Apart from yin and yang, there are two very important keys to Feng Shui. One is called the “Bagua” and the other relates to the five elements of Chinese astrology. The relationship that connects the five elements, the Bagua and the direction of your home is the key to harmony. First let’s look at the Bagua.
Introduction: What is Bagua?
The Bagua is an instant map for finding out where to change things for the better in your home. This ancient grid system (usu- ally pronounced baagwa; also spelled Pa-Kua) represents the invisible patterns of energy that are contained within anything from a city block to a landscape, a house, a room, or even a bed. By using this grid, we can see which areas need attention.
The Bagua is based on an ancient Chinese magic number square, the Lo Shu. According to tradition, about four thousand years ago, a tortoise emerged from a river. On its back were spe- cial markings, which were interpreted as being the numbers 1 to 9. When these numbers are placed in the magic square in the proper formation, every row, whether horizontal, vertical, or diag- onal, adds up to 15, and this mathematical “accident” supposedly renders the magic square and its uses magical.
One reason this is an auspicious number is that 15 is the number of days between the new moon and the full moon, which also marks the twenty-four phases of the Chinese year. This highly regarded time cycle was used in ancient traditional divination methods to determine auspicious times to sow seeds, work on gardens, or build houses.
When these same numbers are used to create the octagonal shape of the Bagua, each of the numbers correlates to a keyword.
Note: The Bagua is based on the traditional feng shui Lo Shu. This means that the south sector of the Bagua map is always at the top of a layout, the north at the bottom. This is because the north defines the front side of your home, even though your front door may actually be located in a different directional sector.
The Nine Bagua Energies
The keywords listed below correspond to the nine energies or pathways according to their compass points on the Bagua.
|South:||Fire||Fame, success, acknowledgment|
|Southwest:||Earth||Marriage, love, romantic happiness|
|Northwest:||Metal||Communication, friends, mentors|
Most schools of Feng Shui use only the eight compass-point ener- gies, but several use the center of the Bagua, which I’ve called the core. This area is very important in the home because it represents the heart of the home and the essence of you. When we enhance this area of the home, we’re energizing our innermost selves.
We all have vitality and energy, and the Ch’i flows through us as it does around our homes. That’s why we need to remember that when we’re working on areas in our home, we’re balancing and empowering ourselves simultaneously.
How to Use the Bagua as aligned with Feng Shui principles
4 easy steps before apply the Bagua
The next thing to do is to line up the Bagua over a plan of your home or just the room you’re trying to improve. By following these easy steps, you can find out where the nine Bagua ener- gies are located in your home. Start by deciding which areas of your life you feel need improvement or development. Next, you can apply simple Feng Shui enhancers to promote happiness, har- mony, and well-being.
- Draw a rough plan of your home or room.
- Find the central point of the room or house. If it’s irregular, square off the missing areas to make an imaginary regular shape.
- Draw two diagonal lines from the corners. Where they cross is the center of the space and corresponds to the core area of the Bagua.
- Find out which direction your home faces so that you can align your plan with the Bagua’s north, south, east, and west.
The easiest way to link the Bagua to your home is to use a compass. Once you have found north, mark it on your drawing, and then add east, west, and south in the appropriate spots. Next, you can write in northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest.
Even if you don’t have a compass, you can figure out which direction your home faces by watching the sun and noting where it rises (east) and where it sets (west). Mark these locations on your home plan, and then you can align your Bagua to these compass points.
Next, copy or trace a Bagua illustration onto tracing paper, or photocopy it onto the kind of transparency you would use on an overhead projector, and then place it over the plan of your home. Make sure you match up the compass points on your plan with the Bagua directions. For example, if your front door is facing south, line up the south/fire/fame part of the Bagua with the front door on your house plan. Then, obviously, the north/water/career area of the Bagua corresponds to the home’s kitchen.
Missing Spaces and Projections
Some rooms and many homes don’t form simple rectangles or squares, so you may have to contract or expand the Bagua to fit unusually shaped homes or rooms, or houses with extensions. For example, a house may have a missing space due to two exten- sions; this means that the west area of the Bagua, which relates to creativity and children, falls outside the home.
Mapping Out Rooms
You can use the Bagua to map out an individual room in order to enhance specific energies relevant to that room. For example, you might want to create a more passionate or loving intimacy in the bedroom, so placing specific enhancers in the southwest corner (2) of the room (which corresponds to marriage, love, and roman- tic happiness) would be beneficial.
In the kitchen, you might want to create an atmosphere that encourages great home cooking and good family conversations, so placing specific enhancers in the east (3: family and well-being) and northeast (8: education and knowledge) corners would be beneficial.