Feng Shui Analysis of Grand Mansion Duff House


Duff House - if it had legs it would walk! A bit like the Japanese Animation movie 'Howl's Moving Castle' !

Feng Shui Consultant Gabriella reveals from a feng shui perspective the reason behind Duff House's turbulent history also revealing a similarity between its own flying star chart and the Japanese Cartoon 'Howl's Moving Castle'

Beautiful Picture of Duff House by Duff House Org UK Thinking of visiting? Check out first Duff House Org UK 

Beautiful Picture of Duff House by Duff House Org UK Thinking of visiting? Check out first Duff House Org UK 

A Mansion preferring change and movement.

Duff House is located in Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  It was commissioned to be built by William Duff - Lord Braco in the mid 1700's. It is currently in care of Historic Scotland and is also run by the National Galleries of Scotland.

When it comes to summing up the energies of Duff House as a whole, it craves change and instability quite surprisingly. It doesn't like to settle or be still. It would probably prefer occupants who are too loud, love to be very active, people who have plenty of drama in their lives and who love too much change. Read on to find out why..

It was built in the Feng Shui Period 20 year block cycle, representing the Feng Shui Number 3 of the male ‘Wood Period’ (between 1724 to 1743).

To understand how feng shui numbers represent different periods in time, here is a snippet of the feng shui calendar:

Years between 1684-1703 = governs 1 Water Period
Years between 1704-1723 = governs 2 Earth Period
Years between 1724-1743 = governs 3 Wood Period >Duff House
Years between 1744-1763 = governs 4 Wood Period

As you can see in the above table, Duff House was built in the 'Wood' Period. As mentioned in previous articles, every 20 years will be governed by a number and element.  In Flying Star Feng Shui we cross over this time frame of construction, with the facing degrees of the property.

As strange as it may sound, from this, paired numbers will fly over the property’s construction plan into different magnetic “slices”.

These numbers then become unique to the property and reveal major themes most likely will occur at the property. 

In the case of Duff’s House, the Flying Star calculation is as follows:

Double 3-3 Combination

The flying stars of Duff House, reveal from my perspective, a 'house-type' of great change and instability. In a way you could say that the spirit of the property is not fond of being 'settled'. This is not something I am making up. If you are curious enough to find out, keep on reading..

The number 3 is the number which represents the feet and the legs, so therefore it represents travel and to be on the move, this is because every number represents an organ in the human body as well as an element. Duff House has a double 3-3 combination residing over it's construction plan, in a particular spot which activates this energy more than any other number combination displayed here. How this works exactly, I won't go into at this stage. However I will say that because 3 is paired up twice together to form a double 3-3, this means that energy is amplified quite drastically. That is why Duff House, from a feng shui perspective "has legs" and it can "walk". A bit like the Japanese cartoon "Howl's Moving Castle".

In the cartoon Howl's Moving Castle is run and kept alive by a small fire which holds a heart inside called 'Calcifer', which keeps the castle also under a spell.

Of coincidence, at Duff House, the unique flying star calculation for that property, reveals the number 9 in the centre of this house's construction plan - this number in feng shui governs the heart and the fire element (as numbers/elements also govern different organs in the body)! And centre numbers are what runs a household, however I will not go into the 6-9 combination in the centre of the house at this point. I will mention, if a property has a double 3-3 in this location of northeast, the fire number 9 (which represents the heart) will always reside in the middle of the house.

In other words, houses which govern great movement and change most likely will have 'fire' in it's centre and will be 'run' by the fire element, just as depicted in the animation of Howl's Moving Castle. Because of this, the cartoon is very much representative of this particular flying star feng shui chart. 

Focusing more on the number 3-3 influence at Duff House and it's significance, the number 3 by itself, alone governs the Direction of which the Earth spins, so that is another reason why 3-3 Wood Combination is so strongly associated with change, movement, much travelling and unstable energies.

A double 3-3 paired together at Duff House,  makes for extremely fast and changing energies, bringing great influence to this particular energy. 

What is most striking about the calculation above, is the double 3-3 in the Northeast sector. In this particular positioning, it would have one of the most astounding influences on the property, for reasons which I won't go into at this stage.

At Duff's House, if for instance the double 3-3 combination was located in another sector and not northeast, the scenario may be different and not as I’ve described, the 'changing' influence will not be as strong or pronounced.

With a double 3-3 combination located in a Northeast sector,  most likely the property will be very un-stable, full of changes, transformations or will often change ownership. 

Because of this, you could say that the property tends to get bored of it’s current owners or residents, if they reside too long and once this happens, the property will crave change again and want a different owner or resident.

If the property doesn’t get the change of ownership or resident that it wants, most likely some other situation of great change or transformation may manifest itself in some way or another. This is the nature of the property because of the double 3-3 influence and its location.

