The bagua, which literally translates to “eight trigrams,” is a system of Chinese symbols meant to represent the underlying idea that reality is made up of many conflicting forces that reinforce one another. In the bagua trigrams, yin and yang are symbolized by broken and unbroken lines, respectively. These trigrams consist of three lines, and each line can either be broken or unbroken.
Each line can exist in two different states, resulting in a total of 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 trigrams, whose early identification and description in China had a significant impact on the development of Chinese philosophy and cosmology.
The trigrams are associated with the divination practice described in the I-Ching and observed as a component of the Shang and Zhou state religions, as well as with the principles of taiji and the five elements in traditional Chinese metaphysics. These trigrams possess connections to various fields such as astronomy, divination, meditation, astrology, geography, geomancy (fengshui), anatomy, decorative arts, the family, martial arts (specifically taijiquan and baguazhang), Chinese medicine, and other domains.
The bagua can be found individually or in conjunction and are frequently encountered in two distinct configurations: the primordial, also known as “Earlier Heaven” (先天八卦) or “FuXi (伏羲)” bagua, and the manifested, also referred to as “Later Heaven” (後天八卦) or “King Wen” bagua.
In the I-Ching, two trigrams are combined to form a six-line figure referred to as a hexagram. This book consists of 64 hexagrams, each representing a unique permutation. The descriptions accompanying these hexagrams constitute the content of the book. The trigram symbolism serves as a tool for interpreting both the hexagram figure and the accompanying text.
And the two arrangements of the trigrams:
Fuxi’s Early Heaven Ba Gua, characterized by the sequential order of the trigrams (Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, Earth), assumes the shape of an S or infinity symbol, mirroring the formation and flow of the Taijitu.
In contrast, King Wen’s Later Heaven Ba Gua reorganizes the Early Heaven arrangement according to the Lo Shu magic square. This rearrangement takes into account the movements of the Wu Xing planets, with Mars aligning with Fire in the 9 south position after the summer solstice, Venus occupying the 7 west position during the autumn equinox, Mercury positioned in the 1 north position at the cusp of the winter solstice, and Jupiter situated in the 3 east position during the vernal equinox.
The correlation between the Later Heaven (King Wen) arrangement and the directional alignment of the Four Guardians (azure dragon in the East, dark tortoise in the North, white tiger in the West, and red phoenix in the South) should be noted.
Conversely, in the Early Heaven (Fuxi) arrangement, Fire is associated with the East to symbolize the rising sun, while Water represents the West, signifying darkness and the unknown.
The Early Heaven’s proposition posits that the Tao remains unchanging, manifesting as a cyclical transformation. Conversely, the Later Heaven’s proposition asserts that this transformation adheres to specific principles, and by comprehending these principles, one can foresee and effectively maneuver through the course of transformation.
|Color||White, gold, and silver|
|Body Parts||Head, bone, lung|
|Illness||Diseases of the head and brain, the lungs, the muscles and bones, diseases involving the parts of the body from the tongue to the stomach, and worries|
|Personage||Emperor, parent, adult, senior, prominent person, emperor's servant, government officer and civil servants, boss, leader, chairman (Elders; Kingship, Authority, Aristocracy)|
|Traits||Magnificent, ethereal, decisive, and clear-thinking.|
|Qi Quality||Creativity, Inspiration, Drive; Assert, Heavenly, Willpower, Greater Purpose, Upper World|
|Animals||the elephant, lion, horse, swan, or any other huge animal|
|Zodiac Animals||Dog and Pig|
|Body Parts||saliva, tongue, mouth, throat, lung, and phlegm|
|Illness||illness of the mouth or tongue, throat, respiratory, and appetite|
