The Whole Debate About Colors, Feng Shui & ‘Good Luck’

Posted On Last updated Dec 11, 2018 | Published on Aug 28, 2018

Hey everyone!

I finally found some time and motivation to blog! I really didn’t want to update my blog for the sake of it so I wanted to wait till I’m well rested and have something interesting to blog. It’s been a really crazy year. 2018 has been the busiest year I’ve ever had that’s packed with one significant event after another and I mean it in a very good way. It’s been a really, really fulfilling year. My day job is going great and I’m now building my own team, I bought a house, I got my first big media break and I got engaged!

I was thinking about a topic to write on after the long break and something happened over the weekend which prompted me to write this post.

I had the opportunity to conduct two feng shui audits over the weekend at a newly launched BTO (for my foreign readers, BTO is built-to-order and part of the public housing scheme where the government assists young couples to get their first home) in SIngapore – Henderson Vue. Check it out:

I know I say this all the time, but I’ll say it again – you will not see me in pictures posing a compass or ‘luo pan’. I find it very weird that a practitioner would want to do this in front of a client during the audit. A few skeptics have asked if I was really at the places I’ve audit, and I’ve developed a quirky way of showing that I was there. You’ll always see the bag I’m carrying in the pictures – it’s either the brown messenger bag, or the recently added black Samsonite backpack.

A few readers have requested for me to comment on some of the new recent developments like Jade Scape and Affinity. I’ll certainly find time one day to do that but it won’t be a priority for now. The only thing I can say is that not all blocks and units within the development will be the same feng shui wise, and it’s a huge pity that a lot of these new developments are tapping into the best facing directions for upcoming Period 9 which starts in 2024. Even if the building faces the best orientation, there will still be some slight differences due to the internal layout of the unit. It’s easy to make a sweeping statements of whether the feng shui of a new development is good if we were to only apply landscape feng shui, but I personally prefer to go down into the tiny details because it matters after all.

The key topic I wish to touch on today is about colours. It’s about time I addressed this.

I lost count of the number of times people ask me whether they should paint their house or wear clothes of a certain color to attract more ‘good luck’. First of all, as a practitioner, I don’t believe in ‘luck’ and there is a reason why I always use inverted commas whenever I use this word. Our obsession with luck is the reason why all these myths keep getting perpetuated to everyone’s detriment and I’ve blogged about this before. Read it! The topic of lucky or auspicious colors has become one of those so intertwined with metaphysics that people believe in the power of colours without question, thinking that it somehow has the ability to change one’s life. I’ve explored this notion for a very long time and before I started my practice. The conclusion is clear: Colours has no magical properties and it doesn’t change your life and trust me I’ve done all sort of experiments to test this hypothesis. If you had the ability to read charts and you witnessed what a change in someone’s 10-year Elemental Phase (大运) can do to someone in terms of their environment and mindset, you will be able to appreciate why the claims of colours and charms being able to change life is utterly pointless. I need to remind everyone that I’ve met people who borrowed money to purchase charms only to sink even deeper into debt and nothing in their lives have truly changed.

You would have probably seen this somewhere on the internet:

Metal: Colour: White, Silver, Metallic; Direction: West
Wood: Colour: Green; Direction: East
Water: Colour: Blue, Black (yes, I’m sure somewhere in an alternate universe Water is black); Direction: North
Fire: Colour: Red; Direction: South
Earth: Colour: Brown, Earthy (duh!) colours; Direction: Center

If your BaZi chart states that Water is your destructive element (忌神) and your believe in the above logic, well, good luck to you because you’re walking bad luck. The human body 60% water.

Has anyone ever questioned where these associations came from and how they are assigned? I don’t know about you, but I’m someone who likes to ask “why” and get to the bottom of things, and to see so many other ‘practitioners’ out there advocating that colours can bring you good luck prompted me to really dig deep and explore how these beliefs just seemed to have risen out of nowhere.

