The Chinese Luopan Compass with all its esoteric markings like the Yin Yang, the Wuxing, the Bagua, the 12 Life Cycles, the 24 Mountains, the 28 Lunar Mansions and the 64 Hexagrams etc., have always captivated the Chinese, who often felt that this instrument is magical and it has a supernatural quality unlike the ordinary compass. So, when the needle in the Tian Chi, or the Heavenly Pool, moves in an abnormal way, the Chinese would see it as a sign that the site is possessed by some malevolent spirits. Some practitioners would capitalise on this folk belief and promote the idea that they have the supernatural ability to see ghosts and spirits with the Luopan compass.

1) The Unstable Needle. 搪针.
The needle keeps moving, not able to remain still and it does not align with the middle. This indicates that the site has abnormal rocks below and whoever live there will encounter disaster and calamity. If the needle hoovers over the Xun, the Si and the Bing directions then there are antique remains to be found there and the site will attract wanton women, shamanic practitioners and lonely bachelors.

2) The Rising Needle. 兑针.
It is also called the Floating Needle, the head of the needle is tilted upward, this indicates a presence of benevolent Yin Qi and the source comes either from the deceased ancestors or from some protective spirits.

3) The Sinking Needle. 沉针.
The head of the needle is tilted downward, this also indicates that there is a presence of Yin Qi but in this case, it is neither protective nor harmful, instead it indicates the deceased has met with an unusual and an unjust death and felt uncomfortable being buried without a resolution.

4) The Turning Needle. 转针.
The needle cannot stop rotating, it indicates the presence of malevolent Yin Qi, the Qi of hatred and resentment will not dissipate and whoever live there will be physically harmed or emotionally hurt.

5) The Dropped Needle. 投针
The needle is half sinking and half floating, it tilts alternatively upward and downward, neither all the way to the top nor all way to the bottom. It indicates that there is a grave below and and whoever live there will experience sadness, gossip and lawsuits.

6) The Inverse Needle. 逆针.
The needle does not sit on the central line smoothly and the head tilts to one side or the other. This indicates that the place will produce a rebellious person and both the person and the wealth will decline; there is no good feng shui to speak about.

7) The Inclined Needle. 侧针.
The needle has stopped but does not return to the central line. This indicates that the site is suitable only for a temple or a religious alter and not for a residential dwelling.

8) The Proper Needle. 正针.
The needle leans neither to one side nor the other, it sits steadily and it aligns with the central line. This indicates that the site is a normal one and one may consider different aspects with discernment.

PS: Anyone who uses the Luopan compass long enough would know that it is not unusual for the needle to behave in an abnormal way occasionally. Some would prefer to look for a physical cause, while others would believe in a supernatural one. The choice is up to you.
The reference I used on the Qi Zhen Ba Fa comes from a Taiwanese Feng Shui teacher called Yan Shi 顏仕, he is the Principal of Dahan Yijing College. I understand he wrote about the 8 Abnormal Needles after doing his own research from writings of the past on the Luopan compass.


Still in Santiago Chile

November 20, 2008

01 November, 2009

We are half way through the Luopan Compass workshop and I am grateful that there is many students from different part of South America who have already studied with other teachers still want to come and listen to my points of view.

The Garden Workshop in the previous week was also great, the South Americans have a zest not only for learning but also for life, it seems singing and dancing are in their blood. Coming back from the practical workshop in the bus, they nearly rocked the bus off the road with their songs and jumping up and down. OK I admit, nearly half of them were Brazilians!

The food here is great too, I really love the Chilean Chirimoya, and you can eat it, drink it and make it into a delicious dessert.

The only downside for me was being cheated by a Taxi driver one night coming back from the restaurant. I gave him a 1000 and a 5000 Peso notes, and right in front of my eyes, he shuffled the two notes and they became two 1000 Pesos! He insisted that I should pay him another 4000 and with my students sitting in the back seat, I did not want to punch him in the nose and complied, looking him straight in the eyes to let him know that I knew what he was doing. He smiled back weakly but still took the extra cash.

I look forward to return to Santiago again next October. Thank you Lucia for doing the organisation to make it possible for an enjoyable experience.

My Luopan Class in Santiago Chile

My Luopan Class in Santiago Chile










An old colonial courtyard, reminiscent of my Hong Kong days

An old colonial courtyard, reminiscent of my Hong Kong days













Marcos and Renata, Feng Shui architects from Brazil

Marcos and Renata, Feng Shui architects from Brazil













Tucking into my Custard Apple dessert!

Tucking into my Custard Apple dessert!

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