In April of last year, the gift of a dinette set coincided with the New Moon in my 11th house of friendships. For several weeks, people called with unsolicited offers of assistance – computer troubleshooting, healing treatments, delicious meals.
My kitchen is in the Helpful People sector of the Bagua map – a Feng Shui method of charting energetic patterns. Months earlier, I’d had my home Feng Shui’d and, since then, had been contemplating the connections between Western astrology and Western Feng Shui. Suddenly, it was obvious: The guas (sectors) of the Bagua correlate with the astrological houses.
The two systems are so similar. “As above, so below” is a guiding maxim in astrology. The celestial map is a mirror, reflecting our true nature and timing on Earth. The Feng Shui maxim is, “As without, so within.” The objects in our environment reflect our internal state of being, and vice versa.
Feng Shui is the art of placement – purposefully arranging one’s environment to produce beneficial results. The traditional Chinese system uses Chinese astrology and compass directions to determine optimal placements. Western Feng Shui emphasizes the Bagua, an octagonal map that correlates with one’s living space. The nine basic guas, or aspects of life – Career, Knowledge, Family, Prosperity, Fame, Love, Creativity, Helpful People, and Health – fall into different parts of the home.
According to the system I devised, the 1st house of self-image and pioneering efforts links up with the Career/Life Path gua. This is where you assert yourself in the world and develop your life direction. Career and Fame are directly opposite each other on the Bagua Map and represent two ends of the same axis: Essentially, you assert yourself in the 1st, Career, and see the results in the 10th, Fame and Reputation. The 4th house of home and family equates with the Family gua; the 5th house of creative efforts and progeny, with the Creativity/Children gua; and the 7th house of marriage, with the Love/Marriage gua. The 10th house of reputation is a natural for the Fame gua, and the 11th house of friends and community dovetails with the Helpful People gua.
Since there are nine guas and twelve houses, some of the houses do double duty. For instance, I associate both the 2nd house of personal earnings and the 8th house of shared wealth with the Prosperity gua. And the 3rd house of the “lower mind” and the 9th house of the “higher mind” represent the Knowledge gua. Finally, the Health gua at the center of the home connects to both the 6th house of physical health and habit patterns and the 12th house of mental and spiritual health.
A Little Detective Work
The dinette set had arrived unexpectedly, without my setting an intention of any kind. What would occur, I wondered, if you consciously activated a particular gua during the New Moon – the seed point for the month – in the astrological house to which it related?
To test my theory, I enlisted friends and clients in a research project. Thirty intrepid souls committed to performing New Moon rituals in different parts of their homes each month.
A year later, I am amazed by what unfolded. Some results were subtle: a feeling of greater empowerment and clarity in the targeted area of life. Others were more dramatic: A skeptical client activated her Family gua at the New Moon in her 4th house, and suddenly her sister, who’d always been a taker rather than a giver, sent her a homemade strawberry rhubarb pie. The sister also called to thank my client for all she’d done for her over the years – which catalyzed a healing in their relationship.
One of my most interesting findings related to the fixed or succedent houses: the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th. More than any others, rituals in these houses and their corresponding guas boosted my participants’ abundance. Though I expected this with the 2nd and 8th houses, the 5th and 11th surprised me. One participant spiffed up her bathroom in the Creativity gua at the New Moon in her 5th house and immediately won $3,500 at a local casino. Of course! The 5th house is associated with gambling.
A struggling realtor enhanced the Helpful People corner of her living room at the New Moon in her 11th and placed her client files there. “I’d been feeling so beaten down,” she confided, “so I lit a candle and told the Universe, ‘I need help!’ ” To her amazement, the inactive clients paid her for her time and left. And at the Full Moon, two of four pending offers were accepted (the Full Moon often gets New Moon seeds blossoming).
Practicing Feng Shui on a regular basis to activate specific intentions raises your consciousness. I discovered that working with a different part of my home each month kept my ch’i, or vital energy, from stagnating. The guas are sensitive to neglect and require regular maintenance. It’s easy to let papers pile up on your desk or have boxes take over a neglected corner.
Adding extraneous elements can also block the flow of ch’i. The arrival of an old piece of office equipment given to me by a well-meaning friend corresponded with a downturn in my income, until a spring cleaning at the New Moon in my 2nd house identified the culprit. Discord reigned in my relationship until I removed a withered poinsettia on the deck outside my Love gua at the New Moon in my 7th. Be sure to include outside portions of the home in your rituals – a messy, dirty garage or storage room is bad Feng Shui.
