Feng Shui Q&A: What Is The Right Way To Use The Bagua Map?

Carol Olmstead's bagua map, sent to me by a reader.

Readers ask questions about the bagua map– the map in feng shui that helps you to see what areas of a space correspond to certain areas of a business or a life- constantly.  Today we have a great question sent in by a reader about how to actually line up the bagua map in a home properly.  I included this specific bagua map sent in by the reader.  If you look on the Internet, there are many different maps and it can get very confusing; Carol Olmstead‘s map above is “Dana-Approved”, meaning if you read my blog and understand my approach, this map is easy to read and understand. Ok, now to answer this awesome question & get you using the bagua map correctly today!!!   

Your Question: This time I have a “feng-shui” question about the bagua map! Two of my feng shui books give two very different descriptions of how to use it. One says I always have to put the #1 “water” sector on the place at my home’s map where the front door is, the other book says the “fame” or “fire” always has to be in the south and the placement of bagua above your house’s plan doesn’t depend on the placement of the front door. Which use of the bagua is correct? Thanks in advance!

My Answer: To start off, worth noting that the bagua map is not a major tool of Pyramid School feng shui as to use it as a primary tool takes the individual nature of each person’s needs in a place out of the equation, leaving a “template” to do all of the work for you. That being said, the bagua map is both a very good diagnostic tool and a good jumping off point for detecting what is the actual ”problem area” in a space as it correlates to what you are working on manifesting in your life.

Feng shui books out there, for the large part, strongly emphasize the bagua or assign it to other purposes (numbers/numerology, chinese astrology, etc) that I don’t use in Pyramid School Feng Shui.  I work with connected people to places directly rather than through other, more trancendental means. If you want to use a bagua to get a sense of what’s happening in your home, align the bottom row of the bagua to the wall where your front door is located. Everything else will fall into place. 

If you are “missing” areas, (in other words, your floor plan may be U shaped, L-shaped or another irregular geometric shape),  then you have to know a bit more about both your home and your personal feng shui to see where the missing areas are and how they can “fold into” the main part of your floorplan. Nothing is ever truly “missing”, but, rather, you will experince it differenty as it will double back upon the area beside it.  I know that may sound confusing. I studied baguas for many years. If you find you have a problem using it on your entire home, try looking at your home room by room to apply the bagua to each room to start, as that is how you experience spaces most directly unless you live in a loft!  This can be a good jumping off point to get a look at your space bagua-style.


If you have a feng shui question that you’d like answered, please join me on Facebook orTumblr to join the forums of question-askers!  I do my best to answer every general (and sometimes specific) question I receive!

And, if you are ready to design your dream life, you can always work with me one-on-one online or in-person to make the big moves!

Always, I love hearing from you! xoxo Dana

Rachel September 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

The front door of the house, the front of the house that face to the street. Basically, we come in into the house by inside the garage, It is a door that faces the north side, entrance is garage, then laundry room, the the door inside the house with is the dinning room and living room.

danaclaudat September 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Use the main entrance that you USE as the wall that contains your front door and line things up from there!

Bianca Boc September 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm

If i apply the bagua on my room and the windows is in fame future area and the door on self confidence and work , its is good for prosperity? in a traight line door and window?

totembird February 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I live in a walk up town- house apartment and my front door opens from the smack-middle (not front-center). If I align the Bagua using the front door, two-thirds of my aparment would be missing. If I align the Bagua over the entire floor plan using the door to the building which falls in the knowledge side, then the front door to my apartment opens up from the creativity/children sector. What is the right way to read the ba gua?

danaclaudat February 8, 2013 at 12:46 am

use it room by room to start. from the entrance to each room!

BJ Jensen February 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I have chosen the only rooms in the basement with windows for my art studio / office . The basement floor plan is such that each room enters into the adjacent room in a circular pattern. How would I keep any energy where it’s needed?

danaclaudat February 11, 2013 at 2:37 am

I’m not sure what you mean by circular— is the space circular? the hallways? can you shoot me an image?

Lauren July 14, 2013 at 3:11 am

Hi! I live in a two level townhouse, the only entrance is upstairs, and the layout upstairs is easy to follow. There are stairs at the end of a short hall to the right (not directly opposite the entrance) that descend into the bottom level, there are balcony doors that are pretty much in line with the balcony doors, but I’ve put items between the two to stop energy from just flowing straight out. How to I apply the bagua map to the ground level? I’ve read conflicting things, some say that I need to flip the map, others have said to use the map in the same way as with the top, using the stairs as the main entrance…Can you please help? I am so confused!

