The Art of Placement

Feng shui is often called "the Art of Placement" and that means what you put where matters.  Money symbols or relationship remedies, for example, work best when placed in the Wealth or Relationship areas of the home. And if work or physical well being are issues for you, you'll want to  ensure there are no feng shui problems in the Career or Health areas.

Many of the feng shui strategies you choose to use in your home will include removing things from locations where they don't belong to positions where they work for you. That's why there's so much emphasis in feng shui on using the energy map called the "ba gua."

The ba gua shows you where your Wealth, Relationship, and other areas are located in your home. It helps you see clearly which clutter or paper piles are blocking essential energy, and it guides you to make high-impact changes first instead of trying to make every possible feng shui adjustment at once.

The problem is that there are two ways to use the ba gua: according to the compass directions, or based on the position of your front door.  Understanding the difference between these two approaches — and decided which method is appropriate for you — is an important first step in applying feng shui to your home.

The Compass Ba Gua

Compass-based practitioners who use the ba gua divide a space into wedges according to the compass directions. There is a sector of the home for each of the eight directions:  north, south, east, west, northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest. Here the red arrow indicates North:



The Doorway Ba Gua

Contemporary Western feng shui divides a space into a nine-unit grid of equal areas.


You'll notice that this method includes a defined central area in addition to four side and four corner sections. This version of the ba gua is aligned with your floor plan according to the location of the main entry (red arrow) without regard to the compass directions.

Which Method is Correct?

You may hear some feng shui teachers and practitioners say that traditional compass-based Feng Shui is the “right” way and that the modern approaches to this ancient practice are “wrong” or “faux feng shui.” I believe that our world and lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past few thousand years and it’s reasonable to expect that feng shui would evolve to accommodate and reflect our contemporary cultures and attitudes.

It is my opinion that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use the ba gua, just different ways. I don’t ignore the compass directions or methods in my practice, but I give the doorway ba gua the greatest consideration because that is my preference.

If you are new to feng shui, and have a strong intuitive pull to one method or the other then go ahead and follow your intuition. If you don’t have an inner sense of which method you’d like to use, I recommend that you start with the doorway method first.

If you are already experienced in feng shui and are accustomed to analyzing your space by the compass directions, you may want to take a look at what the doorway ba gua has to offer.

Thoroughly Confused?

Grab a copy of our FREE eBook:

Ba Gua Q+A: Questions and Answers about the Feng Shui Energy Map

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