Yin house Feng Shui (Feng Shui for the dead)
Written by Michael Hanna
Feng Shui was first said to be used to find a suitable burial site although there has been much debate over the years of whether Yin Feng Shui (for the dead) or Yang Feng Shui (for the living) came first and personally I could not say for sure which. This system, when selecting a burial ground is called Yin House Feng Shui.
In Yin House Feng Shui, the location of the grave and surrounding natural environment can have a great impact on the destinies and well-being of the ancestors for many years.
The Chinese believe that our souls are linked, and all families share Karma. If the body or bones are correctly laid to rest, you can tap beneficial qi; they can transmit these positive energies to their descendent and enhance their fortunes and good health.
Unlike Yang Feng Shui, the Feng Shui master does not have to contemplate internal Feng Shui when it comes to Yin House Feng Shui since there is only one person involved. The sleeping direction (or casket alignment, as it is known in Yin House Feng Shui is only for one person, and it is a permanent direction that should never be changed.
There are many stories you will find on Google on how families have suffered because of an inappropriate Feng Shui burial site and others who have prospered for several generations because of good yin house Feng Shui and in southeast Asia this is something that we consult on many years in advance of death as it can be extremely complicated in selecting a good burial location.
Thousands of years ago Feng Shui masters would be employed by a wealthy family, and he (it was only men that could be a Feng Shui master in the old days and not the case these days) would spend months, walking the mountains to find the perfect spot for use as the family’s burial ground. This job was called ‘seeking the Dragon and marking the Spot.’
The main purpose is to find what is called a “Meridian Spot”, this area is where the qi is most focused and natural, try and imagine an area that has miles of undulating hills and mountains and a spot where a lake would nestle with the support of the mountains! If you could find this very rare meridian spot, you would either build burial ground, or if you built a house here you would probably have 180 years of fortune and power!
The initial step of Yin House Feng Shui is seeking and marking the meridian spot and the Dragon. This is normally something that is done many years in advance of old age or illness. Engaging a Feng Shui Master to conduct land selection after or close to death is not usually a good idea as in my experience it leads to many mistakes as there can be a lot of pressure to select a good burial spot and time etc.
The next step takes place after the death, and the Feng Shui Master is usually involved in the selection of a suitable date for the alignment of the casket and its placement into the ground or tomb.
A Feng Shui master will look for an area with auspicious landforms and preferably have soft rolling hills in the background with many trees. Flat or sharp land formations are not favourable for Yin Feng Shui although can be very useful in yang Feng Shui. The ideal shape is an armchair or omega-shaped area.
I have listed below some general advice below on how to select an auspicious cemetery or burial site although if you could tick 25% of the boxes, you would be doing well as following this advice is near on impossible for most people and why Feng Shui is still kept so secretive as many Feng Shui masters still only want this information to be available to those who can afford to employ a Feng Shui master. In southeast Asia and all other parts of the world it can cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds to select a suitable site.
Please take the advice below with a pinch of salt as you will never fulfil all the requirements and we are living in a world now that even in China cremation has taken over from burying and has become more simplified in cities and towns as space is at a premium but at the very least you should select a good quality burial site that will have a solid tombstone with space for flowers to be placed and incense to be burnt especially during the Qingming festival that normally falls on the 4th or 5th of April.
General tips for selecting a Feng Shui burial site or cemetery:
- Find a cemetery that has a mountain at the rear and preferably with lots of trees in the mountain
- If there are mountains at the front of the cemetery, they should be well into the distance.
- There should be a large open area at the front and even better if there is water located here, although this applies for the whole cemetery and not just the burial site.
- Choose a site that has lots of sunlight as the belief is that if you select and dark spot, there will be few male offspring’s and the females for years to come will be sad.
- Do not have water flowing very close to the site as it can cause sickness in a family for many years to come although with careful selection of water placement it can bring many treasures, but this must only be done with the assistance of a qualified Feng Shui master, and even for me this can take many days to calculate.
- A good burial site should be larger than 1.3 square yards (about one square meter) and have border lines. It is good if you can build low walls around the grave, but there must be an entrance, and this entrance must have a closed gate as it can lead to many legal problems.
- Avoid burial sites on a mountain top as this is said to lead the offspring to have very difficult lives, especially for the female.
- Do not concrete or pave the whole burial site but instead plant grass on top; otherwise, it is said to lead to serious illness to descendants.
- Avoid a burial site that has high-voltage wires
- It is good to plant some trees around the burial site but do not plant a big tree next to the site as the roots may destroy the coffin. Evergreen and cypresses are best but not close to the site, and you should always have even numbers and arranged on two sides of the tombstone symmetrically.
- The land should be flat and not concave as this will collect dead qi and said to lead to lung related complications for their descendants.
- There must be an inscription on the front noting birth and death dates and include any special honours achieved during their lifetime.
- You should sweep the burial grounds at least twice a year. In China, there is a festival called Qingming Tomb sweeping Day (also known as Pure Brightness Festival) for people to sweep tombs of their ancestors and pay respects. In 2020 this falls on April 5th, and this is the day relatives would visit and pay respects and say a prayer, it is a day for happiness and sadness.
- Avoid placing real flowering plants on top of a site as it is said to bring troubled relationships for descendants as it interferes with peach blossom although it is good to place fake or fresh cut flowers on top.
- If you already have an existing plot/tomb/headstone/mausoleum or similar for a family member make sure it is kept squeaky clean and in very good repair, any cracks or disrepair in certain parts of the site can affect different areas of the body for all the descendants and not just in health, it can affect, health wealth, relationships and overall well-being. This also applies to generations before like a grandparent or great grandparent etc.
As you can see, there are many more do’s and don’ts, and the above is just a short list to give you an idea. There are so many other vital factors such as the soil quality and the surrounding neighbouring graves as well as if it will be a cremation or burial.
One of the most important features of a traditional brick and mortar tomb structure is constructed in a U shape to preserve the ‘vital breath (qi) within’ and this, of course, would be a great cost and most unrealistic to most of us.
Personally, I do not like getting involved too deeply when advising on yin Feng Shui as without times and dates of birth of every single family member it can be used to have a negative effect on other members of a family. Whilst it can be very beneficial to one or a few family members, for a spouse, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew etc it can have disastrous results. It is not something I feel comfortable with and as one of the oldest Feng Shui companies in the world we will only ever practise and advise on untainted auspicious Feng Shui.
My best advice to you is select a nice plot in a nice area of the cemetery with not too many large trees around and check to make sure no unsavoury characters are buried next door (same advice I give for yang Feng Shui) and have a nice solid headstone erected (announcing birth and death dates and anything special about the person) with space to plant some flowers and preferably avoid a solid flat bed and if you already have one for your loved one erect a plinth or similar on top so you can either place fresh cut flowers or even fake ones and visit at the very least twice a year to clean and pay your respects. This is something we do at least once a month, so I do practise what I preach.
Are you prepared for 2020?