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How To Take An Accurate Compass Reading

The most vital part of a Feng Shui consultation is taking the compass readings of a building.

Taking a compass reading is easy as long as you follow the information on this valuable page. If you do not have one already you must invest in a good quality compass. I would not recommend you purchase a Lo Pan Chinese compass unless you are prepared to pay several hundred pounds and make sure the inner compass has been calibrated to the country you live in as there are five different magnetic zones in the world.

There are many cheap Lou Pans for sale on the Internet; however, these are better as ornamental items as far as I am concerned.

Silva 203 Model.

Which way is south?

You may have seen conflicting information with the many Feng Shui books available with reference to Chinese south being different to our normal south that we refer to say in the UK, USA or Canada.

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 Feng Shui master in China and she/he tells you place an earth cure in the south this is where you place it. The only thing difference is 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 orientates to magnetic north the same as your western compass.

Which north do I use?

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, you must always use magnetic north.

Magnetic and Geographical north are entirely different.

How to ensure the perfect compass direction.

Hold your compass at waist level away from a metal belt

Remove of all jewellery on hands and wrists.

Remove metal belt buckles.

Stand at least 3-4 feet from your property.

Stand away from cars or large metal objects.

Take at least 3-4 readings from different parts of the property.

Position your back square to the property.


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 calculations on the plates of their fingers as shown below in the diagram.

They would use the nine plates for calculating Flying Stars and also compass 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.

lo sho on the fingers

Now the easy part

From the image below you will see the compass needle, the red part always points to 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 (northwest), 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?

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