|Dividing a House into 9 Boxes or 8 Wedges
This appears to be a controversial issue. The two ways of analyzing the feng shui of a house have different basis. To compare them is like comparing apples and oranges. Read on to see what each method is about and decide for yourself what to follow.
Before a house is built, Heaven qi and Earth qi meet on the surface of the earth. When a house is built, it is Man building the house on Earth under Heaven. What is known as the Heaven's heart is created. A star chart can be drawn for the house according to the sitting and facing directions of the house. This chart cannot be changed until we change Heaven's heart. This is done by something equivalent to rebuilding the house to impart a new life to it. It is another complicated question.
The concept of Heaven, Earth and Man means human activities (Man) in a confined space (Earth) and time (Heaven). Referring to a house, it is the birth of the house at a certain place and during a certain period of time. The people who build the house are like the parents of the house. They may not live in the house just as some people are under the care of foster parents after birth. Changing foster parents cannot change the DNA of a person. Therefore, it is the completion date of the house that determines the Heavenís heart, not the move-in date.
When the star chart of a house is drawn, the energy pattern of the house is fixed. The pattern is conveniently given by a 3x3 grid. For example, for a house built in Period 7 facing 90o, the chart is:
This chart is then superimposed on the floor plan of a house. The house is thus divided into 9 equal parts with a little flexibility when there are physical partitions.
The theory underlying this method is that the qi distribution is in accordance with the way the star flies forward or backward along the Luo Shu path. This path is also known as the "ruler measuring Heaven".
According to Qing Nang Jing (The Cerulean Satchel Classic):
"Qi comes from eight directions."
Feng Shui masters in ancient times used a luopan and watched the different types of qi coming from the eight directions. Of course, for more accurate reading they also had to observe qi coming from 24 mountains, 64 hexagrams and even 384 yaos!
The whole idea of feng shui is to study the different types of qi coming from different directions. It is not to study the type of qi assigned to 9 boxes bounded by imaginary lines. It is not to study the type of qi assigned to 8 wedges bounded by imaginary lines. Therefore, it is not "pie shape versus square". It is "qi coming from 8 directions versus qi filling 9 boxes".
Actually qi comes into a house from all directions. The facing is most yang and therefore more influential. The sitting is most yin and therefore most receptive. Once it gets in, it will fill the house. Imagine that you have water coming from all directions towards a house. It will come in through doors and windows. It will also steal in through pores on the walls. Once it is inside, it moves freely and fills any pathway and space. You cannot distinguish the water that come in by different pathways. So you can see it is important to locate the doors and windows to see what water stars come into the house and how it is directed to fill the house.
You can start learning the flying stars with the 9 squares because it is easy to understand. This is the basic level. At a higher level, we have to seek guidance from the important classics. So it is not right or wrong but different levels of understanding.
A lot of people say that the ancients used the 9 palaces when they did a feng shui audit. Is it true?
Ancient books do not have good diagrams. Even in books published about 100 years ago, the diagrams are of very poor quality. Usually the floor plan is accompanied by a flying star chart. The chart is rotated to indicate how the house faces. The grids are *not* there.
Jiang Da Hong actually repeatedly emphasized on the importance of using the 8 directions. Here are quotes from his writings:
From <<Ba Zhai Tian Yuan Fu>>
"....If you want to know what is true in the eight houses, you have to know the numbers in the 9 palaces....
....Generally speaking you have to discuss the shape of the house, and to examine the door and pathways. If it is square and regular, then there are the 8 palaces. If it is wide or long, then two trigrams will dominate....
....If a house facing Kun is deep and long, then the Dui and Li doors do not correspond...."
The first paragraph mentions "numbers" only. It does not say that the palaces are squares or rectangles. He mentions 9 palaces because the numbers are in all 9 palaces of the star chart.
The second paragraph is clear enough. For a regular house in the form of a square, the 8 (not 9) palaces are more or less the same. For a long or wide house, there are two palaces that are much more influential. This tells us clearly that dividing a house into 9 equal parts by the 3x3 grids is not the way.
Master Jiang was still afraid that this was not clear enough. In the third paragraph, he tells people that using a 9-rectangle grid will misplace the doors. He mentions a long house facing Kun. What appears to be a door in the Dui palace is actually not influenced by the qi from the Dui direction. What appears to be a door in the Li palace is actually not receiving the qi from Li. The following diagrams illustrate the situation.
The pie shape does not mean that there are eight palaces each in the shape of a pie. It only means that the different qi in the star chart come from these directions. Now it should be clear how to analyze the qi in a house by the flying stars.
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