Knowing Your Way - Compass
A working model of the oldest instrument in the world which is known to be a compass. The spoon or ladle is of magnetic lodestone, and the plate is of Bronze. The circular center represents Heaven, and the square plate represents Earth . The handle of the spoon points south. The spoon is a symbolic representation of the Great Bear. The plate bears Chinese characters which denote the eight main directions of north, north-east, east, etc., and symbols from the I Ching oracle books which were correlated with directions. Separately marked are the finer gradations of twenty-four compass points, and along the outermost edge are the twenty-eight lunar mansions. This type of compass has been scientifically tested and found to work tolerably well - It was used not for navigation, but for quasi- magical purposes.
|A simple mariner's compass - a bowl of water on which floats a magnetized steel needle, pointed north and south. The main marking, for south, is usually colored in red, but is not in this instance. It is the fourth from top, counting clockwise; this compass is not oriented properly for the photograph.|