Search for keyword


FS Fine Points

The Secrets of the Tai Chi Symbol


LILLIAN TOO writes on the finer points and esoteric symbols of feng shui practice, simplifying some of the more important aspects of this ancient living skill when used to enhance modern day living and lifestyles.

Chi energies do not just affect the practice of feng shui. All Chinese esoteric sciences explain phenomenon in terms of it. Chi energy flows in the living environment and inside the human body, thereby having a direct bearing on the wellbeing of mankind.

Chi energy manifests in the way we express ourselves and through the way we dress, the way we eat, the way we write and the way we communicate our creativity. Chi thus exerts tremendous significance on the way we live, the way we breathe, exercise and maintain our good health.

Exponents of Chinese martial arts and Chi Kung will also tell you that the secret of excellence in these practices is the ability to harness and control the Chi within the human body to effectively encompass them in postures and movements. Chi is thus likened to the living essence of mankind and his environment.

In feng shui, the harmony of Chi energy is paramount to establishing balance in any given space. It is the quality of this balance that brings good fortune. When the Chi of the living space becomes unbalanced, troubles occur and problems start to appear.

Likewise, when Chi within the body is unbalanced, illness develops. Since the balance of Chi in living and work spaces is affected by the way buildings are designed and constructed - the placement of walls, the layout of rooms and the dimensions of spaces created - knowing how to ensure a good balance of Chi is a very big part of creating good feng shui.

Chi Is Affected By The Pasage Of Time
In addition, the balance of Chi is also affected by the passage of time. The underlying essence of feng shui is that it is never static. Instead, it is dynamic and Chi energy, as well as flow of Chi, is always undergoing change and transformation. So there is a time dimension to the balance of Chi energy and by extension to the quality of feng shui in any space. When applying the different formulas of feng shui - whether these refer to the space or the time dimension - we should always think of space in terms of the tai chi symbol i.e. the yin and yang forces that make up the space

The Tai Chi Symbol Expresses Yin & Yang.
Chi energy is expressed in the tai chi symbol, shown as a circle with a black and a white embryonic symbol. The white part of the symbol signifies yang Chi while the black part signifies the yin Chi. Note there is a little of yin in yang and vice versa.

Yin is stillness while yang is movement. As soon as there is movement, the two forces of Chi interact and according to the ancients, as soon as yin and yang interact, the limits of the Universe manifest. These are expressed as six energies, which in turn find expression as the five elements. The six energies and the five elements in turn also interact with each other to create what the texts refer to as the ten thousand things. It is from the study of the way the different energies of Chi interacts that feng shui formulas are interpreted and applied to living space.

Based on these principles, the ancient masters developed ways to harness the energy flow of any space, at the same time also adjusting to changes occurring over time. So these principles underlie the practice of feng shui.


Small Tai Chi & Big Tai Chi

Note that it is the practitioner of feng shui who defines the space. So the space you are planning to feng shui can be just a small room, in which case you look on that room as the tai chi. Or you can be planning to feng shui the whole house, in which case the tai chi symbol is superimposed onto the whole house. This brings us to the concept of small tai chi and big tai chi. So the room becomes the small tai chi, while the whole house becomes the big tai chi.

Once you understand this way of looking at any space, it becomes much easier to apply and use the different formulas of feng shui. This is because the concept of small tai chi and big tai chi applies to all the formulas of feng shui. The practical implications of this are that you can superimpose any feng shui chart - be it a flying star chart or an eight mansions chart or a pa kua aspirations chart – over any space. The space can be individual rooms or it can be the whole house. It can even refer to an entire city, or a whole country and even an entire continent. There are no limits to the universality of space.

Understanding this concept, you will find it very much easier trying to feng shui your house.

Example : For instance, if you want to activate the SW corner for romance luck, but you discover that the SW corner of your house is missing because of its irregular shape, or if the SW is occupied by a toilet and you are unable to ‘activate’ it. These two instances merely suggest you cannot then activate the SW of the big tai chi. So you choose a regular shaped frequently-used room, such as the living room, and identify the SW of the living room. This enables you to activate the small tai chi of the living room. If you occupy the living room a lot, you will definitely benefit from the enhanced and activated SW corner of the living room.

In the same way, you can activate any corner of any room (including the bedroom) simply by using the concept of the small tai chi. If you now stop to think about this principle, you will realize that this simple fundamental rule of feng shui opens fabulous pathways to the application potential of the feng shui formulas.

Illustrated here is an example of how you can apply the principles of small tai chi and big tai chi to the Eight Aspirations Pa Kua method of feng shui where each of the eight sides of the Pa Kua stands for different aspirations.

In this apartment, the Pa Kua showing the meanings of each of the eight sides is superimposed on the living room space and not on the whole house. Here it is the small tai chi that is being activated.

Now you realize that you can in effect activate the living room (or any room) to benefit from good Chi energy according to the formula used. The only requirement for the feng shui to work is that you must spend time in the room. When you feng shui a room and you do not spend time in that room, the beneficial effects are not felt by you. Remember that interior feng shui is within your control, so after activating your good feng shui, you should ensure you benefit from it.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (March/April 2004)". To subscribe, please click here.