Part 1 | Feng Shui 101 | The Elements & Bagua Maps
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to achieve balance and harmony between elements. Incorporating Feng Shui goes further than just Western design methodologies of comfort and aesthetics; it also addresses physical and mental health, lifestyle and healthy relationships, all of which are influenced by positive energy flow.
As our world at Hills & West revolves around the philosophy of positive energy, we wanted to give you a little background into Feng Shui and how we try to incorporate it into our designs. Enjoy !!
What is Feng Shui ?
Feng Shui has been practiced for at least 6,000 years and is still popular today as it focuses on something that we all care about: improving the positive energy in our lives.
The phrase is made up of the two terms “Feng” (which means wind) and “Shui” (which means water). The basic concept of Feng Shui is that everything around us, including our material possessions, contains energy known as ‘Chi’. If the chi can flow and the environment is in harmony, the good energy in our homes and lives will increase, attracting every type of good fortune that we all seek: health, wealth, love, and more.
So, if this chi is obstructed, it may prevent opportunity, good health and financial security from entering our lives, impacting our well-being and quality of life by this negative energy. We can all recall having experienced or have lived in a situation when the atmosphere was poisonous to our health. While not solely attributable to factors like the design or architecture of the house, everything is interconnected and affects the energy in the environment and within ourselves.
The structure of direction
To implement Feng Shui in your everyday spaces, you must first understand the dominant position. The area of a room that is furthest from the door and not directly across from it is considered to be the dominant position in Feng Shui. It places you across from the door and ideally, you should be able to see the door. You should spend most of your time in the dominant position when in a room.
By certain fundamental Feng Shui principles, you should identify the dominant position in the room and, if at all feasible, align your bed, desk, or stove diagonally with it.
What components make up Feng Shui ?
Feng Shui is based on basic elements; fire, earth, metal, wood, water; wood being the most significant.
Water: Represents sageness and tranquility. This element attracts luck and pleasure. Things like placing a fish tank close to your work location and away from the window are all ways to enhance your Feng Shui.
Wood: Represents growth and vitality. Placing wood items in your space encourages personal growth. Plants and wooden furniture are easy ways to add this element.
Metal: Resonates wisdom and reason. It promotes intelligence and mental clarity. Use sculptures or metal frames to include this aspect in your space.
Earth: It aids in stabilising and grounding. Using rocks, crystals and landscape photography, bring the earth aspect indoors.
Fire: A symbol of passion and vigor. It stands for transformation, growth and turbulence. Use red furnishings and candles to add fire to your space.
What is Feng Shui Bagua map ?
The Feng Shui energy map is called a Bagua and is placed on your home’s floor layout. “Eight regions” is the literal translation of the Chinese word “Bagua.”
Each of the eight categories has a connection to a certain aspect of life, such as family, wealth or job. And each of these regions has matching earthly elements, shapes, colors, seasons and numbers. You, a representation of your entire wellness, are located in the Bagua’s ninth section, at its core.
There are various Feng Shui schools of thought. When analysing your home, they all use Baguas in different ways. Western and BTB (Black Sect) schools typically lay the Bagua so that the knowledge, career and helpful areas align with the home’s front door. The Bagua may be oriented by the Flying Stars or other classical schools based on the energy of the year or the compass.
How to read and use western Bagua map ?
The Bagua map can be applied in the simplest way possible if you’re new to feng shui by superimposing it on your floor plan.
The doorway should be oriented south and should intersect one of the bottom three squares. Though it might be normal for people to Feng Shui an entire house or apartment, the Bagua map can be used on any size or shape of space. It’s crucial to decorate with the right things and stay away from things that prevent energy flow, all to encourage the right flow in each quadrant.
It’s all about maximising flow, energy and harnessing the power of the elements to bring the most positive energy to your everyday.
What are some Feng Shui decorating ideas in general ?
Here are some simple Feng Shui ideas to get you started;
1. Welcome Home – make a wonderful first impression, a welcoming front door attracts positive energy into your home.
2. This is one we LOVE… clear that clutter.
Too much clutter prevents energy from flowing and clutters your mind. A clean environment allows you to breathe, clear your mind and make space for the chaos of life.
3. Crystals – rose quartz is good for love, tourmaline is good for protection and citrine is good for healing and wealth.
4. Ensure that air and light can enter, as air is essential to the meaning of Feng Shui, it must be allowed to flow freely. Natural light and air will bring in positive energy and rejuvenation.
5. Position the bed and desk near the doorways. Facing the entrance increases power while decreasing vulnerability.
6. Natural elements – place houseplants throughout your home or office. Plants boost energy, improve health and naturally purify the air.
By understanding the origins of different philosophical practices and their impact on our homes and the environments in which we inhabit, we can start to interweave their benefits into our lives.
When we feel happy, energised, safe and nurtured in a space, it then becomes a home we love returning back to.
We love learning more and more about Feng Shui and hope you have too. But wait… there is always more… next we will delve into individual spaces and how to best implement Feng Shui into these spaces.
Have a look around your home, what Feng Shui design principles have you used?
Feel free to share below. We’re always here to help you get your Feng Shui on, so book in a chat if you would like some more zen and flow in your life.