The following introduction to what’s known as the “bagua” or “feng shui floor plan” is an excerpt from The Art of Bliss.
In the Taoist form of alchemy that we call feng shui, there is a mathematical and magical construct known as the bagua. In Western mystery traditions it’s known as a magic square (a square in which each row adds up to the same number) or, more specifically, as the square of Saturn. In fact, the bagua/square of Saturn is present in some form in the mathematical and spiritual traditions of countless cultures, both Western and Eastern. It looks like a tick-tack-toe board in which each square contains a number. If you take a moment to investigate, you’ll notice that each row on the board, whether horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, adds up to the number fifteen.
In feng shui, each square in the bagua corresponds with a major life area.
Western magical traditions associate this particular magic square with the planet Saturn: the planet of earthiness and limitation. This is notable because the bagua, or square of Saturn, is an alchemical map that works within the appearance of limitation to help us find our way back to a connection with the infinite bliss that is our natural state.
To illustrate this, imagine sunlight streaming through a clear prism or wind blowing through chimes. The sunlight is sunlight, and the wind is wind. Still, by flowing through something that appears limited (the prism or chimes), the sunlight creates rainbows, just as the wind rings the chimes. Similarly, an infinite life force flows through our present finite “reality” (or existence and perceptions) to create the holographic interplay of stories that we call our life conditions. The bagua/square of Saturn is a symbol, or conceptual construct, of that mechanism. It gives us a framework and reference point for effecting positive change through working between the realms of finite and infinite, seen and unseen, form and spirit.
(In my next post, I’ll walk you through drawing the bagua over your floor plan so that you can recognize the location of each area in your own home.)
Hi! I live in a townhouse with 3 levels, the topmost being a partial loft, the main floor, and a basement. The top 2 have a south facing entrance – and the stairs are in a straight line from the entrance. The basement has a 7 foot tile ceiling, but is 90% finished. Its staircase is below the other staircase and goes in the opposite direction. When I’m trying to orient the bagua, should I stand in the basement facing the doorway to the stairs? Thank you!
Tess Whitehurst says
Hi Helen! When you orient the bagua, stand in your front door facing in toward the house, no matter what level of the house it enters into.