Get Bagua essential facts below. View Videos or join the Bagua discussion. Add Bagua to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Bagua diagram from Zhao Huiqian's () Liushu benyi (?, 1370s).
Chinese name
Literal meaningEight symbols
Vietnamese name
VietnameseBát quái
Korean name
Japanese name

The Bagua, Pakua or Palgwae are eight symbols used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts. Each consists of three lines, each line either "broken" or "unbroken", respectively representing yin or yang, 0 or 1 forming binary numbers 000-111 (0 to 7). Due to their tripartite structure, they are often referred to as Eight Trigrams in English.

The trigrams are related to Taiji or Taegeuk philosophy, Taijiquan and the Wuxing, or "five elements".[1] The relationships between the trigrams are represented in two arrangements, the Primordial (?), "Earlier Heaven"[2] or "Fu Xi" bagua (?), and the Manifested (?), "Later Heaven,"[2] or "King Wen" bagua. The trigrams have correspondences in astronomy, astrology, geography, geomancy, anatomy, the family, and elsewhere.[3][4]

The ancient Chinese classic, I Ching (Pinyin: Yi Jing), consists of the 64 pairwise permutations of trigrams, referred to as "hexagrams", along with commentary on each one.


B?guà--The eight trigrams (Top bar is least significant binary digit)
Trigram lines ? Qián
? Duì
? Zhèn
? Xùn
? K?n
? Gèn
? K?n
Nature Heaven/Firmament
? Ti?n
Heart of Fire
? Hu?
? Léi
? F?ng
? Shu?
? Sh?n
Element and planet Metallic / Neptune Metallic / Venus Fiery / Mars Wooden / Jupiter Wooden / Pluto Watery / Mercury Earthy / Uranus Earthy / Saturn
Ba Xian Han Xiang Zi Zhongli Quan Lü Dongbin Cao Guojiu He Xiangu Li Tieguai Zhang Guolao Lan Caihe
Personality Philosophy Holy Merrymaker Sovereignty Emperor (General) Tao Yin (Wise) Pilgrim Warrior Hero Feeling
Artifact Flute Hand fan Sword Castanet Lotus Calabash Drum Basket flower
Eight meridians[5] Du Mai Yin Wei Mai Chong Mai Yang Wei Mai Yin Qiao Mai Dai Mai Yang Qiao Mai Ren Mai
Chinese Dragon Tianlong Panlong, Feilong Zhulong Shenlong Qinglong Jiaolong, Dilong Fuzanglong Chilong
Starting acupuncture point Hou Xi Nei Guan Gong Sun Wai Guan Zhao Hai Zu Lin Qi Shen Men Lie Que
Acupuncture Channel Xiao Chang Xin Bao Pi San Jiao Shen Dan Pang Guang Fei
Chinese Zodiac

Greek God Equivalent







Cat (pig)










