It was brought to my attention by one of my Newsletter subscribers, that another practitioner’s website is denouncing the use of a compass in Feng Shui. |
One of her website articles puts forth the argument that since the magnetic declination is always changing, that using a compass cannot be an accurate form of measurement. While nothing could be further from the truth, I happen to know that many Feng Shui practitioners try to advise without using a compass and then they justify it by saying that using a compass is somehow arcane, not relevant in modern times, or this new pitch that since magnetic declinations are always changing, why bother using a compass?
I was impressed that this author actually knew about magnetic declinations because there are still many consultants who do not, and certainly those who don’t see a reason to use a compass would rarely delve that deeply into the particulars of using one. However, her remarks about how the magnetic declination is always changing are short-sighted on a number of counts. Here me out:
1. While it is true that the local magnetic declination in any part of the world changes, fact is the change occurs very slowly over time. The magnetic declination might move less than a degree every decade! My own home is 50 years old and when it was first built magnetic North in my zip code was 15 degrees east of True North and now it is 13 degrees east of True North, a shift of only 2 degrees in 50 years. 2. Secondly, when taking a compass reading for any structure, we are creating a chart based on what the magnetic declination was at the time the structure was built. If it moves gradually a few degrees east or west from its original orientation that is usually insignificant for the creation of a “Flying Star Chart” which gives us twenty-four possible directions a structure can face. Every fifteen degrees we have a shift in orientation. As an example, if a house faces 250 degrees west when built and then a hundred years later it now reads 260 degrees, it is actually still facing the same first sector of west. No changes in the Flying Star Chart. This makes it easier all around to do a compass reading because we rarely have to know the exact degree to create a Flying Star Chart. And this leads to another point. In modern times, it has never been easier to use a compass for the purposes of Feng Shui. I routinely visit the Geophysical Data Center Website to verify how much the magnetic declination has moved (for anywhere in the world) since the time of construction for whatever property I am assessing. As I mentioned before, the magnetic declination changes very slowly, but for buildings that are 80 or more years old, it could make a difference comparing then and now.
To conclude, putting forth an argument that compass readings can never be accurate because the declination is always moving is a flawed notion from the start and reveals a lack of understanding in how the compass is supposed to be used. This might be on par with saying that an astrologer doesn’t need to know where you were born because the earth is spinning around so fast that no one is actually born in a definitive place.
Kartar Diamond is a classically trained practitioner, serving people world-wide since 1992. Kartar has authored three books, Feng Shui for Skeptics, The Feng Shui Matrix and The Feng Shui Continuum. She also has an instructional DVD on how to take a compass reading. For more information go to www.FengShuiSolutions.net
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