By admin on Apr 14, 2017 | In Oriental/New Age
- Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson
The art of Feng Shui dates back at least four thousand years, although the philosophies and magic symbols it incorporates date back to an even earlier period. According to the Shu Jing (Book of History), written by Si Ma Qian, “When the Yellow Emperor first started to divide the country into cities and provinces, he consulted Qin Niao Ze on the project, because Qin was a master of geometrically surveying the landform.” Being an officer in the court of the Yellow Emperor sometime around 2600 B.C., Qin Niao Ze is regarded as the originator of the art of Feng Shui. During that time period, Feng Shui was known as ‘the art of Qin Niao Ze’. He is said to have written three books on geomancy: The Classics of Burial Geomancy, Reading Graves and How to Examine the Earthly Bones. Unfortunately, none of these books have survived to the present day, and we only know of them from references to them in much later texts.
The earliest reference to Feng Shui is in the History of the Former Han (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.). In this ancient document, references to The Golden Box of Geomancy and The Terrestrial Conformations for Palaces and Houses were mentioned, however, neither of the books survived. Over the years, two books that were believed to have a profound influence of the art of Feng Shui were included in the Imperial Encyclopedia, under arts and divination. These books were titled: The Ancient Burial Classics (written by Guo Bu during the fourth century AD.), and The Yellow Emperor's Dwelling Classics (written by Wang Wei during the fifth century A.D.). The writings of The Yellow Emperor's Dwelling Classics distinguished between the energetic natures of the Yin dwellings for the dead and the Yang dwellings for the living, a distinction that is still used in modem times.
In the early years of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.), the founding Emperor Ju Yuanzhuan was afraid that the ancient Daoist skill of Feng Shui might be used to overthrow him. He therefore persecuted and executed all Feng Shui practitioners and disseminated fake Feng Shui texts in order to confuse the public. During the Qing Dynasty (1644 A.D.) however, Feng Shui enjoyed a revival in the capital and has been popular ever since.
Feng Shui is divided into two prominent schools: the Form School and the Compass School. Both school borrow from ancient Daoist principles, and they often overlap each other both in theory and in practice.
The Form School is considered to be the" original school of Feng Shui." It focuses on the study of topography and the environmental Elements existing within and around a particular site. Emphasis is placed on the shapes and heights of mountains, and the speed and curves of watercourses.
The Form School has its roots in Southwest China, and its founding fathers are Yang Yunsong and his disciples Zen Wenshan and Lai Wenjun. Since Yang Yunsong, Zen Wenshan, and Lai Wenjun were all natives of Jiangxi province, the Form School also came to be known as the Jiangxi school of Feng Shui.
Yang Yunsong served at one time as a high-ranking official in the Later Tang Dynasty (923 - 936 A.D.). He eventually became known as one of the most prolific writers on the subject of Form School Feng Shui. His works include Shaking the Dragon, Verifying the Dragon, Methods ofMr. Yang, The Golden Classics, Books of Heavenly Jade, Secret Words ofMr. Qin Niao Ze, and Precious Classics That Light Up the Heavens. All of Yang Yunsong's original works on Form School teachings have had a profound influence on the development of Feng Shui up to modem times.
The Form School focuses on the energetic quality and quantity of Qi existing within waterways, bodies of water, mountain veins, individual hills, and Dragon Lairs. To a master of Form School Feng Shui, it is important to understand that it is the form of the land or topography that provides the site with its energetic substance. The geometric patterns contained within nature are similar in energetic composition to those represented in the geometric patterns of art. The understanding of these energetic forms is a prerequisite to mastering the magical skill of ancient Daoist Feng Shui.
To the Feng Shui master, no form of matter is considered to be solid. It is merely composed of vibrating waves of living energy. The ancient Daoists therefore observed the energetic Form of the land not as simple the illusion of rocks, trees, and water, but as condensed, crystallized energetic structures and illuminating fields of many colored lights.
The Form School also relies on the artistic perspective of the geomancer. According to the Form School Feng Shui Classic Verses of the Heart of Snow, written by Daoist master Meng Hao: "All depends on the individual's intuition to ponder over the appropriate height of mountains, and his reasoning power to determine which exposure to take."
The Form School focuses primarily on developing environmental harmony by observing the shape and form of the terrain and how these interact with the energetic qualities of the animals of the four Elements (Red Phoenix, Black Turtle/Snake, White Tiger and Green Dragon). These four animals act as guardians and also serve to establish a relationship between the individual's Eternal Soul (Shen Xian) and the external Elemental Energies.
The Compass School is the second school of Feng Shui. It focuses primarily on understanding the accurate alignment of a particular site and its building with appropriate stars. This alignment is strictly based on the theory of the Five Elements, the eight characters of an individual's birth, and the Eight Trigrams of the Yi-Jing.
The founding fathers of the Compass School of Feng Shui are Wan Ji and Cai Yuanding. Since Wan Ji and Cai Yuanding were both natives of Fujian province, the Compass School also carne to be known as the Fujian school of Feng Shui.
The Compass School focuses primarily on understanding the energies of Heaven and Earth and on developing universal and environmental harmony in accordance with the directional orientation of the Feng Shui compass. The Feng Shui compass is used for calculating the directions of influential energetic currents.
In ancient China, during the time of the Yellow Emperor (2696 - 2598 B.C.), the compass was originally used for navigation. The navigational compass was later modified and used as the center of a Shi (a diviner's square oracle board) in the early Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.) by the ancient Daoists, who also employed its skill in the art of Feng Shui. A Feng Shui manual written a few centuries later by master Wang Wei called The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Dwelling, popularized this ancient esoteric art of divination. During the early Han Dynasty, the Daoists diviner's board had Twenty-Eight Lunar mansions inscribed on both the Earth (base) Plate and the Heaven (top) Plate.
