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One of the ways in which feng shui was westernized in the 1990s was by placing the emphasis on what is happening inside of the house. It made the concept of feng shui more palatable to the average person because it seemed to be mostly about re-decorating, placing symbolic objects, and making color choices. The original Chinese approach of working with energy may be less attractive than the interior design approach because the interior design approach allows us to focus on the house itself, and sort of gloss over the need for people in it to make choices and act.

While interior form, decoration and clutter are important to address, they should be considered as a sort of second layer of the analysis. Going indoors, taking the compass degrees and other such factors are appropriately considered after the outdoor form. The outdoor form is stronger and more important.

Exterior form should be assessed as the first part of a feng shui analysis because it determines how, where, and how much energy is available to your home’s interior. This type of assessment also reveals any sources of negative energy. You just can’t proceed to an accurate conclusion without knowing where the chi is coming from, where it’s going and where it enters and leaves the property. What you also need to know is how to use the bagua and which one to use.

Most people who have read a book about feng shui or studied it at all are familiar with what is called the “Later Heaven Bagua” which is the arrangement of the 8 Trigrams used for indoor feng shui analysis and adjustment. Each trigram can be associated with a certain family member such as mother or father, a phase of life like youth or middle age, males or females, etc. The meanings of the trigrams don’t change but their positions do depending on whether you are using the bagua indoors or outdoors.

Qian Trigram

Qian Trigram

The Qian trigram is associated with the father, the oldest male, males of the house, authority, bosses, and the element of metal. We use its position on the bagua to check for any problems in the areas of the lot or house that will affect that gua or area. If you are working indoors the Qian trigram is located in the NW sector. If you are working outdoors the Qian trigram is located in the S sector. Why?

When you are working with energy indoors you need to use the Later Heaven Bagua. The Later Heaven arrangement is meant to reflect life on earth with its seasons and unique geography, rather than the primordial and perfect arrangement of the Early Heaven Bagua.

Later Heaven Ba Gua Brown with Compass Directions

Later Heaven Bagua for indoor use

When you are working with energy outdoors what you want to be considering is the Early Heaven Bagua”. Let the Qian trigram be your guide.

Early Heaven Ba Gua

Early Heaven Bagua for outdoor use

So – if the man of the house is finding it difficult to succeed in his career, usually you will check the northwest location of the house. Hopefully you won’t find a bathroom there. In addition, you’ll want to check the south area of the lot to see if there is anything to clean up or any of what is called sha or negative energy that could be causing trouble for him.

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