Sometimes there may be the exception with a particular individual, if they are eccentric, very active, full of change and transformation, then they may be able to stay longer at the property and have more success with the house. Then the house may take on a particular liking to them.

Because double 3-3 is the strongest influence in this house type, and because 3 governs the 'eldest son', in a way, the perfect resident for a house like this would probably be 'Howl' himself, the young male character from the Japanese animation 'Howl's Moving Castle' who lives in a moving castle. He is a young master wizard who has extraordinary abilities, goes on adventures and fights wars, often transforming into black winged flying beast. 

Because of this unstable combination, this is like a house which wants to take off like a rocket. Simply put, the spirit of the Duff House loves change and movement and most likely will only accept an occupant that is a bit like itself.

I had a look at the history of Duff House to find out if any of this was true. According to Britain Express "during it's long turbulent life, a stately home, an internment camp, a barracks, a hotel, a sanitarium and an art gallery" It was also an exclusive country house re-treat! It was also "the subject of a long and bitter lawsuit".  It was even bombed in WWII!

It is remarkable such a property which has only been around for 250 years yet has had so many transformations in such a short period.

Major  Internal Disputes

Double 3-3 is also number throughout time, which can easily cause major internal disputes, often being legal ones.

With a double 3-3 influence, we are expecting a major theme or 'story' associated with the property that strongly stands out to do with a legal dispute or other kind of dispute or conflict. This is because 3 Wood is associated with the Wood industry, one of them being Law. The reason why it is so strongly associated with Law, is because 3 also represents the Throat. What is written on paper (wood element) and what one says with their words (the throat) is very heavily represented of the industry to do with the Law and the number 3.

The disputes are usually quite serious in these house types and it is often an internal dispute.

With a double 3-3, these disputes tend to be internal manifestations, or an internal theft, in one way or another.

A 2-4 combination (highlighted in grey on the previous construction plan) often is well known to cause arguments between a mother type figure and a younger female figure. This is because 2 belongs to the mother and 4 belongs to the eldest daughter. When paired together in a home, a mother and daughter type figure, may not get on! 

Here in the Japanese Animation, we can see that the writer, who not only incorporated the double 3-3 infused house-type of great change and movement, with a fire centre ('Calcifer'), also took advantage of the 2-4 energy, located in this house type, by also including it into the story.

If we look at the Cartoon Series 'Howl's Moving Castle', in a particular scene two old women stay at Howl's Moving Castle, the old witch falls into greed and steals the Heart of the Castle 'Calcifer' for herself, this leading to great turmoil of the castle and destruction (the old female character, really isn't old, she is really a young women who had a spell cast on her causing her to appear older than she really is. During the conflict between two of the women, this old lady reverts back to her younger self and we can see the 2-4 combination at play, in Howl's Moving Castle).

Going back to the double 3-3 combination and it's ability to cause a legal chaos, in the case of Duff House, I had another look at the Property’s history, to see if there was any major theme representing any massive internal dispute or legal dispute.

In fact, it seems this dispute occurred quite early on in the House’s history, just after it was constructed.

It turns out, the dispute occurred between the owner of the Property, William Duff, 1st Earl Lord Braco and the Architect who designed Duff house, a Scottish Architect named William Adam. It was in regards to the construction of Duff House and payment for services rendered by the architect who built it.

This dispute carried on for quite a number of years. According to the article from Britain Express "agreement between client and craftsman was never put down on paper, and this proved a disastrous mistake"

Adam, the architect considered the blank cheque a free allowance to go ahead with the project to heart's desire. Duff 1st Earl, Lord Braco realised later, that the expenditure was far too extravagant than he originally thought. Duff refused to make a payment to the architect after it was built and used his knowledge of the law to stretch out a court case preventing any payment for 5 years!

Duff's descendants had to finish final additions made to the house later in time, however of particular 4th Earl who had amassed a wonderful and expensive art collection was forced to sell all the art off later because of financial problems.

We can see that this particular legal conflict that occurred early on in the property's history, is a theme or story that most people may associate this property with. This is often what flying star feng shui is all about, it is about the power of symbology. Often when you hear a repeated rumour, gossip or story around a property, you know it is the numbers at play.

In general, this particular type of house does NOT care much for money, assets and anything to do with wealth. The energy at this house, instead has a focus on People. There is a specific calculation here which determines this, and is not a vague interpretation, and I will not explain at this point in time.

This is also why any commercial business with a focus on becoming wealthy and lucrative will most likely not do well.  The focus has to be on People, relationships and health for it to work.

