This page is only one of many thousands of Help and Information Pages, offering specialized knowledge on Chinese and Japanese Porcelain, including a Glossary, Q&A, Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Marks, Chinese Porcelain Exhibition and Excavation reports etc. For personal help and far more information, join our Discussion Board or use 'Ask a Question' for quick email consultations. For full text and better navigation, use a full-screen device rather than a mobile phone, that offers only limited content.

The Chinese View of the Living Earth

What is Feng Shui?

Classical Feng Shui

The Four Celestial Animals

  1. The Green Dragon : whose hills brings abundance and prosperity
  2. The Crimson Phoenix : whose hills represent opportunity
  3. The White Tiger : whose hills protects
  4. The Black Turtle : whose hills provide support.

A fundamental tenet of feng shui advises you to live with your back to a mountain. So if your home is backed by something solid and firm, such as a hill or building that stimulate the hill, you will have support all your life. Thus the first part of classical feng shui is to have the mountain behind.

There should be open space in front of your home, so that your vision is not hampered and your horizon is visible. If there is also a view of water, it brings auspicious energy to your living area. Moreover, if the river is slow moving and meandering, the good energy has a chance to settle and accumulate before entering your home , thereby allowing you to partake of its essence. Needless to say, the cleaner, fresher and more sparkling the water, the greater the good fortune that it will bring. Thus, the second half of classical feng shui says have water in front of your home.

Yin & Yang

Homes that are too Yin.

Houses and buildings built too near graveyards, hospitals, prisons, slaughter-houses and police stations are too yin because such places are associated with the yin energies of death. The same diagnosis is often pronounced on buildings that are located on land that previously housed these places making it advisable to research the history of your home.

Remedies :

Rooms that are Too Yin

Rooms that never see sunlight, are damp, decorated in only shades of gray and blue, narrow and cramped, always closed and silent,or which have been occupied for a long time who has been chronically sick, have too much yin energy . They cause sickness and bad luck to befall the residents. People who stays in rooms that have an excess of yin energy suffer more than their fair share of misfortunes and seem to be shrouded by a cloak of ill luck.

Creating Yang Energy

Homes that are too Yang.

Buildings that are constantly exposed to bright sunlight or heat of any kind are said to have an excess of yang energy, to the extent that it brings accidents, disasters and grave misfortune. If you are living too near an electrical transmitter, or you are within view of large factory or refinery chimneys that belch noxious smoke throughout the day, there is too much yang energy.

It is advisable to move from such a place, but if you have no choice, then it is necessary - indeed vital - that you is combat the excess yang energy by introducing yin structures or surround yourself with the colors and

And characteristics of yin. Water is one of the best cures for too much yan energy;

Creating a small pond of water in the garden will effectively counter the yang energy.

Remedies :

Remedies for too much yang energy:

Essentially, a room should have elements of yin and yang but never too much of one or the other. Have music and life in the room, but not all the time. Have peace and quiet in the room, but not to the extent it becomes lifeless. Have a cool décor of blues grays, but also incorporate a splash of yang colour which may be represented by a vase of red roses or a painting of a sunrise.

Remember that feng shui is a subtle blend of opposite energies that complement each other. What you should always strive for is the harmony of opposites.

This is the fundamental guiding principle of yin and yang.

Auspicious Locations

Fu Wei = FW

Tien Yi = TY

Nien Yen = NY

Sheng Chi = SC

Inauspicious Locations

Ho Hai =HH

Wu Kwei =WK

Chueh Ming =CM

Lui Sha =LS

Big Metal = NorthWest

Water = North

Earth = NorthEast

Big Wood = East

Small Wood = SouthEast

Fire = South

Big Earth = SouthWest

Small Metal = West

Implementing Your Kua Number

If your Kua number is Four, you are an east group person, and your auspicious directions are east, southeast, north, and south. These are the directions that you should face for your main and most important activities, as shown in the illustration here.

Always calculate the direction in which you should face by standing in the middle of the room and looking onward.

East and West Group Directions

Compass feng shui divides people into east and west groups. Your other auspicious directions depend on whether you an east or a west group person. This is based on your Kua number.

East group people have Kua numbers one, three, four, and nine. East group directions are east, north, south and south east. West group people have Kua numbers two, five, six, seven and eight. West group directions are west, southwest, northwest, and northeast.

