How to Use a Feng Shui Bagua Map in Your Home Design
A Bagua map is a tool practitioners of feng shui interior design use to overlay your home and analyze the energy of each section. Depending on the type, a bagua map is divided into eight or nine sections.
These sections touch on every aspect of everyday life. Feng shui practitioners use the bagua map to identify energy imbalances. Using the map, you can redress the imbalances by changing aspects of your interior design including layout, decor, and colors, to promote greater harmony in your space.
Basic Design of a Bagua Map
The bagua map comes from ancient Chinese words that mean eight symbols. There are two main types of bagua map, the classical octagonal Bagua map and the nine section grid bagua map. 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.
Each map contains sections relating to common life including 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 use 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 life. Feng shui designers utilize the bagua map in a variety of different spaces.
- Rooms – Applying a bagua map to a small area like a single room is useful when this is the only space under your control. Mapping your room is optimal if you live with a roommate or reside in a dorm.
- Homes – You can also use a bagua map to consider each area of your home. In this case, each section of the bagua map will often (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 the five elements, water features, hardscaping, 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 to 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 in your space.
Gen – Inner Knowledge and Self-Cultivation
This section of the map refers to personal development, education, and improvement. These pursuits might include pursuing wisdom in formal or informal ways, having mentors, cultivating personal awareness, or spiritual practices 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 refers to our origins, our family and ancestors. It also represents new beginnings like building 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 and also 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 how other people perceive you and how you perceive yourself. So, this section represents fame and 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 and red candles and decor. Use bright and warm lighting to enhance the energy in this area.
Tai Chi – Health
This is the center section that represents the balance or “tai chi” of all of the elements. This middle area signifies the heart of the home and represents physical and emotional health.
- 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 corresponds with the water element on the bagua map. This element 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 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 relationships and harmonious relationships with others in your walk of life and 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 childlike sense of wonder and creativity. This section can also signify joy and an openness to new pursuits.
- 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 signifies the people you meet who influence you in positive ways and who you can affect for good.
- 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
In traditional feng shui practice, practitioners used the cardinal direction to orient the bagua map. Most people cannot control the direction of their home’s design, so practitioners today use the front door approach.
- Print out a bagua map, like this one from the Feng Shui Collective.
- Create an accurate layout of your home.
- Overlay the bagua map with your house layout, aligning the bottom section (the North side) with your front door.
- Consider which areas in your home align with areas of the bagua map.
- Determine which areas you feel are out of balance and seek to activate the energy in these areas.
- 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.