This is the 1st of a 2 part blog post series taken from my book Do You See What I See. The series describes aspects of Compass School which are needed to help you make classical Feng Shui changes. (part 2 here)
What are the Eight Trigrams?
Linked to the concept of Yin and Yang are the Eight Trigrams. The ancient Chinese attached virtually everything that is known and seen in the universe to a trigram. Each trigram is associated with one of the eight magnetic directions (N, S, E, W, NW, SW, NE, SE) in addition to one of the Five Elements, to specific colours, specific shapes of objects, to a particular animal symbol, specific body parts, emotions, and even family members.
Similar to Yin and Yang and the Five Elements, the trigrams’ corresponding significance and associations (including direction, colours, shapes, body parts mentioned above) become a tool for analyzing and improving any potential situation in your interior or exterior environment. Each direction and sector (each of the four corners) of your home has a corresponding trigram. When it is depicted as a symbol, a trigram is written as a three-tiered Chinese character in which Yin and Yang lines are arranged three at a time to create eight possible line combinations. Together, the Eight Trigrams, when combined with their compass directions, are called the “Bagua.”
In Feng Shui, the trigrams’ information is used for various applications that are associated with Compass School methods. As was mentioned earlier, this book deals primarily with Form School and not Compass School; for beginners or those new to Feng Shui, it is not essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the Eight Trigrams and Bagua, but it is important to understand the basic concepts.
In the table of associations, below, you will see each trigram’s basic associations. The associations with each trigram (or compass direction) are called: Heaven, Earth, Thunder, Wind, Water, Fire, Mountain and Marsh.
The table shows you how your home represents many variables, and how, according to Feng Shui, the energy of each variable is associated with your environment and your life.
In Part 2 of this blog post series, I talk about how to use this information and offer practical advice on how to use it in your home.