The Feng Shui Bagua, Part 1
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If you listen to our podcast or read our blog regularly, you are probably at least a little familiar with the feng shui bagua. The bagua is one of the tools that we use when we work with our clients and students. It’s an ancient tool that is based on the I Ching, and it has changed and been present in many different forms over the centuries. Like the I Ching, the bagua is often used as a divination tool. As practitioners, we apply the bagua to a home or a space to gain information and clarity about a client’s situation. It can help us to see what might be going on under the surface.
Most often the bagua is represented by a three-by-three grid. It has eight areas around a center, and the word “bagua” actually translates to “eight directions.” If you’ve seen a bagua map before, you may have noticed that each section is usually labeled with one word. Distilling the bagua areas in this way is helpful in understanding the basic energies of each one, but it’s important to note that it is actually a complex tool with many layers.
We get a lot of questions about how to lay the bagua, and it can be pretty complicated. Unless your home is a very simple rectangle or square, we don’t recommend trying to lay the bagua on your own space. Instead, it’s best to check with a skilled practitioner. If you are curious and you want to see how the bagua would be laid on your space, we would encourage you to treat yourself to a one-on-one consultation.
If you do want to experiment with the bagua on your own, we generally recommend starting with your bedroom. Bedrooms are generally pretty rectangular in shape, but if yours is not, we would again recommend working with a consultant.
To lay the bagua on a rectangular bedroom, imagine that you are standing in your bedroom doorway looking in. Visualize a three-by-three grid stretched evenly across the entire room. Each of the areas of the grid will be one of the bagua areas, called guas. The center back wall that you are facing will be the Fame gua. The area directly opposite Fame, on the same wall as the door you are standing in, will be the Career gua.
In this post, we’ll be going through three areas of the bagua, with some suggestions for when and how to activate each one. Keep in mind that you don’t want to adjust all of the areas of the bagua at once. It’s much more effective to choose one or two to focus on. Think about what is most important and relevant to you at this moment, and know that you can always come back to the other areas later.
This area is related to new beginnings of any kind, as well as family and springtime. It’s connected to the energy of yang wood, like the first blade of grass sprouting up after the winter. It’s also connected to the colors green, blue, and teal.
You might want to work with this area if you aren’t very good at starting projects, or if you’re experiencing family disharmony. This is also a great area to activate if you want to start fresh. This can be helpful after a long-term situation has ended, when you’re ready to bring in something new.
To activate New Beginnings, place a new green houseplant here to invite in more growth and healing in this aspect of your life. Instead of moving a plant from another area of your home, it’s best to bring in a new plant with fresh, new energy.
The Abundance area of the bagua is connected to wealth, abundance, and prosperity. It’s also related to yin wood and the color purple. Instead of the quick movement of New Beginnings, this area has the feeling of a strong, slowly growing tree with deep roots. We want to cultivate prosperity in a way that is stable, steady, and flexible.
This area almost always comes up when we’re working with clients or students, because it’s something that everybody seems to want more of. However, we always try to unpack it to see what is really going on. You might need to dig a little deeper, and see what is going on with your mindset around money or even your self-worth, because the way you experience abundance is also related to how you value yourself. There are so many other layers to abundance, besides monetary wealth.
To activate Abundance, you can bring in an amethyst crystal. Amethyst is purple, which is the color of this gua, and its energy is also connected to abundance and prosperity. Instead of getting a tiny crystal, try to find one that is a bit bigger, and even a little bit of a stretch for you to afford. Treat yourself to something more substantial, especially if you love crystals. If you are not a fan of crystals, you can add a purple decor item instead.
The Health area, called the Tai qi, is actually not a gua because it’s not a direction. Instead, it’s the center of the bagua. It’s related to the earth element and earthy colors like yellow, orange, and brown. Think of rich soil or sand. It’s related to your overall health and well-being, mostly because it is in the center and it affects every other aspect of your life. If you’re not sure which area to activate, this is where we would recommend starting.
You might want to activate this area if you’re feeling ungrounded, uncentered, a little out of control, or if you just want to work on increasing harmony in your home and life. You can also activate the Tai qi if you want to work on overall health.
To activate this area, you can hang a feng shui crystal from the ceiling in the center of your home or bedroom. You may also want to pay attention to what is going on in this part of your home. Is it clean? Is it cluttered? Is it dusty? There is a lot you can learn by paying attention to your space.
If any of these descriptions resonate with you, we would encourage you to make one change in that area this week. In the next two posts, we’ll go over the rest of the bagua areas and how you can activate them.