Monday, January 7, 2013

Should we turn the ba gua around as we are in the Southern hemisphere?

Question:  Should we turn the ba gua around as we are in the Southern hemisphere?

Answer: This is one of the most common asked feng shui question for people living in the Southern hemisphere like Australia, and has created heated arguments among the feng shui practitioners and professionals. Listed below is the typical argument between the “yes” and “no’ camp:

“Yes” Camp:

“Because of the origin of Feng Shui in northern China several thousand years ago, and the lack of awareness that a southern hemisphere existed, original Feng Shui methods did not consider the differences between the northern and southern hemispheres. Because so many Compass School determinations and calculations are dependent on seasonal changes and solar orientation, differing in the two hemispheres, these adjustments have made it possible for Feng Shui practitioners in the southern hemisphere to make accurate Feng Shui”  - International Feng Shui Guild

“No” Camp:

“There was for a short time some misconception that you need to flip the directions for North and South hemisphere, but when you understand advanced feng shui where we actually use three measurements of North, then you know that the recommendations apply the same to every place wherever you are. In feng shui, accurate compass directions are important as a point of reference.” – Lillian Too

As a feng shui professional, I have been doing some research in this topic and have read different arguments from both camps and here are my personal inputs for this controversial feng shui topic:

First of all, the primary reasoning and argument from the “Yes” Camp is that the weather or temperature in the Southern hemisphere is directly opposite to the Northern hemisphere. For example, in Australia, the cold comes from the South and the warmth from the North, in China, it is reversed. This is a true fact and no one can argue about it, but this is based on the perspective of the weather pattern. However, in feng shui, we are primarily dealing with the magnetic fields of the earth. For instance, the needle of the Lo Pan or compass is always pointing at the magnetic North, it will not change whether you are standing in the Southern hemisphere or Northern hemisphere.

Secondly, I believe all these arguments are basically stemmed from the configuration of the Earlier Heaven Ba Gua (先天八卦), where the North is located at the bottom and the South is located at the top of the ba gua, which is created with the climates in China as the basics. The heat mainly comes from the South and thus the Fire element of the ba gua is assigned to the South. Since there is abundant storage of water in the form of ice in the North and thus the water element is assigned to the North.

In my many years of professional experience, I have the opportunities of working with clients living in both hemisphere, and I basically applying the authentic Chinese type of feng shui, namely the Xuan Kong Flying Star feng shui and have achieved positive results; without having to flip the ba gua upside down to suit the conditions in the Southern hemisphere. The reason why I do not need to make any adjustments is the Xuan Kong Flying Star feng shui is it is dealing only with the magnetic fields (the facing and sitting direction of a site) measured by the Lo Pan when I am calculating the natal chart; therefore, a house with the facing reading of 16 degree North means the house is always facing North and sitting South even in the Southern hemisphere. 

To conclude, I believe this argument will carry on for a long time and it will be difficult to reach a consensus of opinions among the practitioners in the near future. Therefore, I believe we need to experiment and decide for ourselves. I will list below the links to some web pages regarding this topic for people who are interested: