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Feng Shui bagua

The Feng Shui Bagua

Feng Shui can be confusing to the beginner and quite often, the more you research it in books or on websites, the more confusing it actually becomes. This is because there are many methods or "schools" of feng shui. Some methods are very quick and easy to use, whilst others are more advanced and require knowledge of complex techniques to fully understand.

The bagua is one of the easiest and well-known feng shui techniques, and used in most Feng Shui schools, integrating people with their environment. When applied correctly, it provides harmony and balance. There are two versions: the Early Heaven Bagua, used for burial sites and undeveloped land, and the Late Heaven Bagua, used for buildings. The Late Heaven Bagua is the most well known and often the first method most people encounter when studying feng shui. It may also be known as the "Eight Life Stations" or "Eight Life Aspirations".

The Ba Gua, meaning "Eight Trigram Divination" is based on a Macrocosm/Microcosm relationship where each compass direction or section of a building represents a different aspect of life, and used to examine the interior of a single room or building to see whether it is harmony with the natural energy of the space. When these features are in harmony, life for those spending time in the space flourishes; when not, a particular aspect of life may suffer.

The bagua map is divided into eight sections; elders, fortunate blessings, illumination, relationships, children and creativity, travel and helpful people, journey through life, and inner knowledge. Each section also has one of the Five Elements associated with it, as well as a trigram, colour, shape, family member, and body part. Everything within each sector, including how the room is used, as well as the colour and fabric of furniture, wall coverings and flooring, plants, water features, fish tanks and decorative objects have a direct impact on the life of anyone living or working there. Once correctly analysed, cures can then be placed to bring harmony and balance to the whole space.

As previously mentioned, Ba means "eight" and Gua translates to "trigram divination", and the life aspects are derived from the eight ancient symbols known as Trigrams. Unfortunately, many western sources describe the Ba Gua as a nine square grid, similar to that drawn in a game of "noughts and crosses" or "tic-tac-toe", and although it may be easy to apply this modern format to a building, it is not how it was originally intended to be used and can create problems.

Firstly, Ba Gua refers to eight trigrams, not nine, but most importantly, energy is not retained within square shaped boxes. In fact, energy within any given space raditates towards the centre, so to correctly use this method, only eight sections should be demarcated. Traditionally, a Luo Pan Chinese compass is used to designate each area, although it is also possible to draw the Bagua onto a scale floor plan.

Feng shui was made very popular in the west thanks to the Bagua and its ease of use. However, it does not take into account the local landscape, the specific energy of the people within the space, and more importantly, how energy changes over time. The Bagua is also a great source of confusion because at basic levels it can be overlayed onto a floor plan according to the compass directions, as well as in a much more simplified way according to the main entrance. People also encounter problems when their home is not perfectly square or rectangular, and has extensions or "missing" areas, although there are ways in which to bring the space into balance.

In practise, the Bagua is useful but is just one of the many methods used by traditional feng shui practitioners. Discover the other types of Feng Shui Methods.

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