Zang-fu Hand Tai Yin Jue Yin Yang Ming Shao Yin Shao Yang Tai Yang Foot
Baduanjin ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Chakra Sahasrara Ajna Anahata Vishuddha Svadhishthana Manipura Muladhara Bindu
Axis Points Qianding Yindang/Qiangjian Danzhong/Shendao Tiantu/Yamen Shenque/Mingmen Zhongwan/Jinsuo Shimen/Yaoyangquan Huiyin
Mid-body acupuncture point , , , , ,
Action Think, Sound (to) See Love Say Feel Do / Have (Power) Be Exist
Bushido Integrity Respect Courage Honor Compassion Honesty Loyalty Self Control
Greek Titan Equivalent Uranus (Father Sky) Hemera (Day) Ether (Fire) Chaos (Storm, Chaotic) Nyx (Tree) Pontus (Sea) Ourea (Mountain) Gaia (Mother Earth)
Human body Spirit Nervous System Circulatory System Immune System Reproductive System Skeletal System Excretory System Muscle System
Virtue and Sin Faith - Heresy Abnegation - Envy Chastity - Lust Humble - Vanity Dedication - Lazy Temperance - Greedy Patience - Wrath Charity - Materialist
24 Hours 12 9 6 3 15 18 21 0
360 degrees 180 135 90 45 225 270 315 0
Cardinal Direction (Antarctic Opposite) South (North) South-East (North-East) East North-East (South-East) South-West (North-West) West North-West (South-West) North (South)
Energy Solar Wind Thermal Electric Organic Hydric Fossil Gravitational
Nature Event Star Blows (Magnectic Fields) Meteor Comet Hurricane Forest Fires Lightning Storm Disease Plague Tsunami Flood Volcanic Eruption Earth Quake
Trigram Lines Image Full, All (Force) Bucket (Washer, Purifying) Sphere (Cyclic) Cup (Drinker, Taster) Bridge (Helper) Target (Dangerous) Gate, Door (Guardian, Keeper, Key) Empty, Nothing (Darkness)
Arctic Season (Antarctic Opposite) Summer Solstice 21 June 7 May Spring Equinox 21 March 7 February (Azure Dragon) 7 August (Vermilion Bird) Fall Equinox 21 September 7 October Winter Soltice 21 December (White Tiger)
Feng Shui Number (King Wen/Fu Xi)

5 Center

6/9 7/4 9/3 3/2 4/8 1/7 2/6 8/1
Human Body Head Arm/Shoulder Breasts/Thorax Forearm/Hand Thigh/Glutes Abdomen Knee/Foot Womb
Bone Skull Humerus Rib Cage Radius/Ulna Femur Spinal Cord Tibia/Fibula Pelvis
Endocrine glands Pineal Pituitary Thymus Thyroid Ovary Pancreas Testis Adrenal

Relation to other principles

Derivation of the bagua

There are two possible sources of bagua. The first is from traditional Yin and Yang philosophy. This is explained by Fuxi in the following way:



Wújí sh?ng y?ují,
y?ují shì tàijí.
Tàijí sh?ng li?ngyí,
jí y?nyáng.
Li?ngyí sh?ng sìxiàng:
jí sh?oy?n, tàiy?n,
sh?oyáng, tàiyang
Sìxiàng y?n b?guà,
b? b? liùshísì guà

   The Limitless (; Wuji) produces the Delimited (; Youji),
   and this Delimited is equivalent to the Highest Limit (; Taiji), or the Absolute.
   The Taiji (i.e. the two opposing forces in embryonic, unmanifested form) produces two forms Liangyi (),
   namely yin-yang(), the manifested opposing forces.
   These two forms produce four phenomena:
   namely: lesser yin (, shaoyin), and greater yin (, taiyin, which also refers to the Moon);
   lesser yang (?, shaoyang), and greater yang (, taiyang, which also refers to the Sun).
   The four phenomena (; sìxiàng) act on the eight trigrams (; Bagua).
   Eight 'eights' results in sixty-four hexagrams.[]

Another possible source of bagua is the following, attributed to King Wen of Zhou Dynasty: "When the world began, there was heaven and earth. Heaven mated with the earth and gave birth to everything in the world. Heaven is Qian-gua, and the Earth is Kun-gua. The remaining six guas are their sons and daughters".

The trigrams are related to the five elements of Wu Xing, used by Feng Shui practitioners and in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Those five elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. The Water (Kan) and Fire (Li) trigrams correspond directly with the Water and Fire elements. The element of Earth corresponds with both the trigrams of Earth (Kun) and Mountain (Gen). The element of Wood corresponds with the trigrams of Wind (Xun) (as a gentle but inexorable force that can erode and penetrate stone) and Thunder (Zhen). The element of Metal corresponds with the trigrams of Heaven (Qian) and Lake (Dui).

