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Feng Shui site selection: where the dragon stops: Anne Hansley suggests an ancient formula for auspicious home siting.

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, has been used for thousands of years to find and maintain good energy (chi) in a building to nurture its inhabitants. Feng Shui analysis and principles can be applied to an existing structure or, in the best case, prior to site selection and construction.

"The energy, of the dragon will be dispersed by wind, and will stop at the boundary of water." Dragon energy represents good fortune and can be found in the mountains. This quote from ancient Chinese writings pertains to what you want to look for in a site, a place where the dragon energy stops and stays.

According to Feng Shui theory, energy lines residing in mountain chains are called dragon veins. Large buildings can also be considered mountains. Water, which represents prosperity, can also be represented by relatively flat, open spaces. So, an optimal building site is near water or a flat, open spot, at the end of a mountain range; the longer, the better.

The problem is, it's not so easy to see mountain ranges, unless you have a bird's eye view. If you really want to find dragon veins, you can use aerial photography or a topographical map. However, most of us are not seeking placement of the imperial palace, and need to place priority on where schools and jobs are located. So you may not have the luxury of seeking a dragon vein.

If you do have the time and inclination, look at the geography and placement of Hong Kong, a very prosperous, bustling city. It is located at the very tip of several dragon veins coming together at the sea, a most auspicious location. This same type of placement is good for any sustainable site. But let's assume you want to locate a good building site near Asheville, a city surrounded by dragons, and you may not be at the end of a mountain range, but likely you are near or on a mountain or hill. There are a few things to consider for auspicious placement, from a form school (see inset) perspective.

First, ask yourself how you feel at the potential site. Is there one place where the energy feels better to you than another? Is there evidence of healthy animal and plant life? If so, this is evidence that the location has good energy. Avoid the very top of a mountain, where there is too much energy (wind) passing by too quickly. Remember, the dragon (energy) is dispersed by the wind. The energy of such a location doesn't stay and nourish the building and its inhabitants.

Avoid overhangs or anything that may appear threatening from above or other directions. For example, don't build under a rock overhang or at the receiving end of a protruding spire or point such as those inside a dish antenna. Protruding spikes are described in Feng Shui as poison arrows. Make sure there are no poison arrows directed at your building.

Generally speaking, the main entry and front of the house or building should face the water or open space. This allows the energy to pool, gently enter and stay to nourish inhabitants. The back of the building should be cradled and supported by the highest mountain in the immediate area. I have seen the effects of the opposite scenario, where a house faced right into the mountain and the back teetered on the edge of a cliff. This arrangement proved disastrous--several inhabitants became sick and died in the house. Because of poor placement, or form, the house could not receive or hold energy. So avoid placement facing a mountain or on a steep incline.

Don't locate too close to a mountain. The ideal is to have the mountain and its adjoining hills cradle or cuddle the house. To provide supportive energy to the structure you don't want the mountain encroaching nor too far away. Some Feng Shui teachers believe it is best to have the higher side hills or mountains on the right as you face the house, representing the green dragon (believed to symbolize creation of good fortune). The lower side hills would be ideally on the left, symbolizing the white tiger (protector of good fortune). If true, it is difficult to achieve in practice, considering the many other factors that should be considered for a sustainable site. But if you can achieve it, consider this to be auspicious Feng Shui.

Check the rock and tree formations nearby. Do any large rocks or trees resemble a person or animal? What kind? If the look and general feeling is benevolent, it most likely is, and should be helpful. An example of the opposite extreme would be a rock formation like Devil's Head at Chimney Rock. A happy, supportive structure would not face this kind of malevolent looking formation.

In general, flowing water or roads should be in the front of the building and not behind. However, a direct line of water or a road aimed at the house represents too much force. Ideally, a gently flowing stream would embrace the front of the structure. There are more in-depth formulas available in a compass school analysis that can be used to assess the optimal direction of water flow with respect to the building. Although flowing water is beneficial, it's best to avoid stagnant water.

Avoid having parts of the house not well supported. In other words, it is best to have the entire footprint of the structure completely supported and not hanging out over a cliff, supported only by columns or posts.

REALTED ARTICLE: Feng Shui approaches.

Form School: Geography, interior and exterior forms and placement of objects are reviewed and considered. Form school involves positioning with respect to the visible elements in the surrounding environment.

Eight Mansion Approach: Each of the eight directions is associated with a type of energy and life aspect (romance, knowledge, career, etc.) An eight sided Ba Gua (or Pa Kua) is overlaid on the floor plan and special arrangements of objects made to provide enhancements for the life aspect in that direction. Also an individual s gua number (based upon sex and birth date) can be determined, which then identifies general auspicious and inauspicious directions for someone with that gua number (1-9). This information could then be used to help place the individual within the house, the orientation of their bed, favorite chair, etc.

Black Hat Sect: The Black Hat Sect relies heavily on intuition, intent and symbolism for analysis and recommended solutions. A Ba Gua is also used in this approach, but unlike the Eight Mansion approach, the life aspects do not change direction from house to house. So for example, the knowledge sector would always be on your left as you enter the door of any dwelling.

Compass School: This approach, which evolved from the I Ching, or Book of Changes, is documented in ancient Chinese records. It involves a detailed analysis of the geographic direction of the building, and the date when the building was first occupied. A flying star diagram is then created to identify the portent of the unseen energies in the building that were present when the building was born. The flying star is then overlaid on the floor plan and analyzed to determine which areas need to be active (Yang) and which areas should be quiet (Yin) in order to promote human harmony and prosperity. The five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal) are also used in appropriate areas to either increase or diminish the different energy movements to bring harmony and balance.

Anne Hansley, Industrial Engineer and General Contractor, has studied Feng Shui since 1996, and has trained with Roger Green, Master Raymond Lo, and Master Larry Sang.
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Author:Hansley, Anne
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:1286
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