Strange Finds: Feng Shui Compasses

antique compass for good chi

Antique feng shui compass made of bone

When I brought back my first feng shui compass, I noticed that my customers would invariably pick it up, turn it back and forth slowly, and look for which way was North (just as I had done, until the seller in Seoul laughed and took it back before explaining how it actually worked).

At first glance this disc is overwhelming due to the sheer mass of information on it – over 40 concentric circles of writing and detail. Called Lo-Pan in Chinese (Lo meaning “everything” and Pan meaning “bowl”) this instrument is used to define the Bagua of your home. Bagua – literally translated as “8 areas” – refers to the energy map of your home. Still following?

Chinese compass

The purpose of all this is simply to figure out where the energy flows, which areas have good or bad energy, and finally to fix the problem areas so yours is a happy home. Example: You take a reading of the East area of your home. The East is represented by the Element of Wood, the Colors Brown and Green, and the Life Area of Health & Family. The reading indicates that since you have a black metal door at your entrance, this is weakening energies needed to improve your health and family harmony. For this reason, people serious about the art often choose to get an analysis before their home or office is built (therefore avoiding “costly” mistakes).

Feng shui compass

Originally, compasses were actually made of Tiger bones and hand-painted. Thankfully, that practice is long gone and now they are mostly wooden. The bottom is often red, since red color symbolizes auspiciousness in Chinese culture.

Caution: Before you use this tool to access the mysteries of the universe, know that once you enter through the portal of enlightenment, you can never go back ;-)

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