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You no doubt have heard of feng shui. So what is it and why is it so important for property these days? This not-so-new phenomenon is being seen as a higher priority in apartment and property design, and with the creation of Elegance apartments, it’s importance cannot be understated.
The practice of feng shui has a history dating back more than 5000 years. The current practice of feng shui is an amalgamation of several schools of thought developed over the different Chinese dynastic periods, creating what is known as the ‘Art of Feng Shui’: a practice of enhancing our lives by harnessing the positive energies of the environment around us. These practices are influenced by some eastern religious philosophies and the belief in Qi, the life energy that works as a force in the universe.
‘Art of Feng Shui’: a practice of enhancing our lives by harnessing the positive energies of the environment around us.
One core belief that has remained consistent throughout the past 5000 years, and the various feng shui schools of thought that have evolved over this time, is that of ‘unison with the Heavens’ (天人合一). This school of thought is also the reason why feng shui has close links and revolves around astronomy because the ancient Chinese believed that what happened in the earthly realm paralleled what happened amongst the stars. Even if you don’t necessarily believe in the spiritual aspects of feng shui, some sections of this article might be intriguing or help you assess whether the apartment you’re considering buying is the perfect one for you. Ultimately, these principles are just basic guidelines for designing a home that will elevate your mood and make you feel at ease after a long day. In this busy day and age, these guidelines can be useful to anybody!
Many buyers of Chinese decent considered it supremely important that an apartment has good feng shui. 8 Mansions is a school of feng shui which focuses on the fundamental laws of nature built around the theory of the 8 Trigrams (八卦) and applies it to feng shui. This method views your home as a small universe on it’s own, and gives the interpretation that the laws of your apartment are ‘fixed’ and won’t change (which is good for apartment owners, as you probably can’t be knocking down walls to change the feng shui of your apartment every year). For this reason, it will be the one we look at in this article.
In the 8 Mansions school of thought about feng shui – which is a classic feng shui method from the Qing Dynasty – there are three key positionings to look out for when buying property: the positioning of the main door, the kitchen and the master bedroom, in relation to the sector they reside in. If these three positionings are correct, then the apartment will bring the blessings of wealth and health to you and your loved ones.
There are several steps in the 8 Mansions school, but these are the ones most important to consider when buying an apartment:
1. Divide the apartment into 9 sectors
This is considered a primary step in feng shui, as all other steps rely on this. The apartment (or house, etc.) should be divided into 9 sectors, each of which has its own corresponding compass orientation. The orientation of each sector can be determined by identifying the Sitting and Facing direction of the apartment. The terms “Sitting” and “Facing,” simply refer to the direction a building or apartment is pointing. Which is the front, which is the back! They are opposite terms for opposite directions, like ”North” and “South.” Typically, the front door will indicate the sitting direction.
One of the trigrams in the bu gua represents each sector, and each trigram then has a corresponding element (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth). These sectors and the elements are used to figure out if the rooms are harmonised, and what the feng shui structure of the house is like.
Take note that the orientation of the house needs to be measured very accurately to the nearest degree – a few degrees off and you might get the structure of the house wrong and implement future techniques incorrectly.
2. Figure out where your main door is, and mark this sector
The main entrance is considered the most important sector of the house because, as we said above, it determines the Sitting and Facing direction of the house (in most cases). The entrance is the place where you step into your home, so it where you allow yourself to relax and leave the cares of the world behind.
The more traditional view is that the front door is where Qi flows into the apartment, so this space is important to allow the proper flow of energy. In this regard, the front door should not face a stairway or an elevator, as these are considered to ‘pull’ the positive energy from the apartment.
3. Determine the sector and orientation of the master bedroom
In 8 Mansions, the next criteria is determining which sector of the apartment the master bedroom is in. Your bedroom is the place you spend the most amount of time in, so it is important that it is orientated correctly. The entrance and the master bedroom should be harmonised, which, as a general rule of the thumb, means that they should be at opposite ends of an apartment (ie. a main door in the Southwest will harmonise with a master bedroom in the Northeast as both these orientations are considered Earth sectors).
The master bedroom is supposed to be the largest room of your apartment in the eyes of feng shui, however, this is not always an option for many people. In this case, there are things you should do to make sure the feng shui of your room is correct. The bed should be in the ‘command’ position (a space that seems central to the room), but never on the same wall as the door, or with feet facing toward the door due to the propensity of this positioning of bringing a feeling of insecurity to those sleeping in the bed. There should always be two bedside tables to create balance, and there should not be a desk in the bedroom.
4. Identify where the kitchen is
The kitchen is considered an ‘enhancer’ under the 8 Mansions school, so you should always consider which sector the kitchen is in. It is understood that a kitchen in the wrong sector can bring negative manifestations into your apartment, such as poor health. Even if you don’t subscribe to the spirituality of feng shui, a poorly placed kitchen can really ruin an apartment.
Applying the same logic as we did for the main door and master bedroom, the element representing the sector where the kitchen is must not clash with the sector where the main door and master bedroom is. If you remember our Earth bedroom and entrance from above, then the ideal kitchen for that placement is Earth (southwest) or Metal (west).
As for each room, there are specific feng shui ideas for each area which must be considered – but that would take me an in-depth essay to explain, so here I’ll just highlight some features of feng shui you should be aware of (that come from many different schools):
In regards to specific feng shui ideas for 2018, there isn’t anything specific you have to do. Making alterations under the 8 Mansions method is difficult, and as we’ve said above, unnecessary. You just need to be patient, as it generally takes an apartment’s (or house’s) feng shui three years to come into full effect.