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In the old days when feng shui was a mysterious and little known practice, aging masters kept many of their secrets to themselves, making the practice of feng shui a cryptic and difficult exercise. Feng shui experts would scour the land in search of dragons and their hiding places. This use of physical identification of the terrain to locate potential sites of good fortune wrapped itself around dragon metaphor. The method was called the Form School of Feng Shui.
Formula feng shui, which focuses on interiors, has become more popular in recent years, mainly because city environments do not lend themselves easily to the practice of Form School. The big picture is harder to put into practice than the little picture.
It is difficult using the naked eye to locate dragons and their hideouts. It is also dependant on judgement and does not have the certainty of the formula methods. Nevertheless, feng shui is incomplete without the input of the Dragon. So the importance of earth formations and waterways, the shape of mountains, the colour of soil and the veins that signify the blood of the dragon simply cannot be ignored. In this issue, Lillian Too brings us a comprehensive reminder on how to go in search of the dragon’s lair.
Rivers and mountains are always described as the blood of the dragon, while the earth’s terrain was always the dragon’s skin. Dragon metaphor signifies the imperial associations of feng shui, the Dragon symbolizing the emperor and the Phoenix signifying the empress. Chinese feng shui masters find sky dragons in cloud formations, earth dragons amongst rocks and landscape configurations and water dragons in the swirling waters of rivers and lakes.
All three kinds of dragons bring good feng shui, but because man lives on the land, it is the earth dragon’s lair that feng shui experts look for when they go in search of good fortune land.
The Chinese believe that there is a great gate in the universe from where energy or chi gushes out and is then gathered and channeled onto the land.
This chi can gather, move or remain in a space. It can be activated, in which case it becomes yang, or it can be still and unmoving, and stay yin. Yang energy flows through earth pathways that we call dragon veins. The dragon vein creates the formation of the mountain. When the dragon’s chi is supreme, its power and vigour are strong. When its vigour is strong, the land holds tremendous energy and is considered very auspicious. So undulating mountain formations are always regarded as very lucky and are much favoured by feng shui experts who consider themselves Masters of the Land.
When a location is surrounded by high land such that it is shaped like a womb, cradled like a fetus, or embraced by strong arms, the energy that collects and forms is described as a dragon’s lair. This is a power spot, and any house built here is sure to bring many generations of good fortune to its residents.
The perfect condition for the chi to gather is when it can be welcomed in from the front and if side doors are shut. In addition, the energy must be balanced. There must be as much yin as there is yang in the environment and this is reflected in the temperature, contours, peaks and valleys, and colours and amount of shade and sunshine on the land.
There should be mountain formations and undulations in the land. An example of this kind of good feng shui neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur is the Bangsar area, which has plenty of dragons. The entire area has an abundance of dragon veins and that is why everyone who lives in this neighbourhood has prospered in the last thirty years since the township was built.
Here its excellent Form School indications bring good feng shui to almost every home. Only a handful of homes here are afflicted (e.g. because the home is hit by manmade structures such as a straight road or is afflicted by a large water tank or a transmission tower). These physical afflictions are usually obvious to the feng shui eye, but usually only after a neighbourhood has matured for a bit. During the early stages of a development’s construction when trees and grass have not yet taken root, it is hard to spot manmade structures that can cause harm.
What if the land is not undulating?
This is when there are no mountain formations and the land appears “empty”.
In these circumstances, we need to look for other carriers of chi – these can be rivers or roads which bring spirit to the land. Without earth dragons, we need to look for other dragons that signify the presence of spirit. When land has no spirit, it has no life and cannot benefit anyone.
Water conveyers of chi are rivers and they are like dragon veins, only these are the veins of the water dragon. When there are many such veins converging, very robust spirit gets created. Then even when there are no mountain formations, the dragon veins (rivers or roads) bring life. Note that roads are often equated with rivers and are thus viewed as dragon veins as well. This is how villages eventually prosper and become towns, which then become cities.
The feng shui master uses the pattern of the dragon veins to evaluate and measure its power – and here a circular converging pattern is excellent. When roadways converge at a site in a circular flow, that place is sure to have plenty of good energy.
When at least five roads converge on a site, this is described as five dragons bringing the energy of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth). This is why for example MidValley Megamall in Klang Valley is teeming with powerful energy. The huge number of roads that converge on to this shopping city easily attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every weekend.
According to classical feng shui, the dragon’s lair can also refer to the soil of the bright hall, and the luck bringing power of auspicious soil is considered much stronger even than mountain formations.
When a house is built on auspicious soil, holes dug in the land’s bright hall allow auspicious energy to rise from the earth. When the soil is firm and bright in colour, neither too wet nor excessively dry, such soil, holds out the promise of tremendous good fortune.
In such a place, dig a big hole and it can transform into a “golden well”. But for this to happen, the hole needs to be dug until reddish or yellowish soil is encountered. This is known as earth energy.
...and how to find it
Once a location is verified as being a dragon’s lair, dig a hole with the depth of 1 meter and 2 inches. Then filter the soil and leave it on the ground overnight. Do not touch it with your hands. Next morning, check the soil. If the soil stands up, it signifies the land is good. If the soil falls away, it means the soil is inauspicious.
Another method is to weigh the soil. The heavier the soil is, the better. When soil is light, it is inauspicious. Here is a way to determine if the weight of soil is auspicious. Take some soil from the land and make it square (1 inch x 1 inch) then weigh it. If the soil weighs above 9 grams, it is auspicious soil. If it weighs under 4 grams, the soil is inauspicious.