Zhen – The Gua of Health and Family

In Feng Shui, we use many systems, and a primary one is the Bagua.  This is a set of 8 Trigrams, and the central symbol of the Tai Chi, or Yin and Yang.  In some forms, we lay this 9 square grid over a home or building, to evaluate the place, and define where to enhance certain aspects of life, or business. Find out more about the Health and Family gua from Matthew Chapman.

This month, we are discussing one of these Guas, or symbols.  This is the Trigram Zhen.  Loosely translated into the term Thunder, this has several other meanings, including ‘The Penetrating.’  Made of 1 unbroken Yang line, and 2 broken Yin lines, this Trigram shows a solid surface, where the penetrating lightning reaches down through the clouds.

This Trigram has many attributes in Feng Shui.  This is a partial list:

Family gua, Matthew Chapman
Source: Pinterest/LRH Creative on Etsy

Name: Thunder
Direction: East
Time: Early Morning
Season: Spring
Element: Wood
Polarity: Yang
Family Member: Eldest Son
Number: 3
Organs: Liver
Emotion: Anger
Colors: Green, Gold, and Purple

We associate this symbol with the eldest son, so it is about the perpetuation of the family.  In Chinese tradition, the eldest son was to carry on the family name, inherit the home, lands and businesses of the family, and create the next line of ascension.  From this, we get the Bagua meaning, or one of the 8 Life Affirmations of Health and Family.

Wood energy is about new growth, and going up and out.  And here this means creating a dynasty, or family history.  The Chinese believed that the past 7 generations have the power to influence the current one, and so, in many Chinese homes, the East is the place for an ancestor’s alter.  Often thought of children, the East is where the living comes from, but in fact, they come from the past.  We send the newly past into the West, and they then arrive again in the East with the new sun, holding for us a place to remember where we come from, and how we are to survive and grow.

Health is often honored in the East direction as well.  This relates to the growth of the family, and new children mean the family will continue.  It is now thought of as indicating individual health, and of course, if we are physically healthy, we can easily procreate and deliver the next generation!

We enhance Health and Family in this area with live plants, and pictures of the family, including our ancestors.  This is an excellent area for the breakfast nook, as we get the morning sun, and we are starting our day by feeding the family.  If this area is cluttered, in disrepair, or missing from the house altogether, it can indicate a problem with the health of our family.  In Classical Feng Shui, this would be the actual direction East, and in Western forms, it would be the middle of the left part of the house from the entrance.  Either way, enhancing this area is important if you want to have more children, or want to build up the health of your family.

In a business, this is a great place for the break room.  It is where employees come together, and do things that are related to health such as relaxing and having breakfast or lunch.  We would enhance this also with live plants, and pictures of the employees having fun, such as at company picnics, as well as the founders of the company.

Matthew Chapman is a California based Feng Shui professional and teacher.


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