The Fixed Bagua 8 Aspirations Method: A Misconstrued Representation of Authentic Feng Shui

Posted on July 29, 2023 by Derelle Ball

In this article we’ll examine the fascinating field of Feng Shui and debunk some commonly held misconceptions. One of the more prominent misunderstandings is the perceived authenticity of the Fixed Bagua 8 Aspirations Method. While popular in the Western world, this method is not an accurate representation of authentic Feng Shui as practiced and recognized by traditional Feng Shui Masters.

Feng Shui, a phrase translated as "Wind and Water", is an ancient Chinese metaphysical discipline that studies the flow of energy, known as 'Qi', and its impact on individuals and their surrounding environment.

The concept of Wind and Water originates with the famous quote by Guo Pu in the ancient text “Zheng Shu” which states:

“Qi rides the wind and is dispersed.  It stops on encountering water”.  

The whole premise behind this is the fact that Qi (transformative energy) travels along unseen pathways in and above the earth and it disperses when it encounters strong wind and flat, open, uncontained space.  When Qi comes across a body of water in the surrounding landform, it has the potential to accumulate.   

Qi itself comes in many forms and the study of Feng Shui connects with ways in which to direct the flow of beneficial and supportive Qi to the right location and then retain it for the people to use and benefit from. 

The fixed Bagua method, (also referred to as the 8 Aspirations Method), is a simplified version of the 8 Trigrams and a far cry from the traditional interpretation as it does not assess the actual flow of Qi itself.  Rather it connects with personal aspirations and creates convenient labels affixed to compass directions or locations within a 9-grid system and superimposed over a room or floorplan. Each of the boxes in the grid is labelled with different life aspects like wealth, career, love, etc, and this does not change regardless of the building's magnetic orientation, the effect of the surrounding landform or time-related factors. 

Authentic Feng Shui is far more dynamic and complex.

In classical Feng Shui there are 2 sequences of the 8 Trigrams used in Feng Shui - the Xian Tian Bagua and the Hou Tian Bagua and they are used to observe the cyclic interaction of yin and yang qi to determine how the movement of Qi affects people. 

The Xian Tian Bagua represents the 'body' as well as the ideal harmonious balance of human and natural forces while the Hou Tian Bagua represents the 'application' or 'yong' (ie energy in motion and the potential for yin/yang transformation as human and natural forces interact with each other). Both are used to observe the energy flow affecting a building according to its compass orientation, the surrounding landform and time of construction.

Another notable point is that traditional Feng Shui does not subscribe to the one-size-fits-all approach that the fixed Bagua method employs. In contrast, it considers the unique characteristics of each building and the individuals residing or working within. This personalization leads to custom solutions tailored to specific needs, lifestyles, and goals.

The ancient sages believed that the surrounding environment held the greatest influence on a property's Feng Shui. This factor includes the location and flow of external water, mountain formations and the influence of roads and neighbouring buildings, all of which have a profound impact on the energy flow into and within a property.

A key misunderstanding of the fixed Bagua method is the oversimplified correlation it makes between certain colours, symbolic objects and elements with various life aspirations. This literal interpretation is inconsistent with the metaphoric and symbolic approach adopted by authentic Feng Shui.

In classical Feng Shui, remedies are introduced based on the interaction of Yin and Yang Qi and the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water), and their complex interplay is influenced by the principles of productive, reductive and destructive cycles, the surrounding landform and how this all connects with the internal Fei Xing Feng Shui and personal Ba Zhai and Ba Zi of the occupants, all of which are far more nuanced than simply adding certain colours or symbolic trinkets to a room.

It's important to understand that Feng Shui, like any profound discipline, requires comprehensive study, understanding and application. The use of the fixed Bagua 8 Aspirations Method, though it might provide a simple starting point for Feng Shui novices, should not be mistaken for the authentic and complex discipline that has been studied and practiced for millennia.

A knowledgeable and experienced Feng Shui consultant, well-versed in the ancient texts and trained in traditional Feng Shui methods such as San He and San Yuan, can provide a comprehensive analysis of your property and offer personalized, effective solutions to harmonize your environment and positively impact your life. In the end, authentic Feng Shui is not merely about decorating your space, but understanding and aligning with the natural flow of energy in and around your home and work environment to enhance well-being, prosperity and success. 

Some additional common misconceptions regarding Feng Shui are:

Feng Shui is All About Lucky Colours: A common misconception about Feng Shui is that it's all about using certain 'lucky' colours to attract good fortune. In reality, Feng Shui's use of colours is based on the principles of Five Element Theory (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) where each element is associated with certain colours, form, sound, body part, family member and other various energetic characteristics. 

There's no such thing as universally lucky or unlucky colours in Feng Shui. It is a mistake for someone to assume for example that just because their Ming Gua is 9 Fire, they are then naturally supported by Wood and Fire elements and should incorporate lots of red and pink into their clothing choices.  This is a common misconception that confuses the Ming Gua and Day Master Qi of the individual and I have seen many examples of individuals who mistakenly followed the lucky colour advice according to their Ming Gua and suffered misfortune as a consequence because in reality Fire element is not supportive of their own personal element mix according to their Day Master energy and the interplay of feng shui energies affecting their bedroom or workspace. 

In fact, in the following article you can read more about specific examples of the profound negative effect I have witnessed by clients who'd mistakenly painted a Southwest sector wall red thinking it would automatically attract positive love energy, and a client who mistakenly added a pool in the West sector of their property thinking it would be OK because Metal and Water are harmonious.

Red is Always Lucky and Attracts Wealth: Red is often mentioned as a universally lucky colour in Feng Shui, which is a misconception. Red is connected to the Fire element in Feng Shui and in certain situations can be a powerful activator. However, its use needs to be balanced and thoughtful as an excess of red (Fire) can lead to conflicts, agitation, and overstimulation. Its usage needs to be evaluated based on the overall energy flow affecting the space and the specific Ming Gua and 4 Pillars astrology of the individuals involved.

Front or Back Facing Certain Directions: There's a common belief that one should always face a certain 'lucky' direction or have their back towards a certain direction when working or sleeping. This is not entirely accurate. In Feng Shui, the ideal direction to face when working or sleeping depends on various factors including the person's Ming Gua (based on their personal gender and birth data), the building's energy, the influence of surrounding mountain and water forms, current Tai Sui and San Sha energy locations and the nature of work or rest involved. This again underlines the personalized nature of authentic Feng Shui.

Feng Shui is a Form of Superstition or Religion: Many people mistakenly believe Feng Shui to be a form of superstition or a religious practice. Authentic Feng Shui is neither; it is a complex, ancient discipline that studies the flow of energy in the environment and its effects on individuals and their well-being. Its practice involves careful observation, analysis, and adjustments to harmonize with the natural energy flows, with the objective of creating a supportive and prosperous living or working environment.

Australian Feng Shui Master/Consultant, Derelle Ball can help you enhance the health, wealth and nurturing Feng Shui potential of your home with a detailed user-friendly Feng Shui Report.  For further information click: Off-Site Residential Feng Shui Consultation.  

Posted in Classical Feng Shui, feng shui and the bagua, feng shui consultations, feng shui for luck, feng shui landform, feng shui my home, Feng Shui report, feng shui wealth, fixed bagua

The Hungry Ghost Festival: A Time of Connection and Reflection

The Feng Shui Connection Between the Period of 9 and Queen Victoria's Reign

Recent Articles