by Kathryn Weber
Understanding feng shui means understanding that energy moves and changes within an environment, and that the environment affects each individual’s success, career, health, and relationships. Because the world isn’t stagnant and, in fact, the entire universe is expanding, contracting, much like a living being, energy within the universe — or a space — is dynamic. It’s living, changing, and evolving just like us.
The shifting annual energies helps to explain why one year may be wonderful and the next year, or even the month, can change dramatically.
That’s why placing objects and planning by the directions falls short, and why problems or great luck can seemingly change on a dime. This is because each year the energy that is associated with each individual direction (north, south, east, west) and subdirection (southwest, southeast, northwest, northeast) may change drastically after the New Year. Each year, feng shui energy shifts and one year may find that the north direction is imbued with wonderful prosperity or romance energy and the next year it is associated with illness.
That means that in most years there are typically five positive sectors and four negative sectors where the annual afflictions, like the 5 Yellow, 3 Killings, and Black 2 Illness stars, fall. What’s most important to know is which afflictions have the greatest opportunity for harming you and your family, and how to know where they are and how to handle them, so that you are ready for each year’s energetic shifts.
Afflictions change annually
Each year at about the start of the Chinese lunar calendar, energies shift. It’s about this time to make changes and prepare for those energy shifts. However, although the annual Chinese New Year changes each year, the feng shui date always falls on February 4th of every year. This is the day when you will want to ensure you have made your annual feng shui preparations.
Although this is the “official” feng shui date, I sometimes noticed the changing influences occur as early as late November and early December.
The Five Yellow is an earth element affliction that occupies 45 degrees of the compass. Therefore, its influence covers a large area of space in your home or office, and it’s the most worrisome of all the afflictions.
The Five Yellow is worst when it’s located in important areas, particularly the front door, an office (if you have a home office in an afflicted sector), and your bedroom. It is worse still if your front door, office, or bedroom is located in an earth location, such as northeast, southwest, or center. Another difficult placement is when it falls in a sector that has a flame, such as a fireplace or a gas stove. You’ll need to take extra precautions then.
The 5 Yellow: Serious problems
The Five Yellow can bring difficulties in relationships, financial and health problems, such as bankruptcy, broken bones, accidents or cancer. Severe problems result when this affliction isn’t addressed.
Simply working in a sector where the Five Yellow is located, opening and closing your front door, being active in a room where the five yellow is located is enough to activate it. I’ve had the 5 Yellow at my front door and not have anything major befall my family, but we worked hard to keep this area quiet, clean, and to use another door as often as possible.
Remedy the 5 Yellow
The remedy for the Five Yellow is based on the Five Element Theory. To exhaust earth energy, you add metal, making an all-metal, six-rod windchime a perfect way to exhaust the five yellow.
Another remedy is to put some earth from the sector where the five yellow is located into a metal jar, or 5 Element Pagoda, with a tight-fitting lid. Metal accents and colors of any kind are also beneficial.
If the Five Yellow is at your front door, and for the current year, your front door would open in the center sector of your home, it would be wise to add a six-rod metal windchime on either side of the door or place six Chinese coins above the doorway. Yet another remedy is the pendulum or chiming clock, fan or ceiling fan. If you have a toilet located here – or any afflicted sector – this helps press down the negative influences of the 5 Yellow and is especially helpful for managing this energy.
A wonderful remedy for the 5 Yellow? A vase of three lucky bamboo in rocks and water is a terrific way to add the green vitality of health that the bamboo confers while helping to offset the health-draining effects of the 5 Yellow. Just avoid having this in your bedroom.
Likewise, if there is a large cabinet, closet, or storeroom, this will also help to “lock up” the affliction. If your kitchen sink is located in the center sector, it will drain away the 5 Yellow – this isn’t usually a good placement for the kitchen sink – but when the 5 Yellow visits, it is.
Avoid turning on lights in this sector as lights represent fire and this activates the Five Yellow. It’s also important to keep the area quiet and DO NOT DIG here as this will stimulate the five yellow. If possible, avoid the room in this sector. If not, keep plenty of metal around. If you have a closet here, keep it closed. If you have the ability to move out of a room that is in the five yellow sector, then do so. If not, make sure that you do apply some kind of remedy.
If the five yellow is in the bedroom, a brass wu luo is a wonderful remedy, but I would go a step further and use white and/or green sheets and remove all red colors. And absolutely at all costs avoid having lighted candles as this will fully activate the 5 Yellow.
It’s also not a good idea to do any kind of renovations wherever the 5 Yellow flies, such as digging, knocking down walls or major repairs. If this area is part of a whole garden or home renovation, you can work in the area, but try not to start or end your renovations in an afflicted area.
What if my kitchen is located in the 5 Yellow sector?
This is a tricky situation. If you have an electric stove, it’s not as serious. If you have a gas stove or oven, every time you use it, you’ll be activating the 5 Yellow. For this reason, I would suggest that you add some type of water element next to the stove, such as a large vase of water or a tabletop water fountain or feature. This will help dampen its effects.
The 5 Yellow is the strongest and most dangerous when it flies to the south, a fire sector. It is also strong when it flies to the earth sectors of the southwest or northeast.
In 2020, the 5 Yellow is in the east, in 2021 it flies to the southeast and in 2022 it moves to its home, then center sector.
BLACK 2 ILLNESS STAR
Like the Five Yellow, the Black Two is also an earth affliction. You could almost look at it like a “junior” Five Yellow. Much of the problems are the same, illness and financial difficulties, but to a much lesser extent. In general, the Black Two is more about nagging problems like allergies or a student loan you can’t seem to get paid off. But I wouldn’t treat it lightly.
When it comes to remedying the Black Two, use the same rules as the Five Yellow and you’ll be fine. One remedy I especially like is adding a pretty green plant, especially one with white flowers, such as a white orchid, or a bowl of green apples wherever the 2 star flies. These are symbols of health and vitality and make a nice boost to this corner. Basically, it’s important to not dig, don’t have any red colors, flames or candles here, and try to keep the area quiet and undisturbed.
The 2 Black is the strongest and most dangerous when it flies to the south, a fire sector. It is also strong when it flies to the earth sectors of the southwest or northeast.
In 2020, the Black 2 is in the south, where it is quite strong. In 2021, it flies to the north and then to the southwest, it’s home in 2022.
7 RED VIOLENCE STAR
The 7 star is known for creating injuries, robberies, theft and other malicious tendencies. Because it is located in the wealth palace, there could be a possibility for violence that harms the wealth of the family – such as a credit card theft, robbery, or other treachery. Another worry about the Red 7 is the possibility for injury for guns, knives or even car accidents. If the Red 7 is prominent in your home (bedroom or front door is located here), take extra care to remedy this sector to reduce the energy of this affliction by adding black and blue colors here.
The Red 7 is also related to the mouth because 7 is the number of the mouth. You should also be wary of smooth talkers and anyone who might try to “sell” you, manipulate you or in some way take advantage of you, or let your temper get the better of you. This can include someone trying to cheat you, get you to cheat or even pedophiles – a worry whenever the 7 star shows up where children are concerned. The 7 star can cause you to say things you regret so be cautious that your tongue doesn’t get the better of you.
Take extra care if your home faces this direction or if your bedroom is located here. Remedies for the Red 7 include adding figurines such as the popular feng shui cure, the blue rhino, an elephant, water elements, blue colors and bright lights. Even the evil eye is good for warding off those with negative intentions. Do avoid adding any kind of water or fountains in your bedroom, but use blue colors instead.
In 2020, the 7 star is in the center, in 2021 it moves to the northwest and in 2022 it flies to the west, it’s home location.
3 JADE ARGUMENT STAR
The number 3 is a number that can become quite confusing in feng shui. Normally, the 3 is associated with the potential for growth. That’s why you often see Chinese coins tied into sets of three. These three represent the yang energy of growth, and for that reason, the number three is looked upon as positive. However, you shouldn’t confuse the luck of the 3 with the Jade 3 Star or the 3 Killings. See what a tangle this amounts to?
What you need to know about for the purposes of annual feng shui are the qualities of the Jade 3 Star and the 3 Killings, so let’s start with the 3 Jade. What you need to know now about the 3 Jade Star is what it can do and how you can handle it, especially if it’s at your front door, center sector, in your bedroom or home office.
In short, the 3 Star is a star that likes to cause trouble.
Whether it’s arguments, anger, gossip, backbiting or legal problems, the 3 Jade Star is the star that likes things stirred up, so keep this area quiet.
Tempers flaring, arguments flying off the handle or teenagers always squaring off for a fight? You can blame the 3 Jade Star for creating this mess.
Worse still, the 3 Jade also likes to create lawsuits and legal problems. Whether it’s a routine traffic ticket or something petty like a neighbor that’s filed a complaint with the neighborhood association because your dog barked one afternoon, this is the kind of energy when the three jade is at its best.
One of the nice things about the 3 Jade Star is that it is easy to diffuse. All it takes is some red or white colors, bright lights, and fire elements, such as a candle.
So, if the 3 Jade star shows up in your bedroom, add a red blanket there or if it’s at your front door, use a red rug or burn some pretty red candles here and keep the porch or foyer light on. Do watch that you keep the area quiet wherever the 3 Jade falls because it is easily disturbed by noise. Keep the area brightly lit, but quiet and avoid renovations and loud noises and you’ll do just fine.
In 2020, the 3 Jade is in the north, where it is strong, and flies to the southwest in 2021, and then to the east, its home in 2022.
This affliction is called Sarm Saat in Chinese. It brings three kinds of problems to the person who suffers from the affliction – all of it related to subterfuge and deception. Make sure that you don’t confuse the 3 Killings with the 3 Jade Star because they are very different.
The 3 Jade is an energy that moves from sector to sector and can cover all nine sectors. The 3 Killings, also known as the three curses, can create three kinds of loss (loss of health, wealth, reputation or a family member).
It can also affect the ability to concentrate, communicate, and create harsh words between people. Like the 3 Jade, the 3 Killings can also augur lawsuits, slander, and libel under influence. This is how it can affect your reputation.
