The stone lion helps to guard the entrance of your home and ward off evil spirits. (Photo: Latinboy, Wikimedia Commons)
In many parts of the world (cultural and religious differences notwithstanding), there are numerous items and symbols that are considered “lucky”, or even to ward off evil spirits. We explore how this works in feng shui.
by Jet Lee
While we are used to evil spirits being portrayed as fearsome supernatural entities, what one may call an “evil spirit” could also be negative energy (interpreted as demonic energy in many cases). And while there are different types of negative energy, it is possible some of them share the same root cause.
Negative energy usually disrupts the body’s frequency and energy field, leading to ill health, psychological trauma, mood swings and even physical injury. There are a variety of feng shui ornaments designed to ward off evil spirits. If applied appropriately, one’s mental and emotional well-being will likely improve.
It is believed that wu lu can absorb bad qi. Its large body and comparably narrow mouth form a trap to contain bad qi. However, it is unable to discern between good and bad qi. Those adopting the Eight Mansions method should place wu lu in the Five Ghosts sector.
Making its first appearance during the Chou Dynasty, qi lin is believed to be one of the legendary celestial animals, alongside the dragon, phoenix and tortoise. A benevolent creature, qi lin rewards filial piety. As it attacks the immoral, those in questionable professions, such as gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking, should avoid using it.
This refers to wooden carvings of animal heads, normally that of a lion or tiger, each with a sword in its mouth. It is usually hung on the front door to chase away evil spirits. Each signage or carving is unique, thanks to its highly specific features: its trapezoid shape, staircase-like outer edges, and the different measurements of its sides (8” on top, 6.4” at the bottom, and a height of 1’2”).
Unlike the other ornaments mentioned here, hanging such signage entails strict requirements, such as an auspicious date and time, accompanied by a ritual conducted by a Taoist monk to open the eyes of the wooden animal.
Ba Gua mirror
The ba gua mirror is a multi-purpose tool for all situations, especially external clashes. The mirror was used in ancient times as part of a soldier’s shield, hence its symbolism as a protective item against life-threatening forces. In its early days, it was used widely in tombs to protect them from evil spirits.
The mirror meant to reflect bad qi, though some believe it absorbs bad qi. Yet others say it can do both — when applied internally, it is absorbent; when applied externally, it is reflective. Like wu lu, however, the mirror cannot differentiate bad qi from good qi. As such, those living in areas with a weak qi field are advised to avoid using this method of defending against evil spirits.
This refers to a large rectangular sign made of stone, with three characters engraved on it. It is to be placed at the entrance of the home, a crossroads, or a road junction, in order to suppress bad qi.
The pagoda is an important part of Chinese traditional architecture that represents a unique and significant influence on feng shui.
It was originally used to preserve Indian Buddhist monks’ relics after they had achieved nirvana, making it a sort of tomb for monks. Typically built on high ground to inherit the auspicious cosmic qi from both heaven and earth, it suppresses bad qi and elevates the qi field above its surroundings.
Generally, stone lions come in pairs (one male and one female), one on each side of the main entrance, to guard against evil spirits seeking to enter. The male should be on the left and the female on the right.
Many people tend to find it difficult to identify the lion’s gender correctly. To avoid this, remember that the male always has an open, “roaring” mouth holding a pearl, and a foot stepping on a floral ball. The female, on the other hand, has a closed mouth and a cub underfoot. Though both lions should face the same direction as the house’s façade, they should also be slightly turned towards the front door, as if guarding the entrance.
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