Career is a very important part of many people’s lives. A career frequently evolves over time and can bring excitement, challenge, disappointment, knowledge – myriad opportunities for personal growth – to one’s life. It is a path that takes many twists and turns throughout a period of many years. Thus, it is appropriate that this part of the Bagua symbolizes both career and our life’s journey.

The career gua is in the front middle of the home and frequently contains the “mouth of chi” or front door as it is more commonly called. It is also a part of the Bagua that may be partially omitted due to the design of homes with recessed entries. To “cure” this situation place tiny mirrors facing each other across the vacant portion of this (or any empty) gua to square off the front of your house. If you are concerned that your friends may wonder what these mysterious looking mirrors are about, you may choose to place them inconspicuously…quite high up or down, or behind potted plants or bushes. More power to you if you don’t care what visitors think.

The I Ching trigram for this gua is K’an, meaning deep water. Water is the element symbolizing this gua and is represented by the color black. Dark blue, dark brown or dark maroon may also be used. The positive aspects to black are that it is calming and has great depth; the negative aspects of the color can be a lack of hope and depression. Just a touch of black will work and might be a table base or pot for flowers; an entire wall or room is not necessary. Teenagers are a segment of our population that sometimes desire a black bedroom and it is not recommended to surround oneself totally with black.

Water, a very powerful and flexible energy, is also symbolized by undulating, amorphous and irregular shapes. If your front door is located in the Career Gua, this is an excellent area in which to place a fountain either inside or outside of your home. Placed outside in front of your home, a water feature represents the Red Phoenix (river) that brought irrigation for the crops and was essential to existence in ancient China. Always have the water flow directed toward your home because water also represents abundance.

This gua is the perfect area in which to hang a piece of artwork depicting water and be sure that the water is flowing toward you. It could be painted or a photograph – a stream or a waterfall. The Career Gua is an auspicious location for a fish tank. (How many Chinese restaurants have you seen without one near its entry?) Fish literally activate the water. You might choose to have symbols or artwork of fish. One of my clients observed that her husband, an avid fisherman, had many small clients and a picture of many small fish by the front door to his office. She replaced that picture with one of large fish and yes, he immediately began attracting larger clients.

Inauspicious water placement in this gua would be a bathroom opening from your home’s entrance. There was a time when almost every home was constructed with a powder room opening to the foyer. This creates an immediate drain on your energy, or chi, so that the chi is less able to circulate throughout the rest of your home. Keep this door closed. The traditional cure for such an ill-placed bathroom is a mirror on the exterior of the door reflecting the adjacent space.

By your front door in the career gua is a perfect place to hang metal wind chimes as an energy generator to boost the career and life opportunities coming your way. Be sure that your door opens all the way and does not have any clutter blocking it that would impede your career and life progress. Doors that open less than 90 degrees symbolize being less than totally open to opportunity and wealth. If your doorbell doesn’t work, fix it. A broken doorbell represents lost opportunities. If this very important door doesn’t open easily, that signifies blocked energy and career problems. If it doesn’t close properly you may find it difficult to complete your jobs and to get paid. If the door or the knob is loose and wobbly, fix it immediately and improve the stability of your life.

What else might be located in the Career/Life Gua in your home? In the north there are always coat closets in the entry. When one of my clients cleared out her front closet that was full of infrequently used items, her husband was suddenly inundated with new clients much to their mutual delight. Place personal symbols that are important to you in your life and/or career in this gua of your home. For example, do you want to travel in your business? Find something in your home that represents travel to you and place it in your career gua. I saw a collection of Russian dolls provoke too much travel for one client in California. Do you travel too much in your work? Maybe there is a birdcage symbolizing flight in your career gua. Move it to cut down the travel.

Water is also represented by glass and by mirrors and use of these are additional ways to bring the water chi into your home. Placing a mirror in the foyer of a home is a very common design technique. The standard caution about a mirror in the foyer is not to have one facing the door because it will reflect chi back out the door. If it is only four or five feet away, then opposite the door is not the best placement. Eight feet from the door may be just fine because there will be plenty of circulation space. The distance will vary with the volume of the space. In feng shui teachings mirrors continue to be a subject of controversy so, in your foyer, do what feels best to you and, if in doubt, check with a professional. Your entry may accommodate a mirror on one wall to reflect your career or life symbol on the opposite wall, thereby doubling its energy.

The Career Gua is a very good choice for the room in which to locate your home office. You will be supported by the energies of water…flexibility and depth…that will help in your business. You might put a wind chime at the entrance to this office to symbolize a flow of clients. Place your desk so that you face the door and avoid being in a vulnerable position. It is best not to be directly opposite the door and to have a solid wall behind you. If you must face the wall, use a mirror to reflect the door behind you. Plants will bring in live energy that is always beneficial. A jade plant would be a good symbolic choice…its nickname is the Chinese money plant because of its round fat succulent leaves.

If you are experiencing anxiety about your career, making any kind of change, seeking a promotion or transfer or looking for meaningful volunteer work, check the various career guas in your home, beginning with your bedroom “Deep Water” – we need to explore our own depths to emerge buoyant, to find new energy, renewed passion and new goals for our life’s work.