Just what is the bagua map, exactly? And how can you draw it over your floor plan?
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.
How to Draw Your Bagua
Believe me: it’s really not as hard as it may sound! It just entails a tape measure (just to get it as close to scale as possible), a piece of graph paper, and a tiny bit of patient determination. And keep it simple: all you need to draw are the walls, doors, and perimeter of the space. (No need to worry about things like windows, toilets, or drawing the burners on the stove!) Again, there’s no need to go crazy: just get it as close to scale as possible so that you have a good working idea of the layout of your home.
Here are a few additional tips:
- Include any attached garages or attached covered patios. (If they’re not attached or covered, leave them out. The one exception would be if it were a raised patio that is contained by railings; if it is attached to the home, even if it is not covered, include it.)
- If you live in an apartment, just include the boundaries of your personal space. Include attached balconies or attached covered patios.
- If you rent a room or live with parents or roommates, just include the room that is uniquely yours. (If you want to do the whole house later at some point, go ahead, but start with the space you call your very own.)
Now that you’ve gotten that out of the way, you’re going to draw the square of Saturn (see above) over your floor plan. To do this, follow these simple steps:
2. Draw an arrow at the front door/main entrance (as intended by the architect, even if you use another one more often) that’s pointing in toward the home.
3. If necessary, rotate the paper so that the arrow is pointing up.
4. Draw a tick-tack-toe board over the square/rectangle, dividing the floor plan into nine equal parts.
Here are common and alternate names, along with links to explanations for each area:
Gratitude and Prosperity: Wealth and Prosperity
Radiance and Reputation: Fame and Reputation
Love and Marriage: same
Health and Family: same
Creativity and Playfulness: Creativity and Children
Serenity and Self-Love: Knowledge and Self-Cultivation
Career and Life Path: Career
Synchronicity and Miracles: Helpful People and Travel
Please note: for additional floors, the floor plan extends straight up or down from the floor containing the front door. In other words, if it’s directly above (or below) the prosperity area, it’s also the prosperity area.
Please also note: if areas are “missing” from your floor plan (i.e. if they are outside of the house), don’t worry: this post has got you covered.
…And if you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments.