In the last issue, we discussed some basic feng shui concepts : chi and how it flows, the importance of symbols in one’s environment, as well as other basic tenets of the Chinese view of mankind’s relationship with our universe. Placement and flow within the bagua is another important tool in determining and adjusting the feng shui of any habitat.
The bagua, like any mandala or map, is a picture diagram of relationship. Getting the right balance and arrangement in the bagua of your home or office aligns you with a larger energy resonance pattern. The bagua can be used on both macro and micro levels. It can be used as a template to determine optimal arrangement on a piece of property or lot,
throughout the whole house, within an individual room, or even on a desk top or bed. Generally, the more time you spend in a given environment, the more impact it has on you. Therefore, adjustments made to your bedroom or office are likely to be more effective than those made in the guest bedroom or another room where you spend little time.
The base line of the bagua is always situated in alignment with the wall which contains the architectural front door of a home or business. Even if a side or back entrance is used more often, the bagua for the whole building is aligned with the intended front door. This is the “mouth of the ch’i”, where energy comes into the space.
The bagua is then elongated or compacted to fit within the available space, each of the three guas on a side governing one third of the available space. Think of drawing a tic-tac-toe grid over your space with the bottom of the grid on that base line of the bagua established on the wall with the front door.
Each room within a structure may also be analyzed independently by aligning the base of the bagua with the wall containing the main entrance to the room, regardless of its particular location within the structure. If a building has many angles or is very complex, you may wish to apply the bagua to each room in this manner rather than to the whole structure. A complex building may require a feng shui expert to determine how the bagua applies to the whole.
A projection from a structure creates an enhancement if it is less than one half the width or depth of the building. Missing areas are created when the projection is equal to or greater than the width or depth of the building. When in doubt about whether there is a missing area or an enhancement, check the history of the building and its inhabitants for a good indication of the effect that the projection has had.
An “L” or “U” shaped house can lead to large areas being outside of the bagua. This is often a problem, especially if the kitchen or a bedroom is outside the bagua. In this instance, the occupant may often eat or sleep away from home, leading to a less cohesive family life. If a projection is used as a home office, however, it may enable the office occupant to keep work in its place in the office, leading to a healthy separation of work from family life.
The midpoint of a structure is the halfway point between the front and the back. Rooms situated behind this midpoint are in a more secure position than rooms at the front of the building. The farther back and the higher up, the more secure and therefore commanding the location. This is why the CEO’s office is usually in a back corner on the highest floor.
The Commanding Position in a room is the one that is diagonally back farthest from the door. Placing one’s bed, desk or chair in this position with a view of the door, gives the occupant the most warning of anyone entering the space. Much like the Old West adage of “keeping your back to the wall and your eye on the door”, feng shui believes that you will sleep or work better if you place yourself in the secure Commanding Position. It is desirable for the office of the president or manager of a company and the bedroom of the head of the household to be at the back far corner of the building.
Each of the nine areas of the bagua (eight around the outside with one in the middle) resonate with different factors that make up the whole of one’s life. We use the bagua as a tool to determine where to place solutions to problems or enhancements to increase success. Let’s look at each of the bagua areas starting in the center front and going clockwise around ending in the middle.
Career/Life Path/The Journey: This area, commonly called Career, encompasses much more than just the job at which you earn your living. The area is associated with the Water element and represents your ability to flow through life with ease and straightforwardness. When this area is in harmony, you will be clear about your life’s path. It is a good area in which to place objects that are liquid or that symbolize water in some way.
Beautiful pictures of oceans, rivers, fish, or lakes or actual liquids such as oil, paint or ink would all be appropriate. An enhancement in this area usually brings accumulation of wealth and an ability to use it wisely to inhabitants. When this area is missing, some occupant is likely to suffer from illness unless there is a compensating correction in the area.
Knowledge/Contemplation: This area, usually called Knowledge, refers mostly to inner knowledge, wisdom from within. It is associated with Mountain, an energy that is solid, old and still. It is symbolized by the stillness of nature in winter and by places of worship, solitary places and objects, and empty places or objects such as caves and boxes.
This is one area of the house that should not have a projection or indentation and will have to be adjusted if either is present. When this area is missing, couples are likely to have difficulty conceiving children. Single women are likely to have difficulty with their reproductive system. A projection in this area is likely to lead to tension and arguments among the increasingly selfish inhabitants. (Too much attention to self!) When this area is in balance, inhabitants will spend some time in introspection and be aware of and honor their inner wisdom.
