History of Feng Shui: T’an Yang Wu
We would not know that esoteric Feng Shui exists and is being passed down from Master to apprentices in every generation if it were not for T’an Yang Wu. During the 1920’s, TYW was a renowned FX (Flying Star) Feng Shui Master and he had a popular following in China. He originally learned San Yuan Flying Stars Feng Shui from his close relative, Yang Jiu Ru. Later in life he denounced these FX teachings after he was taught the esoteric meaning and methodology of real Feng Shui. His life in imparting Feng Shui teachings can be divided into two time periods.
In the early 1920’s TYW was a strong believer in FX Feng Shui. He opened the San Yuan Mythology Research Community in Shanghai, taught correspondence courses, and published three books during this time too: Da Xuan Kong Lu Tou, Da Xuan Kong Shi Yan and Bien Zhen Xin Jie. Two of his students at that time were Eu See Bing and Xiu Lee. But Xiu Lee, a good Taoist monk, always claimed he never knew ‘real’ Feng Shui.
In 1929 TYW met a Taoist priest, Lee Chen Xu, who taught him the deeper, hidden truth about esoteric Feng Shui. He realized he had made a mistake in his previous beliefs and that the old FX theory and techniques he had taught and practiced before were wrong.
TYW was an honorable man. So, in 1930, to correct his mistake, he published an ad in a major Chinese newspaper apologizing for spreading the FX teachings. At that time he also declared all of his previous Feng Shui teachings, (the ones he learned before he met the Taoist priest), to be not true Feng Shui. He never ‘blended’ or used his old FX Feng Shui teachings with his new understanding.
In fact, Master T’an Yang Wu completely stopped teaching and using FX Feng Shui. He turned all of his attention to esoteric Feng Shui and spent nearly 8 years in silence to understand the correct theory and to practice his new skills.
Eventually TYW did transmit this sacred knowledge to others– but not to the general public. He taught esoteric Feng Shui to only select students who would take an oath to not reveal the secrets of heaven and earth. Ironically, once he began in earnest with esoteric Feng Shui he never regained the fame he experienced when he taught and practiced FX Feng Shui. Furthermore, his students who learned esoteric Feng Shui never became famous.
Nearly a year after the priest Lee Chen Xi passed away TYW published an article called “Re-Translation of Bian Zhen Notes.” He also began to rewrite the notes on “Di Li Bian Zhen Xuan Kong Explanation.” But World War II brought everyone, including Master T’an Yang Wu, some great hardships. One of them for him being that he began to go blind.
After the war he and his family moved away from Hong Kong. Some believe that he moved somewhere close to the sea but his last whereabouts remain a mystery.