There are eight possible combinations to render the various trigrams ( b?guà):

Trigram figure Possible binary value Name Translation: Wilhelm[6] Image in nature (pp.l-li) Direction (p. 269) Family relationship (p. 274) Body part (p. 274) Attribute (p. 273) Stage/ state (pp.l-li) Animal (p. 273)
1 ? 111 ?
the Creative, (natural) force heaven, sky
northwest father head strong, persisting creative ?
2 ? 110 ?
the Joyous, open (reflection) lake, marsh
west third daughter mouth pleasure tranquil (complete devotion) ?
sheep, goat
3 ? 101 ?
the Clinging, radiance fire, glow
south second daughter eye light-giving, humane "dependence" clinging, clarity, adaptable ?
4 ? 100 ?
the Arousing, shake thunder
east first son foot inciting movement initiative ?
5 ? 011 ?
the Gentle, ground wind
southeast first daughter thigh penetrating gentle entrance ?
6 ? 010 ?
the Abysmal, gorge water
north second son ear dangerous in-motion ?
7 ? 001 ?
Keeping Still, bound mountain
northeast third son hand resting, stand-still completion ?
wolf, dog
8 ? 000 ?
the Receptive, field earth
southwest mother (consort) belly devoted, yielding receptive ?

Hexagram lookup table

Fu Xi "Earlier Heaven"

Fuxi "Earlier Heaven" bagua arrangement







Summer Creative ? Father ? South ? Expansive energy, the sky. For further information, see ti?n.
Summer Gentle Eldest Daughter Southwest ? Gentle penetration, flexibility.
Autumn Abysmal Middle Son ? West ? Danger, rapid rivers, the abyss, the moon.
Autumn Still Youngest Son Northwest ? Stillness, immovability.
Winter Receptive ? Mother ? North ? Receptive energy, that which yields. For further information, see .
Winter Arousing Eldest Son Northeast ? Excitation, revolution, division.
Spring Clinging Middle Daughter ? East ? Rapid movement, radiance, the sun.
Spring Joyous Youngest Daughter Southeast ? Joy, satisfaction, stagnation.

This is also known as the "binary sequence" or Shao Yong sequence. A binary interpretation of each hexagram is made by interpreting yin as "0" and yang as "1", and reading the leading "digit" from the inside of the diagram, so the hexagram k?n is interpreted as 0, and gèn as 1. The hexagrams are in binary order when read up from the bottom around on the right, then up again on the left to the top.[clarification needed][]

King Wen "Later Heaven"

King Wen "Later Heaven" bagua arrangement







Summer Clinging Middle Daughter ? South ? Pulsing motion, radiance, the luminaries.
Summer Receptive ? Mother Southwest ? Receptive energy, that which yields.
Autumn Joyous Youngest Daughter ? West ? Joy, satisfaction, stagnation.
Autumn Creative ? Father Northwest ? Expansive energy, the sky.
Winter Abysmal Middle Son ? North ? Danger, rapid rivers, the abyss, the moon.
Winter Still Youngest Son Northeast ? Stillness, immovability.
Spring Arousing Eldest Son ? East ? Excitation, revolution, division.
Spring Gentle Eldest Daughter Southeast ? Gentle penetration, flexibility.

Yellow River Map



Solar Term







Body Fluid


? Winter Solstice (Fire) ? Kidneys ? North ? Red ? Salty ?(Emptiness/Aquarius) ? Plasma 011 ? Fear
? Start of Winter (Fire) ? Intestines North West Magenta ? Salty ?(Dipper/Sagittarius) ? Plasma 010 ? Fear
? Autumn Equinox (Water) ? Liver ? West ? Blue ? Bitter ?(Room/Scorpio) ? Liquid 110 ? Sullen
? Start of Autumn (Water) ? Gallbladder South West ? Black ? Bitter ?(Horn/Virgo) ? Liquid 111 ? Sullen
? Summer Solstice (Wood) ? Lungs ? South ? Cyan ? Spicy ?(Star/Leo) ? Air 100 ? Joy
? Start of Summer (Wood) ? Heart South East ? Green ? Spicy ?(Well/Gemini) ? Air 101 ? Joy
? Spring Equinox (Metal) ? Spleen ? East ? Yellow ? Sour ?(Hairy Head/Taurus) ? Essence 001 ? Anger
? Start of Spring (Metal) ? Stomach North East ? White ? Sour ?(Legs/Pisces) ? Essence 000 ? Anger