Family/Elders/Ancestors: This area, often called Family, has to do with those who have come before us, much as Thunder precedes a storm. It refers to your ancestors and all who are considered yo be your “superiors” such as bosses as well as parents. The Wood energy of this area moves upward and outward like a tree, so tall plants or pictures of trees and forests are good enhancements. The sunrise also has this energy. If there is a projection in this area, the energy of the house will lead to success for inhabitants. An indentation, however, is likely to indicate that inhabitants will lack energy, endurance and vitality.
Children born into homes with indentations may lack regard for their elders and leave home at an early age. When this area is in balance, inhabitants will have energy to accomplish their goals and a healthy regard for their elders.
Wealth/Abundance/Fortunate Blessings: This area, usually called Wealth, is really about all of the blessings in our lives. To have this area in balance is to be blessed by good luck in all areas of life, including good health and harmony as well as prosperity. Receiving a promotion, acknowledgement from an employer or parent, or any honor indicates balance in this area. Symbolized by Wind, the energy of this area is penetrating, like wind blowing through the tops of trees. A missing area in this part of the house will usually manifest as “bad luck” such as frequent accidents, business difficulties, tax or contract problems, and so forth.
Fame/Reputation/Illumination: This area is usually called Fame. Indeed, when there is a projection in this area, the energy will often cause people to become well known. For most of us, this area has more to do with being clear about who we are, an illumination from within that shines and is manifested in our Reputation. The energy of this area is Fire, an active, pulsating energy as is typical of summer.
This area is enhanced by objects that illuminate, such as great music and works of art. When this part of the house is indented or missing, inhabitants will often lack self-confidence and be overly concerned with what others think of them. Occupants of homes with this area in balance will be true to their inner nature, keeping on their path as defined 180 degrees away in the Career/Life Path area.
Marriage/Relationships/Partnership: This is the area of the bagua having to do with all relationships with others, passionate, platonic and professional. The energy of this area is the most yin of the bagua, that of the receptive Earth. To be in a successful relationship is to be open and receptive. Relationships with others help us to know ourselves better, and the better we know ourselves, the better our relationships are likely to be. When this area is missing or indented in a house, women are likely to have trouble living there. There also may be troubles around land or farming. A projection in this area is very beneficial to women living in the house, but may be uncomfortable for the men.
Children/Creativity: This area of the bagua is associated with everything that we create. This traditionally was our children but may also be projects, crafts, arts, even masterpieces, all arising from our imagination. When this area is in balance, life is full of joy and new ideas. This area symbolizes all of the sensory organs, so delicious fragrances, tastes, sights, and sounds enhance it. This area is also associated with twilight.
An indentation in the Creativity area of the house will often mean that occupants have trouble saving money for their own enjoyment. Instead, they will give it away or spend it foolishly. They may also have difficulty imagining or completing their creative projects. A projection in this area means that inhabitants are likely to be happy and active socially. They may, however be the brunt of gossip.
Benefactors/Helpful People/Travel: This area of the bagua is the area where Helpful People enter your life as good neighbors, supportive co-workers, volunteers, and encouraging friends. It is also the area through which you play similar roles in the lives of others, giving away your time and talents. The symbol of this area is Heaven, the most yang area of the bagua. If this area is indented or missing, the men in the house may lack energy, be ill, or have difficulty with employment.
A projection in this area will lead to philanthropy on the part of the inhabitants, not necessarily monetary, but showing a concern for others and supporting them when possible and appropriate. When it is in balance, your “angels” will appear as you need them; you will find the help you need.
The Center/Tai Chi: The center of your home contains aspects of all of the other parts. It is the place where it all comes together, the place of unity. It is a traditional place to bring various complementary parts of the outside or to have a small courtyard garden or atrium. It is important that this area be orderly and clear. It is definitely not the place for clutter. This is the center of health in the house. To be truly healthy is to have all of the eight aspects in balance.
As you look at each of these areas within your home, ask yourself questions about how in synch each is with how your life is going and how you wish it to be. If all is smooth and as you desire it in your partnerships, for example, appreciate that you have apparently created harmony in the Relationships area and notice what this looks like.
If there is an area of your life that you want to improve in some way, look at that part of the bagua and see what is presently going on in your home. Is there clutter? Clean it out. Are there symbols or metaphors there that are at odds with what you desire? What is a way that is meaningful to you to represent your desired result in this area? Feng shui is not a magic way to transform your life. It is rather a constantly evolving way to point your life in the direction you desire, to make the most of your possibilities.
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