Life Is Will Never, Ever Be That Simple

I always say this – life’s not that simple and it’s very naive to think that we somehow have the ability to influence the forces of nature by using colours. To think that one’s life can turn around using colours instead of using self-awareness and improvement is very naive, and in my opinion, has no place in metaphysics. The only credit I’d give to colours is that it has a psychological effect and invokes certain moods or emotions, albeit subtly. If colours really had some magical effect, our ancestors would have already documented this and wrote about this in the past and everyone’s lives would be perfect. Of all the Chinese classics I’ve read, there is no documentation of colours being some form of cure or remedy to life’s challenges.

You might be wondering, however, why does colours keep coming up though? Yes, colours are associate with certain directions and certain elements – this is documented and you could eve say it’s a fact. However, thinking that colours can make up for the elements one is lacking in your BaZi chart is a totally separate, made-up issue. The association of a colour with an element doesn’t actually mean anything if you’re talking about ‘remedies’. What IS a remedy actually? You can refer to my blog post here for the my thoughts and answers: Can You Change Your BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Only someone with a Category 4 chart would believe life’s so simple that colours have some profound impact on your life. The successful people I’ve met in my life will not have such a childish mindset. It’s not just about colours. Do you really think just by wearing a jadeite necklace or whatever it is, you will suddenly attain success and it’s the kind of success that only experience, humility and hard work can bring? You can’t turn into the world’s best trader, investment analyst, doctor or lawyer just because you wear something. Perhaps you just need a little bit more faith in yourself. That’s all! You don’t have spend thousands just to get a temporary psychological boost.

There Is A Historical And Astrological Reason For Why Colours Were Associated With

This is actually the most simple and logical way of explaining this whole fiasco plaguing Chinese metaphysics. Colours are but an abstract way of representing something, and in metaphysics it’s associate with the 5 Elements and the cardinal directions. Let me make it extremely clear (again) that the 5 elements we see in metaphysics is not literally the wood, metal, fire, earth or water you see in day-to-day life. It’s a way of representing how energy grows, moves and dissipates. You can see it as a way of describing the natural cycle of life and death as well. Let’s take Wood for example:

The birth cycle of the 5 elements are as such: Metal=>Water=>Wood=>Fire=>Earth. Note that I’m disregarding which elements comes ‘first’. There are such debates in the Chinese classic but it doesn’t matter for now.

The Wood element represents growth or a slow, gradually expanding energy before it becomes Fire which represents a burst, after which it leads to a consolidation which is Earth and so on and so forth. If you dig into the Chinese classics, the 5 Elements is merely a description of the life-and-death cycle of how energy moves. Everything is bound by this law. It’s a bit like physics – energy isn’t truly lost, just transferred or transmuted to somewhere else. I recently had a client who is also a physicist and I can’t wait to tap into his brain to see how he views the world and reality from a physicists perspective.

Now, why is green associate with Wood and why does it represent the East? Well, if you think about the direction in which the Earth spins and which part of Earth starts to experiencing spring first, you will get your answer. The same logic can be applied to the other directions. No prizes for guessing why South represents Fire.

There are of course other ways of explaining how these associations came about. One other reason is that when maps were being developed in Chinese way back during the 4th century, these colour associations were already there but bear in mind the colour associates on maps is derived from what I explained above too and is not exactly arbitrary. This was even applied to religion – have you ever heard of 四大天王 or Four Heavenly Kings? No, not the singers from Hong Kong damn it – I’m referring to the gods in Buddhism or what they call the Caturmahārājakayikas  which are seen as the protectors who watch over each cardinal direction of the worldYou’ll realize the colour associations are similar. The colour associations are different in the Tibetan version of things though which is interesting. Why? Because how do we then decide which is the ‘true lucky colour’ for someone with a certain BaZi chart? Do I apply the lucky colours of the Chinese? Or do I apply the lucky colours of the Tibetans? Is it really a universal law or a cultural and historical thing?

