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Avoid the fury of Tai Sui and the Three Killings in 2004

By Sallie Tsui Sien and Michael Hanna

An extract from our June 2004 monthly review. If you would like to subscribe to our free monthly review and newsletter click on the banner below.

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As we approach the summer months, we are faced with a host of tasks and chores to accomplish both in the maintenance of the house and garden. With this in mind, many readers have written in asking for ideas as to how to avoid the wrath of Tai Sui and the Three Killings this year if the job at hand (which cannot be put off till the following year) is to the south or southwest of the property. Many have also asked how to calculate or predict these afflicted zones in future so that they may plan ahead, especially for renovation.

The Three Killings is a direct translation from the Chinese 'San Sha'. Although the concept of The Three Killings is associated with three earthly branches, its position is defined according to one of the four cardinal compass directions, namely North (water), East (wood), South (fire) and West (metal).

The twelve earthly branches are matched into four groups of harmonious alliances (trinities). In order to determine the location of The Three Killings, we must firstly explore the trinities of the earthly branches and their phases. The four trinities are:

Rat, Dragon and Monkey (Water phase) to the North
Rabbit, Sheep and Boar (Wood phase) to the East
Horse, Dog and Tiger (Fire phase) to the South
Rooster, Ox and Snake (Metal phase) to the West

These earthly branches are not The Three Killings but merely indicate the position of The Three Killings. The Three Killings sits in the opposite cardinal direction (spanning 90 degrees) of the phase represented by the year's earthly branch. For example:

2004 earthly branch is the Monkey. Monkey belongs to the trinity of the water phase to the north. As such, The Three Killings sits in the south. i e. 135º to 225º .Another example:

2005 earthly branch is the Rooster belonging to the trinity of the metal phase to the west. This means The Three Killings will sit in the east during the year 2005.

The caution is not to disturb the ground where the Three Killings sits. One should pay attention to this especially if the house facing also faces this same direction. If the location of the Three Killings is disturbed by noisy renovation or digging activities, there may be undesirable consequences for the residents involving illness, loss of wealth, accidents, injury and, in extreme cases, fatalities.

Frequently used front doors that face The Three Killings' direction in any given year are considered a disturbance due to the opening and closing of the door. Care should be taken to avoid slamming of doors especially with youngsters around the house. The traditional cure is to place a pair of Chi Lin just inside the door facing out.

What about mowing the lawn? Well, the traditional cure is to place metal between the property and the garden (or the place of disturbance). This could be any metal object but normally a six hollow metal rod wind chime is used. There is another traditional school of thought that advises placing a symbolic statue of deities. One famously used deity is 'Kwan Gong' (God of War).

Feng Shui also advocates that you should never sit with your back to The Three Killings. Instead you should sit facing it. This brings us to the many emails we have received asking about the positioning of sofas in the living room. Although the advice is that you should not sit with your back to the Three Killings, this refers not so much to isolated incidents. It is prolonged periods of time spent in this position that affect you more.

For example, if you sit at your office desk with your back to The Three Killings this could affect your performance at work or your relationships with people with whom you work in the office. These effects include poor performance, obstacles, lack of focus or loss of concentration. There may also be gossip and back stabbing. If you are unable to move your desk away from the Three Killings location, you can place a pair of Chi Lin on your desk facing the Three Killings direction. In addition, it is highly advisable to stay out of office politics during the year. However, if you are watching TV with your back to The Three Killings, no harm will come to you provided you have not disturbed the ground where the Three Killings is located.

Tai Sui is also named the Year Star and its position is represented by the earthly branch of the year. The positions of the twelve earthly branches are: Rat (north), Ox and Tiger (northeast), Rabbit (east), Dragon and Snake (southeast), Horse (south), Sheep and Monkey (southwest), Rooster (west) and Dog and Boar (northwest).

2004 is the year of the monkey and Tai Sui sits southwest. 2005 is the rooster year and Tai Sui will sit west, 2006 is the dog year and Tai Sui will sit northwest, whereas in 2007 the year of the boar, Tai Sui will sit northwest and so on…

Unlike San Sha, it is not advisable to sit facing Tai Sui. You may sit with your back to Tai Sui for support but the ideal solution is to avoid sitting or facing Tai Sui. If your front door or office desk faces the direction of Tai Sui in any given year, the traditional cure is to place a Dragon Pi Yao or Tortoise headed Dragon in the location of Tai Sui to appease its influence. Again, it is strongly advised not to disturb the ground of the location where Tai Sui sits for the year.

I hope this helps everyone to plan ahead so as to avoid any chance of offending either of these annual afflictions.

By Sallie Tsui Sien

Until next month,

Michael Hanna and Sallie Tsui Sien


*** Q&A from our readers

Here are a few commonly asked questions we received and our answer to them that we wish to share with our readers.


(Q) I like to do feng shui adjustments to my house but somehow I always confine the area to my living room area only. Is it ok? For e.g. I divide my living room into 9 sectors according to the lo pan sector and then place all the feng shui things accordingly to enhance the good energies. Am I doing the right thing?

(A) You are enhancing the small Tai Chi of the living room which may not be the most effective way for results. You should also take your other living area into account, e.g. your bedroom where health is the main concern, front door and kitchen to name a few.


Dear Sallie and Michael,

I read your monthly review and I wish to inform you the articles in your letter are very good; and it is one of the best of all the newsletters I've ever received. Congratulation on the good work put up by you both. Yes, I've a question for you.

(Q). I read from some articles saying that sitting position of the house will determine the good and bad sectors of the house and not the front door direction, meaning that a house might sit South and face North but the main door is facing East. Is this house a Li house or a Tui house?

(A). It is correct that the sitting of the house determines the good and bad locations in a house according to Eight Mansions Theory. A house facing north and sits south is a Li house regardless of the location of the front door. There is a more complex system called Xuan Kong Flying Stars Feng Shui which deals with time dynamics and this gives a more effective evaluation of the good locations of the house for wealth or health. With this system, the qi at the front door (frequently used front door) plays an important role.

(Q). Also I've read that in order to determine the good and bad sectors of the house, the sitting of the house is not important, what is important to us is our Kua No. and we should choose the sectors which are good to us according to our Kua No.

Please give some advice on the above as I'm quite confused.

(A). This theory is too general. Our Gua number shows us what directional qi is good or bad for us and it is very important that we sit facing one of our good directions. There is more to the application of our Gua number in a Feng Shui analysis.

Xuan Kong Flying Stars Feng Shui traces the location of auspicious wealth and health qi within a property. Say for instance, if you are a western directional Gua person and through the methods of Xuan Kong, you found that the auspicious ruling wealth star 8 for the next twenty years is located in the east palace of your house, it would be a waste if you do not make use of the east palace because Eight Mansions Theory says you should occupy a west palace instead. In this example, you should make the most of the east palace if it is prosperity you hope to improve or maintain and at the same time, you should sit facing one of your good western directions.


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