Lauren July 14, 2013 at 3:25 am

Oh and I forgot to mention that the bottom level, apart from a bedroom and bathroom, which are at the opposite end to the balcony, is just one looooong rectangle, with an open kitchen to the right of the stairs. Just one big area, which would essentially be easy to apply the map to, if I could just figure out how to do that!

danaclaudat August 2, 2013 at 12:42 am

try to use the bagua room by room. its much easier!!!

zoe p July 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

i read i have to place the bagua from where my door is. (room)
but i have two doors. what do i do now?
go from the d i like more or the one i use more?

danaclaudat July 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

the one you use more 🙂 but also look at things from the one you like more to see how that affects the position of things… in that way you can see if, perhaps, it should be the one you can use more!

Maria Hyman September 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hello Dana,

Regarding the use of the bagua individually for each room, do I align the bagua so that the bottom of the bagua is aligned to the entrance of each room?

Thank you,

danaclaudat October 2, 2013 at 12:45 am

yes! you got it 🙂

Ligia January 3, 2014 at 4:05 am

Thanks for all the comments and teachings. I enjoy reading them.

danaclaudat January 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Thank you Ligia! I’m so glad to hear that! Happy New Year!

Mary January 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I have an irregular shaped house but it becomes squared includng the gate from the garage door, should my main entry be the gate or still the front door? The front door is on left side after the gate, its like a hook or half T shape if i will not include the gated garage as part of the house for the bagua

danaclaudat January 28, 2014 at 4:00 am

if you use the garage, it would be included in the floorplan shape. and I would base your main entry on the door you use most often to actually enter your home. thais determines your experience of the space 🙂

Mary January 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Thanks so much Dana for the input! Been learning a lot just by going through your posts. So basically since the garage is used all the time and is covered with a gate, which serves as main entry in order to get to the front door of the house it shall be included on my bagua map, right?

PJ March 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Hi Dana! I went through your posts but I did not find an answer I am looking for. I have a regular shaped home, but my front door is on the left off my porch. Basically, rectangular house, front porch on the middle of the longer side of the house and front door on the left wall of the front porch. If I align the bagua map with my front door, only my bedrooms will be included and 2/3 of my home wouldn’t. Should I use the front wall of the house (where I am entering the porch) as a base to lay the bagua map or literally the front door? And if it is the front door, what do I do with the rest of the house that is outside the bagua map? The part that would be left out is longer than the part that would be included in the bagua map if I use the front door as base. Hope I explained it right…Thank you very much!!

danaclaudat March 9, 2014 at 3:08 am

I would use the bagua room by room in this case 🙂

danaclaudat March 9, 2014 at 3:09 am

And to clarify— I would start with front entrance and use the main entrance to each room from the front door as your “entry door” to each room. 🙂

PJ March 14, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Thank you Dana!!! Sorry for my late response. Your suggestion may be difficult to achieve though- hallway, living room and dining room do not have doors and have more than one entry/exit points…Especially dining room, which has entry on three of its walls – from hallway, kitchen and living room. Do I use the one that is closer to front door (from living room) or the one that more represent “entry”, like from the hallway? Thank you again!!!

danaclaudat March 15, 2014 at 2:48 am

Yes exactly as you describe, and also, remember that the bagua is just one tool in the feng shui bag. You can work with balancing elements, adding art and symbol, aromatherapy, yin & yang and so much more to create an awesome space 🙂

PJ March 15, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Thanks a lot Dana for your help!!! That is exactly what I am trying to do now 🙂

Catriona July 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Hi Dana, thanks for the post. I just wanted to check how to use this with my home. I live in an appartment. To enter my house, I go through one door which gives access to a small balvony, then turn to my left and enter another door to enter the appartment itself. I need to go through both doors to enter the house and both doors only I can enter. Which is the door I should align the map with? 🙂 thank you!

danaclaudat July 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm

start with the front-front door, since its the must-enter point. and then, see if you can encorporate that enryway space more into the experiece of your apartment. does that make sense?! xoxo Dana

brenda August 5, 2014 at 5:39 am

Lots of good pointers on which door is the main door. My challenge is my porch which overlooks our back yard. It has three entrances to the porch…..the one which leads into the porch from the back yard, the original back door to the house that became secondary when the porch was built on and the third door is a set of double garden doors that leads from kitchen to porch. The garden doors open outwards into the porch and the other two open inwards into the house as most outside doors do. We obviously enter the porch from the outside but when I’m indoors I enter the porch primarily through the garden doors. What door do I consider to be the main door for this particular space.

danaclaudat August 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Use the primary entrance… and to really make your home more “effective” try to minimize using all the doors all the time, really making the main door the mean door! 🙂