East group directions are detrimental to west group people and vice-versa. Try at all costs people to have your main entrance face one or your group's auspicious directions.

Poison Arrows and Killing Breath

Bad Feng Shui is almost always caused by what is termed the killing breath, or shar chi, and every school of Feng Shui repeatedly warns against being hit by the shar chi of secret poison arrows within the environment that brings this deadly and pernicious energy. These usually come in the form of straight lines, sharp angles, or anything that is shaped this way. When pointed in a threatening manner at your home, especially at your front door, the result is extreme bad luck, loss and ill health. In some cases, the poison arrows can even bring death to the unfortunate residents of the house.

When practicing Feng Shui, it is advisable to start by taking a defensive posture to guard against the killing breath. Only then should you turn your attention to harnessing good chi flows. Remember that, even tiger configurations and irrespective of all your orientations, a single deadly arrow can spoil everything.

Harmful only when facing the main front door of your house.

The T- Junction - Remedy :

Objects that can deflect Poison Arrows

They are often excellent for countering the ill effects of protrusions from ceilings and structural beams. Metal wind are especially effective when they are hung in the west and northwest corners of rooms.

These are excellent for shielding and dissolving shar chi, especially when placed against corners. As they also symbolise growth they are perfect feng shui when placed in the east corners of rooms.

These are extremely popular with the Chinese as they are good at blocking energy that is moving too fast. By slowing down the pernicious breath, screens transform harmful energy into auspicious energy.

These are very effective when used to block out bad views if threatening structures that create shar chi. Use heavy drapes or chintz curtains. They are effective in any corner of the home, but select colours according to the elements of the corners. Use red for the south, dark blue for the north, green for the east, and white, west.

These are powerful Feng Shui tools because their reflective quality has the effect of sending shar chi to back where it came from. Mirrors also widen narrow, cramped corners and extend walls to make up for missing corners. However, they should be used carefully. They must not reflect the main door, nor should they reflect toilets. Mirrors are auspicious in dining rooms but should not reflect the bed of the master bedroom.

Open book shelves are bad Feng Shui. They act like blades, cutting at residents. It is always preferable to have doors.

Main Door Taboos

The main door should never open into a cramped hall. Install a bright light if the space is too narrow.

The main door should never open directly into a staircase. Place a screen in between or curve the bottom of the stairs.

There should not be a toilet too near the main door. This causes the chi that enters the home to become sour.

Well lit and clean apartments attract auspicious energies. Small, dark and unused corners create killing breath, so air store rooms occasionally. Do not have too many doors opening from a long corridor; this will cause quarrels . The ratio of windows to door should not exceed 3 :1. Doors should not directly face a window and chi will come in and go out again.

3 doors in a straight line are deadly Feng Shui. The chi is moving too fast. Hang a wind chime or place a dividing screen in front of the middle door.

Rooms should be regular in shape , with kitchens located in the back half of the home. Dining areas should be higher than living rooms if there are split levels.

Staircases should ideally be curved and winding. Spiral staircases resemble a corkscrew and are harmless when placed in a corner, but deadly when located in the middle of the home.

Toilets and bathrooms should not be located in the north corner of the home, as this flushes away career and promotion opportunities for the breadwinner.

Do not sit directly facing open book shelves. The desk faces the door. Place a mountain behind the desk to symbolize support. Back to the door is a bad desk placement. Never sit too near the door; you will be distracted.

The Chinese View of Wealth

When you practice Feng Shui, do not worry if you cannot act upon every suggestion. More is not necessarily always better. Balance is vital. Sometimes, just energizing one method or activating one auspicious direction may be sufficient. An excellent indicator that your Feng Shui is working when you find yourself suddenly becoming very busy. Good Feng Shui brings opportunity, but for this to crystallize into wealth, you will have to work at making full use of the luck that has come your way.

Fruits of Luck

The pineapple fruit, which indicates that good luck is coming

A pair of potted lime plants dripping with orange fruits, which signifies wealth luck.

A potted jade plant for great prosperity.

Symbols of Prosperity

There is a great deal of symbolism in the practice of Feng Shui. Central to this is the belief that displaying auspicious objects around the home attracts good luck energies, especially when they are correctly displayed and placed in the right corners of the home. Thus, prosperity symbols should abound, since they represent money in various forms, particularly what passed as money in the past.

