Affliction Deflection

Pig in a sty . . .

Negative energy rotates through the Feng Shui calendar in a variety of guises. When the universe began, a rebel group of mostly imaginary stars set out to take power. Their rebellion against the true inalienable heroes failed, and now those stars are condemned to wander alone through the heavens. They can, however, still cause pain and distress in the human world, so to avoid such unpleasantness we have compiled the following warnings against the most likely culprits.

The origins of the system of presiding generals keeping Tai Sui at bay can be traced to the filial desire of a Jin Dynasty emperor wanting to ensure the health of his mother. He paid his respects to the governing star of the time, and it wasn't long before those earnest attentions were mixed with the older Daoist system of offerings for a tranquil year to named generals. The systems, both running 60 years, did not always entirely match and to this day there are pretenders or helpers to the throne.

This year, Xie Shou sits upright, his rule insuperable, in the northwest. We sit at his feet, and ask how to ameliorate the deleterious possibilities for those among us who are tied to this marauding star. Be mindful never to confront him. Rabbit and goat-shaped amulets will offer some protection. Snakes, tigers and monkeys are also likely to suffer his wrath. For snakes you'll want ox or rooster amulets; tigers will be protected by horse and dog charms, and monkeys should be choosing talismans of rats or dragons.

The Year Breaker's possible malevolent influence is in the southeast, and particularly strong every 12 days beginning on February 13. Don't be lulled into a false sense of feng-shui security by last year's arrangements. You'll want to be making your own "still and enduring water" receptacle and buying a Year-Breaker amulet. Simply place both of them around the house in places you believe may be weak points against the numinous attacks that are bound to come. It's best to have them in the southeast of your house, on either side of doorways.

Three Killings sits in the west this year. Normally fond of his sleep, this star can be easily woken by digging. Once that happens, he tends to become enraged, hurting anyone in reach. If you have a worm farm and want it to flourish, either move it out to the east, or pray hard that the earth's poles reverse their magnetic field. Sir Three Killings is also a bit of a pedant and will not mind if you come in with your digging from a different direction - most tunnels that curve in Hong Kong have nothing to do with geology, and everything to do with keeping this Patron Saint of Nimby placid.

If your main entry, bedroom or kitchen are in the southwest of the house, you will want to be on the watch against sore throats and aching bones. Cure them immediately or you'll only find they get worse. It's best to move these rooms elsewhere or cordon off the whole area. If it were only the Five Yellow there, a little feng shui prophylactic might do the trick - have a qilin or pixiu sit on him. Note that this vicious and unstable flying star is aided this year by the Lianzhen star which gives rise to dissent and struggle.