The Beginners Guide To Feng Shui

By via www.gatesinteriordesign.com
Photographed by Amanda Gates

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy believed to bring harmony and order into a person’s home. It is meant to promote  balance, positive energy and harmony, which can offer a variety of great benefits to a homeowner. Applying simple Feng Shui to one’s home can be done by anyone as long as they understand the basics.

Here is a beginners guide to understanding true Feng Shui for those who haven’t got a clue where to start. You will see that it is not as hard as it seems so you too can enjoy the advantages of integrating it into your lifestyle.


The Bagua Map

Before you can get started we need to first look at what's called the Bagua map (pronounced bag-wa). This map represents what are called eight trigrams, or eight areas of life: love, wealth, career, wisdom, reputation, children, helpful people and family. These eight trigrams center around our health which touches everything and explains why our environment is so important to our well-being. 

You can make a Bagua map by first sketching your house's shape and then applying the bagua map over it, just as I have done with the sketch above. Your goal for the map is to have a rectangular or square sketch. For L-shaped and U-shaped houses, dotted lines are recommended and will represent missing areas or possibly an extension.

After this, split the house plan by thirds vertically and horizontally to get roughly nine equal squares. This will give a tic-tac-toe look. When done, you can mark the building blocks of life accordingly as I've done above. Rarely are homes alike, but the Bagua placement is always the same. Wealth will always be in the back left corner, and helpful people will always be in the front right corner. In other words, this map is always placed with wisdom, career or helpful people landing at your front door. 

Note that houses with several floors will have it's own Bagua map on each floor, so that means every space and floor counts!

Over the years I've been asked why we have this map and where it comes from. This grid is based on an ancient book called the I-Ching or "Book of Changes." What's important to understand about the bagua is the different energy frequencies encompassed in each area. Depending on where you like to accumulate your stuff will spotlight where difficulties are showing up in your life. This is where the true art of Feng Shui starts to take shape, and why the Bagua Map is so important in helping us achieve balance, harmony and more positive outcomes in our lives.

Remove clutter

When I ask people what they think Feng Shui is they will often reply with "clutter control" as the answer. Clutter is in fact an important element in assessing the Feng Shui in a home and your environment. While it is not the most important thing it is something that needs to be taken into consideration to ensure your Ch'i, or life force energy, is moving in the right direction.

Clutter can at times be an anomaly. When it accumulates energy gets stagnate, and when it gets stagnant things accumulate. Depending on where you tend to accumulate is often where difficulties can show up in your life. Just simply paying attention to where the "junk room" lands in the house can be an eye opening experience. For example, based on the plan above if I found a lot of clutter in the front right of your home I may have a lot of questions about how supportive people around you are. When the clutter starts to move so do the opportunities in life.

Ch'i

Above I mentioned that Ch'i, or life force, needs to always be taken into consideration when applying Feng Shui to your home. To the Chinese, it’s all about luck, destiny, karma, education and this life-changing energetic tool called Feng Shui. The goal of Feng Shui is to augment your space in a way that gets your environments' energy moving in a positive way, or get your Ch'i moving.


What you need to know

One of the best things you can do when first getting started with Feng Shui is just simply asking yourself how you feel. Do things feel off? Do you feel stuck or stagnant in one particular area of your life? Do you feel like you are achieving the goals you set out to accomplish?

More often than not people will have an area that feels stuck. Asking yourself these questions can help you better understand the Bagua Map. When you get clear about what it is you want, place the Bagua Map on your own home and see what clues it tells you. If you're struggling in your career and things aren't showing up for you, take a closer look at the front middle area of your home.

Interior design doesn't stop at just a pretty space. The art of Feng Shui integrates with design in an intelligent way to take us one step closer to feeling good, and looking good too!

Written by Amanda Gates

www.GatesInteriorDesign.com

Tagged As

chi, design, feng shui, interior design, Amanda Gates, feng shui 101, decor, clutter, bagua map
Hennessey & Ingalls concept