The Feng Shui Bagua also called the Feng Shui Map. The chart below is a simplified illustration of a feng shui bagua (pronounced Ba-gwa). It is used in feng shui to find out which part of your home or office correlates with a particular situation in your life. Once you understand how to use this “map of feng shui,” you will be able to quickly evaluate and adjust your environment to maximize greater health and productivity while improving your quality of life. Bagua by definition.
In the bagua diagram above, there are eight areas, or “guas,” encircling the center. As shown, these nine different zones correspond to nine major areas of life:
- Career and Life Path
- Creativity and Children
- Fame and Reputation
- Helpful People and Travel
- Relationships and Love
- Skills and Knowledge
To overlay the bagua on your home or work floor plan, stand at the threshold of the door facing in and hold the diagram so that the blue, black, and gray guas are closest to you. Pretend you can draw a line straight across the front of the home where the door is: that would be the line at the bottom of this color chart. Sometimes it’s a bit more challenging to overlay the bagua on to a space that is oddly shaped. If you find you need more one on one help from Karen you can request a telephone or on-site consultation. You can also click on FAQ to see if someone else has had a similar problem and has had their question answered.
Career and Life Path
Look center-front to find the career and life path area of your home, site, or office. Proper feng shui in this gua can get you on the path of least resistance. By this, I mean that you will be in the flow of life. You’ll feel like opportunities come your way at the appropriate time; giving you the freedom to enjoy everything you set out to do, as well as the inner peace of knowing that you are fulfilling your life’s purpose.
It’s no coincidence that water is the element that works well in this space. It represents the flow of life and keeps us moving. In order to control the direction and speed of movement, simply apply feng shui wisdom to this part of your home.
Some situations when you would enhance the Career and Life Path Gua:
- When you want a job.
- When you want a new, different, or more fun job.
- When you want to figure out what you are supposed to be doing in life.
- When you want business to pick up.
- When you want to make more money in business.
Let’s say you want a new job or want to find a new direction in life. You could simply place an item in this part of your home that either has water in it (like an aquarium or vase with flowers), or use a symbol of water (like a painting of a stream or river, or a collection of sea shells from a beach vacation). Or, you could use some feng shui symbols of water, which include the color black, glass, and mirrors. When you add an item, do it very consciously with the intention that you are placing it there to help you with your new direction or job. If you add the intention, you’ll be amazed how much faster it works! Now, all you have to do is open your eyes and see the opportunities heading your way. The front door is also usually associated with career and life path, even if it is not exactly in the gua. Go check out your door and see what condition it is in. If it sticks, you may be stuck in your job. If it is never used, you may feel overlooked at work. If it is dusty and dirty, you may never have the chance to shine in your career. Get your front door happy and healthy and you may find yourself happier in what you do in life. Sounds too simple? Well, would it hurt to try?
- Best Color Choice: Black
- Other Good Color Choices: Blue and White
- Best Element Choice: Water
- Other Good Element Choice: Metal
Creativity and Children
This position of the home is about limitless thinking. You know, like when you were a kid and thought anything was possible. It’s also about anything to do with the kids. So, to help you get back to that frame of mind, you can make sure the proper enhancements are in this right-hand, midway back part of your home. Come on, get creative!
- When there is any trouble with your children.
- If you want to have children.
- When you feel the need for more creativity in life.
- If you are on a career path that requires constant creativity.
- When you want to feel younger.
This gua can also help with any “children” troubles, such as sibling rivalry, poor communication with parents, or even infertility or trying to adopt children. Choose an appropriate symbol to place in your creativity and children gua to activate good energy for this part of your life. For example, if you are having trouble getting pregnant, you can consciously place a symbolin this gua to represent and hold your desire to have a child. It doesn’t have to be complicated to work. It may be just as simple as placing a little metal rattle or mobile in the space to do the trick!
- Best Color Choice: White
- Other Good Color Choices: Yellow and Earth Tones
- Best Element: Metal
- Other Good Element Choice: Earth
Fame and Reputation
The Fame and Reputation gua is located in the central-rear portion of your home or office. By placing specific enhancements here, you can improve how people perceive you. This area is about power as well. Notice how the king, judge, priest, minister, teacher, speaker, or political leader claims this part of the room? It’s no coincidence. This is the spot that can make or break your perceived power.
- When you want to have a good reputation or improve on the reputation you already have.
- When you need to summon the courage to do something.
- When you want to be more respected by people or one specific person.
- When you want to become well known for something.
- When you want to get the credit you deserve.
Take a look at your fame and reputation gua and remove any items that symbolize something you are not, or something you don’t want to be known for. Then go ahead and add something that makes you proud to be associated with it. For example, if you have a diploma or any awards, place them here. I once did a consultation at a man’s office who complained that no one ever took him seriously. When I went to see what was “supporting” him behind his chair at his office, I found a big painting of a sad clown. So, every client who came to his office to do business with him saw this big, sad clown hanging right behind him and immediately associated him with this picture. And he wondered why no one took him seriously and he was not happy? Now, getting back to the king and priest example for a minute, aren’t they usually sitting in a chair that has a very high chair back? Sometimes it is higher than their head. This is another way to garner the power spot – make sure you have support behind you in the way of a solid wall or high-backed chair. And let’s not forget about using the right elements and colors in this gua. A little red can go a long way. With the best element being fire, a simple addition of a candle can be added and no one would be the wiser that it is there to help you. By using a few simple tips like these, you can make big changes in firing up your fame and reputation!
- Best Color Choice: Red
- Other Good Color Choice: Green
- Best Element Choice: Fire
- Other Good Element Choice: Wood
Family and Ancestors
The Family gua is all about your ancestry, your lineage, your relationships with family members, and really, the very foundation from which you grew. This gua is located in the left-hand, mid way back portion of your home. Sometimes it is easier to keep past memories and events tucked away, but hidden or not, they are still a part of who you are today. When this gua is properly feng shui’d, you are free to fully express who you really are. You also find it uncommonly easy to get along with family members as well as in life, because you have the self-confidence and courage to venture out beyond where others would stop. You have a secure foundation to build upon. And with a strong foundation, your life is much more stable. Some situations when you would enhance the Family Gua:
- When you want to improve family relationships.
- When you want to be treated like part of the family even if you are not blood-related.
- When you want to feel more secure in life.
- When you are worried about just paying the basic bills to survive.
- When you want to improve your sex life.
- When you want to heal a past situation.
Setting up enhancements for the Family gua is usually an easy one. Since wood is the element, you can simply place photos of friends and family in wooden frames in a display that pleases you. Not everyone needs to be a blood relative either. This gua helps you be treated as one of the family in many situations – blood related or not. Imagine for a second, if every political leader had pictures of themselves shaking hands with every other political leader – placed in their family gua. I’d think it would be a lot harder to start a war with a leader you think of as family. The Family area of my living room is one of my favorite places in my house. I placed pictures of friends and family in an assortment of wooden frames and put them on top of a foyer table. And above the table I hung a huge framed mirror. That means I have the element of wood AND the element of water (mirrors equal water in feng shui) – both great elements for the family gua!
- Best Color Choice: Green
- Other Good Color Choices: Black and Blue
- Best Element Choice: Wood
- Other Good Element Choice: Water
This part of the home is not officially a gua, but more the center of the bagua. You can use this space in your home to enhance your health, as well as any other situation in life that you feel does not fit into one of the other eight guas.
Some situations when you would enhance the Health, or central, area of the home:
- When you are sick, or want overall better health.
- When you want to feel more balanced, centered, or serene in life.
- When you have a situation that needs improvement, and you don’t think fits in any of the other guas.