What I’m trying to say here is that these colour associates are a reflection of our rich history and culture. That’s it. There is no magic. I wear my ‘unlucky colours’ to work, to sleep and to the gym, but I’d like to think I am doing pretty well. If lucky colours are expected to uplift our lives so much, wouldn’t our unlucky colours make our lives come crashing down too?

We All Need To Change How We View Metaphysics

This is the section of the blog where I find myself getting a little peeved as I type this. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I am trying to throw shade or take a jab at another practitioner, allow me to just make it clear that if I wanted to do that, I would not blank out the name. And secondly, I’m pretty sure everyone agrees that whatever I write in this blog is already going against MANY ‘practitioners’ out there – my clear distaste for colours, charms, zodiac forecasts and every ridiculous act should have already made it clear what my stand is and the day that I started blogging can be seen as the day I sort of declared war on the industry. What I do or write is never about trying to take another person down – I’m really just trying to educate and share what I know and sometimes I have to use an example to let people see just how ridiculous things are, coming from even the famous and popular practitioners. Of course, there will always be a bunch of people who will believe whatever they read or hear from a famous practitioner – those are the ones I’m not looking to serve.

At the end of the day, when people start questioning more and go “Oh wow… I didn’t know that was the case!” I believe I would have done my job.

Anyway, so apparently one of my dear clients who bought a BTO unit at Henderson Vue ended up engaging two feng shui practitioners for the unit, and I was the second one. I was approached at first but they went with another more economical option naturally. It’s quite endearing to see that my client was actually a bit worried I would get angry based on her of impression of me via my blog. Take a look:

The epic eye-roll I had when I saw the part on applying for a Citibank credit card just because it’s blue and black in colour. My eyes almost didn’t roll back.

OK, I know the above screenshots comes across as a bit of a humble brag due to the context, but that’s not the point. Please be reminded I’m not the perfect practitioner and I’m someone with a temper but it’s only reserved for toxic clients. My service is not always the best, nor the fastest, and I do make mistakes in my analyses once in a while too and I will never hesitate to admit this. The only thing I can say without any guilt is that if my clients are nice and respectful (not to me but to what I do and how I do it), I would really do my best for them. I’m sorry the turnaround time is a lot slower now due to the increase in volume of consultations coming to me.

If I were to use the tonality and language I use day-to-day with my friends, it wouldn’t come across being very nice or professional because my in-person persona is very different. Let’s just say I don’t stop at calling someone a “joker” in real life. All I can say is (at least in this blog space of mine) is that I’m very disappointed that a practitioner can bring him/herself (not giving away hints of the gender) to say such things and give such suggestions. For what reason and why? I’m really not sure. Aren’t they curious about how these things came about too? This is not the first case I’ve come across of course and I’ve seen all sorts of ‘remedies’ being proposed which includes hugging a tree, going swimming or not eating seafood. I’m waiting for someone to say swallow fire for people who lack Fire in their BaZi charts.

You will not see any of the practitioners who have been in the market for quite some time now suddenly taking my side of things and adopting the philosophy that I have, because that would utterly desecrate their credibility and reputation because their careers have been built on their beliefs just like how I’ve built mine.

You will not find someone who has been selling charms suddenly saying they don’t believe in charms anymore and believe in the importance of your mindset.

You will not find someone who has been doing forecasts suddenly saying forecasts are hogwash.

You will not find someone who has been advocating colours suddenly saying that’s not how one’s find his or her ‘luck’.

They would have to answer to all their past clients and to anyone who believed in them if they suddenly went back on what they believed in. It’s basically career suicide.

You might be wondering what makes me think I’m right then? Perhaps I am. Perhaps I’m not. More importantly, what I’m saying is “This is what I believe in” and I’ve presented my arguments with theory, history and philosophy. Who you wish to believe is up to you. But if you come to me, I expect you to be absolutely clear what you’re getting yourself into. There are of course still things about metaphysics that I’m seeking answers for and I don’t have the answers to everything, but I’m definitely still exploring and digging deeper whenever I get to.

