An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Faweilun 發微論

Jan 5, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Faweilun 發微論 "About uncovering the secrets [of landscape]" is a book on geomancy (fengshui 風水) written by the Southern-Song-period 南宋 (1127-1279) scholar Cai Yuanding 蔡元定 (1135-1198), who also wrote a book on music, Lülü xinshu 律呂新書.

The short book Faweilun consists of 16 chapters that describe the importance of dragons (long 龍), energetic "vessels" (mai 脈), Yin and Yang 陰陽, hardness and softness, ghosts and spirits for the auspicious or inauspicious character for certain spots in the landscape. The Faweilun was for a long time an important classic of geomancy.

It is included in the series Dili daquan 地理大全 and Siku quanshu 四庫全書. In the Dili daquan version, the author is called Cai Mutang 蔡牧堂, which was the style of Cai Yuanding's father Cai Fa 蔡發 (1089—1152).

Table 1. Contents of the Faweilun 發微論
1. 剛柔 Gangrou Hard and soft
2. 動靜 Dongjing Moving and quiet
3. 聚散 Jusan Gathering and dispersing
4. 向背 Xiangbei Facing and averting
5. 雌雄 Zixiong Female and male
6. 強弱 Qiangruo Strong and weak
7. 順逆 Shunni Obedient and obstreperous
8. 生死 Shengsi Living and dead
9. 微著 Weizhu Secret and open
10. 分合 Fenhe Disparting and uniting
11. 沉浮 Chenfu Submerging and floating
12. 淺深 Qianshen Shallow and deep
13. 饒減 Raoxian Abundant and lacking
14. 趨避 Qubi Inclining and avoiding
15. 裁成 Caicheng Diminishing and completing
16. 感應 Ganying Feeling and responding
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1786.