Sunday, 19 June 2016

Tai Sui Guan Zhong in 2016 – Feng Shui, Customs and Superstitions

Tai Sui Guan Zhong in 2016 – Feng Shui, Customs and Superstitions

In 2016, the ruling Tai Sui is the great general Guan Zhong, one of 60 heavenly generals. There is only one Tai Sui (also known as Grand Duke of Jupiter or Grand Commander of the Year) who regulates events in each year according to the Sixty Cycles.

A brief historical account of this year’s Tai Sui General Guan Zhong

Guan Zhong was born to a poor family but rose to become the Prime Minister of the state of Qi in China thanks in part to steadfast support of an influential, close friend named Pao Shu Ya. The discerning Pao held Guan Zhong in high regard and never once wavered in his belief in Guan Zhong’s true caliber. Pao never considered him weak, even after Guan Zhong had repeatedly failed in his two postings and had twice run away from the battlefield. Guan Zhong was also humiliated by being imprisoned twice but still Pao stood by him. Resolute in his friendship, Pao, with a strong recommendation, eventually persuaded the Emperor of Qi State and secured Guan Zhong the position of Prime Minister.

That’s when Guan Zhong’s true talents shone. Guan Zhong studied the geographical situation of Qi and formed the opinion that in order to let the people live in peace and have better living conditions the governance needed to improve. He therefore drafted a set of administrative rules appropriate to their social conditions. He divided the land into categories and arranged to have taxes collected according to the measure of productivity of each category. After the accrual of wealth he next strove to strengthen the state through emphasis on unification and mutual coordination between the military and bureaucracy. Then he strengthened ties with other states and improved on diplomatic policies by respecting their differing views. He became the most popular Prime Minister, as under his leadership the prime ministers of all States were unified and the state of Qi became the most powerful state.

In 645 BC, Guan Zhong passed away but not before his collective works, which reflected his ideology on self-discipline and administering the state was published.

The state of Qi adopted the policies set by Guan Zhong during the Chun Qiu era and thus ensured the power and stability of Qi for well over 10 generations. 

According to Feng Shui principles, the ruling Tai Sui, who possesses great power, each year is the most highly respected and feared deity. Tai Sui in 2016 is located in the Southwest and, to avoid offending him, one needs to treat this area with particular care.

For starters one should not confront Tai Sui by sitting facing him or sleep with one’s head pointed in the direction of Tai Sui. It is better to have your back to him so as to enjoy his support.

One should avoid doing any construction or repair work in the Southwest for, if Tai Sui is disturbed, those staying in the house will have a tough year ahead with a lot of arguments and sickness. If there is no alternative and serious work needs to be done in this area then avoid starting and ending it here. You can start and end in other sectors. This point should be strongly emphasised: Remember offending Tai Sui may mean one will encounter many obstacles, will get little returns despite significant efforts, will have ill luck with windfalls, disharmony and conflict will arise in families and their career will be rocky only to mention a few problems.

If you have a front door facing southwest you must be careful not to allow the door to slam when entering or leaving. Also avoid placing heavy metal in the southwest this year, as doing so will weaken the good earth and can cause more problems.

All is not bad for the Southwest however, for the flying star # 8 is also visiting in 2016 which can bring fame, wealth, romance, prestige and distinction to one’s life. You can, of course, use symbolic cures such as quartz crystals, crystal balls, hanging faceted crystals, a pair of rose quartz double hearts or a pair of Mandarin Ducks in the Southwest. In addition you can store your important financial papers like pensions, stock portfolios here. 

Meanwhile it is said that if one’s Zodiac animal clashes with Tai Sui, depending on the degree of conflict, much harm and bad luck, damage and discord, lawsuits, employment problems, bad investments and loss of money could befall one for the entire year. That is why it is best to know which Zodiac animals are in conflict with Tai Sui so as to minimize harm.

The list of those Zodiac animals that are at odds with Tai Sui in 2016

-Conflict with Monkey (This means: Traffic mishaps will occur, things may go against one’s wish, poor income results from all sources, disharmony within the family and your career will be unstable.)

-Clashes with Tiger, Snake

-Causing hurt with Rooster

-Incompatible with Pig

-Damaging with Snake

This is for everyone:

If you encounter particularly bad luck this year, you may have inadvertently offended Tai Sui. Here are possible remedies:

The traditional Chinese method to appease Tai Sui is to place a Guan Zhong Tai Sui plaque in the South-west in order to pay respect and appease the Deity. In this way one can weaken or avoid the problems any offence can bring. 

