Understanding the Bagua method

In feng shui, Bagua is a fundamental tool to determine the influence of directional energy.  The Bagua represents the journey of life, the Tao, and we can use it to create comfortable living, working, and leisure places.

The Bagua map brings together the feng shui chi characteristics, I Ching/Bagua trigrams, the Lo Chu number square, and the feng shui compass directions.

Bagua uses an eight sided diagram, with each side symbolizing an aspect of life such as family, children, health, friendship, love, travel, business and money.  Rather than the Lo Chu squares, the Bagua diagram uses eight wedges extending out of a circular center.  There are two types of Bagua diagrams: The Early Heaven is used outside to ward off bad chi, while Later Heaven is used inside.  Early Heaven can be identified by having three unbroken lines at the top, and it usually has a reflector in the middle.  The top represents South because ancient Chinese maps placed south at the top.



Bagua map technique


To use the Bagua map technique, superimpose a rectangular copy of the diagram over a land, building, room, or desk.  It highlights the missing and extending areas and shows which aspect of life is affected.  For a building, superimpose the Bagua diagram over a ground plan of each floor of the building, with both diagrams of about the same size.  To do this, simply mark the width and height to divide each into three segments, which will divide the floor plan into nine sections of equal size.  The side corresponding with “1” should be parallel with the wall of the main door.  When a corner or section is missing (negative chi) or extending (positive chi), it indicates energy imbalance and corresponding aspects of life might also be disturbed.  A section which is missing or extending by more than 15% needs correction of the negative or positive difference.  There are many ways to adjust chi.

Positive space does not usually pose much problem but negative space requires compensation.  Negative or missing space in the center is not to be interfered with, as it is desirable.  The center has to be clear.  A central internal courtyard is a general feature of a traditional Indian house and other cultures.  Clear running water or planting basil (tulsi) is also good and done in many Indian houses.

Bagua area meanings

The wedges on the Baggua chart are in the relative positions of the Lo Shu square.  The following shows the influences of the Lo Shu numbers and their corresponding trigrams.


  1. Career, success, business, sex.
    ☵ Kan, movement, opportunity, middle son, career/business, ears, fall, assymetrical/wavy, black/navy blue, water, north

  2. Spouse, relationship, peace, partnership.
    ☷ Kun, double images, happiness, mother, relationship/happiness, abdomen, winter, square/flat rectangle, yellow/pink, earth, southwest

  3. Wisdom, family, health, experience.
    ☳ Chen, functional objects, contentment, eldest son, wisdom/family, feet, early spring, rectangle/square, dark green, wood, east

  4. Wealth, money, fortune, blessings.
    ☱ Sun, live objects, growth, eldest duaghter, wealth/fortune, hip, early fall, rectangle/square, live green, wood, southeast

  5. Center.
    ☯ Number 5 is in the center with the yin-yang symbol of unity.  Female is represented by Kun and Male by Ken.

  6. Helpful people, travel, improvement, new beginnings.
    ☰ Chien, sound, responsibility, father, helpful people/new beginnings, head, summer, round/oval, silver/metallic gray, strong metal, northwest

  7. Creativity, children, projects, pleasure.
    ☴ Tui, color, pleasure, youngest daughter, children/creativity, mouth, early summer, round/oval, white/light grey, little metal, west

  8. Inner knowledge, intuition, contemplation, motivation.
    ☶ Ken, crystal, wisdom, youngest son, knowledge/intuition, hand, early winter, square/flat/rectangle, brown/orange, earth, northeast

  9. Fortune, fame, prosperity, illumination.
    ☲ Li, light, passion, middle daughter, fame/prosperity, eye, spring, triangular, red, fire, south


Effects of negative chi and positive chi in a building or a room


Compass direction Result of negative space Result of positive space
North Difficulties in career – Creates weakness, depression and confusion. Clarity of ambitions.  Career blossoms.  Beneficial especially to women.  Excess positive space creates isolation and loneliness.
Northeast Feeling unstable – Creates forgetfulness.  Not good for scholars. Knowledge grows but there is increase in disagreements.  Encourages greediness, gboredom and insomnia.
East Misunderstandings, ill health and loss of vitality. Sense of maturity and success for occupants.  Excess creates hyperactivity, over ambitousness and carelessness.
Southeast Income is affected.  Difficulties in business, confusion and accidents. Prosperity and success.  Excess creates oversensitiveness and tiredness.
South Becomes self-conscious.  Loses confidence, reputation and clarity. Promotion and recognition.  Excess creates conceit, notoriousness and emotional swings.
Southwest Feels unstable.  Hard to find relationship.  Difficulties for women. Beneficial for women and romance.  Excess creates slowness and over-dependence.
West Difficulties for children.  Loss of joy.  Hard to save money.  Emotional block. Helps completion of projects, sociable and happy.  Excess creates obsession for pleasure and tendency for greediness.
Northwest Not many helpful people.  Lack of vitality.  Difficulties for men.  Children can be disobedient. Concern for others grows.  Financial soundness.  Stimulates clear judgment.  Excess positive space creates over-controlling and self-righteousness.