If you’re the type of person who feels that the design of an interior space and the way that it flows has a lot to do with how a person feels when they’re within it, you’ve probably already heard of feng shui. And you probably also feel that a cluttered, disorganized space can feel constrictive and can actually prevent your creativity from flowing freely. This makes feng shui even more appropriate for your living and working environments because it can help the “chi,” or energy, flow so that you can feel great, think clearly, and manifest your deepest intentions for love, joy, and success.
Feng shui can be used by anyone, and there are many ways to learn the basics of this ancient system so that you can apply them to your office and your home. The deeper you go into your study, though, the more tips you’ll acquire for properly orienting a environment, whether it’s an interior or exterior space, to bring about the most prosperity and abundance in all aspects of life, from love and romance to financial success and everything in between.
First Off, What’s Feng Shui?
In English, the words “feng shui” translate to “wind water.” This is an ancient philosophical practice that originated in China. It’s also classified as one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics. Its ultimate purpose is to create a sense of harmony between the environment and its inhabitants. Although it’s been used to determine where certain buildings would be placed, it’s even more popular and well known as the system for orienting objects and furniture within a building in order to ensure the energy will be able to flow throughout it without becoming blocked, and to establish a method by which negative energies can be released from the environment if they’re present.
For a more in-depth introduction to feng shui and its principles, feel free to read this blog post, which delves into the elements that are important to feng shui and how to properly incorporate them throughout your home or place of business in the most auspicious ways.
What’s a Bagua in Feng Shui?
The word “bagua” translates to “eight areas.” In order to properly analyze the energy within an environment, such as a home or office, you’ll need to use a feng shui bagua, which is essentially an energy map and one of the main tools that an experienced feng shui practitioner will utilize to orient a space correctly.
Put simply, the bagua, or energy map, will be able to show you where and how the energy is flowing throughout your environment and where it should be adjusted. It will also show you what areas or rooms in your workplace or in your home are associated with specific areas of your life, such as your love life, your professional life, your family life, and more.
There are actually two different ways of applying a bagua to your environment, but you should only choose one and stick with it. There’s the Traditional Method, which is also referred to as the Classical Method, and there’s the Western Method, which is also known as the BTB Method (short for Black Sect Tantric Buddhist School). This article will focus on the Classical bagua to keep things simple, but you can always take a course on feng shui to learn more about the Western bagua and other aspects of feng shui that will help you bring more abundance to your personal and professional life.
What Does a Bagua Look Like?
When you look at a feng shui bagua, you’ll notice that it looks like a chart. It’s divided into nine boxes and features different colors in each. The boxes are representative of various life situations, and they’re placed in a manner that shows what areas of your environment affect those aspects of your life. This helps you to clearly see what areas of your physical environment need improvement so that you can manifest your desires.
Eight boxes out of the nine in a bagua represent life situations. The top three boxes, from left to right, represent wealth, fame, and partnership. The middle row represents family, the health center (which is the center of the bagua, or the ninth box), and offspring. And the bottom row represents knowledge, career, and helpers.
The Life Situations, Colors, and Elements of a Bagua
Below is a more detailed explanation for each of these boxes that represent various life situations, as well as the colors and elements that are associated with each area of the bagua.
Wealth: As you might’ve guessed, this is the area that has to do with your finances. If you’re experiencing issues with money or you feel that you need more abundance in your life, this is an area you should focus on. The fire element dominates here, and you should focus on incorporating red and purple colors into this area of your environment.
Fame: Fame doesn’t mean being famous and well known all over the world. Instead, it has to do with the reputation you have and how others view you. But it also has to do with how you view yourself. The fire element is the most powerful here, as are the colors red and orange.
Partnership: The partnership box has to do with romantic relationships, so you can use it to attract new love or enhance an existing relationship. This area also encompasses any other types of relationships you share with others, including friends and family. And it has to do with the relationship you have with yourself, with other living creatures, and with the planet on a whole. When it comes to improving any kind of relationship, focus on the colors red and pink, as well as the element of fire.
Family: Family has to do with your biological relatives, as well as any other people you consider “family” as well. This area of the bagua is also associated with health. Its primary element is wood and its color is green.
Health Center: The center of the bagua has to do with your health, and ultimately represents all of life’s situations. Using the earth element, as well as the colors brown and yellow, you can achieve balance in your life, recover from an illness, and improve your overall constitution by focusing on this area of the bagua for your home and workplace.
Offspring: Offspring obviously refers to children, but it’s also representative of anything else that you create, such as art or music, that you can leave behind. Its element is metal, and its colors are metallic, gray, and white.
Knowledge: This area refers to your ability to make the right choices in your life, and it represents the knowledge you hold about yourself and the world around you. The element here is water, and the colors of knowledge are black and blue.
Career: Career refers to your job, or what you do to survive and make money to pay the bills, as well as what you do for fun. Your passions are just as important as your title at work, and they shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re lucky, you can even turn your passion into a career. Blue and black are the primary colors here, and you also should focus on incorporating the water element into your design for this space.
Helpers: Helpers are those who are there to guide and help you, such as teachers and mentors, but they can also refer to supernatural creatures, such as angels. This area of the bagua is also associated with travel and spirituality. The metal element is dominant here, as are the colors gray, white, and metallic.
How to Apply a Bagua to Your Space
A bagua can be applied to an entire home, an office space, a particular room, a car, or even your desk. To apply it, follow these steps:
Step 1: Bring a compass with you and stand outside your front door, facing outward. Write down the degree that your compass reads. Then go to an area inside your home, facing the same direction, and take down the compass reading. Finally, move to another area of your home, facing the same direction again so that you can take a third compass reading. You should get at least three compass readings. You can even go ahead and take up to seven different compass readings in various areas of your home, facing the same direction each time. Then take the average of all your compass readings, jotting down the direction your compass indicated you were facing.
Compass readings are associated with certain directions, and you’ll need to know the following information as you move through the process of creating your bagua:
337.5 to 22.5 – North
157.5 to 202.5 – South
67.5 to 112.5 – East
247.5 to 292.5 – West
22.5 to 67.5 – Northeast
292.5 to 337.5 – Northwest
112.5 to 157.5 – Southeast
202.5 to 247.5 – Southwest
Step 2: Using a professional floor plan or one that you’ve created yourself, find the center of your environment and place a protractor there. Take the average compass reading and use that to align your protractor with the front door. Find the starting point of the direction you were facing. For example, if you were facing east, find 67.5 on your protractor and draw a line to the center of your floor plan. Then do the same with the highest end of the range for that direction (in this example, it would be 112.5). Label it “east.” Then do the same for all of the other directions (in this example, you’d move to the next direction, which is southeast because it begins at 112.15). Label each direction until you have all them set on your floor plan.
Step 3: Once you have your directions set, you can incorporate the colors and elements associated with each direction, based upon the life situation in that area. You can use the chart below.
Career – North
Fame – South
Family – East
Offspring – West
Knowledge – Northeast
Helpers – Northwest
Wealth – Southeast
Partnership – Southwest
Now that you know what a feng shui bagua is and how to set one up yourself, you can determine what areas of your environment need to be strengthened in order to manifest your intentions. Just remember that the bagua is one of many tools used in feng shui to create a space that’s conducive to health, happiness, and prosperity. To really get to know feng shui and what it has to offer, consider taking a course in classical feng shui to learn more about it. This will prevent you from relying upon your bagua too much and from taking it too literally while disregarding the many other aspects of feng shui that are just as important and influential.