THE FENG SHUI BAGUA MAP
UNDERSTAND AND USE YOUR HOME'S
ORIENTATION PART 2/2
In the previous article, we saw how the principles of orientation of ancient civilizations could apply to our homes. In article 6, we will see how Feng shui practitioners use this principle in a different way.
One of the most significant and useful parts of the age-old Chinese practice is the use of the Bagua map, a system which divides each space in 9 "houses" each one relating to a specific aspect of our lives. This refers to the 8 cardinal points of orientation and a 9th referring to the center. In order to resolve something in one specific part of our life we should look at that "house" in our space.
The Bagua map is concerned with the 9 areas below:
1- Career and purpose
4- Wealth and blessings
6- Friends and travel
7- Creativity and children
8- Spiritual growth
9- Fame and recognition
The graphic below demonstrates the ideal alignment in which the door would be located on the North side and the rest of the home would be mapped out as so:
It's perfect even if it ain't...
If your door is not facing north, you have two options on how you can layout the map in your home.
You can choose to use your front door or the cardinal points (as marked on the image with the small letters) as the reference to map out the 9 houses as per the diagram.
If you use your door to map your bagua, it means you believe your main source of Chi is the entrance.
If you use the cardinal points, you believe the main source of Chi is the sun. This second way is more aligned with the principles of ancient civilisations, however, in Feng Shui, it is believed to apply only when you live in the countryside and don't have any neighbours blocking the sun.
I tend to believe that the sun is the ultimate source of Chi, regardless of your situation... unless of course a space has been activated and whispered, in which case it radiates its own energy power spot.
Since this article is about orientation, I will recommend using the cardinal points as your reference.
Mapping your home can definitely be tricky, feel free to drop me a line and ask for help!
Understanding each house:
The next step is choosing which house(s) represent(s) an area in your life you would like to bring attention to.
Again, I recommend not trying to manipulate any specific outcome, but rather only bring awareness and energy to a specific area and watch changes happen naturally. This is a much more powerful way of manifesting lasting change.
Below is a brief summary of each area and some baseline Feng Shui recommendations for each:
1- Career and purpose,
This area governs your career and business.The colours recommended to use here are black and blue, the shapes are organic and flowing and the material or element is water.
A fish tank, a fountain and things in odd numbers are good here. If you cant have a water feature or fish tank, a picture of a water feature, or lake or the sea is great. Keep this area light and airy, add light if needed.
Avoid anything too earthy.
This is the area for all relationships, though most people usually focus on the romantic ones.
It is ideal for the bedroom to be located in this area. The best colours to use here are pink, peach and orange, and the best shape is square. Try to keep decorative elements in pairs, such as candles, or small statues. Keep them together rather than on either side of the room which represents separation. Photographs of couples or things that are in pairs work best here. The element here is fire, so do try to keep candles if you can. If your relationship is in trouble, make sure you have a space in this area where it's comfortable to sit and talk. If you are single looking for a relationship, make sure the room feels like it's ready to welcome a permanent guest.
A great colour to use here is dark green, oblong, and the shape is rectangle.
This is a great space to bring attention to if you feel you have some issues with your family which need resolving. It is recommended to place elements in 3's here. For instance 3 plant pots full of earth and will one seed planted in each. It is believed that when the 3 seeds have bloomed, your will have seen resolution in the family issues. It's also great to have images of trees as they represent the tree of life, where your roots are. Also place family heirlooms you have been gifted or photos of your family.
4- Wealth and blessings
This area relates to your relationship to prosperity or abundance. It's recommended, however, to use it more to symbolise how you are feeling blessed, or grateful in your life.
It's important to keep this area bright and airy, with lots of natural light if possible, for the Chi to be drawn in. A great colour here is grass green, apple green or mint green, after all, green is the colour of money.
Big leafy plants are great here, below are a couple of images of the Crassula Ovata known as a prosperity plant which I absolutely love.
This is a great space for it. A four leaf clover or plants which have grown very tall are good.
The colours here are yellow and primrose and the shape is square.
You will want to keep healthy plants here and make sure you avoid clutter at all costs.
In many homes, this is usually the staircase or the bathroom, because of the fact that it's positioned in the middle of the space. These are two areas where it's very hard to do much, in which case I suggest placing a spheric crystal to diffuse energy across the space
6-Friends and travel
This house governs friendships and travels, and friends that help you on your path and journey. Some believe it also represents spiritual teachers and other figures that you might look up to. The Buddha for instance, Ganesh, Jesus or any other figure which may inspire you.
The colors here are white, silver, gold, bronze and the shapes here are circle and arch.
It's a great idea to integrate metal finishes in the design of this area, as well as oval shapes, arches, in the windows or door frames for instance. Pictures of friends or images or symbolism of spiritual figures are great here.
Earthy colours are great here, terracotta, yellow or peach.
One old feng shui tip for this room is to keep a metal bowl which you fill with loose change until it's full, after which you give the money to charity. To amplify this energy, place a round mirror underneath the bowl.
7-Creativity and children
This house refers to all children, not just your own, but also children of friends, family members, etc. It's also the house for creativity because having children is the ultimate creative act. Therefore, it's a great area to focus on if you are either looking to get pregnant, looking to bring blessings to a child who is close to you, or would like to unlock creativity for some projects you may be working on, or in your life generally.
The colors here are white, silver, gold, bronze and the shapes here are circle and arch. Using a lot of metal finishes here, like in house 6, is a good idea. Images of children are good here, or also a white vase with white flowers is good.
This house is all about meditation, mindfulness, spiritual growth. Make sure this area feels quiet and still. Make sure it becomes a good area for you to meditate in. Crystals and statues representing spiritual guidance, ie: a Buddha statue, or a cross, are great here. Images of still landscapes and mountains are good here too. We will have another article looking specifically at symbolism.
The colors here are purple, violet and maroon.
9-Fame and recognition
This area is about being recognised for what we do, for becoming an expert in our field.
The colours here are red and purple, the shape is triangle, diamond or star.
Plants and candles in here are great as the dominating element should be fire.
A fireplace would be excellent, otherwise red candles are great.
A note to Feng Shui enthusiasts:
The above summary comes from "Feng Shui: Create Health, Wealth and Happiness Through the Power of Your Home" a fantastic book by expert Davina MacKail which you can find here if you would like to know more:
Intuitive and heartful decisions
You can follow the above principles for your 3 chosen areas if you wish, but I recommend only doing so if you really enjoy them and they really resonate with you. If a certain principle is meant to manifest, it will happen effortlessly. The right candles may show up a day or two after reading this, and you may find the perfect corner for them in house 2 or 9 without even thinking about it.
If it feels like a struggle to get a picture of an odd number of fish for your "career / life path" area and you just can't make it happen, then it's not meant to be.
I still can't stress enough that the process needs to be as heartfelt and intuitive as possible. Getting your space aligned with the higher good is about your personal growth. So every change needs to resonate deeply with your core. The above principles are only here for inspiration.
It can even also happen that some things that Feng Shui recommends avoiding may be just right for you!
For instance, I have a painting of a single man, painted by my good friend Stephen Morallee, on top of my bed which looks a lot like me. As we read in area 2 above, this would be bad Feng Shui as the recommendations favor pictures of a couple or a pair. But to me it just feels right. I did however place a large wooden statue of two lovers deeply connected as in an infinite loop near it. This works perfectly in accordance with the above principles and is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning.
So, "how has my romantic situation been affected by all of this?" you may be wondering...
Well, I'll be perfectly honest: I haven't yet manifested the relationship that (I think) I want.. but what has appeared instead is a sense of clarity around my feelings on the topic and (most importantly) a sense of peace about it all. I now constantly feel that all is in order in this area, and when something is meant to come, it will. No longer feeling "broken" because I am single is also quite an achievement, in my humble opinion! This type of inner shift is what we should be expecting and hoping for.
Bagua map your home
Using your compass, locate the north.
Walk in that direction, as far as you can go, until you reach the edge of your home in that direction. Stand as close as possible to the middle of that wall and turn so you are facing inwards, and picture your home being seperated in 9 parts, applying the above image map to your space.
The space you are standing in is your career and purpose. The one straight before you is health, the one straight beyond that is fame and recognition, The one to your right is friends and travel, the one in front of that is creativity and children, and in front of that, relationships. On your left is the spiritual development house, in front of that is ancestors and family and in front of that wealth and blessings.
If that didn't make any sense, it's fine... Just print the map, grab your compass and stand facing south and it will all make sense. A print version of the magua map is available to download and print here. I suggest you draw over it mapping out which rooms are in your home.
Your intuitive compass
By now we have seen the mapping of the ancient civilisations and the one of Feng Shui. You can also map the space intuitively.
Once you have done your Feng Shui map of your home, and you have chosen which areas you want to affect, I suggest walking around these areas and really getting a good feel for them. Does it feel like these physical areas really represent those parts of your life? If not, use your intuition to decide which ones do.
Intuition rules over all. Let your heart rule as it wishes and the benefits will be much much stronger.
A gallery of ideas:
Top left-A quick and easy way to use orientations is simply to intentionally place powerful crystals in the chosen areas.
Top right- Creativity area sees lots of metal details, shelf and lamps, a vase with white flowers and a potent crystal as well.
Bottom left- Ancestors area- a Murano glass ashtray which was a gift from my mother, and a very potent spherical crystal
Bottom right- In my career life path area, an image which represents courage to remind me to bring this into my work.
So by now we have seen summaries of the Feng Shui principles, as well as the different ways your space can be mapped out, and we have also learned about the importance of following our intuition.
This brings us to the single most effective way to use this map:
- Choose the 3 "houses" that represent the areas you want to affect in your life.
- Decide if you are following the Feng Shui mapping recommendations or choosing your own intuitively.
- Grab a notepad and draw a vertical line dividing the page in two parts.
- Stand in each of the chosen houses one by one and whilst standing there, dive inwards and pay attention to how you feel. Expansive? Contracted? Sad? Hopeful? Write it down on the left side of the page.
- Next, reflect on how you want to be feeling in this specific area of your life. Write that down on the right side of the page.
- When you are done, have a look at what has been written and pay attention to the gaps between the present situation and the desired one.
Then the fun starts.
Reflect on creative ideas which will bridge the gaps in each of those areas. These could be colours, objects, artworks, which enable the emotion that you want to be feeling in that area. you may even want to redecorate the entire space accordingly!In most cases with clients, we didn't have to buy anything at all, often only moving elements from one room to the next, or out of a dusty storage!
A great way to give old objects a new life...
A couple of intuitive examples as seen in the images above:
In my wealth area, I keep a glass bowl full of water in which I put flowers which I pick up from the ground as they fall from a nearby vine. This reminds me that the best things in life are free, and also abundant.
The area where I sit and work, I made sure I could see a large picture which was shot by my close friend Stephen (we do joke that my house is a permanent solo exhibition of his work...) This picture symbolises courage for him as it was taken during a traditional Japanese ceremony and he had to get very close to the procession to take it, requiring him to face some fears. It therefore subconsciously reminds me to being brave in my work.
In my ancestry area, I placed an old 60's Murano glass ashtray which my mother gave me, a way to honour the past. I also put a large and very potent crystal sphere, intending with it that harmony reigns over everyone in my family.
And remember, now, more than ever... ENJOY every step!