The ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui remains in practice today as a way to find harmonious energy interplay between an individual and their home or work environment. To measure balance and adjust energy as needed, feng shui practitioners use a bagua map or three-by-three grid of squares like a tic-tac-toe board overlaid on your floor plan. The northwest area is called "qian" and is connected to traveling and having helpful people in your life who can support you. It is related to the metal element, which governs voice and communication.
In feng shui, you can introduce "cures" or add or subtract things to the space that can balance the energy flow through the room. Let's take a closer look at the northwest bagua area and the cures you can introduce to bring harmony to your space.
What Is the Northwest Bagua Area?
To find the qian position, stand in your front doorway looking in, imagine a three-by-three grid overlay. Qian is in the right-most corner closest to you. You can apply this same map to any room, like your bedroom.
What Is a Bagua?
A bagua is a conceptual map comprised of eight areas around a center (the ninth section). “Ba” translates to “eight” and “gua” means “area” in Chinese. Each area of the grid is a "gua" and is connected to a certain aspect of life, like relationships, wealth, or career. Each area has other layers connected to it, such as body parts, colors, seasons, elements, and more.
The qian area is related to having helpful people in your life or being a helpful person. It’s important to be a helpful person. If you’re interested in inviting more support into your life, you may want to consider how you can also offer support to others. In addition, you can think about how this connects to the communication aspect of the metal element. Are you practicing your communication skills by speaking clearly, asking for help when you need it, and truly listening?
Once you’ve located qian in your home or bedroom, notice what is happening there. Is it cluttered? Is it empty? Are there items there that need to be fixed? Sometimes, just noticing what is going on in your homes can offer a lot of insight into what is going on in your life. If you choose to work one-on-one with a feng shui consultant, they will be able to look even more deeply into what your home is trying to tell you.
How to Activate the Northwest Area
To activate the qian area, incorporate colors like white, gray, and metallics. The circular shape is associated with this area, so think about it as a useful design element.
Bell or Singing Bowl
Because qian is connected to the metal element, it can be helpful to ring a metal bell or singing bowl in this area of your home. The sound and vibrations of the bell can start to shift the energy in this part of your home and life and signal that you are ready to welcome more assistance from people around you. Choose a bell that you love and let the sound resonate fully each time you ring it.
Circular shapes are also an expression of the metal element, so adding circular items is another way to activate Qian. This can look like a circular mirror, a spherical light fixture, a round table, or textiles with circular patterns. Again, get creative and choose something that works with your space.
Qian is also related to the color gray, so you can activate this area by placing gray items in this part of your home. You can use your creativity when it comes to which items to place here, and it will also depend on where qian falls in your home or bedroom. If you have a couch or armchair in qian position, for example, you might want to add a gray throw pillow. If this would be a good place for a houseplant, try a gray planter. You can also hang artwork that includes the color gray, or photos or art in gray picture frames.
Earth Element as a Supporting Role
In the five elements cycle, metal is supported by the earth element. To remember this, you can think of metal ore being created deep within the earth. Because of this connection, placing earth element items in qian can also activate this area. You can do this with earthy colors like yellow and brown, square shapes, or items that come from the earth, like natural crystals and earthenware.