The North South Hemisphere Question:
The question of whether or not the orientation of
the Lo Pan, Lo Shu should be reversed when
applied to the Southern Hemisphere has been
thrown back an forth for years so lets consider the excellent arguments put forward in Qi Concepts at the www.dragonsbreath.co.uk
Feng Shui originated in China between 3000 and
5000 years ago. China is a vast country however
its placement is entirely in the Northern
hemisphere no part is closer than 18 degrees North of the
equator. There is neither authentic historical data,
nor are there any records regarding the application
of Feng Shui theory in the Southern Hemisphere.
Evidence simply does not exist, so unfortunately
we have to debate the question, postulate our
theories and make our own decision on what we
feel comfortable with. Certainly if you live close to
the equator, you need to be aware of the
difference between the geographical equator and
the magnetic equator, as I have already pointed
out in the previous section. The difference can be
quite considerable as much as 12? of latitude that's
720 nautical miles or 828 statute if you like.
Isogonics Charts show the magnetic flux. It can
range from 0? to 30?. Interestingly the large area
over China has no Magnetic Variation. This diagram
is only to illustrate the variation in flux. To see a
good example of an Isogonics Chart visit the
British Geological Society Web Site
If you look at the earth you can see that the earths
axis is inclined at angle of 23.5? to the plane of its
orbit around the sun this is called the ecliptic. It
maintains this tilt pointing rigidly and parallel to
the same point in space towards the Star Polaris. If
the angle of the Earths axis remained
perpendicular to the plane of the Sun then the Sun
would be overhead at the equator at all times. This
is not the case however and we are stuck with it
the way it is.
The Earth orbits the sun in 365 days. The suns
apparent motion crosses to the North side of the
equator for around for six months peaking during
the summer solstice on the 21 June, over the
Tropic of Cancer where it reaches its maximum
declination* North around 23? North. It then starts
to decline and crosses to the Southern side of the
equator crossing the point of Libra around the 21
September. It continues its loop South until it is
over Capricorn around December 22nd, the winter
solstice, where it is at its lowest West point.(
Reversed for the S Hemisphere) It should be clear
from this now how the seasons are formed.
(*the angular distance of the sun North or South of
From this model, we can see that most people in
China lived above The 22nd Parallel of North
latitude. This means that their view of the sun,
from Quinghai Province North Central China for
instance, on the 21 June would have been rising
East North Easterly approximately 064? True (24?N
The sun would traverse the sky, reaching its
maximum altitude of 74? at mid day, when it bears
due South, and the proceeds across the sky
Westward where it sets West North West around
290?True (16?N of W)
Now if we consider the fact that the earliest school
of Feng Shui was Form School Feng Shui, which
supposedly predates the compass by at least 2000
years and was concerned with the topography of
the landscape using the four celestial animals
configuration we can see a pattern forming.
We have in Chinese Form School an arrangement
naturally looking towards the midday Sun/South
our biggest source of energy and the ultimate
Yang. the source of our warmth and light. This is
the Phoenix to the front Red /Orange its element is
Fire like the rising and setting of the Sun. It is only
natural that this would be the direction for the
Yang rooms of a home to face. These would be the
rooms that are most active and used during the
They would be the most open rooms with the
largest windows The entrance hall, living room,
family room, conservatory, courtyard, sundeck,
The Turtle is to the North at the back of us
providing protection. Blue/Black/ Yin Cold and dark
like the long far Northern nights. The Black Turtle
historically represents the shady side of the hill. It
makes sense that this direction with the least light
smallest windows and being the most Yin should be
considered the most suitable for the Yin rooms of
the house such as the bedrooms toilets bathrooms
The Azure/Green Dragon the colour of the Eastern
plains and the China sea, is to the left/East and the
rising Sun, Its wood element is expansive and
represents the growth of spring and the dawn of
each new morning. This area is conducive to a
kitchen being yang but lesser yang than the South
and good for breakfast room, if there is a garden
then this is an area for a vegetable plot or an
orchard especially if they can be orientated to a
The White tiger to the right/West, towards the
snowy peaks of the Himalayas and the setting Sun.
its metal element is representative of contraction
and autumn it is yin, feminine, conserving and
protecting by nature. This is also a good area for
children's bedrooms and nursery especially for the
It is relatively easy to see how and why the ancient
Chinese configured their homes to face in these
directions. This configuration is just as relative
today to homes in the Northern hemisphere as it
as 5000 years ago in China. If we had the option to
build our perfect home, this would be the
configuration we would be most likely to choose,
The energy pattern and qualities of the sun's
apparent motion in the Northern Hemisphere as
viewed down on the North Pole is clockwise.
Likewise, the major ocean currents and major air
streams the trade winds and monsoons circulate in
a clockwise direction.
(The World Climatic Chart for July in the Admiralty
sailing Directions NP136 is an excellent
In harmony with the laws of nature; and therefore
balance, the Yin and Yang. The opposite exists in
the Southern Hemisphere. Although the Sun will
still rise in the East, the Suns apparent motion
when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere is anti
clockwise. The major currents and air streams are
anticlockwise. The Sun, the major source of energy
is to the North and the cold dark and shadows lie
to the South. The four seasons are not reversed
i.e. Autumn, Summer, Spring, Winter as often
stated, but complement their opposites Spring and
Autumn, Summer and Winter, Autumn and Spring,
Winter and Summer. The wave patterns are
cyclical, alternating but equal in frequency and
amplitude providing a dynamic balance and overall
Common sense dictates that you would not
through choice build a home facing the cold Yin
South, the shadow side of the hill in the southern
There are a number of other very powerful phenomena and examples in nature that reinforce the idea that the orientations are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere and we should be observant of our surroundings and take notice of and listen to Nature and our environment after isn't that what Feng Shui is all about.
The earth's rotation when viewed from above the North Pole is clockwise.
The earth's rotation when viewed from above the South Pole is anti clockwise.
The Corriolis force reverses from one Hemisphere to another.
The Ocean currents change their direction of flow when they cross the equator.
Weather systems Tornados and Storms revolve in opposite directions in each Hemisphere.
The trade winds change their circulation on crossing the equator from one hemisphere to another.
The huge upper air masses warm and expand and rise upward over the equator diverge in a direction towards the poles. Yang
The huge upper air masses get cold heavy and sink converging on the Poles, Yin.
The four seasons are opposite.
Plants and trees lean towards the sun the source of all energy the ultimate yang.
The further North or South you travel as you approach the poles the speed of the earth's rotation slows Yin.
The nearer you approach the equator the faster the rotation goes Yang.
The further North or South you travel as you approach the poles the earths the earth grows colder darker stiller Yin.
The nearer you approach the equator the brighter warmer livelier, lusher and more animate more Yang.
Peter Corbett author of Qi Concepts and the http://www.dragonsbreath.co.uk site. He examines the question of north south hemisphere and the compass or true north questions.