“We need to fully commit to and love the space we inhabit. The Center should feel open, grounded, and remind us to be focused. It symbolizes the place from which all things come." ~ Erica Sofrina
The eight areas around your home’s bagua represent specific areas of your life. These areas relate to trigrams of the I Ching, each with a particular meaning or focus. But not the Center. While no trigram is designated for this area, every other energy area touches it, making it the base of all things. If this area of your home is in disarray, cluttered, or out of balance, it can affect all the other areas. This important zone must be given the attention it deserves at the center of your life.
Think about the center of a merry-go-round, the eye of a storm, or the sun surrounded by planets. They remain calm and steady, while energy whirls around them. Likewise, all areas of your life orbit around a solid base. In your home, as in your life, the Center is where you are grounded. It is the foundation of your home’s bagua, to which everything else is tethered. It is where you should feel safe, calm, and surrounded by comforting, nourishing energy. A family gathering place, such as your living room, family room, dining room, or kitchen, are ideally located here.
After a space clearing, I gathered a family together in their home’s Center — their dining room — and talked to them about how this was the core, the heart, the nucleus of their home. It was where they gathered to nourish their bodies and talk about their day. It was where they came together in love and kindness toward each other. It touched all the other areas of the home, from Fame all the way around to Wealth. We sounded a chime, spent a moment contemplating this core place in the family’s home life, hung a crystal prism from the hanging light fixture, and then the children excitedly sat down to create their “Wish Boxes,” writing about and drawing pictures of their hopes and dreams. The spirit and positivity of children always moves energy.
A word here about kids and clutter: While some areas your home may be constantly filled with a variety of things — children’s art materials, homework, snacks, pencils, sheet music, books, puzzles, and even socks — this is not usually stuck energy. All kinds of items are out and about as children whirl through the place. As long as it is in use, it is not clutter that needs to be immediately removed. After the homework, the art project, the snack or meal, the long discussion of how bears could possibly be warm enough during winter hibernation or why we have to brush our teeth every day, THEN you can think about tidying up. But as long as the children were working and playing HAPPILY there, the energy does not need to be unblocked. In fact, it has been my observation that the presence of happy children can keep energy flowing more easily than just about anything else.
The Earth element is strongest in your home’s Center, so powerful enhancements include yellows and earth tone colors, such as browns, oranges and tans — colors of the earth. Live plants in soil or silk plants and pottery made of stucco, tile, clay, brick, terra cotta and ceramics can add to the earthy feel. Square and rectangular shapes in furniture, pillows or artwork, or checkered patterns in fabrics or floors also work well here. Artwork can depict landscapes or desert scenes, or incorporate square or rectangular shapes. Furniture should be large, long and low, if possible.
Home architecture styles vary, and your Center area may pose some tricky problems if, for example, your home is built around a courtyard or pool, or has a large hallway with a staircase in the Center. But whatever rooms fall in your Center area, you can enhance and balance the energy here to improve this bedrock of your life. There are always remedies and enhancements for every architectural issue.
A Center Hall Colonial style home will present problems including a front door facing a staircase going up in a hallway leading straight to a back door. This causes the energy entering the front door to zoom up the stairs or out the back of the house. To entice the energy to slow down and circulate throughout the house, you can place a table between the front door and the staircase (if there’s room), and represent all of the Five Elements there. If there is enough space, you can use small furniture to break up the straight shot from front to back door. A long, narrow table with a lamp on it can also serve as convenient location for keys and phones, or a bench can be handy place to remove boots or shoes. You can place a large plant at the base of the stairs and hang a crystal or a light fixture featuring many crystals at the top of the stairs. You can hang pictures on the staircase wall featuring landscapes or desert scenes, or happy family photos, making sure to hang them in a horizontal line rather than as steps going up, mimicking the stairs. Remember to balance the Five Elements in colors and shapes, emphasizing the Earth element, and downplaying the Wood element. Often, in this style of home, the space under the stairs is used as a closet or a half bath (or Harry Potter’s bedroom). Be careful to declutter this area and keep it clean, organized, and in good repair. If there is a staircase to the basement under the staircase going upstairs, make sure it is very well lit, and that the stairs, handrail and light fixtures are safe and in good working order.
If the Center of your home happens to fall where a pool, patio, or courtyard are enclosed by the building, you can bring in earthy colors in furniture and fabrics, plants and pots. You can use tiles, ceramics, brick and stucco planters and decor. The Fire element also strengthens Earth, so some reds and triangular shapes can help here, too. A barbecue grill or fire pit could also bring in the Fire element. Go easy on Metal and Wood elements here, as they are not friendly to the Earth element.
Luckily, it is pretty unlikely that your garage will fall in the Center of your home (how would the cars get in and out?). Make sure whatever room is here, even if it’s storage, is kept decluttered, organized, and in repair. Earth element colors and shapes can be used in any room, and bathrooms can be balanced similarly to pools. In any case, remember that the Center of your home is its core, its foundation, and its heart. All the other areas encircle it, like the petals of a flower. It’s worth giving this area special attention.
Find the Center area of your home. How is it used? Does it reflect you and how you want to live?
Look for representation of all Five Elements. When they are balanced, make sure to add some Earth colors shapes, and items.
If the Center of your home is a hallway and/or staircase, break up the energy using plants, crystals, mirrors, furniture, light fixtures, rugs, cushions or pillows, lamps, or wall art.
If there is a patio, courtyard, or pool in the Center of your home, use plants, trees, pottery, outdoor furniture, trellises, a gazebo, sun sails, barbecues or fire pits to balance the Five Elements and add Earth and Fire elements, as needed.
Think of the Center area of your home as the hub of energy around which everything else revolves. Keep this vision in mind as you pass through it, or do whatever it is you do in this area. It is the sun of your home’s solar system.