Fake gold and silver ingots made in the traditional boat shape are very popular, especially during the lunar New Year when they are freely displayed in the home.

Probably the most popular symbols however are old Chinese coins with a square hole in the center. These coins have tremendous potency, especially when they are energized with red thread. There are many ways of using this particular good fortune symbols.

Using Coins

Hang the coins , tied together with red thread, as mobiles in the southeast corner of the home. Do not overdo this. Three coins are sufficient.

Bury nine of these coins in a pathway just under the pavement that leads to your home, or if you live in an apartment, stick them under a mat juts outside your door. This represents money making its way to your doorstep. Make sure red thread has been tied round the coins. If you run a retail store, this will greatly increase your sales and your turnover.

Tape three coins tied with red thread on the southeast corner of your work table or desk to energize money luck!

Another excellent way of using the coins is to tie three coins together with red thread and then stick them onto your sales invoice files, check book or any folder that has to do with your income. The coins are said to be powerful activators when used this way. Turnover increases and your income will receive healthy doses of unexpected good luck.

Individual Wealth Orientations

The three-legged frog with a coin in its mouth and surrounded by yet more coins signifies an abundance of riches. A frog is already a good-fortune symbol, but the three legged frog is believed to symbolize something quite special. These frogs are widely used and so are not difficult to purchase in Chinese emporiums. If you do find one and wish to display it in the home, the best place is on a low table in the living room in full view of the main door. Do not place the frog on the floor. It is always advisable to elevate good-fortune symbols slightly.

The Kua Formula

Your Wealth Orientation is:

  1. east group southeast for both genders
  2. west group northeast for both genders
  3. east group south for both genders
  4. east group north for both genders
  5. west group northeast for males, southwest for females
  6. west group west for both genders
  7. west group northwest for both genders
  8. west group southwest for both genders
  9. east group east for both genders

The Kua Formula

Calculate your Kua number as follows :

Add the last 2 digits of your Chinese year of birth , e.g. 1967, 6+7 = 13

If the sum is higher than ten, reduce to a single digit, Thus 1+3 = 4


Subtract 10 thus 10-4 = 6. So, for men born in 1967, the Kua number is 6.


Add 5 thus 5+4 = 9. So, for women born in 1967, the Kua number is 9.

Check against the table above for your wealth direction and location.

** Number 5 is not used in the Kua Formula, although for clarity it is listed below. Females should use 8 instead of 5 and males 2 . **

Energizing the Wood Elements

In Feng Shui, each of the five elements is activated when objects belonging to that particular element group are present. To energize the wood element of the southeast wealth corner, the sector known as " small wood", the best method is to use as many plants as possible, especially small ones. Almost anykind of plants will do, as long as they look healthy and vigorous. For this reason you can even use artificial plants if you like, However some plants are more auspicious than others, whilst some are not recommended at all.

Good Fortune Plants

Feng Shui always recommends the use of broad-leaved plants that look healthy and green. If flowering plants or cut flowers are used, they should always look fresh and bright. Sickly or dead-looking plants and flowers emit a negative energy that signifies loss. You should therefore never use dried flowers in this corner. If a plant starts to wilt, throw it out and replace it immediately with healthier-looking plants. The Chinese Jade plant is highly recommended. It has succulent leaves that suggest wealth. Affluent Chinese homes display an ornamental plant made from real jade to stimulate prosperity. The oriental lime plant covered with lots of fruits symbolizes a successful harvest. If this is not available, an orange tree may also be used or an artificial plant. The oranges suggest a tree ripe with gold. It is a most auspicious energizer to display in the home.

Inauspicious Plants

Avoid displaying stunted or deformed plants, such as bonsai or cactus. Although these look quaint and can be exquisitely beautiful, the suggestion of stunted development is not good. Auspicious Feng Shui always suggests abundant growth.

Other Objects

In addition to plants and flowers, other objects made of wood can also be placed in the southeast, but a living plant is always preferred. Never have dried or drying plants or driftwood in this corner. Their energy is enervating in a corner that need plenty of life.

