▲ Seongsan is believed to be rich in feng shui zones - Photo by The Jeju Weekly
Getting out of the car early on a Saturday morning, I stretched my arms, took a few steps and instantly felt significantly more awake.
Was this due to the crisp breeze blowing in from the ocean? Or a natural reaction to seeing the subtropical beauty of one of the more deserted parts of Jeju?
While both theories could explain the jump in my mood, a more interesting idea is that it was due to the natural energy brought on by feng shui.
Feng shui is the belief that energy in any one space can give health and good fortune to the people inhabiting the area.
Its literal translation is wind and water and, as an island famed for both elements, it only makes sense that Jeju has its fair share of places strong in feng shui.
The area I had just arrived in was Seongsan, far out on the western side of the island. While most people know the area because of the stunning natural beauty found at Sunrise peak and Udo island, the area also has a number of other oreum.
These oreum are unique in that they have been formed in a way that, according to feng shui, give the area a great natural energy.
After getting out of our car we took a short walk to our first stop, the Bu family memorial ground, chosen due to the positive feelings felt in the area.
Mr. Bu was an important government official and a high general in the military during the 1400s. Both intelligent and an accomplished fighter, he was the first of a number of ancestors who were also military generals.
Surrounded by lush green fields, and with a clear view of the mysterious looking Siksanbong Peak, it is easy to see why this could be a place filled with natural energy.
However, Jeju legend has it that the feng shui in the local area was a little too strong.
Worried about the constant supply of excellent generals being born in this area and concerned about the threat that could bring to the local government, officials at the time decided to lessen the feng shui by cutting the rocks at the top of Siksanbong.
By doing this it was thought that some of the good energy would escape and the next generations of Bu would not be as strong and intelligent, therefore posing less of a threat to the ruling party.
After learning about this legend, our next stop was naturally to see the rock that had been hacked down by the army generals.
Walking towards Siksanbong we passed the Ohjori wetlands. This beautiful expanse of sea water, protected from the rest of the ocean by Siksanbong, is also home to a number of migratory birds.
Perhaps they too can sense the energy in the area.
Siksanbong is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting oreum on Jeju. Completely covered in dense forest, and with full views of the sea and sunrise peak, it has a mysterious and tropical aura about it.
In fact the trees found on the oreum are a type of evergreen broad-leafed plant that is rare on Jeju only found in subtropical climates.
The climb to the top of the oreum is a short one, taking only 20 minutes or so.
We stopped on the way up to inspect the place where government officials were supposed to have cut the rock. As if confirming the legend, you can clearly see where a huge number of rocks have somehow broken from the cliff face above.
At the top of the oreum is one of the most spectacular views that Jeju has to offer.
From the left, you can see the sharp summit of Jimi Oreum, followed by Udo, Sunrise Peak and then Daesusan-bong Peak to the right.
This was the perfect place for our guide to explain the theory behind the feng shui of the area.
As the main oreum in the set, Siksan-bong gets its energy from Mount Halla, however, it is the unique placement of the aforementioned Oreum that causes the area’s unique energy.
First are the two oreum to the side of Siksanbong. Sitting next to a beautiful area of green ocean and with one of the most natural beaches on Jeju in front of it, Jimi Oreum is a sight to behold in its own right.
However it also has the role of the ‘left green dragon (좌청룡)’ and along with Daesusanbong which is the ‘right white tiger(우백호)’, they sit to the side of Siksanbong to protect it and offer it strength.
Just behind Siksanbong sits Dusan-bong and Daewangsan. These two oreum are Siksanbong’s desk (Daewang-san) for intelligence and it’s liege (Dusanbong) for protection.
Perhaps the most important feng shui features of the area are the two most well-known attractions in Seongsan. Udo and Sunrise peak sit between Siksanbong and the sea and stop the precious energy being lost into the sea.
This unique set of circumstances creates a ring around Seongsan where the natural energy of Jeju is concen-trated, making Seongsan one of the places with the best energy on Jeju.
At the top of Siksanbong, surrounded by one of the most beautiful views on Jeju we spent five minutes sat in silence listening to the natural beauty and taking in the natural energy found at the most energy filled spot in Jeju.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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