Feng Shui 101: A Super-Cool Starter Guide To Using The Bagua

BAGUA 101: You likely have heard of Money Corners and Relationship Corners and all sorts of “corners” in feng shui, some great and some verging on superstitious information about these “corners” is swirling around the Internet. I thought it was about time  after receiving handfuls of questions (!) to show you the diagram called a BAGUA MAP and explain a bit about how to use it to learn more about your home and its relationship to the state of your life. Exciting stuff!!!

The nine-sector map known as THE BAGUA in feng shui practice was developed over thousands of years and is based upon where and how people had to live in their homes in order to increase their prospects for survival. How we experience spaces in the modern world have much to do with how well we will survive and thrive as well.  The bagua is a perplexing, much-debated tool in various schools of feng shui. Rather than give you a blanket overview, I thought I would give you some helpful hints to using this map to understand yourself and your home a bit better.

Let’s get down to business! First, position the grid (shown above)  over a room or the layout of a whole space. Align it so that the FRONT DOOR or ENTRANCEWAY is in line with the bottom of this map (in essence, you will always enter through Career, Knowledge, or Helpful People).  To do this, draw a floor plan as closely as you can to accurate, then divide it into the nine sectors as shown above. You can then see what areas of your home correlate with parts of your life from this starting point.

A few special tips about using the feng shui bagua map:

1. The bagua map is excellent to use as a diagnostic tool.  For example, when I enter someone’s home I can generally tell them what is going on in their lives fairly quickly by looking at the bagua map and how each area is being utilized (or abandoned! or trashed!) in their home or office.  If you use the map as a guideline you can see what is happening in your life based on how the area looks in your home.  (*Please note: just because your house was decorated by a designer (even a famous designer), this does not mean that your feng shui is fabulous.  If it was, you probably would not be reading this!)

*I send my ladies (and men, too!) who are looking for relationships and lacking WISDOM to Dr. Pat Allen and her books.

2. The bagua is not to be used as the absolute law; the bagua is more fluid than it is rigid.  For example, if you can’t “decorate” your Relationship area because it contains a radiator, you are not doomed to be alone for the rest of your life unless you move!  More than likely if you have chosen a place with obstacles such as these in one area of the bagua, there are surrounding areas (and issues) to work out that will reinforce that area.  I like to look at the bagua in diagonal pairs as Wisdom & Relationships, Self-Empowerment & Compassion, Self & Fame work in tandem across the map.  So, to go back to the example I started with, if you selected a home with a radiator in the Relationship area, you may actually be best served by gaining wisdom (and fortifying your Wisdom area) to get your relationship dynamics more solid.

3. If an area of the map is “missing” in your home floor plan, make the spaces beside the “missing” areas totally and completely fantastic!

4. The bagua map can be applied to a DESK TOP, a ROOM, a HOME, a CAR, an OFFICE, a CITY… and on and on.  I prefer to use the bagua room-by-room with clients because I can get a better picture of how they are experiencing space and can keep track of how my adjustments affect that overall floor plan.  If you are just getting started with the bagua, the best way to start is with your whole floor plan so you have a good overview and can see where a few repairs or sparkle and polish could make a major change in your home (and, hopefully, your life! ) overall.

With all of that said, please remember that the bagua is just one of about 20 major tools and philosophies at play in creating your feng shui.  You can learn a ton from the bagua, but it would be best if you don’t get too literal and fixated about “corners” and your future.  What WOULD BE GREAT is if this information could motivate you to shape up some lacking areas in your house, dump critical clutter and intentionally decorate (with retrain, fun and personality, of course…) any of the spaces you have left sit empty and plain.

xoxo Dana