The center is a very special place. It is the heart of the home or room. It is the only piece of the bagua that touches all of the other guas. So, if this part is out of balance, it can easily affect all the other areas of life. Just think about it. If you have to spend a lot of time working on your health, you have less time to spend on the other eight areas of life. And sometimes, because of this, your work suffers, your relationships struggle and a lot of other facets of your life are less than optimal. So, by enhancing this space and making sure it is in shape, you can ward off future downward turns of ill health as well as turn around existing poor conditions.
The element for this area is earth. So, you can place either the actual element here, like say, a living, healthy plant in potting soil and in a ceramic pot, or a symbol of it, like a painting of a mountain range. You can also add the element that makes earth according to the element’s creative cycle — in this case — fire. Go ahead and add a few red or yellow candles on a centrally located table with the intention that these candles keep you in perfect health.
I have a stone tabletop with candles on it in my health part of the living room. And as season’s come and go, I place a potted flower on the table as well (winter – red poinsettia, spring – yellow narcissus, summer – a green house plant, and fall – yellow mums). This keeps the ch’i fresh, healthy, and happy all year around.
- Best Color Choice: Yellow
- Other Good Color Choices: Brown and Orange
- Best Element Choice: Earth
- Other Good Element Choice: Fire
Helpful People and Travel
This part of the home (the front right gua) is associated with getting you into the synchronicity of life. When you are in-sync, you don’t have to expend any energy getting help with anything. It is also usually easier to make money and have less stress when you are in-sync with life.
Some situations when you would enhance the Helpful People and Travel Gua:
- When moving or traveling.
- When you feel like “if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.”
- When everything you get seems like it took a big struggle to get it.
- When you are in entanglements where you need to be treated fairly.
- If you are looking for the perfect person to help you with something.
When this gua is working for you, you find the right people in front of you at exactly the right time. Maybe it’s someone you know, or perhaps it’s help from out of the blue. It might also be an “angel from the other side” that helps out. That’s why so many people use symbols of angels in this gua as their “physical anchor” for that intention. The helpful people and travel gua is also about being treated fairly and honestly, so, if you were passed up for the big office promotion and it was given to your inept but brown-nosing peer, enhance this area with the intention of simply being treated fairly. You can also use this part of your home to ensure a safe journey or to balance your travel schedule. Add an item to this space with these intentions and see if travels become easier to you! One of my favorite “cures” to do in this area is to place a little grey or silver box somewhere in this gua. One way to use the box is to write down on a piece of paper a “prayer of thanks” for some specific help you currently need. Let’s say you were looking for childcare help. Write something like “I now have the perfect day care provider” or “Thank you for the perfect day care provider” on a piece of paper and place it in the box. Try not to have more than three (3) notes in the box at any one time. In other words, check back from time to time and remove the wishes that have already been answered.
- Best Color Choices: Silver and Gray
- Other Good Color Choices: White and Black
- Good Element Choices: Metal and Water
Prosperity and Abundance
If it’s money you want, then it’s money you’ll get if you power up the prosperity gua of your home or office. You’ll find that this left-rear portion of your living space controls not only your ability to make and hold on to money, but it affects the way you actually perceive abundance.
As you know, one person can feel rich, and another person can feel poor holding the same amount of money. Often it’s our perceptions that we want to change as much as anything. A person who is grateful and appreciative is so much more fun to be around than an old grouch who “sees the cup as half empty.” And the ch’i, or invisible energy of feng shui, knows this as well. Therefore, the person who is appreciative will have more ch’i hanging around them, which will actually attract more abundance to them. Some situations when you would enhance the Prosperity Gua:
- When you need more money for something specific.
- When you feel like “having it all” is eluding you.
- When you make OK money, but it seems to go out as fast as it comes in.
- When you want to find inner peace with what you do have.
