Introduction Introduction and Understanding of Chinese Compass: Luo Pan

History of Feng Shui

The words Feng Shui means Wind and Water in Chinese. Wind represents direction while Water represents wealth. Feng Shui can be used as a method for determining the most appropriate locations for a harmonious life. These locations can refer to anything, a big area, an office, a house, or even a small room. The underlying principle of Feng Shui is to live in harmony with your environment so that the energy surrounding you works for you rather than against you. [1] Thus, to evaluate Feng Shui, it is important to study the forces of water and directional influences. [2] Feng Shui is also known as Geomancy.

Feng Shui has been practised over thousands of years. Its origins can be traced back to the pre 'In Dynasty' where practising of Feng Shui was known as 'Xiangdi'. This meant the observation and appraisal of earth to choose right and suitable locations of lands for crops, temples, sites and homes. Feng Shui theories can also be based on using one's good judgement. Below is an example taken from the Feng Shui seminars website:

"Houses were usually located on the northern side of a river bend, with their backs towards the north and facing the south. This orientation means that the site would have warm sun in the winter and cool breezes in the summer; in China they like to have houses protected from the north and facing the south for good luck; The cold winds came from the northern mountains (closer to the north pole) and the warm southerly breezes came from the equator. N.B. This would be reversed in the southern hemisphere. Knowledge in Feng Shui further developed in China as feudal society developed." [3]

Subsequently, Feng Shui has been further elaborated and defined in each dynasty. Feng Shui practice also gradually became more scientific. Principles were laid out and further refined. There were many ancient books written on Feng Shui. However, during the cultural revolution (1966 - 1976) Feng Shui practice, and things considered associated with feudal society were forbidden. [4] Now, Feng Shui is still widely practised in China and other parts of the world. For example, in Singapore, during the construction of the Suntec City, the developers consulted geomancers to evaluate the site. Feng Shui's 5 elements : Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth played a very important part in the designing of the Suntec City. [5]


History of Luo Pan

According to Joey Yap - the co-founder of the Yap Cheng Hai Feng Shui Centre of Excellence & the developer of the structured learning program "The YCH Professional Feng Shui Series", it was believed that the Chinese were the first people to develop the compass about 4000 years ago. Legend claims that the very first compass was found in the times of the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, (about 25th Century BC). It was said that the Luo Pan was presented to the Yellow Emperor by the Goddess of the Nine Heavens to assist him in his heroic battle against the evil wizard's clan.
Over the centuries, the Luo Pan has been reformed, redefined and altered according to new discoveries in land and directional theories by the respective dynasties' Kan Yu Experts (known as Feng Shui Masters today). The Luo Pan has since then became an indispensable tool for the Ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui. [2]


[1] Introduction to Feng Shui,

[2] Your First Feng Shui Luo Pan By Joey Yap,


[4] Chi Feng Shui Solutions,

[5] Suntec City,