In daoist cosmology, the Bagua is eight trigrams, used to represent the fundamental principles of reality seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts.
Each trigram consists of three lines and each line is either "broken" or "unbroken" representing yin or yang, respectively.
The Bagua Map was designed to:
- Enhance beneficial energy
- Balance positive vibrations
- Focus intentions
- Identify and correct subliminal messages, and
- To create a sacred space that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.
Why You Need A Bagua Map
Most challenges or problems you’re faced with in life are due to, or related to, blocked or imbalanced energies — specifically locked in living and work spaces where you spend most of your time.
Your surroundings communicate messages to you all day — consciously and subconsciously — and if negative or bad energy is blocked somewhere in your space, it will influence you.
So if you want more prosperity, you must create a home or work environment to allow in the energies of wealth and abundance. If you want more love and harmony in your relationships, you must create spaces that exude just that. The same goes for anything else you want to bring into your life.
The Bagua Layout
There are two types of Bagua layouts:
1. Early Heaven Sequence
2. Later Heaven Sequence.
The basic concept of any of these two reference maps are balance through opposites and acceptance of change. Both types were developed before the "Book of Changes" (the I Ching), which describes the cosmology and philosophy of ancient China. Both Baguas are associated with the eight compass directions, and both use cardinal directions.
The Bagua can have a powerful effect so it’s essential to use it carefully and correctly.
There are nine areas represented by the Feng Shui Bagua (eight trigrams plus the centre) and is applied, firstly to the entire house or office, and then to each individual room.
The 9 Life Areas of Bagua
Feng Shui Element: Wind
Life Area: Power, wealth, abundance, and prosperity,
Happiness, peace and fortunate opportunities with the ability to take advantage of them.
Life Area: Fame and Reputation
Representing how others perceive you and how they value and recognize your contributions. It also corresponds to illumination from within, integrity and honesty.
Feng Shui Element: Fire
Feng Shui Element: Earth
Life Area: Relationships and Love
Representing to foster long-lasting and harmonious relationships with everyone built upon mutual trust and unconditional love.
Feng Shui Element: Metal
Life Area: Creativity, Children, Legacy
Representing joy, fullness, creativity, and imagination, signifying your relationship with your children.
Feng Shui Element: Heaven
Life Area: Helpful People, Compassion, Travel
Representing support, guidance, and love from close friends and unseen helpers, and denotes letting go of everything and everyone that doesn’t serve you.
Feng Shui Element: Water
Life Area: Self, Career, Work, Journey
Representing more than your career, it corresponds to your life purpose and the flow of life.
Feng Shui Element: Mountain
Life Area: Skills, Knowledge, Wisdom, Harmony
Representing personal strength, wisdom, resourcefulness, self-mastery, and self-control - It’s also the link between a calm mind and intelligent mind.
Feng Shui Element: Thunder, Wood
Life Area: Family, Health, Community
Representing strong health, loving family relations, honesty and forgiveness, and the foundations for life.
Feng Shui Element: Earth
Life Area: Health, Wellbeing, Balance, Vitality
Representing wellness and a balanced life.
Traditional Bagua Map (Octagon Shape)
Dividing Spaces According To The Modern Bagua Map (3 Steps)
1. Place the bagua map over a simple, hand drawn floor plan of the home or space.
This floor plan should include everything that is under your roof or is a part of the foundation — garage, patio, porch or anything else that may be attached to your home. If you live in a two story or even a three story home or more, make a separate floor plan for each level. This includes the basement and the attic if they are walk-ins.
The first floor is the most important floor since this is typically where the most amount of activity occurs. It's also where the qi/chi energy enters the area via the front door and then meanders through-out the rest of the home. So focus on the first floor first. And when drawing the floor plan, include any bay windows, architectural extensions and any indents or nuances to the shape.
2. Hold the bagua with the Wisdom/Career/Helpful people sections facing you and parallel to the main entryway wall.
The main entryway always falls in the wisdom, career or helpful people areas.
3. Now divide the entire house according to the Bagua sections as illustrated in the picture below.
If a room is not a full square or rectangular shape, draw an imaginary line out from both sides (over the margins) until the complete square or rectangle of the house is complete and mark it accordingly even if it’s a small space.
Feng Shui Cures For Each Area
A "cure" simply means applying Feng Shui wisdom to create harmonious energy in any type of space — be it modern, classical or mid-century.
Feng Shui decorating or cures, mean different things to different people, especially because there are so many viewpoints attached to traditional methods and modern methods.
The main objective therefore — no matter what type of cure — is to stay true to the symbols and images that hold meaning to you, bringing in elements and influencers into each individual section that make you feel connected, inspired and joyous.
