How to take an accurate compass reading

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The most important part of a Feng Shui consultation and without one you cannot practice authentic and traditional Feng Shui. You would be amazed at how many consultations we attend where the occupants have told us that their home faces a certain direction, only to find once we are there the measurement has been up to 50 degrees out.

Taking a compass reading is actually very easy as long as you follow the advice on this page. If you do not have one already you will need to pop along to your local camping store and pick one up. One similar to the one shown below is ideal. I would not recommend you purchase a Lo Pan Chinese compass unless you are prepared to pay several hundred pounds. There are many cheap versions for sale on the Internet, however, these are better served as decorative items as far as I am concerned. The better ones you will find available from Feng Shui Masters websites such as Raymond Lo, Larry Sang and Joseph Yu.

Silva 203 Model.

Which way is south?

You may have been confused with the many books available with reference to Chinese south being different to our western south. No matter where you are in the world south is south and north is north. If you have read a book on Feng Shui written by a master in China and she/he tells you to place an earth cure in the south this is where you place it. The only thing different on a Lo Pan compass is the compass needle is coloured back to front, back to front from our western point of view. The needle still picks up magnetic north the same as your western compass.

Which north do I use?

I can hear you saying I thought you said this was going to be easy, it does get better, promise. The only north direction we are interested in Feng Shui is magnetic north.

You have probably noticed on architects drawing or drawings from the local council, an arrow with the north direction, normally on the bottom right side of drawings and OS maps. This is not magnetic north, it is geographical north, all you need to remember is never use these readings when it comes to Feng Shui.

Magnetic and Geographical north is entirely different.

How to ensure the perfect compass direction.

Hold your compass at waist level.

Remove of all jewellery on hands and wrists.

Remove metal belt buckles.

Stand at least 3-5 feet from your property.

Stand away from cars or large metal objects.

Take at least 3 readings from different parts of the property.

Position your back square to the property.

Never Eat Shredded Wheat

This was taught to me by my geography teacher many years ago and has served me well. Although when we carry out our consultations we actually do work in reverse it all amounts to the same thing. Not sure who makes Shredded wheat, but I actually love them, just in case I have made some liable comment, you never know nowadays.

Cardinal Directions: North, East, South, West.

Inter-Cardinal Directions: North-east, South-east, South-west, north-west.

In the old days, a Feng Shui Master used to wear robes with very long baggy sleeves and they used to fold their arms hidden inside the sleeves looking very humble, unbeknown to many that they do this to calculate complex figures on the plates of their fingers as shown below. They would use the nine plates for calculating Flying Stars and also directions. The numbers on the plates represent the Lo Shu and also the cardinal and inter-cardinal directions. Nowadays we have become lazy and whip out the laptop.

Now the easy part

From the example below you will see the compass needle, the red part always points to the north, twist the dial so that the red arrow needle is over the north. Once this is aligned you will see a marker arrow this will tell you the direction you are facing. So from the example below, you can see this property faces 310 degrees (north-west), to find the sitting direction just look on the opposite side of the dial, on most compasses, there is a reverse arrow.

This property faces 310 degrees (NW) and sits 150 degrees (SE)

Where to take your readings from?

As shown in the picture below:

Stand with your back square to the property

Remove all metal jewellery

Hold your compass at waist level

Stand 3-5 feet away from the property.

Rotate the compass dial until the red compass needle aligns with north

Read the compass degree on the indicator line.

Repeat this three times as shown below.

The three readings will differ.

Make a note of all 3 readings.

Add all 3 readings up and divide by 3. i.e. 310 + 318 + 330 = 958 divide by 3 = 319 degrees.

The sitting direction is the opposite reading, in the above example 139 degrees.

You will now have an accurate facing and sitting direction for your property.

Now I know my directions, what now?

So your property faces 319 degrees and sits 139 degrees, use the chart below to find out the Trigram for your home. A property that faces 319 degrees is a Sun (Xun) house. Having this information will tell you that this year 2002, you will need to activate the north-east for wealth and more importantly you need to weaken the deadly 2 – 5 stars in the east otherwise your health, wealth and luck will be affected. This is going into a more detailed version of traditional Feng Shui if you would like further details on our comprehensive on-line consultations click here. These reports are very in-depth and do not just take into account your home they also analyse you and your family as individuals to make sure you face your best direction when working, sleeping, relaxing etc.

