How to Use the Chinese Magic Square — The Lo Shu

How to Use the Chinese Magic Square — The Lo Shu

Thousands of years ago in China, the Lo River flooded, inundating the local population. The people were desperate, and frantically made offerings and sacrifices to the river god, asking him to return the water to its banks.

Suddenly a turtle surfaced on the river. The people saw that there was a pattern on its shell, a grid of nine squares. Each square had dots adding up to numbers. No matter which way the dots were added across the rows either diagonally, vertically, or horizontally, the sum was 15. The diagram was called the “Lo Shu,” or “Lo River Writing.”

The turtle gave the people the pattern on its back as a map or grid of the natural flow of chi and the elements, and this square with its numbers became a foundational tool in Feng Shui and Taoist traditions. The square is also carried as an amulet or placed in homes and offices as a protective charm.

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Aligning Inner and Outer Feng Shui

How to Use the Lo Shu

Find Missing Elements by Birth Date: By laying the numbers of someone’s day, month, and year of birth over the corresponding magic square numbers, one can see which elements are missing — those squares with no corresponding numbers in the birth date indicate elemental imbalances. Just drop out any zeros — there is no corresponding Lo Shu sector for zero.

These elements can be emphasized by using corresponding colors in home decor, clothing, and jewelry choices. If, for instance, there are no fours in the birth date, the four square in the Lo Shu will be under-emphasized. Remedies would include wearing purple or placing purple objects in the far left corner (if looking from the front door) of the home, office, and individual rooms. Since the element is Wood, keeping a healthy plant in that area will also help bring the lo shu into balance. Additional remedies are listed below.

Find Missing Elements in the Home: Look at the Lo Shu and imagine that the black, one square is laid over your front door. Then imagine the grid stretching to overlay the rest of the structure — since few of us live in perfectly square homes, there will likely be empty areas. It’s important to imagine the grid stretching to the very back wall of the structure as well. The grid may also be overlayed on an individual room, with the entrance doorway at the black number one square. Don’t worry about actual compass directions — in the Lo Shu square, the north is always on or near the main entrance.

If the larger structure has missing elements, those can be emphasized by placing the appropriate remedies within individual rooms in the house. For instance, if there is no “structure” in the far left back four corners, purple amethyst or flowers may be placed in those sectors of an individual room. In addition, “empty” or “missing” spaces may be remedied by planting a garden or placing a water feature in the area.

original lo shu

Below are the qualities and rulerships of the squares in the Lo Shu.

1 = North: Career. Season: Early Winter. Element: Water. Colors: Dark Blue/Black

2 = Southwest: Marriage, relationships, happiness. Late Summer. Element: Earth. Color: Pink

3 = East: Family, health. Early Spring. Element: Wood. Color: Green.

4 = Southeast: Wealth and prosperity. Element: Wood. Colors: Purple, Gold.

5 = Center: Strength and stability — the home. No season. Element: Earth. Colors: Yellow, Earth Tones.

6 = Northwest: Helpful people, spirituality, foreign travel. Late Fall. Element: Metal. Colors: Grey, mauve.

7 = West: Creativity and children. Early Fall. Element: Metal. Colors: White, bright pastels.

8 = Northeast: Education and knowledge. Late Winter. Element: Earth. Colors: Blue, blue-green.

9 = South: Reputation and Fame. Early Summer. Element: Fire. Color: Red.

Below are additional personal and space remedies for missing elements and directions.

  1. This Northern square is the water element. Balance the element by adding a water feature — even a small bubbler — an aquarium, or an image of flowing water. Ever notice the aquariums often seen near the front door of Chinese restaurants?
  2. The Southwest square is the earth element, and the color is pink. This section has to do with love and relationships, so placing paired objects here can help — traditionally, the Chinese will place a pair of cloisonne mandarin ducks in this sector as these birds mate for life. Rose quartz can be placed, and pink stones can be worn to balance the lo shu.
  3. The green sector is East and is related to the wood element. If additional support is needed, use green plants and wooden objects. Wearing green and carrying a wooden pen are also recommended.
  4. The Southeast, colored purple, is also wood, but use purple here. Purple live or silk flowers, amethyst crystals, or fabrics can help balance the chi here as well as wearing purple clothing and amethyst jewelry.
  5. This is the center — the earth. Traditionally, images of mountains without water are used, and wearing crystals in any form or shape is recommended. Also, crystal chandeliers or balls are suggested.
  6. The Northwest is occupied by the metal element — enhancing that chi with metal in some form is suggested, particularly gold-colored metals. Wearing gold is recommended, as well as hanging a gold-toned metal windchime with six rods or pipes.
  7. This Western sector is also metal but relates more to silver colors. Wear a silver watch or chain, and install a silver-toned wind chime with seven rods or tubes.
  8. The Northeast is occupied by the earth element. The color is blue, and crystals are used to balance chi here, in the form of jewelry or decor.
  9. The South is the fire element. Wearing red, putting a red light bulb in any fixtures in this section, or installing a wood-burning or gas fireplace are all possible remedies.



Watch this episode of Beyond Belief featuring Feng Shui specialist Kelly S. Jones:

How to Use Divination Cards

How to Use Divination Cards

When I first began doing readings, I would rely on intuition alone and delve deep into the Akashic Records to deliver messages from Spirit. The session could last 1-2 hours and covered every aspect of their current life situation. I soon discovered people were a bit dazed and unable to absorb the deluge of messages offered. I was guided to pick up a Divination Deck – as a place where people could turn their attention to focus on the information at hand. The images capture what words alone cannot. Thus a new realm of my intuition opened and I have even more ways to connect with my Guides & Angels.

Divination Decks, or Oracle Decks, are cards with rich imagery and clear messages that spark the intuition. The blessing of the cards is they offer easily accessible information which can support your path and guide your decisions. Often the message of the card will appear directly on it. This makes divination decks a compassionate starting point for those wishing to deepen your intuition and expand your relationship with Spirit.

I was delighted to discover the cards gave me information much faster and with clearer messages! Divination cards offer a way of peering into the future to gain guidance or illumination. The artwork is often majestic and inspiring. Even meditating with the art alone offers a profound connection.

What is Divination

Divination is a way to unite with the Spirits to request guidance and information that soothes the human experience.

When we can pull a card and it affirms our decision, we are comforted to move forward with confidence. Wikipedia defines divination as “the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.” Almost every culture has a form of divination– the Chinese use the I Ching, Runes are the favored means for the Norse while cowrie shells are used throughout the African and Carribean traditions. Divining is an honored tradition which requires skill, patience and trust to become proficient. Some people chose to become students of the tools, dedicating countless years devoted to the path of mastery. This serious regard is not necessary however to gain the insight and blessings that divination cards can offer.

In the last century Tarot Cards have become readily available and are a trusted means to connect with the messages from Spirit.

Different than Tarot Cards

The Tarot is a complex system of teachings and symbolism. One cannot simply pick up a deck and hope to receive clear insight. Those who devote themselves to its study take the relationship quite seriously and can spend a lifetime to know its intricacies.

Tarot is a specific set of 78 cards that each convey important teachings. The meaning of the cards is hidden in rich images and symbols. Divination cards are more gracious and can be deciphered with ease.

Artwork – the Blessing of Divination Decks

Many divination decks are masterfully illustrated.

Luscious details and beautiful images, the cards use the art to inspire. This is a distinguishing characteristic of oracle decks. Unlike the structure of the Tarot, these decks adhere to no set of rules. The art is the main means of transcendence and guidance.

Simply gazing into a card can open portals that unlock your intuition. Beyond words, the art itself imbues the teaching of the card. All art can transcend the limits of language. Divination decks offer the same.

Gaze at Quan Yin in the deck by Alana Fairchild and you’ll get it! The radiance of the goddess is welcoming, an invitation to sit with her for a while and bask in her compassionate bliss. This is a reason I love working with Oracle Decks! The art emits a blessing, a healing, that brings us comfort even in our darkest of moments.

A Doorway to Enhance Intuition

Divination decks are a spiritual tool. They offer a place to get to know and connect with inner guidance. Many times we have an intuition but are uncertain whether to follow it. The cards act as an affirmation from Spirit to move forward. Using the deck takes the burden of responsibility off of us and gives us a cosmic blessing that we should listen to ourselves. Most of the time the cards will confirm what you think you know. Quite simply divination cards give us the courage to act, to honor our own heart and trust our intuition.

My favorite decks are those with Angels, Ascended Masters and specific deities. These cards introduce us to the Guides and allow us to deepen our connection to their wisdom. When I first began, my relationships to the Masters was new. Divination cards gave me a moment to meet each guide and experience their mastery. The images gave me a face to connect with in meditation and more teachings followed!

We all have many Guides devoted to loving and protecting us. Divination decks expand our knowledge of our spiritual team and invite us to know them more deeply. We become sensitive to their presence and can more readily recognize when their benevolence is at play in our lives.

Choosing a Divination Deck

This will be the first miracle in the use of your new tool! The perfect deck need not be found, it will find you. Recently I offered a new type of reading. I knew the deck I had didn’t quite jive with the messages I was asked to share. Within the week, a friend showed me her new divination cards. I immediately ordered my own online and thanked spirit for bringing them to me so quickly!

Don’t get too analytical, rather feel which deck calls to you. If its Angels with whom you want to connect, Doreen Virtue offers the mother load of options. Ascended Masters are devoted teaching spirits and can be found in Kyle Gray’s deck. To work with Power Animals and Earth Spirits, check out Steven Farmer’s offerings. Alana Fairchild is my go to and I learn so much from her companion books. No matter which relationship you are seeking to develop, there is a deck out there.

The art may linger in your heart or you may have a dream which brings you to the right deck. Check out your local bookstore or peruse through Amazon’s massive selection. Don’t be in a rush but let your heart sit with which feels the most significant for you. In many cases, the deck you need will demand your attention and will find its way to you. And not to worry, you can never have too many. Every oracle will offer you a perfect blessing which expands your connection to Spirit.

How to Use your Deck

You will use your divination deck much like any other sacred tool. With love and respect, the guidance will flow to you and you will vibrate higher because of its influence.

Before you jump right in, it is a good idea to allow the deck to resonate with your frequency.

Clear your deck

It is always a good idea to clear any ceremonial tool! You may clear it as you would crystals with smoke, sound, or a full moon bath.

Synchronize the Energies

As most cards are mass produced, a couple of extra loving steps can make your cards super spiritual power tools! You may sleep with the cards under your pillow, carry them around in your bag or purse or bring them into your meditation/yoga space. I love praying and singing over my cards so the vibrations of my voice may bring the energy of the cards up to my frequency. Allow the cards to blossom in their own time once they arrive in your sacred space.


Before you bust out the cards, be clear in what you are hoping to gain. This is a good practice for any spiritual journey but especially helpful when we are blessing new sacred objects. Tell spirit what you need so they may serve you best.

Doing Readings with Divination Cards

Unlike deciphering the meaning of tarot cards, divination cards are joyous to work with for they begin working right away. The images may speak volumes and if not, there is usually a book that expands your understanding of the message.

Ask a Question

The bliss of these cards is when you ask a question, you will usually get a clear answer. Just ask a question and pull a card. It’s astounding how the right card will address your concerns and soothe your heart.

Get Guidance on the Future

The purpose of divining is to get information about the future! A 3 card spread will offer you guidance on the past, present, and future of the situation. I also see these 3 as: the shadow (or underlying influence of the situation), where I am at currently, and what the outcome (or necessary steps forward) shall be. With these three laid out, I know where I should focus the energies within myself.

Turn to the Cards for Comfort and Inspiration

Often I am not seeking anything concrete but just need a little support from my Guides. You can pull a card with a simple intention of “what guidance will serve me best right now.” The ways spirit offers support through these open forum questions is enlightening!

You are Magic, not the Cards

The cards are not magic but rather they offer a channel to develop your soul. Be gentle with yourself and don’t expect the cards to fix your problems. It is your spirit, your higher self, communicating to you through the cards. If you can follow the guidance they offer, you will find the places within to be healed.

If the cards aren’t “working” try clearing them or allow them to be still a bit longer. If you find the images challenging, take a step back and see what specifically your eyes are drawn to. Where intention flows, energy goes. You may receive more messages from what you notice than the words written in the pages.

While we should never put our trust in anything outside of ourselves, divination cards often will give us the encouragement to follow our own inner knowing. They are just pieces of paper after all and we never want to give our power to anything other than the truth of our own heart.

Divination decks offer us certainty, love, and inspiration! They are a subtle reminder we are not alone and oftentimes the synchronicity of the card is uncanny. You can use the cards as a solo means of guidance or in combination with tarot cards or other decks. As with all sacred tools, they offer a means of influence and support that encourages us to follow our heart.

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