What is a Feng Shui Kua Number?

feng shui compass and Chinese almanac
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Kua numbers are a system of numerology based on your birth year and sex that is used in feng shui. It’s also known as the Eight Mansions or Eight Houses Feng Shui. Your kua number is used to determine your favorable directions to face and locations for important areas of your home such as your front door and bedroom. It also offers insight on your energetic compatibility with other people.

The Eight Mansions is often used by the Classical and Flying Stars Schools of feng shui. It’s also sometimes used by practitioners of the BTB and Western schools. Not all feng shui practitioners use kua numbers. A practitioner may or may not use your kua number in combination with your Chinese astrology, Nine Star Ki and other modalities to advise you during your feng shui consultation.

Your kua number is based on your birth year and your sex at birth. If you strongly identify with another gender, use what you’re most comfortable with. Because this modality is based on the Chinese calendar, if you were born before February 4th, you’re considered the year prior. So, if you’re born Jan 3, 1976 use 1975 for your birth year. If you were born right around February 4th, it’s recommend you consult an expert or look up your year with a Chinese Almanac.

Fun Fact

Your kua number may also be called your ming gua, bagua number, gua number, or personal trigram.

How to calculate your personal kua number:

For females:

  • add all the digits of your birth year 
  • example: 1979: 1 + 9 + 7 + 9 = 26
  • keep reducing to a single digit:
  • 2 + 6 = 8
  • add 4 to your single digit number
  • 8 + 4 = 12
  • reduce to a single digit number, if required
  • 1 + 2 = 3
  • 3 is the personal kua number for females born in 1979

Note: for females, if you get 5, your personal kua number is 8.

For males:

  • add all the digits of your birth year 
  • example: 1980: 1 + 9 + 8 + 0 = 18
  • keep reducing to a single digit:
  • 1 + 8 = 9
  • subtract that number from 11
  • 11 - 9 = 2
  • reduce to a single digit number, if required
  • 2 is the personal kua number for males born in 1980

Note: for males, if you get 5, your personal kua number is 2.

Kua numbers directly correspond to the areas of the feng shui bagua map.

  • 1 Kan, North
  • 2 Kun, South-West
  • 3 Zhen, East
  • 4 Xun, South-East
  • 6 Qian, North-West
  • 7 Dui, West
  • 8 Gen, North-East
  • 9 Li, South

The kua numbers are further categorized into two groups, east and west.

The East Group Kua numbers: 

  • 1 Kan, North
  • 3 Zhen, East
  • 4 Xun, South-East
  • 9 Li, South

The West Group Kua numbers:

  • 2 Kun, South-West
  • 6 Qian, North-West
  • 7 Dui, West
  • 8 Gen, North-East

In general, the kua numbers and directions in your group are lucky for you. For example, if you are in the East group, your auspicious directions are north, east, south-east and south. However, the directions in the West group are not ideal and possibly challenging.

With your kua number, you receive information on your lucky directions to face and the best locations for areas such as your front door and bedroom. You kua number offers you ways to enhance your feng shui. To clarify, you want to face the favorable directions in your group. This means your eyes will be looking in that cardinal direction, whether it be north or north-east, etc. 

For the novice, the unlucky directions often provoke fear. “Oh no! I can’t face my bed in that direction! I have to move!” Or...”My partner is in the east group and I’m in the west group! We’re doomed!” My friend Jillian Rothschild-Scholar practices classical feng shui and is an Eight Mansions expert. She explained that if for example your partner is in the opposite group, it doesn’t mean that the relationship or household cannot thrive. There are advanced applications with experienced practitioners that can skillfully work the east and west groups together. We also joke that you can’t blame your divorce on being in the opposite group as your ex-partner. There’s wisdom in the challenges. And remember, these are guidelines to support you. Do the best with what you have.

Your feng shui kua number is a powerful tool to use, even in simple ways such as what direction to face when you’re sitting at your desk. But if it starts to become obsessive and difficult, consider stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. Let the wisdom help you, rather than hold you back.