The Feng Shui 8 Directions

We can get an idea of the kind of natural energy in different parts of our home by exploring our relationship to the sun through feng shui.

The sun is the prime energy force we experience. The sun provides light, heat and a gravitational anchor that keeps us in orbit. We absorb photons from the sun into our skin. There is much research to show that the sun influences us with emotions changing according to our exposure to the sun. Depression and suicide increase during the winter in northern Europe.

Historically communities living in temperate zones with distinct seasons have put more energy into commercial activity and industrialisation.

Ultimately the earth’s relationship to the sun gives life to the plant foods we eat, creates our rhythm of night and day, as well as the seasons.

Every day the sun repeats a cycle that nourishes our home with an energetic rhythm. This energy is called chi in feng shui. The sun rises in the east, moves up through the sky until it reaches its highest point in the south (north in the southern hemisphere) and then moves down through the sky until it sets in the west.

There is a more subtle rhythm that occurs throughout the year as the sun rises further to the north-east and sets further to the north-west during the summer.

In feng shui thinking, the sun leaves an energetic or chi imprint on each part of our home as it moves from east to south (north in the southern hemisphere) to west.

We can get clues as to the kind of imprints the sun leaves in different parts of our home by exploring the associated times of day and year. So for example we could associate our experience of the sun rising in the east with the feeling we have at the beginning of the day. In terms of a cycle the beginning of the day could be said to be at a similar point in that cycle to the spring in an annual cycle. This can described in term of yin and yang, along with the five elements.

As we have already experienced many day and year cycles we already had the real life experience of knowing how we feel with phase of the cycle and this may give us interesting clues as to the feng shui quality of the energy / chi in different parts of our homes.

With this information we can absorb more of those energetic / chi imprints by spending more time in that part of our home. So if I want more of the sunrise, spring qualities, I could spend more time in the east part of my home. Similarly sitting so I face east might help me absorb more sunrise / spring energy. It is also possible that sleeping with the top of my head pointing east will align me with more eastern energy whilst I sleep.

Below is a quick guide to the potential qualities of each direction. The directions in brackets are for the southern hemisphere. The top line of information informs us of the trigram where it is different from the element, the element, yin and yang quality, time of day and time of year, direction chi flows and an example how we could experience this energy. The qualities are based on my experience of the cycles and general patterns of human behaviour, however, you may respond differently and that may tell you more about how you interact with different parts of your home.

NORTH (South) Water / Yin / Night / Winter / Multi direction / Standing on frozen ground looking up at the stars above

Objective, new perspective, spiritual, still, sensitive

NORTH-EAST (South-east) Mountain / Earth / Yang beginning / Pre Sunrise / Winter changing to Spring / horizontal / Standing on a mountain looking to the faint glow of the sun below the horizon

Decisive, clear minded, inspired, motivated

EAST Thunder / Wood / Rising Yang / Sunrise / Spring / Up / Standing in a meadow watching the sun rise and observing the fresh spring flowers

Enthusiastic, uplifted, sense of new beginnings

SOUTH-EAST (North-east) Wind / Wood / Yang / Morning / Spring changing to summer / Up and out / Walking through spring fields feeling the wind and seeing nature in full growth

Active, stimulated, creative, imaginative, full of new ideas

SOUTH (North) Fire / Yang / Midday / Summer / Outward / Standing among wild flowers feeling the sun on my face and looking at nature in full bloom

Expressive, outgoing, social, spontaneous, passionate

SOUTH-WEST (North-west) Heaven / Earth / Yin beginning / Afternoon / Summer changing to autumn / downward / Lying on the grass feeling the sun on my back

Settled, restful, down to earth, practical, intimate, close

WEST Lake / Metal / Increasing Yin / Sunset / Autumn / Down and in / Sitting at the edge of a lake watching the sun set with the harvest around me

Reflective, complete, content, satisfied,

NORTH-WEST (South-west) Heaven / Metal / Yin / Evening / Inward / Autumn changing to winter / Walking home in the evening aware of nature receding back into the ground

Returning, the end of a cycle, greater experience and a little wiser

You can use your observation of the sun or a compass to see where the different directions are in your home and then experiment, be aware and be sensitive to your feelings.

1 Comment on The Feng Shui 8 Directions

  1. This is fantastic Simon – a great summary and very useful. Many thanks.

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