What Is The Feng Shui Compass?
What is a compass? Dictionary.com defines it as “an instrument for determining directions, as through a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north.” This is the Western view of a compass. But what is a Feng Shui compass? It is a directional finder, also known as the Lo-Pan or Lou-Pan, and it is used to determine the Bagua of one’s home or other important space if one follows the classic school of Feng Shui.
So, tradition says that the Chinese did not develop their compass for navigation. Instead, it was for Feng Shui purposes. They used the pole stars for navigation for many years instead.
A Feng Shui compass may be fashioned with up to 40 concentric bands circling a magnetic needle. While a traditional one is preferred, please do not fall for cheap imitations at import stores, as they are usually inaccurate.
Types of Feng Shui compasses:
The world has three compasses: the Lo-Pan, the magnetic needle, and the magnetic disk. The Lo-Pan is what this article will explain in detail. It uses a needle and a plate but must be adjusted manually to get information. Outside the magnetic parts are the circles that go in bands around the outside, making these compasses much more significant than their Western counterparts.
Each circle has a specific meaning and reference to Feng Shui principles. It takes years to learn all of the computations and definitions in these circles; today, most amateurs look up the information online rather than do the work manually.
Kinds Of Compass or Luopan
#1. The magnetic needle compass
This uses a “needle” that is permanently magnetized to point north. Typically, in the West, the north is colored red, and the South is colored black. The magnetic disk is slightly different. It does not need manual adjustments and is used mainly on moving objects such as ships and airplanes.
Some people have asked which directions Feng Shui goes by. First, the north is north, and the south is south, no matter what part of the globe. Magnetic fields work; however, there is a difference between magnetic north and geographic north. In Feng Shui, one should only be concerned with the magnetic north. In that respect, the Feng Shui compass is not different from any other.
#2. Western Compass
A western compass has four primary directions that most of us memorized long ago: north, south, east, and West. It also has four secondary directions between the primary ones. A Feng Shui compass is much more complex. It has the eight directions a Western one has, but each direction is subdivided into three directions.
That means this compass has 24 directions possible. The sub directions have to do with a concept called flying stars. More specific details are needed to determine the correct star at the right time, or tragedy may result. For now, let us focus on history.
#3. Feng Shui compass or Lo-Pan
There were three types of Feng Shui compass or Lo-Pan. The San He Lo-Pan was used in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). This compass had 24 rings; each had a different formula and method. The philosophy examined the location based on its structure, such as mountains, rivers, etc.
The San Yuan Lo-Pan, also known as Jiang-Pan, came later. Its compass had a ring for the 64 trigrams (used for statistical analysis), a 24-vector ring, and others. It also incorporated the more complex “flying stars” concept.
The Zong He Lo-Pan combined elements from its two predecessors. Today, one may find a simplified Lo-Pan without all the rings and formulas. It is possible to look up the information needed on the Internet. Lo-Pan apps are available for download onto one’s smartphone, making the process nearly painless.
How To Take a Feng Shui Reading with the Compass?
#4. Compass readings
Compass readings are often used when creating the Bagua of a house or office. Again, the Feng Shui compass is only used in the Eastern tradition, not the Western. Do not mix the two rules, as confusion and mistakes will result. Always begin at the front door, facing outside.
Hold the compass at the waistline level. Take a reading there. Twist the dial so that the red arrow is pointing north. The numbers will say what direction one is facing. Do not move until the number is recorded. Take at least three to six more readings inside, all facing the same direction.
The reason for this is one will get slightly different readings. This is because electromagnetic fields cause disturbances. Removing metal items from oneself and the immediate area is best to avoid contaminating the readings.
If one lives in an apartment, the readings need to be based on the apartment’s front door, not the overall building, since the energies measured are for the specific apartment.
Importance Of The Front Door In Feng Shui Compass Readings
A commonly asked question is, “Why must I start my measurements at my front door? Why is the front door so important?” So the answer is pretty simple. The front door is where the house, apartment, or office consumes energy from outside. It is also called the “mouth of Qi” for this reason. Just like you shouldn’t feed your body poison, you shouldn’t feed your home negative energy either. Keeping the “mouth” clean and free of clutter is essential. Think of it as dental health.
Hence every day, dirt and debris accumulate. Decorations damaged. Constant care is necessary. The color of the front door is a consideration. Please do not assume it should always be read; your door’s direction will select the best colors as determined by the compass.
The best color for a south-facing door is indeed red. However, the best colors for east-facing doors are green and brown. Lastly, the colors for north-facing doors are dark blue or black. The directions between these cardinal directions take a little extra consideration. Do your research.
Some may ask, “Why to go to the trouble of finding the direction of your home?” While it does appear to be a great deal of effort, those who follow Feng Shui believe that the earth’s directions have absolute control over certain aspects of our lives. So Bagua is based on this principle.
If one pays attention to how the aspects should be handled, negative energies will control the flow, and bad things will happen.