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The Magic Square Lo Shu

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According to ancient Chinese legend, the numbers of the Lo Shu square were on the shell of a huge turtle that appeared from the river Lo. One wise man noticed the turtle and memorized the numbers on its shell.

The original square was first mentioned thousands of years ago; however, its original schemes were lost, and no specific descriptions are available either. Even Confucius had not seen the original schemes.

In its modern form, LoShu was published in the Chinese treatise in around 1200 AD. Since ancient times, Lo Shu was regarded as a nonary scheme which "portrays the vital properties of matters". In Chinese metaphysics, this square represents the concept of space connected with the concept of time.

The square has many astounding properties, like mathematical and metaphysical ones, which are studied and used in Chinese numerology. However, we will discuss the properties of the square that pertain to feng shui.

In feng shui, this square is used for the analysis of energy in any limited area of space (house, apartment, room, surface of a table, etc.). The energy map based on LoShu is usually called a geomantic map (this is a modern Western term, not ancient Chinese one). Both the trigrams of the Early Heaven and the trigrams of the Late Heaven can be used to understand the numbers of the Lo Shu square. The Late Heaven trigrams are used for the analysis of the indoor energy.

The square is called magical because the sum of the numbers in its rows, columns, and diagonals equals one and the same number - 15. If we divide 15 by the number of rows or columns (3), we obtain 5. Number 5 is in the center, representing the equilibrium of the middle. The remaining numbers are around it. The larger numbers can be regarded as Yang, smaller numbers can be regarded as Yin, and 5 is a neutral number.

Since the Sung period, the Chinese started to transform LoShu by subtracting or adding numbers to it. There are countless other options for such transformations. For instance, you can swap the numbers in opposite corners, you can rotate the scheme like swastika, and you can rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise.

Another similar method to divide the space into sectors is a Bagua map. People often ask: what's better - the Lo Shu square or Bagua map? Both, the square and the map are used to determine the sectors in space. Different schools give preference to either the square or map, and so do different feng shui practitioners. Once you learn more about each, you will be able to make your choice.

Bagua sectors: There are 9 Bagua sectors, each of which is 45.

LoShu sectors:

- Sector 1 is in the North, its value is 30, and its element is Water.

- Sector 2 is in the Southwest, its value is 60, and its element is Earth.

- Sector 3 is in the East, its value is 30, and its element is Wood.
- Sector 4 is in the Southeast, its value is 60, and its element is Wood.

- Sector 5 is in the Center, its element is Earth. Sector 6 is on the Northwest, its value is 60, and its element is Metal.

- Sector 7 is in the West, its value is 30, and its element is Metal.

- Sector 8 is in the Northeast, its value is 60, and its element is Earth.

- Sector 9 is in the South, its value is 30, and its element is Fire.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JAMES BRICKMAN
James Brickman runs http://www.fengshuicrazy.com which teaches the ancient art of feng shui. Please visit his website to learn more about Lo Shu.

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