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The Shui Shed

Welcome to The Shui Shed….


. a new column for PaganPagesOrg e-zine that will explore the basic principles of Feng Shui. This column will share concepts that can be used to bring positive energy and enhance the vibrations within your physical environment. This edition we’ll explore the importance of the Lo Shu and how it’s used in Classical Feng Shui and other disciplines.


The Lo Shu – The Magic Square


The Lo Shu or “magic” square is one of the most ancient tools of Feng Shui. The nine-sector grid of numbers is an interpretive tool of Feng Shui. One of the secrets of the Lo Shu is that it unlocks the time dimension for Feng Shui and allows practitioners to determine precisely when is the best time to make changes to the site, the building or the interior decoration.

In the Lo Shu the grid of numbers are arranged in such a way that the numbers directly across from each other ad up to ten. The original Lo Shu center number is 5 and any three numbers horizontally, vertically or diagonally add up to 15, which is the number of days it takes for the moon to wax or wane.

The number 15 is significant since this is the number of days for the new moon to become full. The number 15 expresses a cycle of lunar time. The Lo Shu grid offers clues to the fortunes of people and homes over a period of time. The Lo Shu square is generally regarded as the key that unlocks the secrets of time. The Lo Shu contains many other secrets, especially those pertaining to the numerology of Feng Shui.

Tradition says the Lo Shu was first seen by the sage Yu who saw it inscribed on the shell of a turtle arising from the Lo river about 2202 BC. The Lo Shu was brought to the attention of an emperor on the back of a tortoise rising from the River Lo.

The arrangement of the numbers unlocks all the formulas of time dimension feng shui. It is the most important symbol in the Flying Star Fengshui. The significance lies in the arrangement of the numbers 1 to 9 in a nine sector grid. The way the numbers are placed in the grid gives rise to a “flight pattern” which in turn creates another symbol known as the Sigil. The numbers “fly” around the grid. The numbers move from one grid to the next from 5 to 6 (in the Northwest) and from there to 7 (in the West) and then to 8 (in the Northeast) …and so on. This forms double triangles with a line through the center symbol; the powerful sign of the Sigil.

The Lo Shu neatly coincides with the eight trigrams arranged in the later heaven sequence of the BaGua plus a central chamber which is assigned to Earth. The chamber which contains the number 9 is aligned with the South and number 1 with the North.

The Lo Shu is used extensively in Compass School Feng Shui. It is used like the BaGua to divide the house in to the nine sectors, or it can be used on a smaller scale to divide a room in to nine sectors. The corresponding compass of the sectors of the numbers offer important clues for analysis. Each number has a corresponding compass direction and element. North is Water; Northeast and Southwest are earth; East and Southeast are wood; south is fire and west and northwest are metal. The numbers indicate the numerical energy of the eight sectors.

In drawing up a fengshui analysis of a space the original Lo Shu may be used but the order of numbers is modified over time. Time is divided into three eras of 60 years – consisting of three 20 year cycles. The current cycle began in 2004 and ends in 2024. Every house built during this time will have an 8 at the centre Lo Shu with the other numbers moved around in a specific order.

As well as in China, the Lo Shu square has been a part of magical traditions of the middle east and Europe for at least 2000 years. In western magic derived from ancient Hebrew traditions, a square with exactly the same numbers in known as the square of the planet Saturn and under some circumstances is also known as the square of the Earth. In the west there are seven planetary squares and they were used to generate the signs which were used to control the spirit of the planets. The zig zag pattern is the seal of Saturn or Earth.

Another interesting cross cultural coincidence is that Shu is the Egyptian god of the atmosphere, who along with Tefnut rules the winds and the movement of moisture through the atmosphere. Control of clouds and the moisture is very much a concern of Feng shui and the Lo Shu square.

Creating a Sigil using a Magick Square. The Lo Shu is the most well known magick square. The Chinese Emperor Yu found a 3 x 3 grid on the back of a tortoise shell and believed it to be a magick square. The Lo Shu grid was frequently used in astrology, divination, talismans and Taoist magick as a symbol of harmony.

Alchemists frequently fashioned sigils to coincide with and reflect the energy and wisdom of a planet. These might then be utilized in ceremonies and rituals to depict or invoke the power of the planet. During the middle ages, magick squares became quite popular and began to appear in the work and literature of numerous fields such as mathematics, astrology, mysticism, alchemical and other academics.


About the Author:

Linda Bischoff

Over the past 35 years, Linda has been helping people curate elements of their physical space to influence mind, body and spirit. Her focus has always been on creating meaningful connection with our environment.

Within her practice of Feng Shui she combines the principles of Interior Design and the concepts of Biophilia to ensure positive energy flow. When we enhance the vibrations around us we become more likely to achieve our dreams and goals.

Linda lives in Halton Hills, Ontario with her husband and their cat Molley. Find out more about her and her practice at