Principles of the Feng Shui Bagua (Energy Map)

feng shui bagua guide

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To successfully apply feng shui in your home or office, you need to define the Bagua, or the feng shui energy map, of your space. Because there are two different ways of defining the feng shui Bagua, the concept can create a lot of confusion when implementing many feng shui applications.

First, it's important to understand the two feng shui Bagua schools. This will help you deal with such Bagua specifics as missing areas or extensions. 

Two Different Schools

There are two very different ways of applying the principle of feng shui Bagua: the classical school and the BTB/Western school. If you are new to feng shui, do not try to apply both Baguas at the same time, as this can lead to a lot of confusion as well as weak results. The best recommendation is to learn the basics of each school, then pick the one that feels most natural.

The Classical Bagua

Bagua is one of the main feng shui tools used to analyze the feng shui energy in any given space. Translated from Chinese, Bagua means "eight areas." To define the Classical or Traditional feng shui Bagua of your home or office, you need to first take the compass reading of your front door.

Feng shui bagua map illustration
Illustration: The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

The BTB/Western Bagua

The Western feng shui school Bagua consists of the same nine areas as the classical feng shui school Bagua. However, in this feng shui school, the compass directions are not taken into consideration. Instead, in the Western school, the Bagua is defined is by aligning the lower end of the basic Bagua grid with the wall of the front door of your home or office. 

Determining the Size of the Center of Your Bagua

In both the Classic and the Western schools, the house center size varies depending on many factors. The floor plan dynamic, for example, as well as the energy of people living in the house, can affect the size of the Bagua center. In a happy household, the heart (the center of the Bagua) is always a healthy and big radiating space. 

Feng shui bagua center
Chris Gramly/Getty

Understanding Bagua Missing Areas

Bagua missing areas are the areas of your house or apartment that are mostly missing in the shape of your home Bagua. You can also say that Bagua missing areas are the areas of your home Bagua with incomplete or weak energy. 

Finding feng shui solutions for specific missing areas requires a basic understanding of the five feng shui elements since your feng shui cures will have to harmonize with whatever element each Bagua area requires for good balance. 

Missing areas may occur because the architectural shape of the house is not conducive to a traditional Bagua map. Solutions involve a variety of cures aimed at filling in the energy that is lacking in the missing areas of the map. 

Understand Bagua Extensions

Bagua extensions are the areas of your house or apartment that are located on the outside of the shape of your home Bagua. In other words, the extensions are the areas that are slightly protruding from your Bagua. Sometimes this is the result of an architectural aberration, in which builder has constructed a dwelling that extends outside the boundary of the Bagua. This is not necessarily a problem, but it does require cures to soften or round-off the projecting energy imbalance.

Defining the Bagua of a Two-Level House

The feng shui energy flow in the whole house is greatly influenced by the energy of the main floor, so it is always best to start with the Bagua of the main floor. Here's how to define the Bagua of a two-level house

Feng shui bagua two level house
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Defining the Bagua of Your Garden

Is your house feng shui Bagua the same as your garden Bagua? In general, the same Bagua principles that define the different areas of your house can be used to define a Bagua for the garden. The garden, however, is not considered part of the house Bagua, but instead should be guided by its own Bagua. 

The Bagua of Temporary Dwellings

Knowing the importance of having a well-balanced Bagua, you might wonder what happens to the significance of Bagua while traveling or living in temporary places. While it's not possible to fully control the energy of each temporary space you reside in during extended travel, you can pay attention to the basic feng shui of cleanliness, and you can travel with small figurines or decorative pieces to improve the feng shui of the spaces you visit. You can also attend to the feng shui of your person through the use of jewelry and personal care. 

General Feng Shui Bagua Tips

Once you have defined the Bagua of your home, look for other easy feng shui tips to help balance the energy of your home, bring harmony into your life, and invite the changes you desire.