Feng shui is a collection of rules that affect where you place belongings inside your home to achieve positive or negative energy flow. Whether you are new to feng shui or have been an ardent subscriber for years, you must know about the Bagua map.
Simply put, the guide is a tool for western adherents of feng shui to achieve positive energy flow, or Chi. This article details everything you need to know about using the Bagua.
Yin and Yang
Feng shui began in China more than 3,000 years ago. Since then, those who subscribe to the philosophy have achieved harmony, success and vitality by adhering to its basic organizational structure. The goal of feng shui is to transform your life. Before you begin to decorate your home, try to identify your life objectives. Do you want career success? Are you looking for love? Do you want to destress? When you clearly name your goals, you focus feng shui to meet them.
Feng shui lore relies heavily on the influence of five natural elements:
These elements can be either destructive or constructive, so you must use them wisely when decorating your home or organizing your space.
Because feng shui can be either bad or good, you must be certain you are working toward positive results. That’s where the Bagua map comes in. This diagram informs you where to target your attention to improve certain aspects of your life. Be careful, though, as the Bagua is a powerful tool. To avoid becoming overwhelmed or making a mistake, try to focus on only one or two areas of your life to start.
A quick internet search reveals hundreds of versions of the Bagua map. These maps are all essentially the same, differing only in styling, colors and size. Choose the one that most appeals to your learning style or design sensibilities. Alternatively, use the map that appears with this article, as it offers a detailed breakdown of feng shui zones.
The traditional way to use the Bagua requires a compass. Each feng shui zone points a specific direction. As such, for adherents to place objects in the correct place and achieve positive energy flow, they must know the exact location of each of the eight cardinal directions. If you want a feng shui compass, you may purchase a branded one from brick-and-mortar stores or online. You don’t need a branded compass to make the Bagua work for you, however. A navigational or hiking compass works just fine. Further, your compass need not be analog. For fast results, download a compass app to your smartphone or tablet.
Line of Sight
While a compass helps you achieve scientific precision with object placement according to the Bagua, you may not have the sort of traditional dwelling that the map contemplates. If you live in an apartment or other modern space, orienting belongings using cardinal directions may not be feasible. On the contrary, it may make your home a chaotic, unpeaceful space. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Some feng shui adherents forgo using a compass in favor of sightline organization. They stand at their front door or the door to a room and hold the Bagua in their hands. Then, the point immediately in front of these feng shui enthusiasts becomes north, even if it isn’t.
The Bagua map is an eight-sided tool that helps feng shui adherents visualize spatial placement of objects in a building, home, room, desk or other space. To get the most out of the tool, feng shui adherents use it to identify and remedy sources of bad energy. For example, if a map placed over a house’s blueprints shows a commode in the wealth section, feng shui philosophy indicates that money coming into the house is likely to be flushed away or squandered. They also use it to direct positive energy flow to specific parts of their lives. As such, a desk located in the wisdom section of a room or home is likely to produce countless hours of deep thought and productive work.
The Bagua map is divided into eight sections, each matching a cardinal direction. Each section of the map also corresponds to a significant major aspect of life:
- Internal harmony
These categories are broad, encompassing many associated facets. For example, the creativity category also includes children and other descendants. Likewise, the luck section involves helping others and travel. Because not all aspects of a category are immediately apparent, feng shui enthusiasts endeavor to learn as much as they can about each category to avoid inadvertently fostering negative energy and building bad feng shui.
Fame and recognition occupy the southern part of the Bagua. Tradition dictates that fame is fleeting and hard to obtain. The same is true for recognition and public esteem. Still, if you are looking to boost your standing in the community, you may want to focus on the southern region of your room or home. In feng shui lore, the best way to boost fame is by using the element fire. To activate the fire element, use candles, lamps, lights or a fireplace in the southern part of your space. Alternatively, use fire-related colors, such as red, purple, pink, orange or vibrant yellow to boost energy.
For many, having good relationships is what life is all about. Whether you want to strengthen an existing relationship or boost your odds of finding your soulmate, activating energy in the southwestern section of your space is a good idea. In this part of your room, the earth element is your friend. Add some clay pottery or natural crystals to boost positive energy and achieve feng shui. Or, paint the space with beige hues or sandy tones.
If you are an artist, you likely want to stoke positive energy in the western part of your space. Likewise, activating energy in this sector may increase your chances of having healthy, happy children. The element at play in this part of your home is metal. As such, you may want to place photos of your children in metal frames here. For a creativity boost, use yellow, gold, or metallic shades in your decoration scheme.
Everyone can use a bit of luck. When you activate energy in the northwest portion of your dwelling, you tap into luck, travel and mentorship. As with the western section of the Bagua, metal works for activating luck in the northwest corner. In feng shui, nine is an important number. Accordingly, choose groupings of nine items for some extra feng shui power.
If you want to land a new job, secure a promotion or finish a tough project on time, you must activate energy in the northern part of your space. Place an aquarium with nine fish or a fountain in the space to take advantage of the water element. Alternatively, paint the space blue or black to mimic water. Remember, though, as filth is the enemy of good feng shui, you must clean water features regularly.
Northeast: Internal Harmony
For inner peace, activate energy in the northeast sector. Doing so may also help you achieve your educational goals. Use crystals, clay pots and other earthen elements or paint the space natural tones. If you can, use the northeastern part of your room or space as a mediation or study area.
Whether you want to recover from an illness or achieve fitness goals, the eastern portion of your room or home should be your focus. Wood is the critical element for physical wellbeing and longevity. As such, try to incorporate plants in your design scheme. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can incorporate the natural element by investing in a lucky bamboo. These plants are both beautiful and easy to maintain.
If you are searching for abundance or wealth, focus on the southeastern section of your space. Wood is the element in charge here, so place plants, wooden furniture or natural accessories in the area. For more positive wealth energy, place money or other symbols of abundance in the space as well.
Yin and Yang
Feng shui lore recognizes the need for balance. This is symbolized by yin and yang in Chinese culture. The Bagua map yields to balance with its center square. That is, the center of your room or home is the key to positive energy flow throughout the dwelling. As with the other sections, the center of your space has an associated element: earth. To activate this element and encourage positive energy flow, use crystals or earthen pots. You also may choose to represent each of the five elements in harmony in the center of your home or room.
Whether you are beginning your feng shui journey or honing a long practice, you are in for a treat when using the Bagua map. Simply print a version of the map and place it over a blueprint of your space. Then, use the fundamental rules of feng shui to activate positive energy in each section of your dwelling. Remember, achieving ideal energy flow takes time and effort. With a bit of work, however, you can likely achieve your life goals by tapping into the principles of feng shui.