Among the various commandments that feng shui masters adhere to as a standard, one of the most serious afflictions that is engraved in stone is the Fire at Heaven’s Gate (火烧天门).
When an affliction has it’s own name, you’d know that it’s not something to ignore.
And as we would have it, there are different takes on what fire at heavens gate means.
For example, this feng shui affliction is generally said to be present when the kitchen is located in the northwest sector of a house no matter it’s facing or sitting direction. For flying star feng shui specialists, this can occur when the white star 6 meets the purple star 9 in any sector of the house. Then there’s the 8 mansions scholars who identify it when the 5 Ghosts (wu gui) ends up on the northwest.
There are actually a few more. But let’s move on.
While the theories and concepts of differing feng shui schools of thought needs to be respected, the affliction is generally pointed out as a serious affliction when the kitchen sits on the northwest.
The logic behind this is that the northwest sits the Chien trigram which represents heaven and the patriarch who is the head of the household. It is also a sector that has metal energy as foundations. This association with heaven and metal indicates the heaven’s gate. And as metal is melted by fire (from kitchen stove) according to the fundamental laws of the 5 elements, the phrase fire burning at heaven’s gate came about.
When this problem is not managed, the household can expect wealth loss, males suffering career instability, even health problems connected to head and respiratory system can occur.
As such, it is a feng shui issue to avoid as much as possible.
However under certain circumstances, when the patriarch was born during the winter season, he might have a bazi where fire is favorable to him. So fire at the northwest might actually bring good luck instead of turning it into ash.
From this point on, unless specifically stated otherwise, fire at heaven’s gate refers to kitchen in the northwest.
How to manage fire at heaven’s gate
The easiest way to resolve this problem is to avoid it in the first place.
Either choose a house with a layout that does not have the kitchen in the northwest sector or inform the builder to build the kitchen anywhere but the northwest.
But I have a weird feeling that if you are reading thing, you must be suffering from this affliction already.
And there is no way you can relocate the kitchen. With all the fixtures, piping and electrical works, relocating the kitchen is not as simple as relocating a bedroom.
Some of the most common ways that practitioners suggest to remedy the problem is with the placement of items in the northwest area where the kitchen is.
This includes items like a bowl, basin or urn filled with water with an exposed surface area. This helps to calm down the fury of the fire energy present.
Then there are those who advocate using the presence of a strong earth element object like a large orange stone or gemstones that are naturally of earth color such as yellow jasper to exhaust the fire energy, thereby weakening the blows it is throwing at heaven gate.
Then there are those who recommended the idea of replacing the fire stove with an induction cooker. This effectively removes the presence of real fire. Softening the fire energy present.
These suggested cures do make sense from a feng shui perspective and can be applied as the simplest ways to counter the said affliction.
However, it would be like protecting yourself from the rain with a small umbrella. It might save you from getting drenched. But you are still going to get wet.
When there is no option to relocate the kitchen out of the northwest, then the concept of the small tai chi can be applied.
This concerns applying the directional compass map of the house right onto the kitchen floor plan itself.
Then ensure that the stove, oven, microwave, and other electronic cooking machines that give out heat are not located in the northwest sector of the kitchen space.
While this method does not totally remove the feng shui ailment, it offers much more protection as a “canopy” against heavy rain. Effectively minimizing the affliction to it’s smallest possible potency.
And if flying star natal charts are superimposed onto the kitchen as a small tai chi, then you can also use micro-placement to pick out the best areas to locate the stove and energize a favorable water star.
Cure fire at heaven’s gate once and for all
If you are fully intent on solving this feng shui problem once and for all, then consider pushing the northwest sector of the house into a missing corner.
This can be achieved by constructing an extension to the house. Thus creating a larger floor area for the bagua map and sending the northwest into emptiness.
The problem with this solution is that the house will end up with no northwest section. This will also not be ideal for the patriarch of the family.
So if you are already serious contemplating the building of an extension, you might as well include the northwest into the new extended area.
This enables you to keep the northwest, remove the heaven’s gate issue, and increase the floor area of the premises… potentially increasing the home value in the process.
This is actually the best solution to this feng shui ailment when the kitchen cannot be relocated.
Yet be mindful that this can shift mountain and water stars from current rooms to the new space.
For apartments, building out an extension can be impossible.
Therefore, if the conditions permit, then demarcate the kitchen with dividers and flooring tiles so that an extra segment is easily identifiable as outside the kitchen area.
This can “push” the northwest into this “new” area and outside the perimeters of the kitchen.
For added measure, set up the feng shui items for better peace of mind.
A feng shui issue to keep in mind when buying homes
As with almost all feng shui problems, there are always exceptions to the rule.
In some cases, fire at the northwest can actually be good for the patriarch. An example is when the patriarch was born in winter, resulting in a “cold and wet” bazi characteristic. So when the conditions are right, fire at this sector can actually be beneficial instead of being a metaphysical disaster.
However, this is advanced stuff and beginners should err on the side of caution when tackling this issue.
One of the reasons why the fire burning heaven’s gate feng shui affliction is such a feared issue is that it is a situation that is very hard to remedy definitively.
If a homeowner do not have the means or options to get extensive building works carried out, then there is no method to conclusively cure the ailment.
This is why this problem is something that has to be avoided from the start.
Before you approve building plans, or before you purchase a house as it is.