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April - June 2014 Jade Dragon Online
Feng Shui and the Ba Gua Mirror
bagua art

by Keith Rudell

Feng shui (Chinese geomancy) has been used for thousands of years by Chinese people to harmonize themselves to their environment and to create good fortune.

Basic to all feng shui observation, calculation, and cures is the I Ching, the bible of Chinese philosophy. The I Ching is a system of Yin and Yang, which composes 8 trigrams that, in turn, form 64 hexagrams. The 8 trigrams are created from the interaction of Yin and Yang, hence the ba gua. In Chinese ba means the number 8 and gua means trigram, thus the term ba gua signifies the 8 trigrams.

Feng shui is the observation and adjustment of Q. The simplest definition of Qi is that it is the interaction of Yin and Yang as primal forces of Qi. All elements, both animate and inanimate, have Qi. The earth, plants, animals, weather—even dead things—all have Qi. Qi is both tangible such as electricity, breath, blood, bones, wind, water, plants, rocks, and buildings, and intangible as in ideas, symbols, and spirit. Qi also is connected to the dimension of time.

Qi that is balanced brings health, fulfillment, and the freedom to live one's natural destiny. The opposite of beneficial Qi is Sha. Sha is an enemy Qi that attacks, blocks, and disrupts the balance of a place. Sha is often called a secret arrow because it may be aimed at you without your knowledge. The following are some possible sources of Sha:

  • Harsh straight lines
  • Ditches and gullies
  • Neighbors
  • Evil spirits

The ba gua are arranged in a circle similar to a Native American Medicine Wheel. There are 40,320 possible combinations of these ba gua in a circle. Only two arrangements are used in feng shui: these are the Pre-Heaven formula (Hsien Tien) and the Post-Heaven formula (also known as the Lo Map) which is the formula that creates the magic square of 15. The Post-Heaven formula arrangement of the ba gua has many uses in feng shui but chief among them are travel, relocation, floor plans, and interior design.

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