Using Objects of the Water Element

Applying the theory of the productive cycle of the elements indicates that water produces wood, so water features will also activate the southeast to attract wealth luck. Throughout history water has always represented wealth to the Chinese. Many Chinese restaurants use the water element to improve the Feng Shui of their premises by drawing a fish or water motif around their walls.

This motif can also be drawn on the southeast walls of your living room or, as the Chinese do, you can buy a miniature fountain that keeps the water flowing in a never ending cycle. This small movement of water is considered most auspicious and, when used in stores and offices, it often represents good luck in increasing turnover. A well-lit aquarium with goldfish is also a good idea. The bubbling oxygenators represent excellent feng shui. If you keep fish, make sure there are nine, of which eight should be red or gold and one black. The black fish will absorb any bad luck that inadvertently enters the corner. It is most auspicious to keep arrowanas - a tropical fish that is universally acknowledge as the best Feng Shui fish.

If your room is large or you wish to activate water in the southeast of your garden for wealth luck, you can be very ambitious and install any one of the following water features.

Symbols of Prosperity

There is a great deal of symbolism in the practice of Feng Shui. Central to this is the belief that displaying auspicious objects around the home attracts good luck energies, especially when they are correctly displayed and placed in the right corners of the home. Thus, prosperity symbols should abound, since they represent money in various forms, particularly what passed as money in the past.

Fake gold and silver ingots made in the traditional boat shape are very popular, especially during the Lunar New Year when they are free displayed in the home. The fact that such pretend gold belongs to the metal element does not stop it from being placed near the main entrance, irrespective of the compass location of the front door.

Ancient Chinese Coins

Probably the most popular symbols, however, are old Chinese coins with a square hole in the center. These coins have tremendous potency, especially when they are energized with red thread. There are many ways of using this particular good-fortune symbol.

Using Coins

Hang the coins, tied together with red thread, as mobiles in the southeast corner of the home. Do not overdo this. Three coins are sufficient. Bury nine of these coins in a pathway just under the pavement that leads to your home or,if you live in an apartment, stick it under a mat just outside your door. This represents money making its way to your doorstep. Make sure red thread has been tied round the coins. If you run a retail store, this will greatly increase your sales and your turnover.

The coins are said to be powerful activators when used this way. Turnover increased and your income will receive healthy doses of unexpected Good Luck!

Yang side ( 4 characters ) of the coin should face upwards instead of the yin ( 2 character ) side of the coins .

Sleeping, Dining and Cooking for Wealth

Once you know your wealth direction, you can begin to activate it to enhance your income, by arranging your bed and sitting orientations within the home. It is by activating and using these personalized directions that Feng Shui becomes most potent.

Your Bed

First make sure your bed is located in auspicious way according to form school Feng Shui and then check that you are not sleeping under an overhead bean. You can then activate your wealth direction with your sleeping orientation.

The head must be pointed to the wealth direction. If you and your spouse habe different wealth directions, either sleep in 2 separate beds or let the direction of the breadwinner prevail. Note also that the bed is placed diagonally to the door and the foot of the bed does not point to the door.

Your Dining Table

Select the chair that allows you to sit facing your wealth direction. The arrow shows you how to take the direction .

It is a good idea to place a full length mirror in the dining room to reflect the food on the table. This doubles the meal and is regarded as excellent wealth Feng Shui. Make sure the mirror is higher than the tallest person in the home.

The Oven Mouth

How your food is cooked also has a bearing on the quality of your luck. For Chinese, whose staple food is rice, it is easy to orient the rice cooker so that its 'mouth' is facing the wealth direction. The 'mouth' is the place where the electricity enters the cooker , based on the hypotheses that the source of the energy that cooks the rice must come from the wealth direction, because it bring wealth (food) with it.

Feng Shui For Business and Commerce

Activate Metal ( northeast and west) if you are in the jewelry or boutique business. Avoid using red, place a wind chime in the metal corners. Placing a crystal in the west is also auspicious.

Activate Wood ( the east or southeast) if you run a grocery business or are engaged in selling things made of paper or wood. Place a plant in the east corner of your store.

Activate Water ( north) if you are in any business that deals with money. Bank and insurance branches, bars and even restaurants qualify as water enterprises. Place a water feature in the north and decorate your store with a water motif.

