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The Three Killings

The Three Killings (aka San Sha in Chinese) is one of the three major annual afflictions in Feng Shui and it is of utmost important that the ground or location in which the Three Killings resides during the year should not be disturbed at all costs. If it is, the household will meet with three types of misfortune. 

This may sound a little over the top but my advice to you is to take this affliction seriously. I have, through various consultations, seen the effects of the Three Killings when it is disturbed.

Plan well. For example; in 2014, the Three Killings will occupy the NORTH spanning 75º. If there are major noisy jobs you have in mind for the NORTH(the NORTH room or the NORTH garden), I would encourage you to do it this year and stay from the NORTH in 2014.

What constitute disturbances to the Three Killings location? 

1.      Earth disturbances such as digging the ground for trees planting, creating ponds and wells, road construction, renovating driveways or any form of building construction.  

2.      Renovation and repairs such as drilling and hammering of the walls. Do not renovate the location of the Three Killings. Should you need to do urgent repair to this location of the house, you should consult a professional consultant who will be able to provide you with a good month or day for it.  

3.      Loud music or loud noises from screaming, shouting and slamming of doors.

Where are the annual locations of the Three Killings?

The Three Killings is a direct translation from the Chinese ‘San Sha’. Although the concept of The Three Killings is associated with three earthly branches, its annual position is defined according to one of the four cardinal compass directions, namely North (water), East (wood), South (fire) and West (metal).

Tracing the Three Killings

This is quite easy once you have the concept in your mind. 

The twelve earthly branches are matched into four groups of harmonious alliances (trinities). In order to determine the location of The Three Killings, we must firstly explore the trinities of the earthly branches and their phases. The four trinities are: 

Rat, Dragon and Monkey (Water phase) to the North

Rabbit, Sheep and Boar (Wood phase) to the East

Horse, Dog and Tiger (Fire phase) to the South

Rooster, Ox and Snake (Metal phase) to the West  

These earthly branches are not The Three Killings but merely indicate the position of The Three Killings. The Three Killings sits in the opposite cardinal direction (spanning 75 degrees of that direction) of the phase represented by the year’s earthly branch. For example:

2014 earthly branch is the HORSE. Horse belongs to the Group B of the Fire phase to the SOUTH. As such, The Three Killings sits in the NORTH.

 Easy way to determine 3 Killings Direction:





A ( Wood phase )

Pig / Boar

Rabbit ( East )

Goat / Sheep

B ( Fire phase )


Horse ( South )


C ( Metal phase )


Rooster ( West )


D ( Water phase )


Rat ( North )


Step 1: Find Group member,

Step 2: Find Key

Step 3: 3 Killings is always in the opposite of the Key’s direction.

For example; 2014 would be the year of the Horse. The Horse belongs to the Group B of the Fire phase to the South. This means The Three Killings will be located in the NORTH in 2014. 

The caution attached to the Three Killings is to avoid disturbing the ground where the Three Killings sits. One should pay attention to this especially if the house facing also faces this same direction.  If the location of the Three Killings is disturbed by noisy renovation or digging activities, there may be undesirable consequences for the residents involving illnesses, loss of wealth, accidents, injury, serious arguments and, in extreme cases, fatalities.  DO NOT start any construction at 3 Killings sector.

This year (2014), the 3 Killings fall on the NORTH, so place a Three Celestial Guardians or Three Chi Lin facing the direction of the THREE KILLINGS and make sure you don't sit or sleep with your back to the NORTH. It is also believed that one should also never sit on the San Sha (3 killings) or have it direction behind one's back but instead should confront it boldly. In 2014 for example, the San Sha direction is in the NORTH, so one should not sit facing South (even if it is your best direction) as this would mean sitting on the afflicted NORTH or having the NORTH behind you. Conversely, sitting with the Three Killings direction in front of you, i.e. facing the NORTH can help to overcome its harmful effects. The Three Celestial Guardians or Three Chi Lin should be facing out the windows or should be facing directly at the main entrance of the house. Place this item on a table and avoid putting on the floor.

The opening and closing of a frequently use doors (front, back or side doors) that face The Three Killings’ direction in any given year are considered a disturbance too. Care should be taken to avoid slamming of doors especially with youngsters around the house.  

In Chinese tradition, Ksiddigarbha with Three Celestial Protectors and 3 Celestial Guardian Plaque were placed in the location of the Three Killings supposedly to appease the affliction but it serves more to mark the location as a reminder to the occupant of the afflicted area during the year. As long as the afflicted area is not disturbed, there should be no real cause for concern.  

What if the area is disturbed with building projects by the town council or your neighbour

Well, the traditional cure is to place metal between your property and the area of disturbance. This could be any metal object like Metal 3 Celestial Guardians, preferably still objects (e.g. no metal wind chime). There is another traditional school of thought that advises placing a symbolic statue of deities. One famously used deity is a bronze ‘Kwan Gong’ (God of War). 

Feng Shui also advocates that you should never sit with your back to The Three Killings. Instead you should sit facing it. This refers mainly to if you are moving your desk around during the year.  

What about sofas?

This reminds me of the many emails I have received asking about the positioning of sofas in the living room. Although the advice is that you should not sit with your back to the Three Killings, this refers not so much to isolated incidents. It is prolonged periods of time spent in this position that affect you more.  

For example, if you happen to move your office desk to face South this year 2014, with your back to The Three Killings in the NORTH, this could affect your performance at work or your relationships with people with whom you work in the office. These effects include poor performance, obstacles, lack of focus or loss of concentration. There may also be gossip and back stabbing.  

However, if you are watching TV with your back to The Three Killings, no harm will come to you provided you have not disturbed the ground where the Three Killings is located. Disturbing the grounds of the Three Killings is the main cause for concern. To antagonize the Three Killings is asking for big trouble.

You can write to us at sales@fengshui-supply.comshould you have any query on the Annual Afflictions.