How to Use a Feng Shui Bagua Map in Your Home Design

A bagua map is a tool that feng shui interior designers use to map out your house and assess the energy in each area. A bagua map is separated into eight or nine sections, depending on the type. Every facet of daily life is covered in these sections. Feng shui practitioners also use the bagua map to identify energy imbalances. By adjusting elements of your interior design, such as layout, decor, and color schemes, you can use the map to correct imbalances and encourage greater harmony in your room.

Basic Design of a Bagua Map

The bagua map is derived from ancient Chinese words that mean “eight symbols.” The classic octagonal bagua map and the nine-section grid bagua map are the two main types of bagua maps. Feng shui practitioners use both types of bagua maps. The octagonal bagua map is more common in Eastern or traditional feng shui practice. 

The nine-grid form is more common in Western feng shui design. Black Sect Tantric Buddhism (BTB) feng shui uses the grid bagua map form. The traditional Lo Shu Square is the basis for this map design.

Feng Shui Bagua Energy Map

Each map contains sections relating to common life and includes areas for fame, relationships/marriage, children/creativity, helpful people/travel, career, inner knowledge, family/ancestors/health, wealth/blessings. In the octagonal bagua map, the eight sections radiate from the middle, representing harmony and balance. The center of the nine-grid bagua map also represents the heart or center of the space, or “tai chi,” which means the “supreme ultimate,” representing balance between the yin and the yang.

Applying the Bagua Map

Practitioners of feng shui interior design use both feng shui map forms to maximize the good energy of a given space. Because the BTB bagua map is more common in Western practice, this is the map form that we will help you learn to apply to your space. You can apply feng shui mapping techniques to any large or small area where you want to correct an imbalance of energy. Based on the size of your space, you can expand or contract the map to overlay a room or an office floor.

Places to Use a Bagua Map

Analyzing the imbalance of energy is helpful in all areas of our lives. Feng shui designers use the bagua map in a variety of settings. 

  • Rooms – Applying a bagua map to a small area like a single room is useful when this is your personal space within a communal living environment.  
  • HomesWhen applying a bagua map to a home, each section of the bagua map will often (but not always) correspond to whole rooms rather than sections within a room. 
  • Offices – Use a bagua map in an office to increase productivity and create a more balanced design. Apply the bagua map to whole floors and buildings or to just one office. 
  • Gardens – Apply a bagua map to a small garden to discover how to increase the flow of good energy by using symbols of the five elements, including water features, hardscape materials, and plant selection. 
  • Landscapes – A bagua map can be a useful tool when planning a large landscape area. Feng shui mapping will give you insight into where to place buildings and roads and make recommendations for changing the layout for more optimal energy flow.

The Nine Sections of the BTB Bagua Map

There are eight surrounding sections plus a center section on the BTB bagua map. It is essential to understand the components of each section so that you can see how to apply the map to your space.

The Nine Sections of the BTB Bagua Map

Gen – Inner Knowledge and Self-Cultivation

This section of the map represents personal growth, education, and improvement. These endeavors may include formal or informal wisdom pursuits, mentorship, developing self-awareness, or spiritual disciplines like meditation. 

  • Place on the grid – Front left (Northeast)
  • Color – Blue
  • Alternate colors – Green and black
  • Element – Earth
  • Feng shui enhancements – Incorporate colors like blue, black, and green. Display elements that signify knowledge, like books that inspire you, art symbolizing contemplation and spirituality, and earth elements like natural stone or crystals. 

Zhen – Family and New Beginnings

This section of the map is dedicated to our origins, family, and ancestors. It also symbolizes new beginnings, such as making healthy new connections. 

  • Place on the grid – Middle left (East)
  • Color – Green
  • Element – Wood
  • Feng shui enhancements – Add elements like photos of family members who inspire you and green items to enhance the energy in this section. Also include items that signify the wood element, including wooden objects, images of budding objects, and natural plants.  

Xun – Wealth and Prosperity

This section represents our human connection to the financial and material environment. The Xun section signifies abundance and prosperity, as well as the gratitude that we express for the abundance that we already have. 

  • Place on the grid – Rear left (Southeast)
  • Color – Purple
  • Alternate colors – Blue and red
  • Element – Wood
  • Feng shui enhancements – To activate this area, incorporate purple, red, and blue items, as well as items that symbolize prosperity like a money plant or a piggy bank. 

Li – Fame and Reputation

This section represents your self-perception as well as how others see you. This section represents fame, reputation, and your personal integrity.

  • Place on the grid – Rear middle (South)
  • Color – Red
  • Element – Fire
  • Feng shui enhancements – Enhance the energy in this area with triangular shaped objects, red candles, and decor. Use bright and warm lighting to enhance the energy in this area. 

Tai Chi – Health

The balance, or “tai chi,” of all the elements is represented by this central section. This middle region denotes both the emotional and physical well-being of the household. 

  • Place on the grid – Center
  • Color – Yellow
  • Alternative color – Orange and earth tones
  • Element – Earth
  • Feng shui enhancements – Some feng shui practitioners advise keeping this area clear so that energy can flow through the middle and keep the other areas in balance. This section has the earth element. You can enhance this with warm earth-toned colors, crystals/natural stones, and square objects. 

Kan – Career and Life Journey

This section of the bagua map represents the flow of your life and opportunities as you move forward in your career path and in life. 

  • Place on the grid – Front bottom (North)
  • Color – Black
  • Element – Water
  • Feng shui enhancements – Boost the energy in this area with water features that symbolize the water element, including pictures of water, aquariums, and water fountains. You can also use colors like black and dark blue to enhance the positive energy in this area. 

Kun – Love and Relationships

The Kun section represents romantic and harmonious relationships with others in your life as well as with yourself. 

  • Place on the grid – Rear right (Southwest)
  • Color – Pink
  • Alternative color – Red and white
  • Element – Earth
  • Feng shui enhancements – Include symbols that signify love and commitment in this section. You can also enhance the energy in this section by using colors like pink, white, and red. Objects that signify the earth, like rose crystals, work well in this area. 

Dui – Children and Creativity

The dui section represents children, but also a sense of wonder and creativity that children have. This section can also represent joy and a willingness to try new things.  

  • Place on the grid – Middle right (West)
  • Color – White
  • Element – Metal
  • Feng shui enhancements – Use items that inspire your passion for creativity to enhance the good energy in this section. This includes creative artwork, circular or oval items, mirrors, or anything that brings you joy. 

Qian – Travel and Helpful People

 This section represents the way that you impact the world through travel. It also represents the people you meet who have a positive influence on you and whom you can influence for the better. 

  • Place on the grid – Front right (Southwest)
  • Color – Gray
  • Alternative color – White and black
  • Element – Metal
  • Feng shui enhancements – Decorate the room/s in this area with maps, globes, and travel souvenirs. Also include items that signify people that have aided you along your life journey, like pictures or mementos. 

How to Use a Bagua Map With Your Home’s Layout

Practitioners of traditional feng shui used the cardinal directions to orient the bagua map. Because most people have no control over the orientation of their homes, many practitioners today employ the front door approach.  

  1. Print out a bagua map, like this one from the Feng Shui Collective. 
  2. Create an accurate layout of your home. 
  3. Overlay the bagua map with your house layout, aligning the bottom section (the north side) with your front door. 
  4. Consider which areas of your home align with areas of the bagua map. 
  5. Determine which areas you feel are out of balance and seek to activate the energy in these areas. 
  6. Feng shui experts advise you to only seek to activate two or three areas in your home, as activating more would dilute the overall effect.