Business to do with 'People' for example health, relationships, healing, sports, counselling groups, committees which focus on specific social groups etc most likely they will attract these house types. When you look at Duff House in history, all it's transformations have been associated with People: it was an exclusive hotel, a very successful hospital (actually was considered more of a luxurious health spa), an exclusive country house retreat, was a prison and a barracks and now is a museum for visitors! This people theme will continue to carry on throughout time.

Businesses which don't focus on people and don't have much to do with engaging people are more to do with the creation of a product or item, like a factory, a storage facility, or a warehouse where manufacturing takes place (places that don't accommodate people) - these sorts of businesses do not do well in these house types! Because they do not focus on people, relationships or health.

'Feng Shui Renweal' Effects on Duff House:

'Feng Shui Renewal' is when a property passes through the same Period it was built in. How does this work?

Duff House was built in Period 3 - the male Wood Period between 1724 to 1743. The 'Feng Shui Renewal' will appear 180 year later, when the next Period 3 arises, which is in between the years of 1904 -  1923.

When 'Feng Shui Renewal' arises, most likely the property will receive added height and promotion, or a freshening up of one's image, sometimes even 'wealth' becomes restored whether that be symbolically or literally. Usually with this kind of promotion, there will be renovations or transformations.

With some Google research I traveled back in time, to the years of 1904 to 1923 at Duff House, to see what arose in this era and did the Feng Shui Renewal take place?

Between 1908 and 1913 Duff House was renovated into an exclusive hotel for wealthy people, described actually as an exclusive country house hotel. During this time a new golf course arose behind the house adding to it's attraction and the wealthy guests that stayed.

After 1913 up until 1921, it was turned in a hospital, also called a sanatorium. However it wasn't just any sanatorium, it provided specialist treatment for a variety of conditions. It was considered a luxurious health spa!

Dr Spriggs undertook pioneering research relatively unknown at that time (diabetes) the sanatorium was so successful that it outgrew its Scottish location and plans were made in 1921 to relocate to Wales. Just before feng shui renewal ended.

If we compare what 'Feng Shui Renewal' is like from a cartoon perspective, watch again 'Howl's Moving Castle', there is a scene where Howl draws up a circular diagram on the floor and with his heart 'Calcifer' and a magic spell, transforms the entire Castle into a more renovated version! There is a transformation here, that the Castle has been updated and re-freshened!

As mentioned before, because the property of Duff House, in general prefers to focus on 'People' rather than making money, even when it passes through it's own 'Renewal Phase' the 'wealth' factor most likely won't come into play or be that strong (the receiving of great financial wealth). Instead, there is a success with People, this makes it ideal for a successful sanatorium, and a focus on 'People' also strongly governs luck to do with 'Health' explaining a medical theme which capitalised on success during this time.

After 'Feng Shui Renewal' finishes, a property then will go into decline, quite drastically, it will heavily lose its luck and become unlucky for decades to follow. It may take a few years for this to happen but it will actually happen. It will take sometimes, many decades for the property to come back into a luckier cycle. However I expect after 1923, that life of the property must have slowly gone into decline for this particular property.

What happened after the 'Feng Shui Renewal' ended?  In 1939 Duff House became a military base up until 1946. During WWII it was also a prison. It was bombed in 1942 during WWII as well, such a shocking hit that 9 people were killed (6 German comrades and 3 others died) and the East wing was completely damaged.

Even though the darker period had emerged, the 'people' theme here is still present, but in the form of war, a more negative situation. For instance, what does a hotel and jail have in common? They are both to do with housing people, but one is positive the other is negative.

After this, it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Much had to be enforced during the 90's to save Duff House from being demolished. This is an example of property experiencing negative effects of the declining phase.

There are other kinds of 'Renewal' that can occur on the house to do with higher levels of feng shui, which I won't go into at this point in time.


Duff House is a House of great change and transformation, considering these forces at play most likely the house won't remain in the hands of Historic Scotland for a long time. I expect at least to see a major change to occur sometime soon.

If we look at the Japanese cartoon series 'Howl's Moving Castle' and the similarities that occurred in this cartoon and this particular flying star chart, I ask the question, did the writer know about Chinese Metaphysics and base some of their story on this particular chart? To me it looks very much apparent. And why not incorporate Chinese metaphysics into a cartoon? There is nothing wrong with that, after all, this is just the way the universe is really operating, being a good guide and direction. One must realise, that the reason why oriental cartoons and oriental movies are often so touching, creative and effective is because often their understanding of Chinese Metaphysics which brings life and sophistication to their vision.

Well I  hope you have enjoyed your Feng Shui Sample of Duff House, there is a lot more that can be said and revealed about this property however perhaps for another day.

Gabriella is Feng Shui Investigator

She can be contacted by email cleverwolffengshui@gmail.com