During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.), the original geomantic compass (known as the Lo Pan) was introduced. This compass contained two parts: the top Heavenly Dial Plate and the bot- tom Earthly Plate, described as follows:
The Heaven Dial (Circular) Plate: The top plate was round, signifying Heaven, and its underside was usually curved inward. This enabled it to fit inside and rotate, while being placed in the receiving trough hollowed into the base of the square Earth Plate. The top Dial Plate symbolizes the energy of Heaven through as many as seven- teen concentric rings that surround the Pre-natal Bagua (Eight Trigram) pattern of the Yi-Jing (I-Ching). These energetic patterns correspond to the primary divisions of Heaven and its principle atmospheric or meteorological influences. The concentric rings on the Heaven Dial Plate represent the Ten Heavenly Sterns, Twelve Earthly Branches, Twenty-Four Solar Compass Directions, Twenty-Eight Star Constellations, Nine Palaces (Magic Square), and the Bagua (Eight Trigrams). To this end" they are traditionally all arranged in a circle and divided into specific qualities and virtues according to the 24 divisions of the Earth. The 24 divisions of the Earth are themselves ruled over by the influences of the corresponding 24 divisions of the celestial powers.
The Earth (Square) Plate: The bottom plate was square, signifying Earth, and it acted as the base for the round Lo Pan. The center of the square base had a bowl-shaped recess in which the Lo Pan could be turned and dialed to line up with the specific direction in question. A red thread acted as a "pointer" that was then drawn over the com- pass needle in order to read the directions of the various energetic currents.
The land or area being observed was classically divided into the four quadrants, with each quadrant being associated with one of the four elemental animals of the Form School (North-Turtle/Snake, South-Phoenix, East-Dragon, and West-Tiger).
Each of the quadrants contains seven of the primary star constellations. The constellation stars assert an influence on the energetic qualities and spiritual virtues of their correspond- ing divisions of the Earth in accordance with the great law that "the Dao of Heaven controls the Dao of Earth." Therefore, in the ancient Chinese mode of thought, astrology and Geomancy were interwoven and inseparable.
In ancient China, it was believed that the Dao manifests as "Li" (Pattern) and "Qi" (Energy). Therefore, it is important for the Daoist sorcerer to have a firm understanding of the energetic components of Li and the patterns of Qi.
Li and Qi are interdependent; one cannot exist without the other. While Li determines the order and pattern of a person, place, or thing, Qi animates it so that it is capable of maintaining energetic manifestation. Qi is identified with Yin and Yang as they operate in the changing of the seasons, climate, and landscape. Qi comes and goes in a continuous energetic flow. The study of the continuous and yet often irregular accumulation and-dispersion of Earth Qi is the foundational root of Feng Shui.
By observing the Li of the land, a Daoist sorcerer who has mastered Feng Shui can observe where the Qi accumulates or disperses. He or she understands that shallow, fast flowing rivers disperse Qi, as do hills that are exposed to strong Winds; and he or she also knows that low-lying valleys and pools of water encourage Qi and are sources of peace and quiescence. The ideal site for training and energetic cultivation is protected, peaceful, and open to soft, gentle Winds that allow Qi to circulate.
In ancient Feng Shui, it was taught that each area of land was surrounded by the energetic pres- ence of four animal spirits, the Green Dragon, White Tiger, Red Bird, and Black Turtle/Snake. ,The fact that these four animal spirits correspond to the Four Directions, the Four Seasons, and the Elements of Wood, Metal, Fire, and Water makes them an essential aspect of Daoist Magical Feng Shui.
The Green Dragon: The Green Dragon is the energetic representation of all fish and scaly creatures. In ancient Feng Shui, the Green Dragon was said to bring wealth and prosperity. The Green Dragon also corresponds to the Wood Element, Spring, and the direction of East. In ancient Daoist alchemy, the Green Dragon corresponds to the energetic influences of the individual's Hun (Ethereal Soul) and Imagination.
The White Tiger: The White Tiger is the energetic representation of all mammals and furry creatures. In ancient Feng Shui, the White Tiger was said to bring protection against the dark forces. The White Tiger corresponds to the Metal Element, Autumn, and the direction of West. In ancient Daoist alchemy, the White Tiger also corresponds to the energetic influences of the individual's Po (Corporeal Soul) and Sensation.
The Red Bird: The Red Bird is the energetic representation of all birds and feathery creatures. In ancient Feng Shui, the Red Bird was said to bring opportunity and recognition. The Red Bird also corresponds to the Fire Element, Summer, and the direction of South. In ancient Daoist alchemy, the Red Bird corresponds to the energetic influences of the individual's Shen (Spirit) and Intention.
The Black Turtle/Snake: The Black Turtle/ Snake is the energetic representation of all invertebrates and creatures with shells. In ancient Feng Shui, the Black Turtle/Snake was said to bring patronage and support. The Black Turtle/ Snake also corresponds to the Water Element, Winter, and the direction of North. In ancient Daoist alchemy, the Black Turtle/Snake corresponds to the energetic influences of the individual's Zhi (Will) and Attention.
In Daoist Magical Feng Shui, the Four Animals are considered to be energetic guards that must co-ordinate their powers with one another. These animals are placed around a site or dwelling to balance the Five Elements and the forces of Yin and Yang. When the animal spirits are in balance, the energy of the site will be harmonious and auspicious. However, if one animal becomes too powerful or too weak, problems can result. For example, if the White Tiger becomes too powerful for the Dragon to control, it is believed that the White Tiger will emerge to harm those in the house.
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