Get out your compass. Big disclaimer: we are not experts. We would, however, call ourselves "enthusiasts" who pore over our copy of Lillian Too's Total Feng Shui before moving a single piece of furniture. And we'd like to believe our lives are the better for it.
While much of Feng Shui has to do with the flow of chi, or energy, throughout your home, for this exercise we're concerned with the best direction for each of your guests to face based on his or her kua number.
Here's how to calculate your kua number:
• Add the last two digits of your year of birth, and keep adding digits until you get a single number. If you were born in January or February before the lunar New Year, you'll need to use the previous year as your birth year – in other words, subtract a year.
• For males, subtract the result from 10 (or 9, if born after 2000).
• For females, add 5 to the result, adding double digits again until you get a single digit.
For the eight major divisions of the compass (N, NW, W, SW, S, SE, E and NE), four are good luck directs and four are bad luck directions. Which direction is which depends on ones kua number.
Not only that, but there are different types of good luck: Sheng Chi: Wealth, Nien Yen: Love, Fu Wei: Personal Growth and Tien Yi: Health. Since the holiday parties that are upon us are so gastronomically focused, we'll go with the Tien Yi: Health direction for our seating charts.
So here it goes, the best facing directions for each kua number at your party:
5 (male): West
5 (female): Northwest
And if it doesn't work for you or you think it's a bunch of hogwash, it might at least inspire some interesting table configurations.