Feng Shui: Dealing with the Grand Duke
The New Year is upon us soon and many will be celebrating with parties, performances and fireworks. To the Chinese, the New Year will take place about three weeks later and they have their own cultural and customary practices to ring in the year.
One of the things that the Chinese are concerned about is the Grand Duke (or Tai Sui). In ancient China, dukes were practically kings in their fiefdoms, acting as representatives of the emperor. The Tai Sui is often portrayed as a fearsome military general who can wreck the life of anyone who dares disturb him.
Many Buddhists or Taoists would visit temples to make offerings and pray for blessings and protection from the Grand Duke’s ire.
According to tradition, the Grand Duke occupies a particular direction, and moves 15 degrees of a compass each year. As such, he is given 24 different names, suggesting that a different general takes charge each year, bringing with him certain characteristics or fortunes for the year.
It is taboo for main entrances, sitting or sleeping positions or renovations to be done in the Grand Duke’s location.
In reality, the Tai Sui is the planet Jupiter, not some fearsome supernatural force. Some practitioners try to retain some mysticism by modifying his English name to Grand Duke Jupiter. We prefer to call it the governing planet.
Some Feng Shui practitioners dismiss Jupiter’s connection, insisting that the Tai Sui is a mystical force that can only be countered by placing special charms such as the mythical pixiu or peiyau (a Chinese mythical hybrid creature), or some other amulet or statue.
Jupiter’s orbital period is 12 years, which corresponds to the western zodiac’s 12 astrological signs. From earth, Jupiter is seen to have a retrograde motion – it appears to loop backwards in its path. This corresponds with the 15-degree shift of the Grand Duke each year.
As the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter exerts a powerful but subtle influence on Earth. Its mass affects the orbits of all the planets. Some astronomers predict it will eventually force a planet to be ejected from the solar system.
Jupiter also has a powerful magnetic field stronger than the sun’s. The field is 10 times stronger than Earth’s and extends up to 7 million km from Jupiter. As such, there is also an effect on Earth and its magnetosphere.
Human beings are susceptible to energies in their surroundings. We perceive a certain bandwidth of energy as visible light; we feel infra-red as heat; we have magnetic sensors embedded in our eyes; and our body contains large amounts of iron, among others.
Scientists already recognise a phenomenon called Schumann Resonances, which are spectral peaks in the extremely low frequency portion of Earth’s electromagnetic field spectrum. It is linked to lightning activity, global temperature and water vapour in the troposphere.
Some even believe that it is related to bioenergetics and acupuncture. A small study in Japan found that it lowers blood pressure. However, none of these have been extensively researched – the scientific community seem to dismiss it like it does Feng Shui as a science. What a pity.
Sunspot activity can affect the Schumann Resonance, and it has been linked to human melatonin levels which in turn affect our moods and behaviour. Depression and suicide rates have been correlated to melatonin, a mood hormone.
Interestingly, a website called jupitersdance.com presents an argument that large earthquakes occur at low sunspot frequencies. It also notes that Jupiter orbits the sun 15 times in 178 years. This correlated with 16 sunspot cycles (Saturn also plays a part in this) and the occurrence of earthquakes.