Last week we had an overview of the constitution of the full Flying Star Map, which comprises of the Mountain Star, Facing (Water) Star and the Period (Yun) Star. In particular I taught you how to find out the Period Stars. This week, I’ll equip you with the necessary knowledge to find out the Mountain Stars and Facing Stars.
To do this, we need to have the 24 Mountains concept in mind. It is the way we Feng Shui masters use the measure the orientation of a house. Most of you learnt the four directions, i.e. North, East, South and West when you were very young. When you grew older, you would learn the other four directions in between, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. These eight directions are pretty enough in daily life to differentiate different directions.
Now I’m telling you that there are 24 directions according to Chinese Feng Shui theories, that we called the 24 Mountains. If you divide 360 degrees into 24 portions, each will be merely 15 degrees. The narrow width of each portion means that there is not much toleration for error. (And in fact if you study Feng Shui in advanced level, you will know that each 15-degree portion is further divided into 3 sub-portions, in a 3-9-3 degrees manner. Isn’t it crazy? In a way yes, but such complicated calculation could also be seen as a signal of how advanced Feng Shui is.
For now, we’ll just focus on the 24 Mountains.
24 Mountains: Using Compass to Find Out
There are eight directions and in each direction there are three smaller portions. Each portion is called a Mountain, three portions in each of the eight directions, i.e. 3 x 8 = 24 Mountains. Here I list out the degrees of all 24 Mountains.
- Ren (壬) – 337.6 to 352.5
- Zi (子) – 352.6 to 7.5
- Gui (癸) – 7.6 to 22.5
- Chou (丑) – 22.6 to 37.5
- Gen (艮) – 37.6 to 52.5
- Yin (寅) – 52.6 to 67.5
- Jia (甲) – 67.6 to 82.5
- Mao (卯) – 82.6 to 97.5
- Yi (乙) – 97.6 to 112.5
- Chen (辰) – 112.6 to 127.5
- Xun (巽) – 127.6 to 142.5
- Si (巳) – 142.6 to 157.5
- Bing (丙) – 157.6 to 172.5
- Wu (午) – 172.6 to 187.5
- Ding (丁) – 187.6 to 202.5
- Wei (未) – 202.6 to 217.5
- Kun (坤) – 217. to 232.5
- Shen (申) – 232.6 to 247.5
- Geng (庚) – 247.6 to 262.5
- You (酉) – 262.6 to 277.5
- Xin (辛) – 277.6 to 292.5
- Xu (戌) – 292.6 to 307.5
- Qian (乾) – 307.6 to 322.5
- Hai (亥) – 322.6 to 337.5
If we write down the 24 mountains around the circumvent of a compass, you would get something like this:
Image Courtesy: Ray Langley (via this site)
The best tool to measure a house’s orientation is certainly a Chinese Feng Shui compass, which usually looks like the following photo. The advantage of using Feng Shui compass is that the 24 Mountains are already printed around the compass, so you don’t need to refer to the above list. There is another advantage that I’ll cover later when we talk about assigning the Stars in ascending or descending order.
But if you do not have a Feng Shui compass, you still could an ordinary compass to do Feng Shui. Simply refer to the above list after you measured the directions.
Sitting and Facing Directions
We have learnt a bit about finding out the sitting (backing) direction and facing direction of a house. Let’s re-cap and see how we could do it for finding out which of the 24 Mountains the house belongs to.
Firstly, you need to find the center point of the house. It is usually the point where the diagonal lines intersect if the house is a simple square or rectangle. The image below shows the center points of common shapes of houses.
But usually modern houses would not be such regular, the shapes of modern houses usually look like the combination of a few rectangles, sometimes with triangles and circles as well. In these cases, we find out the center points by cutting out small projections and filling up small recessions, so that the overall shapes become more regular.
Then, we measure the directions when standing in the center point of the house. The direction where the entrance door locates is the facing direction. For example, if the entrance door is in the Zi (子) direction, we call this house facing Zi. We call this the Facing Direction.
In Chinese Feng Shui we do not only use the facing direction to name a house, we also use the direction where the house “backs”. How to find out the backing direction? Easy. Just find out the direction opposite to the facing direction on the compass. So if the facing direction is Zi, the backing direction must be Wu (午). We call the backing direction as the Mountain direction.
This is a hard rule, we always use the opposite of the Facing Direction as the Mountain Direction, and vice versa. When Feng Shui masters talk to each other, they 100% use this system of nomenclature, there is no exception. We always combine the Facing and Mountain Directions and say a house is Wu Mountain Zi Facing (午山子向). The direct translation is grammatically wrong, but let’s just live with it for now.
Knowing the Mountain and Facing directions are important, because we need these two directions to find out the Mountain and Facing Flying Stars in the nine boxes of the Flying Star Map.