— written by Master Guo Fen Ling (Taiwan)

—translation by Moon L. Chin (Malaysia)


This article is a research on the effects of landform on the duration of ancient dynasties in China.

China’s mountainous landscape is huge and vast.  Its mountainous region in West is divided into 3 major ranges: the northern range, the central range and the southern range.

Among the three the central range is the largest, followed by the north range and lastly by the south range.  Historically, many of China’s dynasties that established their capitals in cities within the central range region can last longer.

Those that established their capitals in the northern range had middling length of duration.  Lastly those that established in the southern range had the shortest duration, some dynasties ended almost as soon as it had started.

Historical facts:

  • There were 11 dynasties established in the central range with a total duration of 2553 years
  • There were 4 dynasties established in the northern range with a total duration of 1023 years
  • There were 8 dynasties established in the northern range with a total duration of 528 years
  • The Shang dynasty established its capital in what is present day Guide city of Henan province totaling 644 years
  • The Eastern Zhou dynasty established its capital in what is present day Luoyang city of Henan province with a length of 523 years, much longer than the Xia dynasty’s 440 years.

Copyright of translation by Moon L. Chin 2016

Xuan Tian Men Fengshui School

Other than this, cities such as Fenggao, Xian, Luoyang, Chengdu, Yedu, Kaifeng were also capitals of different dynasties, all of these were in the central range region.  Especially Xian and Chengdu were used as a capital the many times, with durations of up to hundreds of years.

Capital cities that were established in the northern range are Anyi and Beijing.  Among them the Xia dynasty capital in Anyi is the longest with duration of 440 years.

In the southern range there were Nanjing and Hangzhou.  There were quite a number of dynasties that established their capitals in this region but most of their duration were short, only in the tens of years.   The only exceptions were the Eastern Jin dynasty that lasted for 104 years and the Southern Song dynasty that lasted 153 years.  These two were the only exceptional lengthy dynasties in the southern range.

In conclusion, the longer the mountain range the further the fortune of the dynasty can last, and the shorter the mountain range the dynasty’s fortune becomes shorter.

關鍵字Crucial words: rise and fall of dynasties; length of rivers; Tie Dan Zi


This article’s main discussion point is on a dynasty’s rise and fall, its prosperity and decline, and the connection with the length of the mountain range and the accompanying rivers.

Yang JunSong said: “before observing the mountains, first observe the rivers”.

Water is the manifestation of Dragon Qi.  By judging the volume of incoming water you can guess the dragon qi.  Wherever there is water, there shall be dragon qi.  Abundance of water equals abundance of qi, lack of water means qi is in decline.

The volume of water can tell whether the dragon is a main range or a branch range.  If the water is long thus the dragon is also long.  If the water is short, the dragon is also short.

Main ranges normally have large rivers accompanying.  For example mainland China’s Yangtze and Yellow river had its origin in the Qinghai plateau’s Tanggula mountain, Gelandandong mountain and Bayan Har mountain.

Both rivers flow east into the sea. Since both river has similar origin, the water volume is also similar.  Thus Yangtze has total length of 6380 km is China’s longest river and Yellow river at 5464 km long is the second longest.

Copyright of translation by Moon L. Chin 2016

Xuan Tian Men Fengshui School

Sandwiched between these two rivers is the largest and longest of the 3 main ranges – the central range.  Historically, from Xia dynasty to Qing dynasty, kingdoms that established capitals in this central region had a total duration of 2553 years.

The Yalu river, originating in the south eastern part of JiLin province in the north, exits into the Yellow sea via Liaoning prefecture’s Dandong port city, is the northern most shore line of China.

Its total length is 795 km.  Sandwiched between the Yalu river and the Yellow river is the northern range.  Historically, dynasties that established their capitals here had a total duration of 1023 years.

Guangdong province’s Zhujiang river has total length of 2400 km, is China’s third longest river.  The southern range is sandwiched between the Yangtze and Zhujiang rivers, and dynasties established here lasted a total of 528 years.

Considering the Zhujiang is longer than the Yalu river and the southern range supposedly should be second only to the central range, so why was it that since the Qin dynasty, most of the kingdoms established in the south are shortlived?

