Tuesday, August 4, 2009


During the Mid Autumn festival, little lanterns are floated in lakes. I see light (Fire) inside the lanterns made of metal ( Metal) frames set afloat on a wooden (Wood) base, on a lake (Water) surrounded by land. ( Earth)

Dotted all over Malaysia and Singapore are altars or mini temples. This one in Singapore is devoted to the Goddess of the sea. Fishermen come to worship her and ask her blessings. Usually there is a big urn where paper money is burnt. (Fire), the altar is located by the sea (Water) on the land (Earth). The altar is made of Wood and metal. They also burn incense and there is an oil lamp where the fire is never put out.

These photos need to be viewed with a bit of imagination and humour. Indeed getting all five elements in one photo is a bit difficult. Gordon tells me that if I could get 4, that is good enough. Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal,and Water.

Just a bit of info about the elements. My dad's family were either Roman Catholics or free thinkers. So we did not believe in this elements. But my mum's family believed in them in a big way.

When a baby is born, the parents would bring to a geomancer his/her "phat chee" or "ba zi" aka 8 characters. The Geomancer will consult his Almanac (Tong Shu) If the baby is lacking in water, he should be given a name that has water in it to counter his lack of it.

I know this, because an Uncle was deemed to lack GOLD (metal), his name was Gold Wheel. A cousin lacked water, her name was water.

Recently, I met a woman whose name was Gold Wood. I explained to her that she was lacking in two elements. She said, no wonder, her name was different from her sisters. Now she knew.


Irene said...

You have an interesting blog, Ann. I gather you are Singaporean migrated to NZ?

Anonymous said...

What intersting info and great take on the theme1

WildBlack said...

Very interesting info!Very nice shots to go with it too! :D

Reader Wil said...

That's interesting, Ann! How can you lack in an element? How do you know that you lack in something?
Thanks for the advice on treating hostas with crushed egg shells. I also put egg shells in the compost bin.

Anonymous said...

A different angle on the theme. Nice job. :)

Unknown said...

Interesting combination of 5 elements!! I've had my ba zi read once...seems ok - so far- hehe :D Nice lanterns there. The 5 elements is the basis of all feng shui principles, I practise it at home and work :D

Anonymous said...

The lanterns are interesting, the information as well as the pictures. Thanks for stopping in a commenting too!

rainstorm said...

those little lanterns floats on the lake look quite similar like Loy Krathong festival :)