Caturday Thoughts – Bagua Headaches

The Bagua or Pa Kua are eight symbols used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each line either “broken” or “unbroken”, respectively representing yin or yang. Due to their tripartite structure, they are often referred to as “trigrams” in English.

The trigrams are related to Taiji philosophy, Taijiquan and the Wu Xing, or “five elements”.[1] The relationships between the trigrams are represented in two arrangements, the Primordial (先天八卦), “Earlier Heaven”[2] or “Fu Xi” bagua (伏羲八卦), and the Manifested (後天八卦), “Later Heaven,”[2] or “King Wen” bagua. The trigrams have correspondences in astronomy, astrology, geography, geomancy, anatomy, the family, and elsewhere.

Feng shui was made very popular in the Occident thanks to the Bagua of the eight aspirations. Each trigram corresponds to an aspect of life which, in its turn, corresponds to one of the cardinal directions. Applying feng shui using the Bagua of the eight aspirations (or Bagua map for short) made it possible to simplify feng shui and to bring it within the reach of everyone. Western Bagua focuses more heavily on the power of intention than the traditional forms of feng shui.

Masters of traditional feng shui disregard this approach, because it does not take into account the forms of the landscape or the temporal influence or the annual cycles. The Bagua of the eight aspirations is divided into two branches: the first, which uses the compass and cardinal directions, and the second, which uses the Bagua by using the main door. It is clear that, not taking into account the cardinal directions, the second is even more simplified.

While many people using western style Feng Shui stict strictly to the bagua map which assigns life areas to physical directions I rarely see structural features being included in the calculation unless they are obvious producers of bad qi. I don’t consider my furnace a “bad element” in this climate, I can tell you. Still, these features belong to fire and should be considered in the mix.  Also, the room is naturally dark because of the way the house is oriented to the course of the sun. We only get direct light at the end of the day from late spring to early fall. So I want wall colors that would lighten the room as well as fitting the Feng Shui.

In Feng Shui there are 216 types of houses. You cannot lay the typical western style bagua map over a house plan and force fit everything.  The obsession with a perfect square is not only impossible in western buildngs but even in ancient China, while square was the ideal, most buildings could not fit this map. Orientation and symmetry were most important. Great webpage on this here.  You can see there that most houses were actually rectangles throughout Chinese history.

After due consideration I am going with my instincts and study of Feng Shui. Ninety percent of what is on line is dumbed down, inaccurate, leaves out important elements or is just plain confusing. I have pulled my books out of storage and got an easily readable compass and a dollar store protractor and I’m good to go. I’ll do do all my own calculations from scratch. And as I said previously, while there is more involved than just wall color, I will still pick colors I like as well as those in harmony with the elements. In all those dozens of colors I’m sure to find something.

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About angela1313

I am a cat lover, a writer, and an overextended blogger trying to foster for a cat rescue, finish a Master's degree and rehab a fixer upper house i bought.
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