I'm happy to say that today we makee a swift return back to the Yang Zing theme! The Yang Zing continue to be one of my favorite new monster groups debuting this year, and today I want to show you how Feng Shui continues to bleed into the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! with the fascinating Yang Zing spell and trap cards.

Today I'll dive right back into the topic of Feng Shui and how it pertains to the strange world of the Yang Zing monsters. There's a lot of information to digest here as far as Feng Shui's concerned, so I implore you to research and ask questions. Feng Shui's a fascinating area of interest and takes many years to master.

A Study in Pink...
There were a few big things I didn't touch on last time around: namely the six sided star of the Yang Zing and their less than physical forms visible in their artwork. It would seem the Yang Zing monsters are surprisingly not solid, at least not in their entireties. Their bodies being of both the physical and spiritual world allow them to become solid and noncorporeal all at the same time, almost as if they phase in an out of reality.

Take a look at the Yang Zing monster cards and cards featuring them in the artwork. You'll notice that their bodies are generally shrouded in a mist or haze phasing in and out of the material and spiritual worlds. Yang Zing Unleashed and Yang Zing Creation really drive this imagery home.

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Color interpretation plays a huge role in the Yang Zing and the beliefs of Feng Shui. Depending on the element, different colors are used to enhance and pay respects to said element. Water is symbolized by black and blue – Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing is blue. Metal is symbolized by grey and white – the Dark and Light Yang Zing monsters all feature grey and white armor plating. Earth is represented by lighter yellows and sandy, muted tones; you'll notice Bi'an, Earth of the Yang Zing is literally yellow and beige. Fire stakes claims in red, bright yellows, purples and pinks; Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing is rose and red colored. Wood is represented by deep browns and greens specifically, like Pulao, Wind of the Yang Zing. Almost all the Yang Zing monsters fit into the color profiling laid out through Feng Shui practices. It's quite fascinating when you think about how color plays a role in our every day lives, whether it be in marketing ads or what we wear, or how we feel when we see a specific color.

Their amazing ability to Synchro Summon during either players turn represents the Yang Zing's resourcefulness and their capability to take on the energy needed to complete a task. Whether it be defending or attacking, they can almost always provide an answer for your problems, much like the fluid protection of Feng Shui.

You Thought I Was Done With Gemology?
We come now to the 'crest' or 'hexagram' of the Yang Zing, the triangle with three spikes and a colored orb in the center. The crest immediately reminded me of the Star of David, but this symbol isn't exclusive to any system of beliefs and appears in many cultures. Each of the Yang Zings 'stars' features a different colored orb in the center with a total of only seven different colors (for now).

-Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing has an emerald green orb in his chest.

-Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing displays an orange colored orb.

-Pulao, Wind of the Yang Zing sports a yellow-green orb in his star.

-Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing features a blue orb.

-Bi'An, Earth of the Yang Zing presents an orange orb.

-Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing flaunts a red orb in his chest.

In The New Challengers you'll see that the last three brothers are adorned with orbs of grey and white, violet, and indigo.

Hexagrams do exist in Feng Shui and are displayed in the form of a round disk with six crystal balls placed around a center crystal, thus creating a six-sided star pattern or hexagram. I've seen different types with colorless crystal balls surrounding a single colored stone, or some with no color at all. One of the more visually appealing versions includes seven different colored crystal balls consisting of amethyst (purple), rock crystal (clear), carnelian or red agate (red), obsidian or smoky quartz (black/grey), aventurine (green), tigers eye (yellow) and rose quartz (pink). Color psychology plays an important role in Feng Shui. Each of these different colored crystals represents a different Chakra and is said to affect different aspects of energy and life.

Concerning the star itself, an auspicious symbol, it's made up of two triangles: a downward facing triangle symbolizing the feminine, creative Yang energies – spirituality transforming into matter. The upward triangle represents the masculine Yin energies. Matter transforming into spirituality. It symbolizes the creation cycle with the corners of intersection representing duality and the points representing a merging, bringing together wholeness, harmony and balance. This star shaped energy grid is thought to act as an instrument that allows for transcendence of the physical world into the spiritual connecting creation. These stars can be used to infuse and empower homes and workplaces with good qi.

The base upon which the crystal balls sits is also important, and depending on the type of gemstone material used is believed to enhance desired energies such as health and wealth. When the crystals feel like they've lost their energy it's said it's best to shine light on them to reactivate them, as the fire energy is believed to produce the necessary earth energies needed to reinvigorate the crystals.

