We’re looking at whaaat? People who are into feng shui might know what they are. The rest of us, we might learn something new, and really cool.
I’m always looking for round objects for display, because so many things in our homes have straight lines: tables, many sofas and chairs, shelves, walls, picture frames, windows, doors. Round things help soften that up. Plus I’m always looking for things from different cultures.
Luopans are round and they represent Chinese culture’s belief in feng shui. Here is a luopan via Pagoda Red, a store specializing in Chinese antiques in Chicago:
Luopans are like compasses for feng shui practitioners. Similar to vastu shastra of India, Chinese feng shui practitioners use the north-south-east-west directions to guide their decisions for how to direct energy in ways that will positively benefit us.
Luopans were developed about 2,000 years ago and they hold a lot of complex data to help with calculations. Feng shui practitioners may also combine luopan data with a homeowner’s birth chart to figure out how to improve energy in the home. Pagoda Red has a great explanation that gives a lot more detail about luopans — it’s a fascinating read. Good antique luopans of high quality are quite rare.
This is a new luopan for sale on eBay, showing you a close-up of all the data:
It’s a good size for display in a home – about 2′ diameter.
This is a new feng shui compass that looks antique and comes in a beautiful case, for sale on eBay:
Here’s a close-up of a feng shui compass at 1st dibs:
It’s 14 1/2″ diameter and from the 19th century.
It might take some persistence to find real vintage and antique feng shui luopans, but a series of these on a wall would make a visually stunning collection.
And beyond just displaying them, why not hire a feng shui expert to use a compass to assess your home’s energy flow, and see what they say?