Anyway, for this particular house, I proposed to combine the two common rooms to achieve the structure below to achieve a significant upgrade for the quality of the house:

If you stay in an apartment, combining rooms to alter the structure of the house is probably the only possible remedy and the reason why I say “possible” is because it doesn’t mean this option is available to everyone. A lot of houses don’t have the option of a remedy at all. Combining rooms is not a cookie-cutter solution to all apartments. Everything still needs to be in the right sector. Why combining rooms is a remedy is because master bedroom is determined by which bedroom is the largest is the house – not where you sleep. We aren’t able to shift where the door or kitchen for apartments usually, which is why time and again, I keep telling everyone to hunt for a house together with a practitioner. Don’t expect a practitioner to go into a house and declare everything can be fixed. Feng shui doesn’t work that way.

A Gentle Reminder For Prospective Clients

If you have not read my previous blog post on why I screen my feng shui clients and what I go through, please do so if you have the time. I didn’t use to screen my feng shui clients, but I do now and for the same reason why I screen my BaZi clients. Reason I didn’t do this in the first place is because anyone who wanted to pay this amount of money would do some research on me first, but it turns out this wasn’t the case.

I have to say that the quality of my clients recently have been really, really good and every engagement has been a very fruitful, fulfilling and happy one.

I’ll take the opportunity here to make a few things clear again:

I am not the practitioner nor consultant for everyone, or to put it another way there are certain kinds of people I do not wish to serve. Most people aren’t ready to accept my way of doing things or my philosophy for metaphysics. That’s fine. I do believe in affinity or what the Chinese call 缘分, and I do cherish each engagement that I have and I sincerely hope people get something out of it. I don’t point a gun at people’s head and force them to engage me, but I do expect everyone to do your research thoroughly before you engage me. Do not be like some of my toxic clients who don’t do their research, only to find out that I don’t have any shortcuts or solutions to them. Trust me, I blew my top at my clients before, and I’ll make it clear to everyone here that I don’t see this job like those of a hotel concierge or hospitality industry where I do whatever it takes to make clients happy. To put in in a general way, my job is to make sure this field of knowledge I specialize in can help people make better decisions.

I know some people wonder what is happening to those toxic clients that I’ve accidentally let past my filter: they don’t realize that holding on to these believes or having such a naive way of seeing the world and their place in it is the reason why they are facing all the current challenges they have. In their reality, colours can cure illness, ensure career progress or promise wealth. Life may give you such nuggets of positive psychological boosts, but life and the laws nature won’t let you make a joke of people who have put in the due hard work for their success. It’s no surprise that houses with some of the worst feng shui structures I’ve seen and frankly their BaZi charts are just as bad. Bad BaZi charts exist, and so do bad houses and trust me when I say they are attracted to each other. Remember, the house you end up in is said to be fated and the cruel reality here is that not everybody deserves a good house.

The key to a better life is better decisions. Better decisions come from a better, calmer and healthier mindset – not believing in all these shortcuts such as colours or charms.

I’ll end things here before I digress too much and get tempted to rant about how much I absolutely detest a toxic, lazy mind. Whenever I feel like lamenting about something, I tell myself many others have gone through much worse than I have, but yet they have achieved and handled life with so much more grace than I ever could. If you are new to this blog or if you are ever thinking of engaging me, please take the time to go through my older entries. Get to know me, get to know my past. You’ll start to understand why I do things the way I do.

Oh yea… Citibank credit cards are not too bad by the way. Do try American Express too if you like dining out! I have cards from both of these companies, but they won’t bring you good luck though! Definitely made me poorer if you get what I mean.

– Sean


Wish to get a consultation but have a question? Get in touch:

Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, Rice Media, 联合早报, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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