Working the System
It’s easy and fun to work this system. Here’s what you need to do:
Make a rough sketch of your home’s floor plan, preferably on tissue paper, and place it over the Bagua map to determine where your guas are located. The middle section of the wall that contains your front door is the Career gua, your starting point. If you live in a two-story house, include both levels. The guas merge fluidly into one another, so don’t worry about dividing your home exactly.A house that’s missing a chunk of the Bagua may require advanced Feng Shui treatment. If in doubt, clutter-busting with intention is the best way to get stagnant energy to flow.
Find out which part of your chart the upcoming New Moon activates. For couples living in the same house, each person would work the gua that pertains to his or her own chart. Working the composite chart would also make sense.
The ephemeris tells us that the August 20 New Moon falls at 27 Leo. If your 3rd-house cusp is 22 Leo, the New Moon will activate your 3rd house – and the Knowledge gua. (I use the Placidus house system.) If the New Moon falls within five degrees of a cusp, activate the succeeding house; for example, if you have 0 Virgo on your 2nd-house cusp, the New Moon at 27 degrees Leo will trigger your 2nd house. Pay particular attention to solar eclipses – they often spark significant results!
Determine which gua corresponds to that astrological house, and perform a thorough cleansing of the targeted area. This can be done up to a week before the New Moon. Remove all clutter, dirt, and dust. Banish anything that’s broken or not functioning – this is particularly detrimental Feng Shui! Clap your hands, shake a rattle, burn sage, toss salt, or spray an aromatherapy mist to disperse any stagnant energy.
Add colors, elements, or enhancements that strengthen the gua at hand. (see sidebar at the end of this article).
Set intentions and perform your ritual. If the New Moon falls in your 7th house, write down what you’re seeking in a new relationship, or improvements you’d like to see in an existing one. Write these intentions as if they’d already happened. For example: “I give thanks that the perfect person for me, ready and willing, is now in my life.” Then, within twelve hours of the New Moon (preferably before), light two pink candles (one for you and one for your mate) in your Love gua (pink is the color for this gua), invoke the Love Goddess, and speak your intention.
Watch for results. They may not come in the form you intended, but there will be some kind of manifestation associated with the astrological house and gua you activated, often around the Full Moon. Even seemingly negative results usually lead to improved conditions for that area of life.
Inspiration for Each House / Gua My research participants came up with a variety of unique rituals. To inspire you, I’ve spotlighted one for each astrological house.
First House / Career and Life Path: This woman redid her front porch. She got rid of plants that were struggling, moved other plants around, and bought a new welcome mat and bamboo screen to make the space more inviting. She taped her own company’s brochure over the inside of the front door, and wrote affirmations on 3 x 5 cards and left them on a table inside the front door for a week after her ritual. Then, she gave her brother, a successful businessman, a large plant that had been partially blocking her entryway. “It really opened up the porch,” she relates, “and reminded me of how I block my own access to success.” In a fascinating twist, her brother has since begun working with her, and her business has tripled!
Second House / Prosperity: Another participant transformed an unused sauna in her upstairs bathroom into a sumptuous wealth altar. She spread a cloth over the bench, hung a painting of Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), and added a basket of coins, some candles, a chalice of water, an open treasure box, a belly-dance coin belt, and some silk plants. (Note: Silk plants are acceptable; dried plants are not, as they equate to dried-up life force.) She wrote out an affirmation for wealth, lit the candles, and spoke her intention, sealing the energies by burning sage. In the garage below the bathroom she replaced an old, leaky water heater with a new one (leaks in this gua can drain your resources). Since then, she has begun presenting seminars, which in turn has increased her wealth.
Third House / Knowledge and Wisdom: One person made a vision board depicting the East Coast town where he wanted to live, including the words “alternative health network,” which related to his ideal job. Creating a vision board that incorporates words and images is a perfect 3rd-house ritual, as it engages both the conscious and unconscious mind. And though Feng Shui assigns travel to the Helpful People gua, I relate it instead to the 3rd and 9th houses of travel – so it was an appropriate gua in which to manifest a trip. The day after this man’s New Moon ritual, he called the owner of the TV station in that town, who sent him a contract to begin a new job. Soon he was on his way across the country to a whole new life.
