This was a question I was recently asked.

Here is a clue.  How do you know whether you live in the West or East, North or South of a country or a city?  Looking at a map how do you identify where N, S, W or E is as well as any of the secondary compass points?   What do cartographers use to pinpoint directions?

The logo could (more accurately) have been this Luo Pan image however the purpose behind choosing a compass in this instance was to make it instantly recognisable to everyone.

The compass (Luo Pan) is the pivot around which Feng Shui swings.  Without it Classical Feng Shui has little meaning.  Directions and locations are all important whether you are looking at the external environment or seeking to enhance the interior of your property.  If you are using some basic Feng Shui tips yourself to help enhance your home or office an accurate compass is vital to ensure you are in ‘the right place’ and facing the ‘right direction’.  Moving a piece of furniture, placing a water feature or adding a light in the wrong sector could cause untold difficulties rather than improving your situation.

One form of Black Hat Feng Shui (having originated in the West within the past thirty years or so) does not have any reference to the compass.  Instead it uses the main door as the pointer for everything within a property.   This is not a practice used by either Abundance-Chi or Feng Shui 8 Mansions.   There are often references made when talking about Feng Shui systems to the ‘Compass School’ of Feng Shui.  In truth all systems of Traditional Feng Shui use a compass in one way or another.  There are two main original Schools of Feng Shui and they are San Yuan and San He.  Various systems are derived from one or the other of these.   San Yuan has practices such as Flying Stars and Eight Mansions; San He focuses on the external environment assessing the quality of the land around a property.  Both these Schools would mean nothing without the use of a compass.

Most of you are probably aware of the 12 Chinese Astrological animals; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake and Horse; Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  One of the rings on the Luo Pan is called 24 Mountains Ring and this includes a location around the compass that each of the animals occupies.  Their presence and position around the compass helps identify many aspects of their characteristics such as which one of the Five Elements they represent, whether they are Yin or Yang and their seasonal influence.

A standard compass will never give you the depth of information available on a Luo Pan however its use will at least ensure you are in the right ball park when seeking to carry out some personal Feng Shui basics.  Knowing your good and bad locations and directions based on your Gua (Kua) number, also known as your Ming Gua is the basis of Eight Mansions system which will give you a good starting point on your Feng Shui journey.  If you are unaware of your personal Gua number contact us and we will be happy to help.

Should we keep the compass or change to a Luo Pan?  We welcome your contribution.


  1. Very interesting information, thank you!


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