Click here for enlarged picture.
(As the picture is very large, it may take some time to download, you may also click here for another Luo pan that illustrates the directions and the elements).

The Layers in the Luo Pan

Master Huang has taught us how to interpret the different layers of rings in his Luo pan. for the layout of the Luo pan. He was also helpful in providing us some of his notes for references.


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Seasons Ring (24 Jie Qi) Ring

This represents the 24 seasons of the agriculture calendar. The seasons were divided up into two stages 12x2=24 characters or every 1/2 month is a seasonal division.[1]

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28 Stars Positions Ring

The sky has 28 constellations of stars which ‘hold up the sky’. This is also being used in Indian astrology. The stars add up to 360 degrees. And each occupies different degrees of the zodiac. The 28 constellations on the Luo pan are also matched with fate of person and with favourable or unfavourable days of the year for important occasions such as weddings and funerals.

This animation belows shows the North, South, East and West and the position of the 5 elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth) in a Luo pan.

Elements that are directly opposite one another are known as Xiang Chong Xiang Ke, which means there is a clash.
The Earthly branches (di zhi) ring refers to the Zodiac Signs, Chinese Horoscopes, the 24 Stars in the Sky, mountains, directions or shens.
The following summarises the clashing earthly branches (di zhi).

Animal           Clash    Animal
1) rat (zi)        ----       horse (wu)
2) cow (chou)   ---        goat (wei)
3) tiger (yin)    ---        monkey (shen)
4) rabbit (mao) ---       chicken (you)
5) dragon (chen) ---     dog (xu)
6) snake (si)      ---     pig (hai)

- Zodiac Signs and Chinese Horoscopes Ring (Earthly Branches, di zhi)
The following lists the different branches and their corresponding Time of birth:
Rat (Zi) ----> 11pm - 1am
Cow (chou) > 1am - 3am
Tiger (yin) --> 3am - 5am
Rabbit (mao)>5am - 7am
Dragon (chen)>7am - 9am
Snake (si)---> 9am - 11am
Horse (wu) -> 11am - 1pm
Goat (wei) --> 1pm - 3pm
Monkey (shen)>3pm - 5pm
Chicken (you)->5pm - 7pm
Dog (xu) ----> 7pm - 9pm
Pig (hai) ----->9pm - 11pm

The following lists the different branches and their corresponding Zodiac signs:
Rat (Zi) ----> Aquarius
Cow (chou) > Capricorn
Tiger (yin) --> Sagittarius
Rabbit (mao)>Scorpio
Dragon (chen)>Libra
Snake (si)---> Virgo
Horse (wu) -> Leo
Goat (wei) --> Cancer
Monkey (shen)>Gemini
Chicken (you)->Taurus
Dog (xu) ----> Aries
Pig (hai) ----->Pisces

Feng Shui masters regard 24 as complete number for heaven and earth. The 24 mountains establish the orientation of the residence, how it sits and faces and where the mountain and the water stars are in terms of the flying star dwelling horoscope. There is controversy about which of the 24 segments are auspicious. This ring is used to find favourable locations, by taking into account their year of birth. [1]

 

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This animation shows the 9 stars of the Luo pan.

It is known as in the legend of yellow river turtle creating the lo shu diagram. The 9 stars are :

1st star - hungry wolf - trigram thunder

2nd star - tian yi - heavenly doctor - trigram mountain

3rd star - - longevity- trigram heaven

4th star 6 curses or 6 sha - trigram water

5th star - disaster- trigram earth

6th star- destroyers of armies, end of life - trigram lake

7th Star - 5 ghosts - trigram fire

8th star - fu wei - trigram wind

 
 
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Evaluation of Wong Lai Kuan's house

After reading through some feng shui books and attending a few lessons from Master Huang, we decided to apply our feng shui knowledge learned by evaluating the feng shui in one of our house. Considering ourselves as feng shui amateurs, we used a normal western compass to evaluate the feng shui of my house.

The feng shui of a house is dependent on the date of birth (Eight characters) of the people living in it. As everyone living in the house has a different date of birth, it is impossible to evaluate the feng shui of a house to satisfy everyone. Therefore the common practice is to evaluate the feng shui of the house base on the breadwinner of the family. In this case, We will evaluate my house based on my Father's date of birth.

After some calculation with my father's eight characters by Master Huang (as we are not skilled enough to make the calculation), we realized that my father's base element is Wood. Therefore in order to have good feng shui, the arrangement of the furniture and coloring has to be beneficial for the Wood base element.

The Wood 'Zhuo' direction (lucky direction) is East, and (unlucky) direction is West. Basic color of wood is green, and lucky number is 3, 4. Since Fire element is produced by wood, certain aspects of Feng Shui that is beneficial for Fire also benefits Wood. Therefore, South is the secondary lucky direction for wood.

Holding a compass, we stood in the middle of the house and identified the East, South, West and North of the house. My Father's bedroom is situated in the North of the house. This direction does not have any negative effects on Wood. The East is where we had placed our Alter. This is beneficial as the lucky direction will magnify the beneficial effects of the Alter.

The shoe rack is placed at a corner in the West. This is also suitable as shoe racks symbolises bad luck in feng shui and placing it in the unlucky direction of the house is suitable.

Next we try to evaluate the kitchen. The fire stove faces the South. It is not very good to place there as the fire stove will 'burn' away the good effects that the South can bring to the family. Other than that, the fire stove is situated less than one meter from the basin. 'Water' from the basin will conflict with the 'Fire' of the stove, as these two elements do not mix in harmony. This will cause conflicts within the family.

The toilet bowl faces the West. This will help to 'flush' away the bad luck of the West that it brings for Wood element. North direction in feng shui represents winter and cold, our refrigerator door faces the North, and the cold effect that it brings will promote harmony.

The above evaluations are derived with the assistance of Master Huang. We are not able to do it individually, as we have not really learned the real feng shui skill of evaluating a house. As Master Huang says "feng shui is not a thing that you can learn in a short period of time. It requires long learning." What he has told us is only the basic stuff as he says it is impossible for us to know so much in a short time.

 

A brief layout of Lai Kuan's house

References

[1] Lo Pan Compass, http://www.fengshuiseminars.com/articles/lopan.html