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.

Visit the pages below for further details on 2020 Chinese New Year etc.

Chinese New Year 2020 ** Checklist for Chinese New Year 2020 ** How to make your own Ang Pow **Chinese Talismans for 2020 ** Chinese animal predictions for 2020 ** Flying star Xuan Kong 2020 ** Avoid the fury of the Grand Duke, three killing 2020 ** Chinese New Year world time converter 2020 ** 2020 Cures and enhancers kits ** How to take a compass reading ** How to determine your facing direction ** Feng Shui software ** Feng Shui resource ** 2020 Tong Shu Almanac Software ** Feng Shui Blog ** Chinese culture **

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© Feng Shui Store Daniel Hanna 2020

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61 thoughts on “How to take an accurate compass reading

  1. 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,

  2. 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!

  3. 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,

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. Hello Michael, Can you provide me any helpful information regarding my animal, best direction for sleeping and working information? I am very sensitive to place and smell. I recently moved into an older home apartment that is upstairs. The bedroom is up on the third floor. The second floor has the bathroom, kitchen, livingroom, and an office space. I have been clearing with sage/cedar/essential oils along with Usui Reiki. I have placed objects that my body naturally responded to placing them at, such as crystal stones, crystal catchers (hanging in windows), etc. I l also have salt lamps (work space, bedroom, and center of home) and have those around as well as candles (remote control). I would like to purchase a compass when able to but for now I am using my Iphone device that has a compass. I will experiment with this and see how everything feels – in the end the body will determine what works best for me as well as my partner.
    Thank you for your guidance.
    Sincerely, Rhonda

    My birthday is January 10, 1966.

  7. Hi new to feng shui. Born Oct 23 1954. Front door facing 120 degrees. What color should my front door be? and sleeping direction. thank you.

    1. Hi Debi,

      If you can let me know your property construction year and the compass sector that your front door sits in, I will be able to work out your best colour for your front door.

      Kind regards,

      1. Hi Daniel,
        Not sure of original construction, the house was moved here and put on top of a basement in 1955. It is a frame house, sided. I sleep in a front basement bedroom. The basement is bright with bedroom doorway facing west, back of house. 112 degrees east. Thank you

        1. Hi Debi,

          Good colours are metal colours white, silver, gold or copper; you can also use water colours blue or black to dissipate the energy.

          I hope this helps.

          Kind regards,

  8. Hello,
    Thank you for this informative explanation. I am new to Feng Shui. Please, I live at the end of a dirt road at the top of a hill in a mid century house that is very angular, not a square; some rooms are longer than the other. My front and back door are parallel facing North West. The house was built like this to prevent bad weather in winter. There is one front door and a wall where the second front door should be. The living room has a beautiful view that everyone who walks in the house walks directly ahead to see. Also, the living room is sunken with 2 steps down. The property is on various levels-the house and road which runs horizontal to the house being at the highest level.

    1. Hi Trina,

      To find the facing direction of your home, you would pick the home with the most active side which sounds as though it might be the side facing the dirt road.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  9. Hi there I’m new to Feng shui and trying to bring more positivity in my life after a horrible past year. I’m not sure f ima dog or rooster. Getting different things from places. I’m a male born 1/29/70. Any suggestions lucky numbers or things I need to know to set my house correctly best facing/sleeping directions I have a wood door that’s stained but can add slight color for best feng shui. My frontt door faces west at phone app averages 270 degree would my sitting be 135 degrees? These were the numbers showing 33°40′54″ N 117°56′53″ W 10 ft elevation. Please any help would be appreciated my place is under major construction from plumbing leaks so as I put it together I want to set thingsor paint correctly. Inside and outside thanks so much again

    1. Hi Marvin,
      Your Chinese animal is a Rooster and your Gua trigram is a Xun #4 which is an east group although I am unsure what your facing direction is from the readings above. You really should either use our software or maybe consider an online consultation as advising you with little information is not advised.
      I hope this helps though
      Kind regards

  10. I have a northwest facing door at 331 degrees. What kind of front door should I buy? Metal or wood?

    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Sharon,

      It is very hard to advise on this without going through your homes flying star chart. I would suggest going for either material and try to use a neutral colour for the door. A safe option is a UPVC door.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  11. Hi
    When taking the compass reading do you stand with your back facing the house or your back facing the street

  12. D.OB is 30Jan1980.which direction i should choose?
    And if the house direction need be changed, is it apply only to main door or must change the auto gate as well (landed house)?thx

  13. Hi, Thank you for the informations, I have tried other websites but nobody is replying hope you do. I was born in 13 -1-1980 and my kau number is suppose to be 2 and i am suppose to be west but i downloaded some app from app store after entering my date of birth it shows which direction is good and bad, i tried lots of different apps all shows that west is the worst for me i am really confused please help.

