Understanding the Feng Shui BAGUA
The Feng Shui Bagua means "eight trigrams." The BAGUA is a tool of traditional Feng Shui. The Feng Shui tool consists of eight areas around the center that make up the nine categories of life. Every environment can be divided into nine sections with a corresponding symbolic meaning to a specific area of our life.
The Bagua tool is used to determine which areas of your space correspond to the eight energy types of Feng Shui. It is an octagon that can be stretched to fit any room, building, or piece of property. The nine unique sectors are wealth, fame/recognition, marriage/partnership, children/creativity, helpful people/travel, career/ life path, wisdom/ self-cultivation, family and health
The Bagua can help determine:
The most efficient placement of furniture;
How an area with impeded energy flow can be freed; and,
Which area of your space needs improvements depending on which corresponding area of your life you would like to improve. [I.e. By determining which area of your space is the Wealth area, you can then employ any number of Feng Shui symbol "fixes/cures/enhancers" to help encourage your own prosperity.]
Simple, low-cost adjustments to the energy of an environment are made by:
Repositioning furniture and accessories;
Shapes or Symbols; and,
Implementing the Five Elements.
In Chinese culture, the important elements are: Fire, Water, Earth, Metal, and Wood. Each of these are represented in a different "Gua" or trigram section of the BaGua, with specific attributes, such as color and direction. By adjusting the elements, many different areas are simultaneously changed and corresponding improvements occur in related areas of our lives. Many solutions or cures are interchangeable to fit personal needs and tastes, as long as Feng Shui elemental balance is maintained.
How do we apply the Bagua over the floorplan?
We need to find the center of the house and determine the north direction with a compass. Best would be to copy the diagram onto a transparent sheet and lay this on top of the floorplan. First determine the center of the house by finding the mechanical center through crossing the 2 diagonals. In case of uneven shapes you need to add missing areas to form the regular shape of a square or rectangle. If the form of the building seems too complex with additions, sunrooms, garages etc. you can find the center by experiment: cut out the shape of the floorplan, glue it on some cardboard and then balance the whole piece on the tip of a pencil. The point of balance will show the energetic center of the structure pretty well.
How to determine the center for the bagua.
Once you have determined the center point, superimpose the center section of the Bagua at this point. The direction of the Bagua is set after the compass north direction on the floorplan. Then draw the octagon over the floorplan and write in the names of each part. The center is called the Taiji, the court in ancient houses or farms, the center of gravity and contemplation.
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The 8 Bagua areas in the sequence of the Luo-shu numbers are:
1. KAN ( water)
Symbolism: Career, Way of Life, also called The Journey
Compass direction: North
Colors: black and blue.
The area of water is the beginning of each journey. We ride through life as on a river. If we can manage to go with the flow easily instead of fighting against the current we will experience life with clarity and ease.
2. KUN (earth)
Symbolism: Relationship, Marriage & Partnership, also The Receiptive
Compass direction: SW
Colors: brown and yellow.
This sign consists of 3 Yin lines, the most receptive trigram of all, the strongest feminine sign. Being truly receptive is the final goal of any relationship. Listen to your partner, in private as well as in business, open your heart and receive like the earth.
3. ZHEN (thunder) - pronounced JEN
Symbolism: Family, Elders, Ancestors
Compass direction: East
As thunder appears before a storm, the energy of our ancestors comes before us. In ancient Feng Shui the reverance of the ancestors was always very important. To provide the best gravesites to the forefathers would bring blessings and good fortune to the whole family. Thunder also stands for outbursting energy, fast growth and upward movement. The respect for elders as in all old societies is often lost in our modern world.
4. XUN (wind) - pronounced SHUEN
Symbolism: Wealth & Prosperity, Fortunate Blessings, also The Gentle
Compass direction: SE
Blessings should be seen as a constant gentle happening pouring down and penetrating like wind. It is represented in the South East as Yin wood energy. This is the area in which statisitically most people are interested in. Beneficial elements to strengthen this area are water and wood.
5. The center called the Taiji (or Tai Chi) unites and grounds.
6. QIAN (heaven) - pronounced CHEEAN
Symbolism: Helpful Friends, also Travel
Compass direction: NW
Colors: silver, gold, white
Heavenly energy manifests in the form of support and love from friends, collegues and neighbors. A strong Quian area in a house decorates the inhabitants. William Spear describes this part of the house as helping to offer our own talents and energy to the outside world, as a possibility of serving others with our own talents.
7. DUI (lake)
Symbolism: Children, Creativity, also Joy
Compass direction: West
Colors: silver, gold, white
Children are usually associated with creativity, imagination and joy. Likewise our artistic, expressive endeavors share the same qualities. Deep strength represented by 2 Yang lines, on top a light Yin line showing the joyful play of the waves on the surface.
8. GEN (mountain)
Symbolism: Contemplation, Inner Knowledge, Wisdom, also The Still
Compass direction: NE
Colors: brown and yellow
Inner knowledge and meditation are the basic qualities of this area. Stillness gives strength. The trigram consists of 2 open lines and a solid line on top as in a picture of a cave, a place where ancient sages would seek contemplation and peace.
9. LI (fire)
Symbolism: Fame & Reputation, also The Light giver
Compass direction: South
Colors: red, purple, pink
Light and illumination are signs of clarity and the picture the world receives from us. Fame and reputation is the way we would like our work to be manifested. Red color in various shades, symbols representing fire and triangular shaped objects enhance this aspect.