Feng Shui and The Bagua
I’m reading Spirit of Change for the first time and enjoyed your column. I have a fundamental question that would help me understand feng shui better. When you talk about the quadrants of a room, what exactly is the left rear, for example? Should I be facing the room standing outside it, or positioned inside the room, facing the street? Thanks. — Gail
You question is not uncommon. When you align your bagua diagram with the space you are assessing, you should be standing in the main entrance of the room or house. That applies to an entire house, a one-room office or a condo within a larger complex. Stand in the main access to the space that is yours. For instance, if it’s a condo in a building that you don’t own, the entrance is to your unit, not the building. If you own the building, multiple additional layers of consideration apply.
Additionally, imagine the bagua diagram from a bird’s eye view. Apply this over your single room or entire house standing at the main entrance for either one. There will be an area for each of the nine sectors for the entire space, and also for each room within the larger structure. So, for instance, your entire house has its wealth sector, and each room within the home also has its own wealth sector.
Please let me know if it is okay to have a picture such as a water scene or a couple’s wedding photo over a fireplace. Is either of these two options good feng shui for a fireplace, which is in the fame area of the house? Your comments are highly appreciated. Thank you. — Melinda
A picture over a fireplace works, Melinda, but consider some of the following. Images of people and animals add more fire wherever they are placed, so setting the happy (hopefully) wedding couple up over the fireplace may send that relationship up in smoke!
The fireplace is a strong fire feature prominently displayed in the fame sector. I would tone it down a bit. I recommend a mirror, large enough to be to scale with the fireplace. Mirrors (think reflective surface) are a water element. In this case, water would actually balance the fire by keeping it under control. Additionally the mirror will not introduce a lot of detail that competes with enjoying the fireplace.
A peaceful landscape or artwork that emits a settled feeling would also be fine. The objective is that it not be busy. Your water scene may or may not exude calm. If you really like it, that’s fine. If a mirror appeals to you, use the water scene in your family/health sector (center left quadrant) of that or some other room. Wood is the element there and water feeds wood. The interplay would be nourishing.
My kitchen is drab. Are there simple, inexpensive things you can suggest? — Laura
First of all, it’s good you recognized your kitchen is drab. Get some potted herbs and put them on the windowsill that gets the best light. It’s great if that’s the window above the kitchen sink. If you cook, use them. If you don’t cook, try to. Consider painting one wall your favorite color. Put a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table or see if you can find some poster or print with a luscious look to it. Hang it where you will notice it the most.
We recently extended our deck with a sunroom on the back of the house. Due to the heavy snows and ice this winter, plus less than ideal connections of our gutters from sunroom to house, the gutters have become overwhelmed this winter, and ice has become a problem. We now have a thick patch of ice on the deck outside the sunroom sliding door entrance. In addition, directly beneath that deck is the garage back door, which also collected a thick patch of ice on the concrete step. I aligned the bagua with the front of my house, and those two ice patches lie in the fame/reputation sector. Do you have any insight or advice about this situation? Thanks Lynn! — Iced Over
Dear Iced Over,
Sometimes expansions come with a whole new pedigree of problems. Keep in mind that this is a relatively new development. Growing into an additional space is not a seamless experience — not for you and obviously not for your gutters. This winter has resulted in icy gutter jams and structural problems for many people, including me, although it doesn’t happen every year or even frequently. But for now, the ice has gotten your attention, as nature and weather have quite clearly identified the weak links in your gutter system.
When you extended the footprint of your home with additional structure in the fame/reputation area, you gave that life aspect extra support. In the fame quadrant, a sunroom is a wonderful extension for fire and its penultimate tutor, the sun. That form is stronger than any adaptive problems you might be experiencing. Don’t worry about your reputation. But over time if you develop financial problems or relationship problems, it could be that the expansion in the fame sector created a deficiency in the quadrants to its left and right. It’s a matter of proportion.
Were I to be invited to your home for feng shui purposes and this was one of the problems fully observed on site, some possible physical recommendations might come to mind. Sometimes, unless deterioration and actual danger are involved the most effective solution is attitudinal and affirmational, recognizing the beauty of ice, and finding some advantage or even appreciation of the situation.
For example: “Your reputation is frozen,” and is held in crystal clear perfection. If the ice were in your wealth sector, I might affirm, “Your assets are frozen,” and your bank account is impermeable and untouched by financial challenges in the larger, outside economic world. Further, ice can be seen as holding onto your water blessings from your “cup that runneth over.” For now, the ice is a crystalline beautiful prism, amplifying light that reaches it during the day and perhaps moonlight by night.
Come spring thaw, have a grey water system of some sort in place allowing you to utilize the draining energy in this location. Recycle it into growing plants in the sunroom, with gratitude for your water savings account. With any luck, the frozen aspect may have actually preserved your gutters. Tend to them as soon as possible in the spring. Empty and clean them with love, knowing your own treasured and cared-for “pagoda” is collecting heaven’s energies.
The late Lynn Taylor was a senior feng shui practitioner, teaching and consulting in the United States and Mexico for both business and home environments.