So you want to use the feng shui principles in your space, and make your interior the home of a healthy, good energy flow. How do you do it? As you might expect from a philosophy that has been fine tuned for thousands of years, there is a science to it. In short, you have to learn some bagua map basics.
There is a lot of talk about using the bagua of your space that usually goes into confusing details before even clarifying basic concepts. If you are a beginner in matters of feng shui, you would probably appreciate an easy-to-understand introduction to the whole bagua concept that doesn’t assume you are already an expert at it.
So here it is.
What Is a Bagua Map?
According to the feng shui philosophy, a healthy flow of good energy through your space is the key to your well-being. Energy flows best if this space respects a few rules. As whenever you want to control the movement around a certain area, this can be done according to a map.
Bagua is this map. It shows how a space must be divided so that this energy flow is optimal.
If you happen to be hungry, the bagua map above may remind you of a pizza. The difference is that, in the case of the bagua map, each slice has a name, a function, and a few specific attributes.
As the map above starts to suggest, bagua areas are identified using cardinal and intercardinal points. The rest of the attributes include: coordinates as those taken by compass readings, a feng shui element, certain colors, and a life area, as below.
- North: Career, beginnings and journey in life / Water / Blue and black / 337.5° to 22.5°
- Northeast: Wisdom, knowledge, education / Earth / Beige and light yellow / 22° to 67.5°
- East: Family and health / Wood / Brown and green / 67.5° to 112.5°
- Southeast: Wealth and abundance / Wood / Brown and green / 112.5° to 157.5°
- South: Fame and recognition / Fire / Red, yellow, orange, pink and purple/ 157.5° to 202.5°
- Southwest: Relationships, marriage and friends / Earth / Beige and light yellow / 202.5° to 247.5°
- West: Children and projects / Metal / White and gray / 247.5° to 292.5°
- Northwest: Contacts, helpful people and travel / Metal / White and gray / 292.5° to 337.5°
So how do you use this map?
What Defining the Bagua of Your Space Means
Defining the bagua of your space means superimposing this map with the plan of your house or office and see where each of these slices fall. In other words, finding what area of your house corresponds to each of the bagua areas above. But when trying to do this, where do you place the center of the map? And which way do you align it?
There are three things that you should consider.
The right tools
As any science, feng shui demands some degree of preciseness. In order to divide your space into bagua areas, you will first need a good feng shui compass to show you which direction your door is facing, by way of an exact coordinate. You will also need a floor plan of your house or office. If you are the rigorous type (which traditional feng shui encourages), you may use a protractor to define the exact “slices” or areas of your house, based on the coordinates given above.
The heart of your house
The heart of your space is, generally speaking, its center. To find it, imagine, for example, a very simple house plan that looks like a rectangle. Draw the diagonals of this rectangle and you have just found its “heart.”
Of, course, in reality house plans may be more complicated, including two-story houses, L-shaped buildings etc. However, for the sake of this simple introductory piece, we’ll deal here only with bagua map basics.
Your front door
Finding your front door coordinate number is the starting point when defining the bagua of your space. Standing by your door and facing out, read your compass. With this coordinate in mind, grab your protractor and align its center with the heart of your home on your floor plans, and the coordinate given by your compass with your front door. Everything you have to do now is to mark the coordinate limits of each bagua area while keeping the protractor in this position. Finally, connect these points to the center of your space. Your house is now divided into bagua areas.
To understand better – and going back to the food analogy – imagine that your house or office is a large pizza that you are trying to cut into slices. The center of this delicious arrangement is what we found to be the heart of your home. From here, the lines that radiate outwards and divide your space into slices are the ones you just drew using the protractor.
A much simpler and quicker way is to find to which bagua area your front door corresponds, by comparing your compass reading with the coordinates given above. Then simply superimpose the bagua map with the floor plan of your house by aligning this area with your front door.
What to Do Next
Once you know the kind of energetic needs for each area of your house, you can proceed to activate this energy by using a few feng shui techniques. These techniques will take into consideration the colors and the elements corresponding to each area and will give you a few tips on how you can improve that specific area of your life. Since this is a fascinating subject, we will talk about this in a future article.
Another Type of Bagua Map
To make things more complicated, there is another bagua school that uses a Western bagua map instead of a traditional one. This Western map consists of nine squares corresponding to nine bagua areas. The only effort it requires from you is to align your front door with the lower side of your map in order to identify the bagua areas of your space.
While more straightforward and easier to use, proponents of the traditional bagua map consider it inexact, since it does not take into account the position of your house in relation to the magnetic North. However, the magnetic field is an important concept in feng shui and a part of the energetic map of every space.
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