    1. Hi Tirtha,

      Your Trigram is Chen 3 and you are an east group.

      You auspicious directions are south, north, southeast and east.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  14. Hello,
    My home faces SW and for 2019 this is a dangerous direct… My front door is painted red should I repaint the front door black?

      1. Hi Fahriye,

        Yes, that’s right; you would split your office into the 9 different sectors.

        Kind regards,

  15. Hello,

    Please can you kindly advise how to take compass reading when you have 2 level flat. I’m moving in two weeks and I want to make sure that I’ll take correct reading. It’s a 2 floor house that has been converted in two flats. I know that compass reading always has to be taken facing out while standing at your front door plus few more several readings. However when I walk into my flat on the first floor all I got is stairs leading to my sitting room/bedroom/ kitchen and bathroom… How do I take a reading for my second level rooms?

    Many thanks in advance

  16. Hello. I havê my readings of compus andar all th e bagua map. Now how can i calculate the flayng stars and so. So i can see what to do or not. My partner is dog 17/81982 me ox from 9/1/85 andar may dougther is from 2/5/2007. So we are Walter, wood andar fire. My facing door is at 154° true heading 152° . magnetic 41ut , roll -2 pitch -12,5

    So now what? Thanks for everithing. Kiss from Portugal

    1. Hi Katty,

      It can be very hard to calculate the Flying stars yourself and if you make a mistake, you could cause more harm than good. I would recommend taking a look at our Academy of Feng Shui software as this calculates the stars automatically for you and gives all of the recommendations. You could also look in to having a consultation done although this can be quite costly.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

    1. Hi,

      The compass needle is in an enclosed case filled with oil so the wind would not affect the reading.

      Kind regards,

  17. Hi Michael,

    We live in a house with flats. Do we stand outside the house or outside our flat, i.e. the house corridor to take compass directions for our flat?

    In the flat do we have to take compass direction of each room and apply cures/ enhancers to each room as well as the overall flat?

    Many thanks

    1. Hola sara,
      Me gustaría colocar un espejo Bagua fuera de su casa apuntando hacia el poste de metal.

      Saludos cordiales,

  18. Hi, my house is Nw facing . I had previously divorced and now one Children with second wife. But I have same issues her parents are involving to much . Police came to my house yesterday . My all things are delaying or to much issues everywhere. My dob is 24:02:1983. Pls suggest

  19. Hi,

    Thank you for this article! If my front door locates in between 2 Lo Shi star. (One side is 8 star, and the door knob side is 7 star), if I activate the 8 star will it still have the full benefit or deplete by the 7 star? Thank you!

    1. Hi Shirley,

      I would recommend treating both areas as this will be relevant to each area and should not disipate the energy of the 8 star.

      Kind regards,

  20. My fengshui consultant told me that front is 20degrees north and 199 degrees south so our house is facing north and not northeast as what I know from looking the Google map and using my directional compass. He never actually visited the site yet. He\’s also an architect so I don\’t want to argue with him since he\’s more credible than my compass. But what confuses me is wen I look the Google map it\’s obvious looking on a layman\’s perspective that the house is not entirely facing north but its sort of halfway facing to the east also……I\’m confused.

    1. Hi Bernadette,

      A Feng Shui Consultant will never advise on your facing direction without visiting the property. A compass direction is always the way to measure your facing direction. You should stand with your back to the facing direction of your home to take this measurement and avoid being close to any metal.

      Kind regards,

    1. Hi Maristela, could you please let me know what problems you are having and I will try my best to help you.

      Kind regards,

  21. My sign is rabbit, my partner is a rooster sign, our apartment is facing West. The 2015 just started but then we already experienced lot of misfortunes and misunderstandings. I feel so stress about it, hope someone advice me for some cures. Thank you very much.

  22. I was told from frens that wind chime can attract spirit and stay into our homes but still most feng shui practitioner advice to put.

  23. Hi,

    1. MY Main door is facing at North west at 330 degrees. Please suggest me weather it is good or bad?

    Actually My Complete House is from 280- 350 degrees and my main door of my home is exactly at 330 degrees.

    1. Hi Malipeddi,

      If you let me know your date of birth and gender I can tell you more once I find your best facing directions.

      Kind regards,

  24. A superb article, i really learned a lot from this and thankfully i found this website as i had been taking my feng shui readings incorrectly, thanks so much for giving all this free info.

  25. For this year of the Horse, I should not be digging the North / South areas.
    I need dig a hole over 1 feet deep to plant a tree close to the North side. However where do I stand to take a compass reading, middle of the house or stand in my front door (which is on a corner of the house). Both positions can dramatically affect where I can dig.

  26. What if I live in a flat? I have a front door to my flat, but a different front door to my building two floors down. Which one do I use to take a reading. They are perpindicular to one another.

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