Activate fire (the south) if you are in the catering or restaurant business ( cooking connotes fire) or if you are selling light fixtures. Install a bright light, kept on continuously, in the south and at the entrance. A jade plant or small aquarium at the entrance is also auspicious for the business.

Activate Earth ( southwest, northeast and center ) if you are in real estate or if you are an architect or developer. Use earth colors for your decor and place natural quartz or faceted lead crystals in the earth sectors of your store or office.

Decorating Ideas

Horseshoe-shaped magnets can be used to activate crystal metal, Natural quartz or cut crystals are also very lucky.

The best and most beautiful way to energize wood is to make the fullest use of plants. Even artificial silk plants are acceptable. However, so not use dried plants or driftwood.

Use lights to activate fire or regularly light a candle in the south . Alternatively, decorate with the fire or sun motif. Effectively activating the fire element will give your store a great reputation.

One of the best ways of energizing the earth element for business is to display the globe- to develop export markets, twirl it daily.

The water elements can be energized by using water motifs or by installing a water motifs or by installing a water feature, such as a small fountain or even a boost of water. Remember that activating water is good for most businesses.

Doubling Your Turnover

Protecting the cash register is vital. The cash register or credit card machine is the most important item in your store. It symbolizes your revenue and income. First, make sure nothing sharp or pointed is aimed at it: this can be the sharp edge of a protruding corner, an overhead beam, open book shelves, or even a pointed object, such as a pair of scissors or a blade left idly by.

Tip One:

Hang a wind chime immediately above the cash register. Make sure the rods of the chime are hollow, as this is the one feature that will encourage the chi to rise.

The tinkling sound of the chimes also encourage the creation of abundant good fortune chi. There can be any number of the rods on the wind chime, except five. If you cannot find a wind chime, hand three Chinese coins-tied with red thread.

A variation of this popular method is to hang tiny bells at the door. This is not only announces customer's entry, it also attracts good fortune chi into the store.

Tip Two :

Cover the wall next to the cash register with mirror glass. This has the effect of doubling the turnover for your store. You must be able to see the cash register reflected in the mirror, but at the same time, make sure that mirror does not directly reflect the entrance. Place the mirror on a side wall. Also, make certain that the cash register is not easily visible from outside the store.

Romance Feng Shui

The Direction South West.

The trigram that represents love and relationships is the yin trigram Kun and according to the Later Heaven arrangement of trigrams, this is placed in the southwest. This is the corner of any home or room that represents romance, love and marriage

If this corner has good Feng Shui, the marriage and love aspirations of the members of the household will be positively energized.

If this corner has bad Feng Shui, bad marriage luck will befall the household, leading to divorce, loneliness, unhappiness and an almost total absence of marriage opportunities for the sons and daughters of the family. Thus romance Feng Shui should always start with an examination of this sector of the room or home.

The Earth Element

The element of the southwest corner is earth, symbolized by crystals, stones boulders, and all things from the ground. Identifying the relevant element

To activate is a vital part of the application. It suggests that placing , for instance a boulder in the southwest corner of the garden will activate excellent romance and marriage opportunities for all the unattached residents of the house.

Energizing the Earth Element

In Feng Shui, each of the five elements is activated when objects belonging to it are present. One of the best objects to use to energize the earth element of the southwest romance corner is a crystal, especially natural quartz dug up from earth.


Raw amethyst, quartz or other natural crystals will be extremely harmonious with the southwest sector. In addition, other minerals and metals from the earth are effective, although the energies created by the display of crystals is particularly positive. If you like ,you can also use artificial manmade crystals, which may be paperweights or even good fortune symbols fashioned out of crystal and displayed on your table top.

The facets of crystal and cut glass are especially potent when combined with light.

Crystal chandeliers are said to attract tremendous good luck. Hung in the south west corner of a room, a chandelier brings wonderful romantic and relationship luck. Chandeliers made with faceted crystal balls are also suitable in other corners of a room.

When hung in the center of the house, they shower the home with extremely auspicious family luck. This is because the center of any home, the heart of the residence, is also signified by the earth element and should represent the area of maximum energy or chi concentration. For this reason, feng shui also warns against locating kitchens, storerooms and toilet in the center of home, because all of these destroy beneficial chi.

Well, that's it.

Thank you for your interest.

Best regards,
Jan-Erik Nilsson