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How to Use a Bagua Map to Improve Your Space

INSIDE: Thinking about using feng shui principles in your home to make it a haven of flourishing positive energy, but not sure how do you do it? It’s really not that difficult. Learning how to use a bagua map is a good starting point.


If you were hoping there would be a singular blueprint to follow for accessing the benefits of feng shui, you’re in luck, because there is. It's called the Bagua.

It is unknown who actually created the bagua. All we know is that we now have thousands of years of well-organized and codified knowledge that can work in our favor as we follow the diagrams.

But first you must understand the basics of the bagua map…

What is a Bagua Map?

There are two different types of Bagua Maps:

  1. Western (nine sections)
  2. Traditional (eight sections)

We’ll get into the differences later, but for now, let’s just try to understand the general concept of the map in its simplest terms.

The Energy Map

Bagua (meaning 8/ba - trigrams/gua) is probably the most important tool used in feng shui. You could call it the map that organizes the energy of an area into different sections. By using the bagua, we can control the flow of energy to prioritize things in our lives that we’d like to improve.

Bagua helps us do this by using our intentions to intensify the positive chi in the space and by altering the negative chi in order to make it less potent.

When items are deliberately arranged in these particular areas of a space, the energy becomes increasingly positive, providing a more nurturing habitat for anyone working or living there.

When used properly, this can greatly assist an individual in reaching new goals and can end up being be a strong guiding influence in life.

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Different Types of Bagua Maps

Regardless of the type of Bagua Map you use, the results of using either one correctly can be beneficial to your life and career. Both are effective in any setting. It just depends on your personal preference.

To start, we should point out that both have their own strengths. Saying that one has a “weakness” when compared to the other isn’t quite fair, because any disadvantage doesn’t come from the bagua map itself, but more-so in how it’s applied to different living spaces.

The key when working with either map is the intention to improve. Some may gravitate more towards the western map, due to it being a bit easier to follow when applied to the common square and rectangle shapes of houses in the west. For others, the traditional map works better with natural, unique layouts and positioning of different house shapes around the world.

So, let's dive into the two types.

Western Bagua Map

The western bagua map is shaped like a square, with nine equal squares inside. The traditional feng shui bagua map is an eight-sided octagon. But in the west, this is converted into a tic-tac-toe style that makes it simpler to work with.

Going from left to right, top to bottom, the squares represent:

  • Prosperity and Abundance (wood element)
  • Fame and Reputation (fire element)
  • Love and Marriage (earth element)
  • Family (wood element)
  • Health (middle square, no element)
  • Children and Creativity (metal element)
  • Skills and Knowledge (earth element)
  • Career and Life Path (water element)
  • Helpful People and Travel (metal element)

how to use a bagua map

Traditional Bagua Map

As we said before, the traditional bagua map consists of eight sections (not nine), organized in the shape of an octagon, with an open space in the middle. The sections are in the same locations as the Western style, minus the middle section (Health), which isn’t counted in the traditional layout. 

The biggest difference with the traditional map vs. the Western map is how the areas are identified with cardinal and inter-cardinal points.

The Career section is called North, and is referred to as the “back” of the traditional map.

The rest of the sections, clockwise from Career are:

  • Knowledge (Northeast)
  • Family (East)
  • Wealth (Southeast)
  • Fame, the “front” (South)
  • Marriage (Southwest)
  • Children and Creativity (West)
  • Helpful People and Travel (Northwest)

How to Use a Bagua Map

Depending on your floor plan or available space, the bagua map can be utilized in different ways. No matter how big or small the area is that you have to work with, the same principles can be used to amplify your intentions and increase your flow of positive energy.

Find Your Anchor

By using the front door as an anchor, the map should be situated in such a way that the bottom three squares (Knowledge, Career, and Helpful People/Travel) are aligned along the wall with the front door, preferably with the bottom middle square (Career) in the same place as the door.

From there, all other squares will be positioned in their place of power on that particular floor plan, with the middle square (Health) being in the estimated center.

For higher floors of the house, the "front door" would be situated at the top of the stairs, facing in the direction where the area opens up.

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The Colors & Shapes of Bagua

Each area of the bagua is associated with feng shui colors and/or shapes that work with your intentions and enhance the harmony in that space. Each color is related to one of the five elements of feng shui (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water).

Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you have to go wild and make every area of your home a different color, unless you really want to.

  • The colors of Wealth are blue and purple. Design this area with things that are truly valuable in your life, along with plants that have round or curved leaves.
  • Red relates to the Fame section and how you are seen in the world. Pyramids, diamonds and triangles are great for this area. Love and Marriage relates to pink and white, with hints of red.
  • Rectangle shapes with greens and blues help balance the Family section. This is also an obvious area to display family photos and items.
  • Health is represented with yellows, oranges, and browns, and it is advised to keep this area somewhat open and clear to enable the energy to flow smoothly throughout all the other spaces.
  • The Children & Creativity section holds white and silver as its primary colors. Incorporate mirrors, circular shapes and metallic items to echo the playful energy of this area.
  • Knowledge & Spirituality represents the earth element and is closely tied to blue, black, green. This could be called the self-care section, good for books, spiritual things that enhance or remind you of your good intentions, or even a meditation space.
  • Blacks, indigo, or even dark blues work well in the Career & Life section. Water is the element of this section, so a fish tank around this area with dark colored fish would be absolutely perfect.
  • The Helpful People & Travel section has the colors of grey and whites. Photos of important non-family members could fit nicely in this area, along with any items that relate to travel and seeing the world.

bagua map

Shared Spaces

A common question about using the bagua map relates to situations where more than one person lives or works in the same space. It can be difficult or even impossible to arrange or design a space that you aren’t entirely responsible for.

The answer to this is simple: only control what you can.

If a space is being shared, the same principles would apply as if you were arranging for an entire home. Your “front door” would then just be the entrance to your space. From there, all other sections would remain as they would be in a larger space.

As with spaces that are much bigger, a bit of imagination is needed to apply the map on top of areas that aren’t a perfect square or octagon.

But don’t worry; as we mentioned before, your intention is an important factor in feng shui arrangements. Your measurements and placements may not be perfect, but the universe understands your intention and efforts, and will reward you accordingly. 

Final Thoughts

To get each area organized and ready to unleash the benefits of the bagua map does take some doing. But why do it in the first place?

Because, it can be one of the most important passive practices you do that helps you create the life that you want. By “passive,” we mean that, once your space is situated, the benefits will continually flow without any more physical assistance from you. Your part is done mentally, by keeping your positive intentions front and center and in control of your actions.

The potency of bagua in feng shui works together with the strength of your intention. The results greatly depend on how you involve yourself in making positive changes.

The simple fact that you are developing and following a method of improving the harmony opens up so many doors and windows that will help change you and your life for the better.

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How to Use a Bagua Map

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