Fengshui orientaion compass

Dr Hsu Feng Shui Talk
#40: Is Orientation the Fifth Feature?

In earlier postings we mentioned the Four Features of Feng Shui, and that they apply at any scale, from the largest to the smallest.

Some readers have pointed out that many Feng Shui books talk about Five Features – and that the fifth is orientation.

In fact, that fifth feature came along much later, when people tried to apply astrological ideas to Feng Shui. This was the beginning of what we now call the Cosmological School.


Initially, the Cosmological School tried to merge the idea of orientation with the Four Features as an enhancement. This resulted in a system that correlated auspicious orientation with the resident’s birthday, the year the house was built, and the agenda or aims of the resident.

After an initial attempt to harmonize this abstract theory with the Four Features, it later came to be put above the Four Features. It became a matter of belief: one had to accept it on faith. It was not something one could see in the actual form of the place.

In traditional Feng Shui, orientation cannot be considered in isolation: it is already determined by the concrete features of the site.

For example, if the mountain or main support is in the north, and the open space is to the south, the orientation is naturally and inevitably toward the south. In general, then, orientation cannot be considered independently.

We can see that, for scholars of Feng Shui, the cosmological approach to orientation is generally considered part of the “dross of Feng Shui”.

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