Cycles of elements in this chart: ? (Generative/Counter-clockwise), ? (Destructive/Clockwise)

, , ,
, , ,

Fire brings water, water feeds wood, wood brings metal, metal brings fire

Fire melts metal, metal chops wood, wood drains water, water quenches fire

Nine Halls Diagram



Solar Term







Four horses & Therapy
Winter Solstice ?(Water) ? Father ? North ? Black ? Deep 111 11 ,?00
Start of Winter ?(Water) Eldest Daughter North West ? Blue ? Deep 110 11, ?00
Autumn Equinox ?(Wood) Middle Son ? West ? Green ? Small 101 10, ?01
Start of Autumn ?(Wood) Youngest Daughter South West ? Cyan ? Small 100 10, ?01
Summer Solstice ?(Metal) ? Mother ? South ? White ? Float 000 00, ?11
Start of Summer ?(Metal) Eldest Son South East ? Yellow ? Float 001 00, ?11
Spring Equinox ?(Fire) Middle Daughter ? East Magenta ? Big 010 01, ?10
Start of Spring ?(Fire) Youngest Son North East ? Red ? Big 011 01, ?10

Cycles of elements in this chart: ?(Generative/Counter-clockwise),?(Destructive/Clockwise)


Water feeds wood, wood brings metal, metal brings fire, fire brings water

Water quenches fire, fire melts metal, metal chops wood, wood drains water

Bagua used in Feng Shui

The Bagua is an essential tool in the majority of Feng Shui schools. The Bagua used in Feng shui can appear in two different versions: the Earlier Heaven Bagua, used for burial sites, and the Later Heaven Bagua, used for the residences.

Orthodox Bagua

In the Chinese orthodoxy culture, five elements does not exist. In the ancient China, Chinese people created four elements theory as the earliest theory of Bagua. Historian expert from Hong Kong discovered the genuine versions of eight trigram should be follow the rule of clockwise Gold (Spring), Wood (Summer), Water (Autumn), Fire (Winter). Another Bagua must following Spring (Fire), Summer (Gold), Autumn (Wood), Winter (Water). Both Xiantian Bagua and Houtian Bagua were counterfeited versions promoted by Confucianisms.[7]

Xiantian Bagua

In Xiantian Bagua, also known as Fu Xi Bagua or Earlier Heaven Bagua, the Heaven is in the higher part and the Earth is in the lower part. The trigram Qian (Heaven) is at the top, the trigram Kun (Earth) is at the bottom (in the past, the South was located at the top in Chinese maps). The trigram Li (Fire) is located on the left and opposite to it is the trigram Kan (Water). Zhen (Thunder) and Xun (Wind) form another pair, while being one opposite the other, the first on the bottom left next to Li while the second is next to Qian on the top right of the Bagua. Gen (Mountain) and Dui (Lake) form the last pair, one opposite the other, both in balance and harmony. The adjustment of the trigrams is symmetrical by forming exact contrary pairs. They symbolize the opposite forces of Yin and Yang and represent an ideal state, when everything is in balance.

Houtian Bagua

The sequence of the trigrams in Houtian Bagua, also known as the Bagua of King Wen or Later Heaven Bagua, describes the patterns of the environmental changes. Kan is placed downwards and Li at the top, Zhen in the East and Dui in the West. Contrary to the Earlier Heaven Bagua, this one is a dynamic Bagua where energies and the aspects of each trigram flow towards the following. It is the sequence used by the Luo Pan compass which is used in Feng Shui to analyze the movement of the Qi that allegedly affects us.

Western Bagua

Feng shui was made very popular in the Occident thanks to the Bagua of the eight aspirations. Each trigram corresponds to an aspect of life which, in its turn, corresponds to one of the cardinal directions. Applying feng shui using the Bagua of the eight aspirations (or Bagua map for short) made it possible to simplify feng shui and to bring it within the reach of everyone. Western Bagua focuses more heavily on the power of intention than the traditional forms of feng shui.[8]

Masters of traditional feng shui disregard this approach,[9] for its simplicity, because it does not take into account the forms of the landscape or the temporal influence or the annual cycles. The Bagua of the eight aspirations is divided into two branches: the first, which uses the compass and cardinal directions, and the second, which uses the Bagua by using the main door. It is clear that, not taking into account the cardinal directions, the second is even more simplified.

Bagua map

A bagua map is a tool used in Western forms of feng shui to map a room or location and see how the different sections correspond to different aspects in one's life. These sections are believed to relate to every area or aspect of life and are divided into such categories as: fame, relationships/marriage, children/creativity, helpful people/travel, career, inner knowledge, family/ancestors/health, and wealth/blessings.

In this system, the map is intended to be used over the land, one's home, office or desk to find areas lacking good chi, and to show where there are negative or missing spaces that may need rectifying or enhancing in life or the environment.

For example, if the bagua grid is placed over the entire house plan and it shows the toilet, bathroom, laundry, or kitchen in the wealth/blessings area it would be considered that the money coming into that particular environment would disappear very fast, as if to be 'going down the drain.'

A Tibetan "Mystic Tablet" containing the Eight Trigrams on top of a large tortoise (presumably, alluding to the animal that presented them to Fu Xi), along with the 12 signs of Chinese zodiac, and a smaller tortoise carrying the Lo Shu Square on its shell

In Unicode

The bagua symbols are in the Miscellaneous Symbols block of Unicode:

Miscellaneous Symbols Unicode block
Official Name Glyph Unicode # HTML
Trigram for Heaven ? U+2630 ☰
Trigram for Lake ? U+2631 ☱
Trigram for Fire ? U+2632 ☲
Trigram for Thunder ? U+2633 ☳
Trigram for Wind ? U+2634 ☴
Trigram for Water ? U+2635 ☵
Trigram for Mountain ? U+2636 ☶
Trigram for Earth ? U+2637 ☷

In culture

In Peking Opera, a role that has Taoist technique or military strategy wears a costume decorated with Taiji and Bagua.

Baguazhang and Taijiquan are two Chinese martial arts based on principles derived from bagua.

Other adoptions

See also


  1. ^ CHEN, Xin (tr. Alex Golstein). The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan, INBI Matrix Pty Ltd, 2007. page 11. (accessed on, December 14, 2009.)
  2. ^ a b Wilhelm, Richard (1950). The I Ching or Book of Changes. translated by Cary F. Baynes, forward by C. G. Jung, preface to 3rd ed. by Hellmut Wilhelm (1967). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 266, 269. ISBN 069109750X.
  3. ^ TSUEI, Wei. Roots of Chinese culture and medicine Archived 2012-08-12 at the Wayback Machine Chinese Culture Books Co., 1989.
  4. ^ ZONG, Xiao-Fan and Liscum, Gary. Chinese Medical Palmistry: Your Health in Your Hand, Blue Poppy Press, 1999.
  5. ^ "Extraordinary Master-Coupled Theory and Applications".
  6. ^ Wilhelm, R. & Baynes, C., (1967): "The I Ching or Book of Changes", With foreword by Carl Jung, Introduction, Bollingen Series XIX, Princeton University Press, (1st ed. 1950)
  7. ^ Chun Ming Chan,?,Amazon,[1]
  8. ^ Cisek, Jan. Feng Shui London blog, 2007.
  9. ^ Moran, Elizabeth and Master Yu, Joseph. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui, 3rd Edition, Penguin, 2005.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes