Archeological finds from China, dating as far back as 6000 BCE., demonstrate how encient this art really is. Images of a Green Dragon and White Tiger found in these graves, tell us that some type of practice similar to the “Form School” Feng Shui was in use even then.
As one of the corner stone philosophies of Feng Shui, the Eight Trigram system, incorporating yin-yang theories, was devised by Fu Shi around 4500 BCE. The legend tells us that Fu Shi had a vision of a turtle rising from the waters of the Yellow River with an intricate pattern on it’s shell; he later interpreted this as the eight trigrams.
With the invention of the magnetic compass by the Yellow Emperor around 2700 BC, Feng Shui took on a new dimension and the “Compass School” developed.
Another important component of Feng Shui, the practice of the five elements, came much later. During the time of the Warring States, around 500 BCE, the five elements were used widely among the warlords, royalty and the wealthy for protection and to strengthen their status – actually very similar to the way they are used today.
However, the very first major book on the formal practice of Feng Shui came about 250 CE, written by Kwok Po. It was called the “Book of Burial”, dealing mainly with “Yin House” Feng Shui; it advised how to find the best sites for the burial of ancestors and described the benefits to be gained for future generations by doing so.
Feng Shui flourished in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). During the Tang Dynasty (618 CE -907 CE.) great masters appeared, such as Yang Yun Sung. He is particularly important in the history and development of Feng Shui for adding the 24 Mountains and 72 Dragons to the Lo Pan, the Feng Shui compass. He also wrote great Feng Shui classics such as “Shaking the Dragon”, “The Golden Classics” and “Books of Heavenly Jade”, among many others.
During the Tang Dynasty, Feng Shui became more main stream and foreigners such as Japanese, Koreans and Mongolians started to show interest. One of the Tang Dynasty emperors commisioned a monk to produce false information in a book about Feng Shui with the intention of keeping the “real” knowledge within the country’s borders. Unfortunately, during the following years, this book, “Killing the Barbarian”, became muddled up with the other books and created much confusion. Apparantly this book no longer exists today. However, a great Master of the Flying Star Feng Shui, Sam Chuk Yin, claims in his book, “Master Sam’s Flying Stars”, that “Killing the Barbarian” is actually the system of the Eight Mansions School that is widely practised today.
With the arrival of the Sung Dynasty (960-1179 CE), Feng Shui became even more popular. One of the most influential masters of this dynasty was Master Lai Po Yi, who added the ring of Man’s Plate to the Lo pan, the Feng Shui compass. The famous Flying Star formula called the “Five Ghosts Transporting Wealth” is also attributed to him.
Some say that when the Sung Dynasty ended, the great golden age of Feng Shui ended as well. From the Yuan Dynasty (1270-1368), and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911), there were no ground-breaking Feng Shui theories developed. There were more summaries and illustrations of the earlier Feng Shui works.
Nevertheless, one very famous master of this period was Master Chiang Tai Sung. As a young man, he resisted the attack of the Manchurians from the North at the very end of Ming Dynasty. In the end the Manchurians won the war, marking the end of the Ming and the founding the Ching Dynasty. Chiang Tai Sung than dedicated himself mainly to Feng Shui and became a very influential master. Another important formula of Flying Stars called “Substitude Stars” is his work. He also wrote an important book called “Debate and Verification of Feng Shui Theories”.
Master Sam Chuk Yin (1848-1906) lived towards the end of Ching Dynasty. His book, “Master Sam’s Flying Stars” has a cult status among Flying Star practitioners. Master Sam was an eager follower of San Ke (Three Harmony School) as a young man. However, his observations made him doubt the efficiency of the San Ke formulas. In his search for a better system, he accidentally came across a book in a friend’s house, hidden on an old book shelf. He was startled to see that the book confirmed all his doubts about the San Ke formulas and explained how it could all come together. From then on, Master Sam dedicated his life to the study and promotion of the Flying Star system. In his book on the subject, Master Sam goes into great depth about both the theory and application of Flying Stars.
The Flying Stars practice described on this website and used in my own personal practice is based largely on this classic, Master Sam’s Xuan Kong, as interpreted in the kind teachings and guidance of Grand Master Raymond Lo.