|Personage||Mistress, singer, actor, translator, wizard, slave/chamber maid/servant, youngest daughter (related to Young Children Researchers Hospitality; Law)|
|Traits||Charming, expressive, romantic, and optimistic|
|Animals||Animals found in swamps|
|Qi Quality||Incubation, Fulfillment, Prosperity, Trade, Harvest, To Multiply, Development|
|Body Parts||Eye, heart, and the coccyx region in the rear of the body.|
|Illness||Eye disease, heart disease, and diseases affecting body parts from the tongue to the intestines. affected by heatstroke or contagious disease|
|Personage||Middle daughters, portly persons, people with eye diseases, and armored professions (army and police)|
|Traits||Extroverted, intelligent, and sophisticated with ambition and exuberance.|
|Qi Quality||Mesmerism, the solar force, clarity, enlightenment, triumph, illumination, logic, and reason|
|Animals||Tortoise, wild chicken, shelled creatures, crustaceans, and crab|
|Color||Jade green and deep emerald|
|Body Parts||The foot, the liver, the hair, and the vocal folds/cords.|
|Illness||Diseases of the feet, the liver, excessive anxiety, and shock|
|Personage||The oldest son (or related to age 30 – 45; Fast Paced Industries; Technology)|
|Traits||A formidable dissident and nonconformist with ambitious goals.|
|Qi Quality||Provocation, Incitement, Defense, Stimulation, Road Clearing, Justice, Reckoning|
|Animals||Insect, snake, and dragon|
|Color||Jade green, or green|
|Body Parts||thighs and upper arms|
|Illness||Thigh issues, excessive flatulence or diseases of the wind/gas intestines, stroke, and Qi diseases|
|Personage||Monk, eldest daughter, widow (related to Teachers, Finance Journalists; Law Media & Comms.)|
|Traits||One who is dignified, refined, elegant, and meticulous.|
|Qi Quality||Gentle influence, cultivation, adaptability, permeation, fertility, persuasion, arts and culture|
|Animals||Chicken, all creatures, jungle insects, and snake|
|Zodiac Animals||Dragon and Snake|
|Color||Blue and Black|
|Body Parts||kidney, blood, and ear|
|Illness||ailments of the ears, the heart, infections, kidney-related and stomach issues, and diarrhea|
|Personage||Those who labor by the lake, river, or middle son, etc. For instance: pirates, sailors, and fisherman ( or related to Age 20 – 30; Healthcare; Diplomacy)|
|Traits||Reflective and melancholy, with an adaptable and cautious disposition.|
|Animals||Pigs, fish, and aquatic creatures|
|Qi Quality||The Abyss, Arcane, Depths, Shifting; Margin, Catharsis, Reflection, Healing. Risk|
|Body Parts||Finger, nose, back, and back bone|
|Illness||Disease of the fingers/toes and stomach|
|Personage||Youngest son, young children, individuals living in the jungle, a hermit, or someone with a lot of spare time (related to Peak of Life; Builders, White Collar Profession)|
|Traits||Calm, introverted, obstinate, and resourceful|
|Animals||Tigers, dogs, rats, and mice|
|Zodiac Animals||Ox and Tiger|
|Qi Quality||Peak Wisdom, Stillness, Quietness, Stability, Longevity, and Self-Control|
|Body Parts||stomach, spleen, meat, and abdomen|
|Illness||gastrointestinal disorders, a reduced appetite, and indigestion|
|Personage||Mother, stepmother, farmer, villagers, locals, populace, elderly woman, and portly/big-bellied individuals (Queenship; in the Retail Fashion, Markets Production; Farm)|
|Traits||Devotional, Prudent, Discerning, and Resilient to Adversity|
|Qi Quality||Receptivity, Health, Enrichment, Nourishment, To Harvest, Hidden, Underworld, Netherworld|
|Animals||All animals, cow, stallion|
|Zodiac Animals||Sheep, Monkey|
It is imperative to possess knowledge of Bagua in Feng Shui, as it is a fundamental aspect of Chinese metaphysics. The Fuxi Bagua, also known as the Early Heaven Bagua, provides us with a deeper understanding of nature and the universal perspective. On the other hand, the King Wen, or Later Heaven Bagua, teaches us how to manipulate and control it.
The attributes associated with each of the 8 trigrams are equally significant, as they offer valuable insights into their meanings and practical applications.