The Bagua

Family • Wealth • Fame • Relationship • Children • Helpful People • Career • Knowledge

The bagua is an eight-sided (octagon) energy map that is superimposed on a building or plot of land. This shape is considered to be auspicious. However, since very few of us occupy octagon shaped buildings, in practice we extend the corners of the traditional Bagua in the Knowledge, Wealth, Relationship, and Helpful People areas to create a square. In fact, a square (or rectangular) home is ideal.

The Bagua, therefore, resembles a tick-tack-toe grid with nine equal areas. The eight areas on the outside represent the main areas of life and the many related situations that we all encounter. The area in the middle is called the Center or the Tai Chi and is not assigned a trigram by the I Ching. The Center is the major health area of a building. Its energy radiates out and dynamically influences each of the other areas.

Each area actually represents several conditions and ways of looking at life–including health and well-being issues, the five elements, and many subtle attributions assigned by the related I Ching trigram. Each area is also related to a color and is influenced by other colors. All of the Bagua areas are equally important and relate intimately to each other.

The most common names of the Bagua areas are Family, Wealth, Fame, Relationship, Children, Helpful People, Career, and Knowledge. Although these names are short, each area has many meanings and possible applications. For instance, the Children’s area can represent the children in your life, along with your own inner child, how you play and enjoy yourself, dental issues and your mouth, your ability to express yourself, and creativity.

To locate the specific Bagua areas in your home, it’s helpful to measure the front and sides of your home–although you may be able to eyeball it. (If you have an attached garage, be sure to include it in the measurement, as it is part of the Bagua.) Then simply divide the area across the front of your home into thirds and the area on the side into thirds. Do the same thing if your home is a rectangular shape. (The individual areas in a rectangular home will be long and narrow rather than square.)

Next, stand in front of your architectural front door while facing into your home. It’s helpful to hold a copy of the Bagua with Knowledge, Career, and Helpful People next to your body. (See Bagua Shapes chart.) Your front door will always either be in Knowledge–if it is on the left front third of the front of your home, Career–if it’s in the middle, or Helpful People–if it is located in the front  right third. (Your Wealth area will be in the far left corner at the back of your home and your Relationship area will be in the far right corner. The other areas will then fall into their respective areas of the grid.)

Many homes have extensions or missing pieces. And many lots–especially in rural areas–are irregularly shaped. Sometimes these irregularities are fortunate and at other times they require either a mundane or transcendental adjustment–or both.

If you are missing a part or an entire area of the Bagua in your home or lot, enhance the missing pieces elsewhere inside your home or on your lot–preferably in an area where you spend several hours each day. If your home is especially challenging, consider working with a trained Feng Shui professional. I offer short phone consultations if an on-site or full phone consultation is not necessary.

Many homes have either a basement or second story. The Bagua is different for each level of your home. It begins where you step off the last stair into the area. For many folks this means that all or part of the main living area upstairs or in the basement is outside of the Bagua.

Up until the late 1990’s we only remedied those rooms outside of the Bagua that significantly impacted family life–such as bedrooms and bathrooms. However, with time and life experience speeding up, the late Feng Shui Grand Master Lin Yun began to advise us to adjust the entire area  outside of the Bagua. This can often be done with a mirror or two strategically placed to pull the missing areas into the Bagua. Other times it may be advisable to get professional advice.

For homes that are especially challenging, it may be necessary to abandon the Bagua altogether or work with each room individually.

Although the Bagua is only one aspect of Feng Shui, it is vital to comprehending the big picture.


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