This article is not easy to write because the scope of facts surrounding this issue is very wide, encompassing YiJing philosophy to Culture and Tradition, to the spiritual aspect of Qi connected to Daoism.
Fengshui, in a simple term is the ‘manipulation of Yin Yang Qi for the benefit of Man’.
Qi, in general terms can be the air that we breath and can be the ‘energy’ that courses through the universe. It depends on your point of reference and the context.
It will take a book length writing to talk about Qi, but here, briefly, let me describe it in simple terms: There are three main categories of Qi — Tian Qi, Di Qi and Ren Qi.
These three Qi, has many sub categories. From this three categories, we can split up into two types: Qi of Nature and Qi of spirit.
Qi of Nature is the Qi comprising earth Qi, climatic Qi, seasonal Qi and Time Qi that includes, years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds.
Qi of spirit comprise holy Qi of good people, saints and deities, and, ‘unholy’ Qi of evil spirits, bad ghosts and other bad beings.
Here is an important fact that you should know: All three categories of Qi overlaps and intermingle with each other, creating endless permutations.
Another fact is: there is the overlapping and intermingling between Qi of Nature and Qi of spirits.
Please let me jump straight into the ‘Why” of this issue, and then make a conclusion at the end of this article. Below I shall describe in succession the ‘why’ because each subsequent factor is intimately related to the previous factor.
- CULTURE AND TRADITION
The main reason why there were no women Fengshui masters in ancient China was the apparent fact that — it is because of the cultural and traditional Chinese mentality.
Ancient China was a patriarchal society, where Man is the Lord of the house and women were supposed to be subservient to the lord of the house. Women were not allowed to perform men’s tasks.
Why does Chinese mentality work like that?
To talk about this angle, we have to look at the Chinese Philosophy called the YiJing and the religion called Daoism.
First of all, please let me quote from the ShuoGua Zhuan.
“When the ancient sages composed the ‘Yi’, by it comply with the principles of life and fate. With this principle establishing Heaven’s way to describe Yin and Yang; establishing Earth’s path to describe the supple and the robust; establishing the way of Man to describe benevolence and righteousness. Simultaneously combining these three qualities and building upon it, thus ‘Yi’ six lines becomes a hexagram. Discerning between Yin and Yang, alternating the use of robust and supple, thus ‘Yi’ six lines formed a chapter.”
The YiJing is actually the ‘Universal Law’ that governs the whole universe that we live in. Its philosophical content was slowly revealed through the ages and we can see, from the Zhou dynasty recorded verses till today, there were many subsequent classics explaining the essence of and expounding the gist of the YiJing.
It was supposedly a philosophical viewpoint that was developed during the time of first Emperor FuXi, and subsequently built and upon by succeeding generations of wise men. Many wise men wrote their opinion and understanding of this YiJing, and as time passes, there appeared many different classics pertaining to this subject.
Each classic touches on a different aspect of the YiJing that helps us to understand the meaning of the YiJing and of course the Universal Law.
However, in this modern age things keep changing, and, there are many philosophical points being challenged by new age thinking. We shall not delve into this argument now, but instead we shall continue to investigate the ‘Why’.
The basic premise of the YiJing is Yin and Yang.
Yin represents the soft pliant nature and is equated to the female;
Yang represents the robust and aggressive and is equated to the male.
Based on the classic ShuoGua Zhuan we can generalize:
Yang Qi is heaven;
Yin Qi is earth;
Man has both Yin and Yang Qi. (Man as in human beings — male and female)
XiCi Zhuan: Upper scroll.
Heaven honorific, Earth inferior, Fixated by Qian and Kun.
The lowly inferior and the highly honorific is laid out, posits the noble and the lowly.
From the nature of movement and stillness, (can) deduce the robust and the pliant.
Similar class of methods congregates, matter grouped in its own division, is the birth of auspiciousness and ominous.
In the heaven it becomes appearance, on earth it forms into shapes, transformation is seen.
The gist of the YiJing is about Qi. If you are well trained you would know that everything around us is governed by Qi.
Since we are discussing about women and Fengshui, let us just concentrate on this and not digress too far.
In Fengshui, Qi is the main ingredient to be manipulated. There are rules and there are principles to adhere to.
Before I go further, please let me talk a little bit about the LuoPan. It is the LuoPan that is the most important in LiQi (qi management) Fengshui whereby the facing and sitting directions are determined.
If you know the modern LuoPan, you would know that the board is made of good quality wood, the center plate is made of brass and the compass should be of high quality.
The LuoPan board is painted Red on top and Black in the bottom. Why is that so?
The reason is simple. It conforms to the YiJing principle of Heaven is Yang and Earth is Yin.
The top of the LuoPan which is Red in color represents Heaven and the bottom black color represents earth.
The brass plate is round and board is square. This comes from the YiJing principle of Heaven is round and earth is square (TianYuan DiFang天圆地方).
So from this you can see that there is a definitive rule that governs the construct of the LuoPan and subsequently, the usage of the LuoPan.
In Traditional Fengshui practice, the LuoPan must be consecrated before commencing to use. This consecration is basically Daoist in nature.
So you might ask why is Daoism connected to Fengshui. Is there and correlation?
Yes, there is correlation. However, there is ONLY correlation and NOT because, as some people had the misplaced concept that, Fengshui originated from Daoism.
Fengshui did not originate from Daoism. Fengshui originated from the YiJing and the subsequent need for people to live with nature comfortably. I shall not delve in the details here.
When you do Fengshui, you are meddling with Qi, and Qi is such a wide scoped all-encompassing phenomenon that it also included spiritual Qi – the Yin Qi of spirits, Yang qi of Gods and Deities, etc.
Daoism is a way of life that has many aspects to it. It has philosophy, logic, psychology, and metaphysics.
The metaphysics part, has the spirit Qi overlapping into areas that encroached into the Qi of nature.
Here please let me clarify: when we talk about Fengshui, we are talking about the Qi of nature. When we talk about Daoism, we are talking about the Qi of spirits and deities.
You might ask is there any difference? The answer is: there is, but it is so subtle that it is not easy to describe in words. So let us take it as it is for now.
Coming back to the issue of women in Fengshui:
Why the ancients discriminate against the women and not let them learn Fengshui. Some even do not let them touch Fengshui equipment such as the LuoPan.
- THE PHYSICAL ASPECT OF WOMEN.
We all know that man is Yang and women is Yin. We also know that women have a menstrual cycle. It is part of nature for them to recycle the good and expel the bad liquid from their body.
When this goes on in their body, there is a transformation going on. We shall not delve into this, but we shall discuss about the implications and the subsequent taboos associated with it.
The transformation in a woman’s body during menstruation is the reduction Yang Qi in the body causing the increase of Yin Qi. I wish to clarify here that human beings by nature have yin yang but males have higher degree of yang qi than Yin Qi. Females have a higher degree of Yin Qi than Yang Qi.
When a female goes through menstruation, their body becomes extremely Yin, and this does not bode well for them if they are dealing with certain kinds of work, one of which is Fengshui auditing.
Let us go back to the discussion of the Luopan: when a person holds the Luopan during audit, he should be holding it roughly three fingers below the navel level. This is where the DanTian is situated.
The DanTian is the Qi store of a person. For males it would have more Yang Qi than Yin Qi. For females, it would have more Yin Qi than Yang Qi.
When a person is doing auditing and holding the Luopan at the DanTian level, he is connecting the flow of Qi between him and the Luopan and subsequently there is interaction. I shall not go into details here.
If a female holds a Luopan at the DanTian level, she may not have the Yang Qi to effect a good interaction. However, there are exceptions. Some females who had practiced Qigong could possibly have a good interaction. Sometimes even better than males who did not practice Qigong.
If a female goes through menstruation, her body Qi becomes extreme Yin and even though she might have been trained in Qigong, there is fear that her Yin Qi could be too overwhelming and does not help in the good interaction of Qi.
Now comes the crunch factor, which is one of the crucial reasons why ancient Chinese masters do not transmit their Fengshui teachings to their daughters or to female outsiders: when a female goes through menstruation and her body becomes extreme Yin, there is fear that Yin spirits might encroach into her body.
Most probably they might not know they are being violated by Yin spirits. I do not wish to go details here, but I can tell you that I had personally seen a female friends and relatives suffering from such an encroachment.
I had studied this phenomenon and learnt that only females with very Yin bazi characteristics are susceptible to suffer this encroachment. Females with strong Yang bazi structures probably do not have this kind of problem.
If a female is in menstruation, it is taboo for her to touch the Luopan. The belief is that the Yang spiritual Qi consecrated into the Luopan will disappear making the Luopan ineffective. Worse still if her body was violated by Yin spirits. The Luopan Yang Qi might just not work at all because it is negated by the spirit Yin qi.
If you ask me, what if the consecration of the Luopan is by a very strong master, would that Yin Qi still nullify the Luopan Yang Qi? I can say this: prevention is better than cure.
- POTENTIAL NEGATIVE OUTCOMES
The ancients said that when we do Fengshui, we are ‘leaking heaven’s secrets’ (泄天机). They said that there shall be side effects resulting from this work, one of which is the Fengshui master must bear the cause and effects. If the work is done truthfully and honestly to benefit those suffering, then there is merit accrued. If the work is done dishonestly then there is retribution.
The next factor is – when we do Fengshui and we audit a house or a grave, we are activation the Qi of the ‘mountain and meridian’.
One of the important characteristic a person must have when doing auditing is that he must be physically healthy, have strong Yang Qi, ‘spiritually clean’ and has a good heart.
A woman, having higher degree of Yin Qi and worse still might have some spiritually Yin spirit Qi encroached into her body, when doing Fengshui, might possibly invite bad things happening to her, her family and even to the client.
One of the old saying in ancient Fengshui circle is – “females do Fengshui, husband early harmed” (“女看房，夫早伤”). This means that if female do Fengshui, she could probably ‘Ke’ destroy husband （克夫）.
Like I wrote earlier, if a female were to be able to do Fengshui, she would need to have a very strong Yang Qi bazi structure. For a female to have a strong Yang Qi bazi, it is the reverse of the YiJing philosophical point of ‘Yang robust, Yin pliant’.
A Yin female, with soft pliant character, is the most suitable to be a wife and mother. A female with too strong a Bazi would dominate her husband and probably be too rigid and strict to her children.
When a female Bazi is the opposite of what a female should be, then it becomes 天翻地覆 (Tian Fan Di Fu) meaning ‘heaven and earth turning upside down. This is not something congratulatory. In fact, in the field of Fengshui this is taboo.
Therefore, now you can see why in ancient days, Fengshui masters never transmitted their teachings to females.
As a last note:
In case someone wants to interject that females can excel in many fields.
Yes, I do agree. Females can be very good with accounting, finances, and other professions.
I also agree that females can be extremely good in some Metaphysics or spiritual professions such as – being diviners, séances or mediums. This is because of their strong Yin Qi.
But in Fengshui, there is a catch. So if after reading this you can see the catch, I congratulate you. If you do not see the catch, please do not come and debate with me because I am not interested.
Copyright Moon L. Chin 2020