There are basically two ways of praying to the “Tai Sui” : “Age Suppression” (Ya Tai Sui) and “Age Praying” (Pai Tai Sui). This is of course not for everyone except for the very devout and it needs to be done at Temple.

“Age Suppression” (Ya Tai Sui)

The former refers to a situation where one prays to the Deity when he/she encounters bad luck. The traditional way to do this is to write down one’s birth date and time on a piece of gold-coloured paper and place it under the idol of the Tai Sui. A year later, this person must “return” the age that he has previously “suppressed”. In some cases, 49 copper coins are used to suppress the paper with one’s birth date and time. However, this method is not very safe and you will need someone who is reliable and familiar with the method to be around to give you guidance. The Temple attendant may do it for you then you give him/her an ang pow for their help & good luck.

“Age Praying” (Pai Tai Sui)

The latter, termed “Age Praying”, occurs when one is doing fine and experiencing good luck therefore they pray to Tai Sui so they will not have any adverse effects due to clashes, conflicts or offences to Tai Sui in that particular year. In this case, the birth date and time are written down on a piece of gold-colored paper which is then brought in front of the Tai Sui and burned after saying prayers. This is a safer and more practical method.

For the general public there is the option of Praying to Grand Duke Jupiter Tai Sui at Home:

During the course of the year for those who have encountered setbacks in their life, health, business or career why not offer your sincere prayers to Tai Sui for peace and a smooth flow of luck? A sincere heart transcends all faith and the individual year’s Tai Sui will always listen.

It’s up to an individual how best to pray. Here’s one way: One can set up an offering of joss paper, incense, candles, fruits (use 5 apples and 5 oranges) or whatever one can manage. When praying, one can tell Tai Sui their name and make their wishes known with a sincere heart. It could be a wish for good health, luck, wealth, prosperity, family safety and so forth. At the end of the year when one’s wishes are fulfilled, its good form to remember with an offering of thanks.

Finally, according to Chinese custom and practice, Tai Sui rituals or prayers are more effective at every 1st and 15th day of every month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Good Luck

Monday, 6 June 2016

Portrait of a Stingy Squire

Portrait of a Stingy Squire

There was once a wealthy landowner named Daner, who acquired his wealth through illicit means, such as manipulation, extortion and loans with unreasonable interest rates advanced to fallen gentry.

As he amassed incredible riches, he then set himself up in a lofty mansion in the country and proceeded to surrounded himself with all the trappings of the rich.

As all his former opulent lineage had done he wished to have his portrait painted and hung over the fireplace in his great reception hall, so as to invoke awe from every invited guest. 

A renowned Artist was subsequently approached and a portrait was commissioned. As rich as he was however, Daner plied the artist with wine then argued the price relentlessly in the end forcing the artist to accept a paltry sum for the portrait.

The Artist returned home with a severe hangover and fell into a troubled sleep. Upon waking the following morning and recalling the last night’s events he was infuriated beyond measure. Unfortunately he could not invalidate or revoke the iron clad agreement. Looking at the paltry sum he ground his teeth and then burst into laughter.

On the subsequent day the artist showed up as arranged to paint the portrait of the miserly landowner. His assistant carried all the supplies and set it up for him. Squire Daner took up his lofty pose standing by an impressive fireplace with an impressive wall library.

These were the books Daner had acquired over time through many auctions of the gentry he’d ruined; rare books he’d not read a single page of. The artist made the necessary sketches and returned to his studio to complete the work. 

Squire Daner was called to the artist studio several days later, to take possession of the completed work.

Grinning from ear to ear, Daner sized up the covered huge canvas then, in eager anticipation, asked the artist to uncover the masterpiece.

The artist did as he was asked.

But what’s this?

There, standing before Daner, in uncanny detail, was a life-size rendition of his back facing an open window with light streaming into his impressive library.

“What’s the meaning of this?” He barked at the artist. “A portrait should show a person’s countenance. Why have you drawn the back of my figure? This will not do, no sir, it won’t do: I want my money back!”

“Here’s your paltry sum. “ The artist plumped the few coins into palm of Daner. “My advice to a person as stingy as you, sir, is not to show your face to others. Now I shall ask you to leave these premises as I have other pressing appointments elsewhere.”

He’d expected the miserly landowner to storm out of there with a huff and with curses on his lips, but he did neither. Instead with a grim face he pondered on the few coins in his palm then on the portrait weighing out the bargain.

In the end he said, “No sir, a deal has been struck. I shall take the painting.” as he pompously dropped the coins onto the table.

His servant carried the canvas out and it is said it hung in Squire Daner's private sturdy where only a few were privy to view. 

The end.