Rachel February 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Dear Dana: JEEPERS!
It’s Rachel-in-Switzerland again.
The “entry” comments regarding placement of the bagua at the front door = uh oh! The entry to our top floor apartment is at the far end of the building, and it opens on to the very back wall of the building. You step into a sort of a mud room/shoe removal area – but to really enter you must then turn left, go up two steps onto a landing, turn left again and head up 9 steps, turn left again and up 5 steps into the entry space of the living quarters.
1. If I place the bagua at our apartment’s front door, only the entry area and the landing will fall inside it. Now what?
2. Although no stairs face our front door, I suspect that there is nonetheless ample opportunity for chi to flow down and out. Any suggestions?
with every good wish for you,

danaclaudat April 18, 2015 at 10:49 pm

Make the entrance to your personal space as welcoming as possible! And use the bagua room by room, with the main entrance to each room as the “entrance” to the room. You make like the DIY guide to feng shui, it makes it easy and you won’t fresk out because the baua is only a small part of feng shui 🙂 xoxoxo http://www.fengshuidana.com/feng-shui-101-how-to-transform-the-place-where-you-live-into-a-home-that-you-love/

monica June 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Hi Dana, thank you for this blog! a simple or perhaps not so simple question: I understand the use of the Bagua, but sometimes I feel confused when I read about the North or West, whatever, area, because I don’t understand the difference. I use the Bagua and perhaps I’m missing about the compass? Really appreciate in advance your comment, best regards from your argentine follower, Monica

danaclaudat July 1, 2015 at 2:33 am

I don;t ever use a compass or directions like north, south, etc… 🙂

Mark October 12, 2015 at 3:10 am

Hi Dana,
I live in Brisbane, Australia (born 7:36am on 23 June 1972 while sun rose through clouds after several days rain, “i.e – winter solstice sun”, that filled hospital birthing ward) & have read 100’s posts online & bought few online books that I used as guide then set my new home up accordingly then found out late last night how I should’ve set everything up using Ba Gua from front door & southern hemisphere Ba Gua (not one of shonky books mentioned anything about southern hemisphere ba gua), I’m still apart of Eastern Group & Kua 1 but not Cancer or Rat as I’d assumed because I live south of equater not north, which is the right way & what horoscope group should I use ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated & thank you.
Regards, Mark
PS – Sorry to be blunt but that is who I am

danaclaudat November 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm

hi mark, i don’t deal with kua #’s ever as I find them to be superstitios and they create a lot of fear. focus on creating a great space for you to thrive and you’ll be great!

greg December 28, 2015 at 11:39 pm

My home is a perfect rectangle. One end of it has a covered porch. The roof is part of the roof of the home. Do I include the porch in the bagua? I see some experts on line saying “yes” and some say “no”. Can you please explain why some are saying yes and some no and explain the reason for your answer.
I greatly appreciate the clarity! Thanks! 🙂

danaclaudat August 5, 2016 at 4:31 am

it’s a part of the structure of your home and it’s – I presume- something you use and experience (or can) so yes, it’s a part of your home and likely an extension of one area of the bagua! That’s always good 🙂

Kristen January 10, 2016 at 6:42 pm

I live in a 2 story condo. We have 2 entrances one from the garage and one from the front that face different ways.

Also you walk up stairs to a half wall so I am unsure of how to face the map.

jana January 20, 2016 at 8:51 pm

I am so confused as to adding my garage to the bagua of my home! A Feng Shui consultant came to my house and stated the I am missing parts of my career and helpful people/travel area because the garage is a left/side entry garage and is my knowledge area. But I keep reading online that my garage need not be included in my bagua of my home if I do not sleep or live in my garage??? ahhh!!! please help me!

laurie October 3, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Dana – Your blog has been most helpful. My house is perfectly rectangular with the exception of my front door & patio being in an ‘indented’ space which is a covered patio that is enclosed on 3 sides and which shares the same roof as the house. I would like to know if you suggest placing the bagua on the wall that aligns with the actual front door OR with the wall that aligns with the covered patio porch edge that leads to the front door and which also aligns with the rest of the rectangle house. I hope this makes sense!

Thank you for your suggestions!

danaclaudat October 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm

What reads to you as the main entrance is the main entrance. 🙂

Sam November 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Hi Dana,

I’d like to know if we should include the gate and “the area from the gate to the front door” as part of the floor plan? If we should, then my bagua map would start from the gate, then to the front door, then to the inside of the house. On the other hand, if we align the bagua map only from the front door, do I need to align another bagua map from the gate to the front door ( it’s quite a large area where I use as parking space and for growing some plants)?

My house is a perfect rectangular shape.

Than you,


danaclaudat November 4, 2016 at 4:39 am

I look at the large overview (from gate) , and then from the front door. It won’t change things much, just gives you a big picture and then a more moment by moment experience of space within the home. So: both 🙂 With a perfect rectangle, you’re good to go!

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