The center of your house is a strong energy vortex, so remember it should strongly radiate with elements representing health, balance and wellbeing.
Feng Shui Elements And Corresponding Colors
Each area of the Bagua has a corresponding color and element which are outlined on the bagua map.
The five vital elements mostly used by Feng Shui masters are wood, fire, earth, metal and water — although there are more elements to draw inspiration from such as lakes, marsh, mountains, river, thunder, air, heaven, and ether (space).
Each one of these elements has a unique energy quality that’s expressed in specific colors, shapes, textures and sounds — with complex ways in which they interact with each other.
1. The Fire Element
The fire element should be nourished and strengthened in the south, southwest, northeast and center areas of the bagua.
Fire is best expressed in colors red, purple, orange, strong yellow, magenta and pink — with triangular and star shapes.
Bring in fire when you lack creative expression, when you feel cold and lonely, or when your energy feels weak and you need strong energy to bring alive creative projects, or when you need more recognition for your work.
2. The Earth Element
Earth is strengthened in the southwest, northeast and center areas. Some of the best examples of earth element colors are ivory, beiges, soft browns, bronze and works well with crystals and stones, pottery, and images of earthy landscapes (without too much greenery or water).
Strengthen the earth element in the decor when you need to reach a place of centred calm, stability and peace, and to create a strong, nurturing and supportive foundation to keep your creative fire burning steadily, instead of in quick exhausting bursts. Earth gives a sense of groundedness and inner power.
3. The Water Element
Water is needed in the north, east and southeast, and is an ancient symbol of abundance.
The healing, life giving and mysterious energy of water can be expressed in colors blue and black, in a variety of water features, in flowing shapes, images of water and mirrors.
Just as water is essential for life on earth, so is this element essential in your decorating, expressed in flowing and meandering ways. Bring in a variety of blue to calm, cool and refresh your space, and to promote a deeper sense of connection to life’s mysteries.
4. The Wood Element
Wood should be nourished and strengthened in the east, best expressed in colors green and brown, rectangular shapes and beautiful healthy plants.
Bring in wood when you need a breakthrough, when your vision seems unclear, when your energy is low and confused, or when you want to strengthen your health or encourage abundance.
5. The Metal Element
Metal is needed in the west, northwest and north. The freshness, clarity and strong cooling energy of metal, can be expressed in colors white, beige and gray, a variety of metallic finishes, in round shapes, and plenty of decor items made from metal.
Work with metal when you need crisp, clear, fresh and dynamic energy in your home or office. You might need a stronger presence of metal if you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, when you lack direction in life or just experience low, lazy energy. It’s good to add metal when you start new business projects or want to move on to a whole new level with your life experiences.
How The Elements Interact With Each Other
For illustration purposes, here’s how elements interact in nature.
- The roots of a tree (wood) absorb water and minerals necessary for growth from earth.
- The tree breathes (air) through its leaves and receives light and warmth from sunbeams (fire).
- If you set the wood of a tree on fire, the water will evaporate, the oxygen (air) will be released.
- It will all turn to ash (earth) and become once again a source of minerals (metal) for other forms of life.
In pairs, elements can heal or correct imbalance, promote well-being, and strengthen and balance growth into the future.
For example: water and earth produces and nourishes — like a plant that’s been watered, physical joy and well being down to the roots.
And each of the elements also have a shadow side.
- Too much earth can feel heavy, weighed down, lethargic, sluggish, burdened, stuck in the mud or in counter productive
- Water in excess, can be too sensitive, wishy-washy, too changeable, malleable, melodramatic, hysterical, over emotional
- Too much fire can "scream," be too excessive, be destructive, unbalanced, destabilizing
Study the elements and learn how they interact so you can create balance and harmony when using elements in each section.
- What element is most present? What’s lacking?
- What, if any, is clearly dominant in its effect at any given time of day?
- What is in excess, and what element (quality or principle) can I cultivate to bring greater balance?
Use The Ancient Spirit Of Bagua Like A Monk
The more you develop your skills in Bagua, the greater your chances of realizing its full physical and spiritual value.
Not only will you design a beautiful, harmonious home with good chi, but you’ll also train your mind and body to accept change, especially now, where change is so rapid that stress and physical tension have become a modern day disease.
Like the ancient monks that developed the Bagua, so can you develop and maintain a solid internal balance and flow to open up all possibilities to achieve calmness, stillness and clarity.
You can generate a strong, healthy, disease-free body with relaxed nerves and great stamina — and experience an inner world of peace and prosperity.
Do you use any Feng Shui based principle in your personal space? Share it with us in a comment!