In all, there is a loss of a relationship, wealth and your name – but it’s a simpler one to manage. If you sit within those 90 degrees with your back to the direction of the Three Killings, you’re exposing yourself to the harmful influence.
As a result, you should ensure you don’t have your back turned to the 3 Killings.
Having your back to the Three Killings can occur when you enter a door, sit and watch TV, eat dinner, sit at your desk, etc. So do make sure that you’re not sitting with your back to this direction. It is also important to avoid digging, construction, renovation, or noise in this area.
Never perform renovation or digging in the location of the Three Killings.
To Remedy the Three Killings
The Three Killings is remedied according to the Chinese astrological year that it is in. For instance, in the Rat or Dragon years, the location is the South. Like the Five Yellow, applying remedies for the Three Killings is also based on the Five Element Theory. You’ll want to use the element that is exhaustive for the direction that the Three Killings is coming from.
Ox, Rooster and Snake Years: 3 Killings is in the East — Add bright lights and red colors or objects, candles or metal windchime
Boar, Rabbit and Sheep Years: 3 Killings is in the West — Add water, blue or black colors and objects, or add bright lights
Monkey, Rat and Dragon Years: 3 Killings is in the South — Add Crystals, stones, earth objects, yellow and beige colors, or add water
Dog, Horse and Tiger Years: 3 Killings is in the North — Add lush, healthy plants here or crystals and earth objects
The 3 Killings is in the south in 2020, the east in 2021, and the north in 2022. In 2020, it’s best to use water or metal elements to remedy the 3 Killings.
GRAND DUKE JUPITER
The Grand Duke Jupiter is an energy that is associated with authority and can actually be quite helpful. Because it’s an energy associated with authority and strength, it’s always best to avoid offending him by looking directly at him, just in the same way you wouldn’t want to stare down a bear. The Grand Duke Jupiter is also often called the God of the Year because he occupies the 15 degrees of the compass of the animal fo the year. For each year, there is an association with the Chinese Zodiac animal, such as “year of the monkey” or “year of the rooster.” The Grand Duke takes up 15 degrees of the compass, which is the exact sector of the zodiac year animal, i.e., sheep or monkey.
Although the Grand Duke is often called an affliction, I rarely think of him that way, but rather as a supporter. Having his support will give you help throughout the year. That’s why you should not sit facing the direction of the annual energy and instead can help you when you have his energy behind you, supporting you like a tall back on an executive office chair.
As with the other afflictions, you should keep this area quiet and undisturbed. Avoid loud noises and digging or renovating this area of the house. If you’re doing a complete renovation, then you can renovate this area. What’s important is that you don’t START or END your renovations in this sector. Like the Five Yellow, 2 Black and the 3 Killings, disturbing this area or confronting the Duke can cause illness, run-ins with police or authority figures, and loss — such as a job, relationships, etc.
How to Remedy the Grand Duke Jupiter
The only real “remedy” for the Grand Duke is to avoid facing him and keeping the area where he is located quiet and undisturbed. Do NOT dig in the location of the Grand Duke. You can also use a pi yao figure in the location of the Grand Duke to help appease him. Wearing a pi yao figure if you’re in the sign of the year, i.e., you’re a snake in the Year of the Snake or you’re the sign opposite the sign of the year, i.e., a boar is opposite the snake. But this really isn’t essential. If your zodiac sign is opposite the sign of the year on the zodiac wheel, it will pay you to be more accommodating and avoid setting up confrontations or challenging authority in that year.
In 2020, the Grand Duke is in the north, in 2021 it is N-NE and in 2022 it is in the northeast.
Renovation warnings for afflictions
Be aware that if you’re digging a swimming pool or undertaking any kind of major renovation, you should avoid any afflicted sector or you could undergo some kind of misfortune or loss. If you’re doing a complete landscape make-over or home renovation, avoid starting or ending the renovation in an afflicted sector. Large cabinets, closets, storerooms, or closed up rooms will help to “lock up” the afflictions. If you can move out of the afflicted area, do try to do so, but if it’s not possible, just do your best to handle the problems and add your remedies.
Who is affected most by afflictions?
Anyone who spends time in an afflicted area will come under its influence. This is especially true of bedrooms where we sleep. We spend up to 10 hours sleeping and this is a time when we are most vulnerable to energetic changes and influences, making it very important to address afflictions that fall in a bedroom. It’s also true if the affliction falls at your front door or home office.
However, some family members are more at risk than others.
Anyone in your household who is elderly, ill, or very young, will fall under the influence of the afflictions. Even pets can be affected by afflictions, so keep a close eye on them, too, and where they spend their time.
A note on remedies
Remedies such as plants are terrific for handling difficulties such as the 5 Yellow and the 2 Black, but they should not be added to a bedroom. Instead, add metal objects here such as a brass wu luo, a 5 Element pagoda, or using specific colors such as white or green. Fountains and water elements should also be kept out of the bedroom or they could cause health problems and money loss.
Where do all the energies fall each year?
Be sure to check out my articles about Annual Feng Shui.