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If you are to take an accurate compass reading, firstly you must be able to determine the facing direction of your property.

The first thing you need to know is where to take your compass readings from; you will need to know the sitting and facing directions of your property in order to take a successful compass reading.

Many people actually find it very confusing when deciding their facing direction of their property. I have been to many clients’ homes on consultations where a client has told me that their home faces 157 degrees for example and turns out to be the complete opposite because something as simple as a radiator or a car has majorly altered the result of their compass readings.

The joy of modern technology is that you can now go straight to your computer, input your compass direction into your Feng Shui software, and automatically bypass endless hours of calculating your fortunate directions within your property etc.

Try not to confuse the facing direction with your front door

Most people commonly think that their facing direction is the direction that their front door faces.

Lets think about this; most front doors are built to the side of the property that faces the road or drive, that is easy.  Some houses also have the road to one side of their property but the main door located to the other side of the house. Now it is getting tricky. It gets harder. Some properties have their main door located to the roadside façade of the house but have a huge terrace on the other side of the house with views to a beautiful green valley.

Here are a few examples showing a variety of facing directions in relation to the front door.

Example 1:

This property below has the front door facing a mountain across the road but to the other side of the property, where the most windows are located, faces a beautiful green valley. The facing direction of the property is to the valley.

Figure 1 - Example 1 Illustration
Example 2:

The main door of this home is located to the side which is facing an access road. The side with the most windows has the view of a lake and park with playground so that would make this side the facing direction of the home.

Figure 2 - Example 2 Illustration
Example 3:

The front door of this house is located to the side facing the wall of the house next door. The driveway faces a busy main road.

The facing direction is to the main road.

Figure 3 - Example 3 Illustration
What exactly are facing and sitting directions?

This can sometimes be hard to judge even if you are one of the most experienced Masters; this is especially true if  we are talking about a suite on the top floor of a tall building with four unobstructed views.

The facing direction
is the side that faces the most “yang” (active) side of the house.

How would I know what is yang facing and what is yin sitting?

Yang (facing): Yang is active and lively with lots of movement and activity:

     -     A busy road.              
     -     A commonly used public footpath.
     -     A flowing river.             
     -     Your street sign.
     -     The side of a property that has the most windows.
     -     A children’s playground or primary school.
     -     The main entrance is usually (not always) the facing direction.
     -     A home that faces a body of water like a river or the sea.
     -     An unobstructed nice view.
     -     The architects intention. Try and guess how he felt the facing direction would be.
     -     Important rooms such as living or family room are normally found on the facing side.

If your home does face a children’s playground this does not automatically mean that this is your facing direction. You need to consider all the factors given on this above.

The sitting direction can be an  important direction in the sense that it can help you to determine the true facing direction if you encounter a property with a competing facing direction.

Yin (sitting direction): This is where the least energy resides. It is the quiet side.

     -     A backyard or an alleyway usually is your sitting direction.
     -     Tall dark trees at the back of your grounds.
     -     Smaller darker rooms are normally found here.
     -     The quieter side of the property.
     -     Although not always, the kitchen, bathroom, utility and washrooms are normally at the back.
     -     Bedrooms are normally located on the sitting side.
     -     The sitting direction could look onto a large building or a row of houses.
     -     The side of the property that is not that attractive to the eye, i.e. down-pipes from the bathroom, gutter pipes placed
           sideways across the main-wall.

You will need to take a view on all of the above; a good test to find your facing direction is to ask yourself, ‘If I were to take a photo of the house to try and sell it to someone, which side of the house would I take the photo from?’.

Would you take a photo of the front door that has nothing else on the wall except the door and another small window or would you take a photo of the side that possesses the most windows to give the house brighter characteristics?


Do you still have the details you had from the estate agents when you bought your home? Which angle did they take the photo from? I can remember when we bought our last home.  Many of the pictures on the property details showed the rear of the home because this was the most attractive or bright side; the front of our last home had large conifers all around it while the back was a beautiful open garden. It was surprising that the estate agents actually managed to capture the facing direction even though most people would have thought this to be the sitting direction.

More examples of sitting and facing directions

Example 1:

This property has a main door that faces east; this door looks onto their neighbour’s wall and has no other windows on this wall.

Figure 4 - More Examples 1 Illustration
Facing direction is sometimes different to front door direction.

The front looking out from the living room window:

There is a busy road.
     -     The house faces north with a big bay window.
     -     There is a playing field out of the picture past the road.
     -     There is a street sign outside lounge window.
     -     This side has the most windows.

The rear looking out from the kitchen/dining room:

There is a patio back garden.
     -     There are trees at the end of the garden.
     -     House looks towards the south.
     -     There is a public footpath beyond the garden.
     -     This is the quieter side.

This is a simple analysis of the facing and sitting direction. Even though the main door in the picture above faces east, this is not its facing direction. This property clearly faces north and sits in the south, even though there is no door on the north wall.

Example 2:

This house is a straightforward example, the front door is on the front main wall along with lots of windows and there is a pathway leading to it. Trees are at the back and this is clearly the way the architect had designed it.

Figure 5 - More Examples 2 Illustration
Try to imagine that the main door in the middle of the house above was on another side of the house, which way would it face then? It would still face the same direction, even if the door was at the back of the house. Having the main door on the front wall makes it easier to decide on the facing direction. However, modern homes are built with the main door situated in any location.

Example 3:

The main door of the house below faces west; however the front of the house is clearly the north wall where the four windows are situate. If you had to take one photo of this house and only show one wall, you would take it on the north wall. This house faces north and sits in the south.

Figure 6 - More Examples 3 Illustration
I am sure that you may have read many books telling you to use your main door as a starting point; this is not what traditional practitioners would do. Before taking any compass readings, they will first determine the sitting and facing direction and will take the location of the front door into account in their analysis.

What do I do if I live in an apartment?

It is true that there have been many controversial opinions on this, which have resulted in the issue being one of immense confusion to many apartment inhabitants. There are guidelines on this but the best method is to develop an intuition for it and throughout practice, you will become skilled.

First of all, we must define what apartments are.

A traditional type of apartment building consist of no more than five floors or less (also known as ‘walk-up’ apartments) with a small foyer.

The apartment units are well defined and are usually two units to each floor.  In cases like this, the facing of this type of apartment will naturally coincide with the facing of the building itself.

Figure 7 - Apartment Illustration 1

Figure 8 - Apartment Illustration 2
We then have the multi-storey apartment complex and the high-rise apartment building. Determining the facing direction of these apartments can be very difficult. In many cases, the apartment units may have a different facing direction from the main building itself.

With multi-storey apartments and high-rise apartment buildings, we believe that it is the facing direction of the apartment unit and not that of the building that determines the Feng Shui of the apartment.

This is particularly so with more modern high rise apartments where each apartment faces a different direction with its own scenic view and balcony.

You can usually get a feel for the facing direction of the apartment simply by walking around it. Locate the windows with the most exposed views. One very effective method is to ask yourself, which direction would you generally face when you are sitting inside the apartment? If you are still unsure, you should go outside the apartment building, locate your apartment unit and see which way it faces.

Once you know your facing direction take your compass reading outside the block. If this is not possible, stand by your windows with the compass outside the window and take as many readings as you can making sure that you are not standing near any metallic objects (e.g. metal security grill, radiator etc) as this can seriously alter the results you get for your compass reading. Once you have taken the your compass readings and you are happy that they are accurate, place your information into your Feng Shui software to automatically calculate your flying stars, fortunate directions, most compatible colours for each area etc.
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