House of Li offers a unique view of the possibilities of Feng Shui, different to that found in most books and on the internet. This article explains some of the key points of difference between Li and other styles.
Face reading, not fortune telling
The first difference between House of Li and virtually every other Feng Shui style is that Li does not support the use of fortune telling tools. One example of such tools is Four Pillars oracle interpretation. Four pillars, known in Chinese as Ba Zi, is an incredibly powerful fortune telling tool, historically associated with the emperor.
In order for it to work, you must know your exact time and place of birth. You can then be told the eight symbols that represent key aspects of the way in which the movements of the heavens direct your earth fortune. These eight symbols are displayed in four columns, hence the name ‘Four Pillars’. As a fortune telling tool it has the capacity to reveal many interesting things about the patterns of your life.
The Li tradition does not deny the importance of the moment of birth, however there are a number of reasons why Li rejects this sort of fortune telling. Chief amongst these is the association of such tools with imperial power and subsequent implications of self-aggrandisement. Li is a tradition of the common man and material gain is explicitly rejected because it does not bring spiritual reward. And, as I have suggested elsewhere, there may be specific historical reasons behind Li’s opposition to the emperor.
In addition to this, whilst Four Pillars may be very powerful, correct interpretation requires skilled hands. When used incorrectly Four Pillars is only as powerful as ‘backward glance’ and therefore not even as powerful as face reading.
But the ultimate reason for the rejection of fortune telling tools is that these tools are usually used with the intention of creating certainty around what the future holds. By its very nature, this certainty is one that does not require the blessing of the ancestors. As such, its very existence excludes the possibilities that the Li tradition holds dear. For Li teaches, above all, that unlocking future potential relies on accessing the path of the ancestors.
For these reasons, face reading is the only predictive tool accepted by the Li tradition.
Four as the key number
Another difference between Li and popular Feng Shui styles is the importance of the number four. Li Feng Shui is unique in stating that the body and the home are governed by four directions. My article on colour theory contains an explanation of the relationship between the four directions and the colours with which they are associated.
As a tradition based around the number four, Li is clearly not entirely inconsistent with Bagua theory. Bagua, literally eight symbols, is a cosmology based around eight directions. Indeed it would be ahistorical not to acknowledge the similarities between the two because the very name Li and the energy it represents are found in Bagua theory. However the reason that Li is so clearly a separate path is because it focuses on drawing the power of the ancestors into our lives.
This theory of four directions is important in Li because of its significance for understanding the relationship between man and nature. Although I will write more about this in the future, man and nature are considered fundamentally separate. Accordingly their nature is governed by different numbers, respectively four and five.
Feng Shui cures are not needed
A further difference between House of Li and all other styles is the absence of recommendations for Feng Shui ‘cures’. As you may know, Feng Shui Masters frequently offer cures to correct the flow of energy of a room. In fact you may automatically associate Feng Shui with these cures: wind chimes, crystals and so-called lucky objects.
House of Li considers most cures to be superstition. The only exception to this are blessed items that have the capacity to bring enhanced spiritual awareness into your home.
Charming though the idea may be, no item can bring you luck. If you want to bring luck into your home then the only way to do this is to open your heart to the power of the ancestors. For the unique contribution of House of Li is the the importance of the ancestor path in directing you towards your best earth fortune and future rebirth.
If you would like to know more about the theory behind the tradition, then follow this link for a general introduction or click on the Feng Shui Background tab at the bottom of this post.
Wishing you Health and Happiness,