12/28/2011 10:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Introduction To Feng Shui: The Ba Gua And How To Use It

This post is part of Sophie Keller's "How Happy Is" series on The Huffington Post. This week, Sophie offers advice on your home:

The school of feng shui is based on the ba gua. The ba gua is a sacred map of the energetic world and it stems from the I Ching, which is an old method of reading energy used in many aspects of Chinese medicine and healing modalities.

The ba gua is usually presented as an octagon with eight sections, commonly know as guas, on the outside and an extra one in the middle, called the tai chi. The ba gua is a tool that will help you understand which parts of the environment within your home affect which areas of your life. Each part of the ba gua relates to a different life area. Each part (or gua) is full of meaning and one part of the octagon always affects another. You might want to focus on fixing your financial situation, for example, but all areas of your life will need to receive attention in order to achieve balance.


Health (Tai Chi) -- Physical Health. Focus here if you want to increase your energy, your health and vitality. This area affects all others.

Wealth (Hsun) -- Abundance and Financial Status. Focus here if you want to see an improvement in your financial situation and bring more money into your home.

Fame (Li) --Fame and Reputation. Focus here if you want to have a better reputation and be better known for what you do and who you are.

Relationships (Kun) -- Marriage and Partnership. Focus here if you want to improve the relationship that you are in or if you want to find your life partner.

Children (Dui) -- Creativity and Children. Focus here if you want to improve the health and well-being of your children and if you want to get pregnant.

Helpful People (Chien) -- Helpful People and Travel. Focus here if you want to increase your circle of friends and your contacts in the business world.

Career (Kan)--Life Path and Career. Focus here if you want your career to improve, you want to get a promotion or find your life path.

Knowledge (Ken) -- Personal Growth, Knowledge and Spiritual Life. Focus here if you want to become more self-aware and have more insight into others, as well as improve your knowledge in general.

Family (Jen)
-- Focus here if you want to improve your relationships and the communication within your family.

Placing the Ba Gua

When you place the ba gua map (see the following illustrations), the bottom edge (the side that relates to knowledge, career and helpful people) should always be aligned with the entrance to one of the following three areas:

• The Lot--If you live in a house with a lot, place the ba gua on
your plot of land with the bottom edge located where your
driveway or gate crosses the street.


• The House--To get a general sense of the ba gua in your home, place the ba gua on your home floor plan with the front door to your home on the bottom edge. If you have more than one floor, consider the entrance to the landing on each level.

If you encounter a wall, consider the entrance to be the point at which you see the whole room. If in doubt, apply the ba gua to each room individually.


The ba gua placed on a house floor plan

• A Particular Room--To get a more specifi c picture, place the ba gua with the doorway to each room along the bottom edge of the ba gua.


The ba gua placed on an individual room. If you have more than one floor to your house, align the ba gua with the top of the stairs when you go up and the bottom when you go down. If you encounter a wall when you enter the house or at the top of the stairs and have to turn right or left to walk into a space, then consider the entrance to be the point at which you see the whole room as you turn. On the ground floor you can use the main road as the entrance or the point where the whole room becomes visible as you turn. If you are in doubt, use both if you want, and always apply the ba gua to each room individually so that you cover all your bases.


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