavourable, fast moving or slow, and whether tapping a specific spot will result in an accumulation of beneficial Qi. When a site is appropriately oriented, the circulation will be kept in the site thereby increasing its physical and spiritual fertility.
The crux of landform Feng Shui is examining the amount of Qi flowing, and whether it accumulates or it is rapidly dispersed at any particular point. An auspicious site needs a good strong flow of Qi. Sites on the main vein or artery may not necessarily be a source of auspicious Qi. In fact, it may even disperse its beneficial influences just as fast as it brings it. Orienting the building such that it does not clash with the moving life force requires a Feng Shui master’s observational and analytical skills.
The two critical elements of the landscape from the Feng Shui point of view are the mountain and water course and how they form an interaction. The rivers are studied as to how they meander and intersect to form prominent desired sites. The study of the drainage system of waterways and the analysis of the most effective flow of Qi is remarkably consistent with the matching of the two elements of Yin and Yang. When the site has the appropriate landform balance, the necessary environmental energy exists attracting vibrant Qi to flow and pervade.
The ideal location of a site has always been on which is bounded in on both sides in a favourable armchair configuration with a view of a broad, open space protected by a low screen of low lying hills. This horse shoe shape – of ideal protecting ranges on two sides and to the rear – reflect an ideal configuration in a natural landform setting. The ideal “xue” or spot with the ideal configuration of accumulating the most beneficial Qi will be the perfect site where the White Tiger and the Green Dragon interlock. It is hard to find an infinitely superior spot. According to tradition, the point among the innumerable sites in any dragon configuration – only one will be the perfect site. To live in such a space (or perhaps bury your loved ones) guarantees a life full of physical and spiritual benefits.
It is good to be pragmatic and know that not all can find and live in that exact spot. In less exalted spots, Feng Shui principles and concepts consequently provide numerous modern day applications for improving upon its Qi collecting properties. This lies in the way the interior is laid out. It lies in the location and placement of the main entry into a building. It lies also in the designing properties of the shape and facade of the building to conform and match the Yin and Yang features of the external capacity of the site.
The power of the flowing life force of the environment is studied and good placement in a favourable Feng Shui environment with excellent interactive flow between your immediate location and the bigger capacity of the macrocosmic exterior will bring good fortune, peace, prosperity, wellbeing and longevity. The subtle effect of the personal interaction with that of the Feng Shui environment is never brushed aside lightly.
Traditional Feng Shui acknowledges that creating a building on a landscape is adding a form that can flow and breathe with the rhythms of the Earth. Peace, balance and harmony with the land are of top priority. It is also about obtaining the greatest beneficial advantage from being “in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing at the right time. The essence of timing is also being in tune with the universe and its energy.
I hope you will find this piece helpful.
Stay curious. Learning is a journey. It is not a destination.