Take Nanjing as an example: its ancient name was Jinling and was also called Jianye.  It was in close proximity to the Yangtze that flows thousands of kilometers, so Nanjing’s position geographically should be thick with ‘heavenly son’ qi because of the thousands of kilometer mountain range.

Capitals established here should last a long time, but since the Qin dynasty, kingdoms that established their capitals in Nanjing are mostly short-lived.  The researched reason is probably because of Qin Shi Huang ordered the dredging and opening up of the Huai river, thus causing the land luck to be changed.  Therefore, Nanjing’s ‘heavenly son’ qi was lost resulting in capitals established here cannot last long.

Copyright of translation by Moon L. Chin 2016

Xuan Tian Men Fengshui School


Diagram 1.  Mainland China’s three main ranges.


The research in this article, takes into consideration human factors or human influenced actions that changed the shape or features of the landform under discussion, thus changing the ‘land luck’.  As an example: cities such as Nanjing, Kaifeng, etc. these are specifically discussed separately.

The rest of the ancient cities are discussed and categorized according to the mountain range it was located in.  The evidence to prove this article are all listed out in the charts provided, that provides that dates of the rise and fall of the various dynasties.

Southern Tang dynasty’s imperial master He LinTong wrote a FengShui book 鐵彈子地理元機 (Iron bullet secrets of landform), and during the Ming dynasty era, a master YouGao commented on the section 形氣章 (form and qi chapter) and said: “Qin dynasty imperial master divined JinLing have got heavenly son qi, thus dredged (Qin) Huai (river) to deplete it”.

Copyright of translation by Moon L. Chin 2016

Xuan Tian Men Fengshui School

The meaning of this sentence is: during the reign of Qin Shi Huang, the imperial master in charge of astronomy and metaphysics, made a divination and found that JinLing (present day Nanjing) have got the power of very auspicious qi described as ‘heavenly son qi’, that is the suited as the abode of emperors, and surely can produce an extraordinary leader that can rule and unite the country.  Qin Shi Huang wanted to rule the country all by himself and his descendants forever, thus he ordered for the dredging of the Huai river to deplete the heavenly son qi of Nanjing.

Why is it that the dredging of Huai river can deplete the ‘heavenly son qi’ of Nanjing?  This is because the Huai river’s — ‘Qi power source’ — comes from its flow from the south east crossing the south and then towards the southwest on towards the west of Nanjing, and then meeting with the Yangtze river .

This conveniently cut off the qi meridian of the MaoShan, in the process it severed both of Nanjing’s embraces NiuTou mountain and Zhong mountain from its main qi meridian source MaoShan.  In the end causing Nanjing city, that had a ‘thousand mile dragon meridian’ that could provide endless qi, unable to receive the noble qi because the meridian was cut-off .

Thus, although the Yangtze and Huai river confluence is like a belt protecting Nanjing, and its landform features looks sentimental, it could only enjoy the fortune wealth qi but unable to enjoy the noble qi that could enhance a dynasty power and influence for long time.

Ever since the opening of the Huai river cutting off Nanjing’s power qi meridian source, among the dynasties that established capital here, only eastern Wu and Eastern Jin dynasties lasted a bit longer with a total of 104 years combined.

Although ZhuGe Liang and the father of modern China Sun Yat Sen had both praised the beautiful landscape of Nanjing, it is because they only see the external beauty but did not know about its (landform qi) deficiency that changed Nanjing’s land luck.  Ever since, Nanjing could not be a country’s capital city that has the luck to last a long time.  Thus one can see that the changes in landform shape and features, whether it is man-made or natural, can cause the land luck to be changed too.

Kaifeng city in Henan province was one of the ancient capital cities.  Its ancient name was BianLiang, and was capital city for several dynasties: Warring states kingdoms Wei, Later Liang, Later Jin, Later Zhou, Northern Song and Jin dynasty.  The city is hugging the northern entrance of the Huai river and is an important location.  KaiFeng is located in the confluence of three rivers – Gulu river, Huiji river and Huai river.  It was once a thriving prosperous city, but later the silting and clogging up of Gulu river, its prosperity waned and disappeared with it.

Copyright of translation by Moon L. Chin 2016

Xuan Tian Men Fengshui School

We can know from the above two examples: the changes in landform, irrespective whether natural or man-made also can cause the changes in land luck, and if a country’s capital is situated there, inadvertently the country’s luck cannot escape its effects.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *