Articles & papers – Feng Shui conference: Geomancy … a matter of luck

Heaven-luck, earth-luck and man-luck

  • Murphy’s Law and Inverse Murphy
    • being in the right place at the right time
    • not being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
  • Weirdness and the nature of wyrd
    • accepting limits of ‘control’
    • we do have choice in direction, but not control

It’s obvious that geomancy is a matter of luck – but not quite in the sense that sceptics mean when they say that it’s only luck!

Feng shui describes our experiences in terms of heaven-luck, earth-luck and man-luck: heaven-luck describes what happens because of our nature – who we are and when we live – whilst earth-luck is what happens because of where we live – our surroundings and the like. But whilst each of these describe content that may well be inevitable, the context determines the intensity of each: whether a ‘fated’ financial loss is expressed as bankruptcy and ruin, or simply forgetting to collect the change when buying our lunchtime chicken-and-chips. Chinese tradition says that heaven-luck is outside our control, and earth-luck mostly so: but man-luck is the fact that we do have choice in context.

That weird sense of ‘forewarning’ is one example of man-luck. And it’s one reason I like the old Nordic word ‘wyrd’: it’s a weird variant of the old Indo-European myth of the ‘three Fates’, and it tells us that there’s always a choice, but also always a twist. It tells us that Murphy’s Law really is a law: but being a law, it also has to apply to itself, so if Murphy’s Law can go wrong, it probably will – which is why we get that comforting illusion of control… Ultimately Murphy’s Law leads us to Inverse Murphy: “things can go right, if we let them – but if we only allow things to go right in expected ways, we’re limiting your chances!”. But it’s why geomancy can be a bit weird at times…

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