So as you can see, each of the Yang Zing monsters features one of these crystal balls within their own hexagram on their chest for specific purposes. Perhaps they symbolize the different elemental cycles of destruction, creation and enhancement?

Ley the Lines for a Wealthy Foundation
While we're on the idea of energy grids, Yang Zing Prana definitely belongs in this category. While it hasn't seen much play, it's a fascinating card that offers so much and asks so little. First of all, why would we have localized the name to 'prana'? That's a good question considering the word prana stems from the Sanskrit word for 'life giving force' or 'breath of life'. The answer is that prana and qi are essentially synonyms.

The fan translated name of this card was 'Yang Zing Ley Line', in reference to what are thought to be networks of energy lines that run on the Earth's surface, supposedly linked to ancient monuments and holy places. They feature an almost geometric alignment that travel through landscapes and act as connectors to various structures, and are considered to be 'energy' paths wherein energy freely flows. Spirits are also believed to follow these paths and can interfere with the health, fortune and wealth of the living. Removal of landmarks by man or by natural processes is believed to affect the movement of that energy.

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For example, removal of bodies of water such as rivers; uprooting trees to prevent the hindering of flowing qi; and the removal of rocks and hills, can be done by man to help the qi flow in the direction desired. All of these various elements also make up the Yang Zing archetype as well with Bi'an, Earth of the Yang Zing; Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing; and Pulao, Wind of the Yang Zing considered as primal forces rather than wyrm-like beings. This is where the sons of the Emperor become one with the elements whilst still retaining their poetic roots.

Feng Shui is sometimes linked to, but isn't necessarily the same as Geomancy. Geomancy refers to the idea of prophecy or divination involving the earth, or 'earth reading'. Conceptually the two sets of beliefs are closely related; both are concerned with the idea of proper placement of monuments, buildings, and living quarters according to a belief in surrounding earth energies. Geomancy is more concerned with predicting the future based upon signs divined from earthly objects similar to many other forms of divination, including Tarot, pyromancy (studying fire and how it reacts), and necromancy (which is NOT raising the dead, that'd be more akin to something like necrokinesis).

By contrast, Feng Shui is more closely related to healing, potential, wealth and providing useful energy to the practitioners. One interesting card to consider is Geomancer of the Ice Barrier from Hidden Arsenal 2. Geomancer's original name holds the Kanji for water and wind, something akin to 'Feng Shui Practitioner of the Ice Barrier'. It holds an eight-sided Feng Shui mirror in front of her face, a tool of Feng Shui and not actually seen in geomancy. By declaring an attribute, it becomes completely immune to it, symbolizing its ability to shield itself from that element. It sort of reflects the use of Feng Shui to protect and heal oneself.

Our Yang Zing Prana works in a similar way. In the card's artwork you cane see ley lines charging with energy in the Mountains, creating a grid. Depending on what you've buried in your graveyard representing the various energy networks, you're blessed for your participation. As a Continuous Spell Card, Yang Zing Prana acts much like a real life ley line affecting the land, or in this case, your field with the graveyard serving as the land's surrounding areas. The 'dead' Yang Zing serve as your geographical structures and energy grids as we discussed above, forming rivers (Bixi), Mountains and rocks (Bi'An) for example.

Cleaning Up Your Act of Aggression
Yang Zing Path's really interesting: it continues on with what I was saying in the first Yang Zing article. In the foreground of the card art you can see Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing hurtling towards Earth in the form of a small meteor. Upon closer Inspection Chiwen's descending from Eltanin, the brightest star of Draco, which is found in the dragons 'head' area of the constellation. In the background of the card you see the constellation itself, along with a green and blue starry night sky (river), bright stars (fire) Mountains (earth) and trees (wood). All the elements are present in this card's art with Chiwen serving again as the element of metal.

In Chinese astronomy, the constellation of Draco is known as 'the heavenly Dragon Constellation,' perhaps alluding to the Yang Zing as descendants of the Dragon Emperor in the fairy tale. To grasp the importance of the Draco constellation we have to venture back thousands of years. During this time, Thuban, Alpha Draconis, served as the polestar (the guide star which we now consider to be Polaris).

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In Chinese astronomy, Draco served a more complicated role with each of the stars in the constellation representing various imperial houses, objects and people. Chinese astronomy is a much larger subject that would take more than just this article to explain, so for argument's sake let's just say that the stars in this constellation are very important and imperial. Possibly, the regality of this star and its tie with the Emperor could be an allusion to the majesty of the Dragon Emperor, father to the Yang Zing monsters.

It's believed that recycling and removing clutter from your life in the form of possessions makes for good qi, as clutter's considered to be harmful. Qi is meant to flow, not amble through an obstacle course; a straight path is what's desired. We can already begin to see that the idea of a clear path and the Yang Zing Path card itself are meant to clear the clutter out of your life. By removing the clutter from your graveyard and sending it back to the deck, redistributing and supplying qi, you'll be blessed with drawing two more cards. That's the fastest I've ever seen Feng Shui take effect ever!

Of course, gifts given from the deck could result in more Yang Zing monsters as well which might clutter the hand. This is remedied by a certain son of the Dragon Emperor which will be released in the game in November, known as Jiaotu!

If Yang Strike Zing Down
Some consider Yang Zing Creation a staple of the strategy, while others consider it a hindrance. This card, in my opinion, will only become better as the rest of the sons of the Dragon Emperor are released in card form. You'll see in the artwork that Constellar Sombre's in the background releasing a bright light, and from this decree the earth and water are reacting. The splitting earth appears to breath life into Bi'an, Earth of the Yang Zing, arising from a fissure. The water swallows itself and produces the form of Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing. It seems these monsters are literally created from the essence and elements of the world.

Yang Zing Creation explains and symbolizes the idea of qi very easily. Whenever ANY monster is destroyed and sent to the graveyard – not just your Yang Zings – you get to summon a Yang Zing monster from your deck. It's out with the stagnant qi and in with the fresh, revitalized qi in the form of a new Yang Zing.

Death and burial are a huge deal in Feng Shui. Where you're buried will determine the outcome of the next generations of your family, including wealth, nobility, strength, and fortune. a sacred ceremony is performed. Pictures are removed so the spirit can't return through the eyes of the photos and become stuck between their home and the gravesite. The eyes are often blackened with paint to prevent a spirit's return. Energy left behind from the death is thought to become negative qi. Some rituals call for the complete destruction of the deceased's clothing through burning, repainting rooms, and a complete and thorough cleaning of the floors and walls.

As interesting as the idea of death in the Feng Shui cycle is, one of the more important cycles is that of the elements, of Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal. A lengthy topic unto itself, the main things you need to know about the elements are the cycles of creation, destruction and controlling. Each of the cycles performs a specific role necessary in enhancing, destroying or creating energy.

The Creation Cycle is used to enhance weak elements and empower them:

-Fire creates Earth with ashes returning to the earth and becoming soil.

-Earth becomes Metal with the idea being that pressure within the earth will turn rocks into metals.

-Metal produces Water because cold metal can produce condensation.

-Water enhances Wood because water is needed to nourish plant life.

-Wood nourishes Fire as it provides a source of energy and fuel.

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The Destructive Cycle can be used to destroy excess energies produced by an element:

-Water douses Fire.

-Fire melts the Metal.

-Metal cuts into Wood.

-Wood saps the Earth.

-Earth sullies Water.

Finally, the Controlling Cycle is used to curb the elements without completely nullifying them either:

-Wood absorbs Water, and is nourished by it.

-Water will corrode Metal.

-Metal uses the energy of the Earth to grow and sustain itself.

-Earth can calm and sedate Fire.

-Fire burns Wood into ashes.

Each of the Yang Zing are split into two categories; those with 0 ATK who serve as defenders, and those with 0 DEF who take on the role of aggressors. Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing and the two Synchro monsters are so far the only exception to this rule. Aggressive Yang Zing monsters must Summon a monster from the deck in face-up defense position when they're destroyed, and they're represented by the attributes (elements) of Fire and Earth. While you could Summon another aggressive Yang Zing with high ATK, they'll probably be destroyed quite easily.

The defensive Yang Zing Summon either the Light (Metal), Fire, or Earth attributes. You could also Summon another defender in attack position rather than a more aggressive Yang Zing, but doing so could severely damage your Life Points. You get where this is going: attackers become defenders and defenders become attackers, reflecting the cycles above. Luckily you have the luxury of Summoning any monster at any given time from your deck.

I hope you all enjoyed part two of the Yang Zing chronicles. I cannot wait for the release of The New Challengers in November! The three soon to be introduced are represented by the Dark attribute, and you'll come to see that they're not exactly the black sheep of the family you'd expect them to be. Sure their affiliation's closely linked to darker matters such as murder, gluttony and locking things away, but they come by it honestly. We'll attend to the matters of light and dark perspectives later in November, so check back then!

-Franco Ferrara