Example Flying star for a Sun Trigram house.

Compass graduations and their corresponding house Trigrams.

House TrigramCompass readingFacing directionSitting direction
Kan157.5- 202.5SouthNorth
Ken202.5 – 247.5South-westNorth-east
Chen247.5 – 292.5WestEast
Sun292.5 – 337.5North-westSouth-east
Li337.5 – 22.5NorthSouth
Kun22.5 – 67.5North -eastSouth- west
Tui67.5 – 112.5EastWest
Ch’ien112.5 – 157.5South-eastNorth-west

Our comprehensive software contains the following:

Professional accurate floor plan section
Floor plan with Flying Stars “Xuan Kong” “Fei Xing” superimposed
Eight Mansions analysis “Ba Zhai” (4 good and 4 bad areas of your home)
Your personal Min Gua Trigram and up to 4 other family members
Which direction you and your family members should sleep
Which direction you and your family members should face when working
Your true personal element
Your favourable/unfavourable elements and colours
Ground floor plan superimposed with Eight Mansions (Ba Zhai) analysis
Flying star “Xuan Kong” “Fei Xing” analysis report on your home.
Your house Trigram
You and your family’s Chinese animal and prediction for the year.
Form School Analysis from photos supplied.
Use of the “Five Elements” in your home.
Advice on how to activate your wealth, health, career, fame and romance sectors.
Where to place a water feature for wealth.
How to rectify a missing corner if you have one.
E-mail support after your consultation.

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© Feng Shui Store Daniel Hanna

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63 thoughts on “How to take an accurate compass reading

  1. Hi, I live on an apartment on level 9. My entrance door is facing the hallway to the lift.

    How do I take the compass direction of my home?

    Appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Hazel,

      In an apartment, you usually class the facing direction as the side of your apartment with the most windows and light.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  2. Hello,
    How should I take a reading todecide the directions for each room? I’m really confused about if should I take a reading for inside of the house by standing in front of the door or by standing in front of teh facing direction which is where my living and bedroom are? And also for the each room, should I turn my back to my building’s facing direction or according to the door of the room? Please help… I’e read tensof pages on web but noone mentions about the accurate way to take a reading for inside of the each room. They just mention how to take a reading to find the facing direction of the house. Much preciated for the answer…

    1. Hi Ay,

      If you draw a tic tac toe grid and stand with your back to your front door (standing outside) and the reading direction was the north, the opposite end of the house would be the south. You can then mark the right side middle grid as the east etc.

      The grid would look something like the map below.

      NW N NE
      W C E
      SW S SE

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  3. Hi Daniel,

    I’m getting so many different readings between E3 and SE1 for my house facing direction and I’m not wearing any metal etc. I have a feeling it’s right in between the two. Not sure which one to use as obviously they both give completely different flying star charts arghhh. Please help! Thank you!

  4. I was taught this mnemonic: Never East Soggy Waffles, to remember where to place N, E, S and We, going in a clockwise direction, beginning with N in the 12:00 location.

    1. Hi,

      I’ve never heard that one!

      Over in the UK, I was always taught Never Eat Shredded Wheat 🙂

      Kind regards,

  5. We are looking for a new home , front door is facing 331 NW facing door . Our dob are 8/4/74 , male and 9/27/77 female . Suggest us to buy the home?

  6. Hello Michael, I wanted to add to my recent comment that I posted (above) that who shares my place with me birth information too. Anything regarding his information September 17, 1975.

    We are both feeling this current place is temporary and most likely will move next year. For now, we would like to try and make this place as comfortable as we can.

    I appreciate any guidance that comes through.

    In gratitude,

    1. Hi I’m new to feng Shui. Wanted to know my best places in the house to do work and spend time in for better health and career. My facing is East ( tui). It’s 79.6 degrees. My gua is 3.

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