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Flying Star Feng Shui

Demystifying the Ho Tu Numbers for Practical Feng Shui

For the more advanced practitioners of Zuan Kong Flying Star feng shui, LILLIAN TOO discusses the attributes and practical applications of the four pairs of Ho Tu numbers. The Ho Tu refers to the body-patterns on the mythical dragon-horse, and is different from the Lo Shu numbers, which refer to the shell-patterns on the mythical giant-turtle.

In classical feng shui, the four pairs of Ho Tu numbers are said to be derived from the early heaven Pa Kua arrangement of trigrams and they reflect the heaven and earth energy as embodied in the ten Heavenly Stems. This means that the Ho Tu combination of numbers embody the YIN and YANG pairings of the five elements.

In theory, the Ho Tu numbers are derived from the Map of compass directions such that each of the primary directions, North, South, East and West are represented by a Ho Tu pair of numbers.

  • The numbers 1 and 6 signify shared genius and reside in the North
  • The numbers 2 & 7 reflect brilliance of knowledge and reside in the South
  • The numbers 3 & 8 are great friends and reside in the East
  • The numbers 4 & 9 are close associates and reside in the West

In addition to the above four pairs of numbers, 5 & 10 are said to represent earth energy residing in the center. The odd numbers are YANG numbers, while the even numbers are YIN numbers. The Ho Tu pattern is illustrated in the diagram shown here. Study the way the numbers are joined. This is another way of saying watch how the dotted lines move from number to number. (The dots signify the numbers).

For those wanting to use the Ho Tu numbers to go deeper into the applications of Flying Star and Eight Mansions formulas, here are some useful pointers.

Firstly, do note that if you use the Eight Mansions method to calculate your kua number, then all couples whose kua numbers correspond to the Ho Tu combinations are said to be soul mates. When properly activated, their Ho Tu pairing of numbers has the potential to bring them enormous good fortune. But to make the most of their Ho Tu combination, they should take note of the element of their particular pairing and then activate that element in their abode.

Thus 1 and 6 has water as their element, so their home must have the water element as the dominant element.The pairing of 2 and 7 has fire as their element, so their abode should be brightly lit and have fire element dominate.

The pairing of 3 and 8 has wood as their element, so living in homes that are made predominantly of wood would be excellent for them. The pairing of 4 and 9 would belong to the metal element, so a dominant glass and chrome look would be excellent for them.

Secondly, take note that to arouse the golden and vigorous dragon, those couples that have the Ho Tu pairing should take note of their direction and then also activate the compatible direction in what is known as the directions meeting in accord rather than discord.

Please note that: 1649 and 2738 will be in accord, while 1638 and 2749 will be in discord. Thus North combines in accord with west and never with east, while South combines with east and never with west. Wood goes with fire while water goes well with metal.

Hence there is accord and then there is good fortune. When there is discord, there will be plenty of misfortunes. So take note that when the numbers move as left-originating in a clockwise direction along the Pa Kua map, it will generate growth, thus bringing prosperity, and if there is discordance, there will be disintegration.


 The Ho Tu square's movement forms the auspicious right-turning swastika symbol

Thirdly, the Ho Tu numbers can be represented as East originating and moving in a clockwise direction, and this is said to be an excellent symbol of protection when the numbers are placed as shown below. Instead of numbers, it is also possible to use dots to denote the numbers with black dots symbolizing yin numbers and white dots signifying yang numbers. Usually the symbol formed will resemble a right turning swastika. This is one of the secrets of the Ho Tu that is said to offer powerful protection and attract prosperity vibrations.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (September/October 2003)". To subscribe, please click here.