The Bagua map is an essential tool for feng shui design. You can use it for spaces of all sizes—from the entire home to just a small office desk! Whether you’re completing a feng shui design course or are a design hobbyist, you’ll be using this map for everything. After taking an initial look at the map, you’re probably overwhelmed with the wealth of information. Don’t worry! We’ll break it all down for you right now.

What is the Bagua map?

The Bagua map is a tool used to assess how Ch’i, Yin and Yang forces, as well as the Five Elements operate in your clients’ rooms. The map allows you to pinpoint where you could make adjustments to ensure good Ch’i flow. You then use cures to correct energy imbalances. Each section of the map has their own unique characteristics. If you then apply cures that reflect these properties in areas that need attention, you’ll balance out the Ch’i in no time!

What’s on the map?

There are two versions of the Bagua map. They may look different, but they provide the same critical information!

Let’s jump into what the traditional Bagua map looks like:

  • The 8 different “slices” of the pie (Gua) each have a name and represent a different attribute or “life situation”.
  • Immediately around the Tai Ji there are 8 groups of lines known as trigrams. Each trigram is a different combination of solid and broken lines. The solid lines represent Yang (male) Ch’i and the broken lines represent Yin (female) Ch’i.
  • The Guas also have “flying star numbers” or “magic numbers” associated with them. They determine whether the Ch’i should be more Yin or Yang to produce a favorable atmosphere in a particular space.
  • Each Gua has a compass direction. The south is at the top and the north is at the bottom. In traditional Chinese culture, the south represents the heavens while north represents earthly living.
  • Each Gua is also associated with an element, body part(s), person(s), color(s), and an aspect of nature.
  • The Tai Ji (Yin Yang) symbol lies in the center. It represents balance and harmony of all the Guas. It also represents personal health and well-being and reminds you to consider the clients’ needs at the center of the space.

The traditional octagonal map has been adapted into a square. All the information remains the same, but it’s much easier to read when used with modern floor plans! Whatever the shape, each of the 9 different sections (Tai Ji is one of them) requires equal attention.

octagonal and square bagua maps for feng shui design

How to apply the Bagua map

  1. You need to obtain a copy of the floorplan drawn to scale. If they do not have a floorplan readily available, you have to draw one yourself.
  2. Draw the Bagua map on top of the floor plan. Choose a color that makes the Bagua easier to see over the floorplan.
  3. Place the map on top of your floor plan. The front door is the key focal point. You need to align the bottom of the Bagua map to the wall with the front door.
  4. After you draw the Bagua map correctly over your clients’ floor plans, you can identify where the Guas are.
  5. Locate where energy flow is stagnating and fix it using feng shui cures related to the properties on the Bagua map.

Layering the Bagua map:

If you are designing a home with more than one level, you’ll have to layer your Bagua maps. Always do the main floor first, and then move on to the upper floors. If you apply feng shui in more than one room in a given property, you will increase optimized energy flow. After the Bagua map readings are all complete, you make adjustments on each floor individually as you would the main.

Layered readings also help individually boost a specific Gua in each area of the house. For example, if your clients want to boost their health, you can apply the Bagua map to the whole floor and then each room. The health Gua connects to the eastern direction and has the color green and the element of wood as its attributes. You can suggest adding some live plants to that side of the room to activate the wood energy. This is an effective way to boost the Gua throughout the home.

bamboo trees can help feng shui in bathrooms

Examples of readings

Underlying issues that previously flew under the radar come to light during your consultations. You can use feng shui to improve the energy flow of the spaces and the way people interact and use them.

  • Cluttered center space: This space is linked to the Tai Ji. Keep it clear of clutter! Since it represents personal health, keeping it uncluttered will allow for the free flow of Ch’i energy. Warm yellow colors are particularly useful here. The color represents the sun and its life-sustaining force. It can be hard to place cures in the center of the room as they may need to rest on big furniture. Heavy, imposing furniture that can block Ch’i, so adding yellow through the carpet is a great option.
  • If your bathroom rests within the fame and reputation Gua, you may notice that the associated element is fire. Bathrooms are usually associated with the water element for obvious reasons. If the space is in need of energy enhancement, this is an easy fix. Add some red candles (to tackle two birds with one stone!). If it doesn’t suit the design style, you could nix the fire element and add red hand towels and carpets. You may even wish to add wicker baskets and plants to neutralize the strong water element.

Keep in mind that feng shui is complex. You should suggest cures only after evaluating all aspects of your clients’ lifestyle. The practice isn’t only about furniture placement or adding lucky charms! Your clients’ health, relationships with other inhabitants, and other considerations are important, too!

Many people believe feng shui is a religious or cultural practice that has no place in the Western world. Check out this article where we bust 6 myths about feng shui design!

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