Magnetic North vs True North in a Feng Shui Compass Reading

Hand holding a compass
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In order to experience results from applying feng shui, one has to be confident and clear with using the main feng shui tools, which are the feng shui bagua and the five elements theory.

You do not necessarily have to know these tools in order to improve the feng shui energy of your home; not at all. You can create a lot of positive, vibrant energy just by applying such steps as clearing clutter, working with color, decorating with good feng shui symbols in mind, improving the quality of air and light, etc. However, for lasting results, it is good to explore, understand and apply the feng shui bagua and the five elements theory.

If you decide to work with the Western, or BTB Bagua, you do not need to take the compass reading of your home, so the information in this article will not apply to you.

If you want to work with the Classical feng shui school bagua, then you need to know how to take the right compass reading of your home or office. Even though a simple step, I noticed that the topic of feng shui compass reading can also create confusion. Let's make it simple.

Feng Shui Compass Reading

Ok, so now that we are clear with these feng shui steps, let's look at the actual compass reading, and, more precisely, at the question of whether one should use Magnetic North or True North for most accurate feng shui work.

We know that True North refers to the location of the North Pole, so it is a constant (in geographic terms). Our maps are based on True North, and some of them show the difference between the two types of North.

Magnetic North is different from True North; it tends to shift and change because it is connected to the magnetic field of our planet. There is always a deviation between True North and Magnetic North. This is called magnetic declination and is due to the fact that the magnetic field lines of the earth are always changing.

When you are taking a compass reading, you are taking a reading of Magnetic North, because the needle of your compass - be it a feng shui compass or a simple compass - always orients itself to the magnetic field lines of the earth.

The feng shui dilemma on which North to use for accurate feng shui work can be easily resolved by looking at the roots of feng shui, or, more precisely, at its essence.<br/>
A subtle (and very powerful) energy work, feng shui became a body of knowledge as comprised by ancient Chinese geomancers at least 3,000 years ago. It is an evolving body of knowledge because the energy around us constantly evolves and is in constant motion.

The ancient feng shui masters worked with the energy of the earth as expressed in various land formations, the flow of various bodies of water, the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, etc. They were looking at the geomantic criteria of any place in defining its good or bad feng shui. Actually the term "feng shui" is often used interchangeably with the term "geomancy". And geomancy, as you probably know, is the study of the earth's magnetic fields.

It is interesting to note that the compass is one of the four great inventions of China, and according to Wikipedia, "For most of Chinese history, the compass that remained in use was in the form of a magnetic needle floating in a bowl of water." So, it becomes obvious that for best feng shui, one would use Magnetic North rather than True North.