If you can understand this concept of “like attracts like,” then you will easily understand how to attract more abundance into your life. If you place an item or symbol of what you perceive as “the epitome of abundance” in this part of your home, then you will be placing a physical reminder or your intention to have abundance in your life. Even if you can’t decide what that symbol is, you can start the process by taking the time to clean up and organize everything in this space. This will invite fresh and invigorated ch’i to move in and start the process. I have personally created a small “sacred space” in this area of my home, which happens to be my office (a great gua for a home office!) It’s fun to create little altars for holding intentions. I have strategically placed a calligraphy given to me by feng shui Master Lin Yun, as well as some other items (like money, amethyst, etc.). And on my desk I have a dollar sign paperweight in the prosperity corner (yes, you can feng shui your desk too! Just use the part of your desk in front of where you sit as the career gua and go from there!) Outside in the prosperity area of my yard, I have a fountain trickling all day long inviting prosperity into my life. (You can feng shui it by overlaying the bagua in the same manner you would a home. Use the driveway or sidewalk that enters the property as the side to place the Career side of the bagua.) With these few enhancements, I have seen so many opportunities for abundance come my way.
- Best Color Choice: Purple
- Other Good Color Choices: Red, Green and Gold
- Good Element Choices: Wood and Water
Relationships and Love
Ah, one of my favorite guas to work on — relationships and love! The right-rear portion of your home is where the Relationship and Love gua is located. It is in charge of making sure your relationships with people are in tip-top shape. So, if you are looking for a one-on-one relationship, or looking to make an existing relationship better, then head for this part of your home and get to work!
- When you are looking for love.
- When you want to make life less of a struggle between you and another person.
- When you want to be friends with someone that you know, but they don’t you even know you exist.
- When you are thinking of getting married.
- When you want to put the sizzle back into a stale relationship.
Some of my favorite symbols for this gua are pairs of things, and items with hearts and the word “love” on them, but feel free to decorate in the most meaningful way to you. Some of the consistent things I see in single people’s homes are pictures that have only one subject within the frame, like a single female, a single boat, or a single flower. And I’m here to say “Don’t do it! Don’t surround yourself with single stuff if you don’t want to keep reinforcing your singlehood!” Although this area of the home is usually associated with intimate, love relationships, it can also be used for non-intimate relationships like say, relationships with your clients, boss, vendors, peers and teachers at school, and even relationships with religious figures or entities.
- Best Color Choice: Pink
- Other Good Color Choices: Red, White, and Earth Tones
- Good Element Choices: Earth and Fire
Skills, Knowledge and Self-Cultivation
The Skills and Knowledge gua is located in the front left part of your home or office. This area of the home holds the ch’i for inner wisdom, higher thought, self-cultivation, meditation, and all the other wonderful things associated with knowing and learning.
What’s great about this gua is that it can so easily affect the others. For example, if you are looking for love, the skills and knowledge gua can help you know how to go about attracting the appropriate person. If you want more money, this gua can give you the wisdom to see new opportunities for income, saving, and the inner feeling of having abundance.
Some situations when you would enhance the Skills and Knowledge Gua:
- When you want to gain wisdom.
- When you want to get better grades in school.
- When you want to make better or clearer decisions for yourself.
- When you want to be a better businessperson.
- When you want to have better relationships.
In my Skills and Knowledge part of my yard, I have placed some cast iron lanterns (to represent my inner illumination) near a granite bench (earth element stuff works well here). This tiny spot in the yard is now always available for me to stop, sit down, and focus on gaining wisdom about everyday situations in my life. Feng shui your yard by overlaying the bagua in the same manner as over the home using the driveway or sidewalk that enters the property as the side to place the Career portion of the bagua. In the Skills and Knowledge gua of my desk (to feng shui a desk you just use where you sit as the career gua and go from there), I have a tiny statue of Buddha to remind me to always see the lesson in everything I do. Another way to enhance this gua is to create a meditation space in your home. It can be as simple as having a little pillow to sit on and a candle to light, or as outrageous as having the entire room set up as your own personal oasis to your inner self. Do what’s right for you!
- Best Color Choice: Blue
- Other Good Color Choices: Black and Green
- Best Element Choice: Earth
More detailed application of the feng shui bagua map can be found in my book, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life!