Fourth House / Family: A participant painted her Family sector green, a power color for this gua. Next, she hung photos of friends and family (close friends qualify as family). This triggered a significant psychological shift. “I distanced myself from an old friend who has emotional outbreaks that confuse and hurt me. And I’ve welcomed one of my oldest friends back into my life.” She also set limits on how she was to be treated by her boyfriend’s mother and other family members. As a result, she says, “I feel truer to myself now and have a solid foundation to work from.” (The 4th house is associated with foundation-building.)
Fifth House / Creativity, Children, and Speculation: The 5th is a good house to activate when you need help releasing a child, as one friend discovered. “So much of my life has been wrapped up with being a mother,” she explained, “but now that my son is 17, he needs to spread his wings.” On a small glass table in this gua, she placed the Page of Cups Tarot card to represent him (“he’s a really gentle, sweet-natured boy”) and added a jade dragon (his Chinese animal) and two candles. She called on her personal deities to help with the process, lit the candles, and smudged herself with sage at the moment of the New Moon. “Now I feel more able to let him go,” she reports, “and my professional life is taking off.”
Sixth House / Health, Work, Service: “My improved health is my biggest win from this cycle,” one participant told me. Her ritual was simple – all she did was light a candle in the center of her home at the New Moon and invoke good health (she had been suffering from an intestinal disorder for years). “Soon thereafter,” she relates, “I discovered this Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and I’ve lost 15 pounds and have more strength and energy than ever before! I’m 80 percent symptom-free and am working out regularly with a trainer.” Her work is also advancing, because she is feeling better about herself.
Seventh House / Love and Marriage: A solar eclipse dealt a resounding blow to this friend’s 7th house last year, triggering issues that had been festering beneath the surface. I’d noticed that her husband’s presence was not reflected in their home – you’d think she was still single. And between them, there was a struggle for dominance. “I was in a rut,” she admits. “The eclipse hit us hard, and I knew that change was in order. For the ritual, I placed my husband’s trophy in a prominent place in the bedroom, to give him a place of honor. We just had the hottest sex we’ve had in ages! Our marriage is in a much better place now, because I have shifted emotionally.”
Eighth House / Prosperity and Transformation: Even though the 8th house is usually associated with shared wealth, this ritual effectively boosted my friend’s personal income. In preparation for the New Moon in his 8th, he performed a thorough cleansing of the closet/storage space in his Wealth gua, donated several pieces of clothing to the Goodwill, cleaned the floor, and reorganized the space. He also dusted the nearby display shelves and art objects and washed the leaves of a resident plant. At the New Moon, he performed a short ritual affirming his financial, physical, and spiritual wealth. “My phone began ringing immediately,” he reported, “and within the next week I had seven new clients – a significant number, considering that 60 is my maximum client load per year!”
Ninth House / Knowledge and Wisdom: A writing buddy came up with this unique ritual. “A very old, baby-poop-colored fridge sits in my Knowledge corner,” she confided. “Several times, I’d told my landlord about its state of disrepair. No response. Every time I looked at the fridge I thought of him and felt resentment. So, I started blessing him instead.” At the New Moon, she scrubbed the inside and collaged the outside of the fridge with images she loved, and she added a sign: “Soul-Satisfying Nourishment for Body, Mind, and Spirit.” Shortly thereafter, the refrigerator died – and a brand new, self-defrosting model took its place. And my friend received a grant to help finish a book (9th house) that she was writing. “When you pour enough love into something,” she noted, “the love transforms it!”
Tenth House / Fame and Reputation: Here is another example of how ritual can bring things to the surface for healing. “Redecorating my Fame sector was a difficult process,” related an artist friend. Since fire is associated with Fame, she was fortunate to have a fireplace there – but wasn’t happy with the surrounding wall. So, she painted it with a red Venetian plaster, which proved harder to work with and took longer than anticipated. She decorated the mantel with her art, lit red candles, and invoked business and reputation goals at the New Moon. Soon, she received a commission for a painting and was asked to exhibit in two shows. But a road trip to visit galleries that month was rocky. “I didn’t realize the inner conflicts I have about fame! I have really become aware of the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on.”
Eleventh House / Helpful People: This gua encompasses help from the “other side” as well as this realm, hence the addition of angels and ancestors to the ritual. This participant set up an altar on her bathroom shelves, placing a white and silver angel, a photo of her grandparents, “star” candle holders and white candles, and a silver box in which she placed the written intentions she had invoked at the New Moon. A fundraiser she hosted that month for an ailing friend (11th house) was wildly successful, and she began to feel more centered and focused. “The exercise helped me to acknowledge the support I have from the other realms and to ask for guidance.”
Twelfth House / Spiritual and Mental Health: Earth is the element for this gua, and since this healer friend has no earth in her chart, this ritual was particularly helpful for her. She transformed her oak dining table at the center of the home into an altar – adding terra cotta pieces and plants (growing in earth). She initiated her ceremony with earthy-smelling Tibetan incense and Tibetan spinning, to invoke spiritual health. The result, she reported, was “a general uplifting of spirits and a more solid sense of contact with my spiritual core, and more ‘aha’ experiences.” She is now better able to trust her intuition and has renewed her passion for quantum biofeedback and energetic healing.
Each individual, each home, and each chart is unique – these are only twelve examples of what is possible when you combine astrology and Feng Shui. Intention and action, teamed up with the powerful energies of the New Moon and the art of placement, can transform your life. I encourage you to play with this system and keep me posted on the results: I’d love to include your experiences in upcoming writings.
Attributes and Enhancements
The following chart is based on the creative and destructive cycle of the five elements. Just as the planets rule certain houses in astrology and are harmonious or disharmonious with other houses and signs, so it is with the elements and guas. In general, it’s good to emphasize the elements and related colors that strengthen each gua, and minimize those that weaken it. (Some guas are more strongly associated with colors than elements, so they have no restrictions on which elements to use). As an example, water nourishes wood but puts out fire. Therefore, water elements enhance the Career (water) and Family (wood) guas, but weaken the Fame (fire) gua. This is why fountains are good in the Career gua but not in Fame. And, earth muddies water but produces metal, so earth tones are less favorable in Career and better suited to Health or Creativity. If you find this confusing, just use your intuition–and see what works for you!
First House / Career and Life Path: Identity, image, physical self, presentation to the world Attributes: Water, black, dark colors, metal, round shapes Elements to minimize: Earth, yellow, fire, red, square, pointed shapes Enhancements: Wind chimes, fountain, two evergreen plants, two heavy stone objects
Second House / Prosperity: Finances, self-esteem, priorities, values, well-being Attributes: Blue, purple, red, gold, green Enhancements: Fish tank, jade plant, gold coins, treasure box, picture of Lakshmi
Third House / Knowledge and Wisdom: Mind, communications, neighbors, travel, education Attributes: Blue, black, green. Enhancements: Books, travel posters, office or desk, treasure map, bells, lamps
Fourth House / Family: Family, home, ancestral patterns, foundations. Attributes: Wood, blue, green, rectangles, columns. Elements to minimize: Metal, white, round shapes. Enhancements: Family pictures, green candles and plants, prized heirlooms.
Fifth House / Creativity: Creative efforts, children, romance, joy, speculation/gambling Attributes: Metal, earth, white, pastel, round, square shapes Elements to minimize: Fire, red, pointed shapes Enhancements: Crystals, original artwork, pictures of children or baby animals
Sixth House / Physical Health: Health, habits, service, employment Attributes: Earth, yellow, red, fire, square, pointed shapes Elements to minimize: Wood, green, columns Enhancements: Yellow flowers, Kuan Yin statue, salt lamp, bowl of lemons
Seventh House / Love and Marriage: Relationships, love, marriage, business partners Attributes: Red, pink, white, lilac, peach Enhancements: Two crystal rabbits or ducks, new bed, pink candles, matching end tables/lamps
Eighth House / Prosperity: Shared finances, commitment, transformation, endings Attributes: Blue, green, purple, red, gold Enhancements: Fish tank, jade plant, gold coins, treasure box, picture of Lakshmi
Ninth House / Knowledge and Wisdom: Education, wisdom, travel, speaking, publishing Attributes: Blue, green, black Enhancements: Books, travel posters, office or desk, treasure map, bells, lamps
Tenth House / Fame: Calling in life, reputation, status, business Attributes: Fire, red, wood, green, triangular, pointed shapes Elements to minimize: Water, black Enhancements: Star-shaped mirror, framed certificates, barbeque, fireplace, red candles, bamboo plants
Eleventh House / Helpful People: Community, friends, hopes and wishes, angelic realm Attributes: White, gray, black, silver Enhancements: Silver box, pictures of angels or spiritual guides, dining table, mirrors
Twelfth House / Spiritual Health: Spiritual and mental health, psychic experiences Attributes: Earth, yellow, red, fire, square, pointed shapes Elements to minimize: Wood, green, columns Enhancements: Yellow flowers, Kuan Yin statue, salt lamp, bowl of lemons.
First printed in the Aug/Sept. 2009 issue of The Mountain Astrologer