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FS Fine Points

Unlocking the Compass Codes of Feng Shui to Safeguard the NW and SW Corners

In this issue Lillian Too highlights the importance of safeguarding the Northwest and Southwest corners of any home, applying the symbolic meanings of the Chien and Kun trigrams. She explains why it is so important to have these corners energized with the presence of suitable figurines that trigger the patriarchal and matriarchal chi of the sectors. As always, she offers potent explanations regarding the nuances of using symbolic figurines in the practice of feng shui.

Watching the Da Vinci Code reminds me of the importance of symbolic representations in the practice of feng shui. This ancient practice very definitely leans heavily on the hidden meanings of trigrams, elements, celestial creatures and a whole range of lucky objects, mystical and mythical creatures in their many applications. It recognizes auspicious figures, pays respect to patriarchal energy as signified by victorious generals and powerful emperors as well as the trigram Chien; and likewise honours the matriarchal energy, which is symbolized by the mother figure and the trigram Kun.
When you dig deeper into the practice of symbolic feng shui, you will discover that many symbols have more than one meaning – indeed the symbolism of the Patriarch – the precious king, and of the Matriarch – the precious queen, brings many direct benefits to family feng shui.
To safeguard the happiness of the family and togetherness lifestyle, it is important to ensure not only that the NW and SW corners of your home are not missing; you also need to examine the best ways of activating these corners in an appropriate fashion.

NW and SW Sectors Must Not Be Missing

The NW affects the luck of the patriarch as traditional breadwinner of the family. When this corner is missing, the man of the family tends to travel a lot. He frequently stays out and is seldom home. A missing NW will also affect the luck of the patriarch, causing him to have problems and obstacles in his working life. If this is your problem, you must remedy it as soon as possible by building the NW and incorporating it into your home. If you cannot do this, use a wall mirror to simulate its presence.
The SW affects the luck of the mother – and generally, her wellbeing ensures harmony, peace and calm in the home. When the SW corner of the home is missing, it suggests that the mother and any other older women staying in the home are either missing altogether, or they like going out a lot. The women of the household, especially the mother herself, could stay away frequently, causing problems and strains in the marriage. Children will lack the mother’s care.

Activating with Figurines

When the Patriarch (Northwest) and Matriarch (Southwest) corners are well activated with the presence of a symbolically powerful leader and mother figure, they bring enormous benefits to the household.

To start with, when these two corners are not missing, if they are made to look visually attractive with the presence of father and mother type figures, and they are clean and not blocked, these corners will ensure the family stays united and together. It ensures that the home is blessed with the presence of both the man and woman of the house. In modern practice, both corners should be equally activated so neither the mother nor father becomes overly dominant.

When these two corners – the NW and SW - are properly energized, they also help ensure that the next generation can easily find suitable husbands or wives.

The Chien Trigram

The symbolism of the father figure is encrypted in the Chien trigram – three solid lines that demonstrate the strength of the breadwinner, This itself is a powerful symbol of the Patriarch or the husband. Thus in homes that have many daughters of marriageable age, the best way to ensure they get good husbands is to ensure the NW is painted white, is brightly lit and has a strong male figure placed there. You can also use the three solid lines symbol liberally.

Depending on what kind of hero catches your fancy, this is the corner for having the male figure. If you like football, by all means display the image of your favourite football player or coach. If spirituality is your thing, then put the picture of your guru there. If movie stars are what turns you on, then hang a picture of Harrison Ford or anyone else you fancy. My advice though is not to hang fragile, feeble men like Brad Pitt who easily fall prey to the aggressively sexual female!

Personally, my favourite for the NW corner is a Buddha figure, because to me he is the ultimate patriarch. But you can also consider Kuan Kung , the formidable God of Wealth and general. Those who want success in the scholarly field or women who want husbands in academia can have a figure of Confucius or Einstein in that corner. You can change or rearrange the objects you have in the NW any time. There are no taboos on this.

The SW Corner

The SW corner, not only benefits the mother of the house, it is also effective for attracting suitable wives for the young bachelors of the family. In fact, when the SW is missing, is blocked or is a storeroom, you will find that the young men of the family will experience a hard time finding a suitable spouse. They will tend to feel unloved and will feel that their mother (if she is around) does not give enough nurturing care.

The Auspiciousness of Figurines

The Chinese have always liked displaying figurines of men and women of prominence – each having special meanings and attributes and whose presence in the home attracts mighty good chi. Each figurine is usually associated with some specific kind of luck or personify some auspicious meaning. Lawyers usually go for Judge Pao who they consider to be the God of Justice. But probably the most popular figurines found in every Chinese home are the Three Star Gods Fuk, Luk Sau.

These should be placed either in the dining room or in the living room area. It is also helpful having one in the office. But placed directly behind you, thus supporting you.

Fuk Luk Sau is a “must have” in your home if you believe in feng shui. But they should be placed correctly. When these figurines are placed incorrectly, they can cause misfortunes. Thus Fuk Luk Sau should never be placed on the floor. They must be placed on a sideboard at least 30 inches high. They should never face the toilet. They should face the dining table or if they are in the living room, they should not, face a staircase or a toilet.

The most popular woman figurine, the universal favourite of many Chinese households, is the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Her presence in the house is believed to bring peace, security and harmony. Take note that Kuan Yin is no ordinary figure as she is regarded as the Compassionate Buddha. She should be placed high with offerings of water, flowers, food or incense placed in front of her. She should not be regarded as a feng shui feature or a decorative object. Kuan Yin can be placed in any corner of the house, although in the SW, her matriarchal attributes will be dominant.

The other very auspicious lady figurine to have in the house is the Lady of the Nine Heavens. It is believed that her mere presence in the home will ensure that the home enjoys good feng shui and this is because she is widely acknowledged as the divine lady who brought the feng shui compass to the Yellow Emperor, thereby introducing compass formula feng shui to Earth. Some say it is with the help of this compass and what the lady taught him which enabled the Yellow Emperor to unite the warring states, thereby bringing peace to a turbulent era.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (July/August 2006)". To subscribe, please click here.