That which can be named is not the true Tao.
If a thing may be named, it is changeable.
When the Tao had no name, that was the starting point
of Heaven and Earth.
Then, when it had a name, this was the ‘Mother of
Tao Te Ching; chapter 1.
Fish - Fish represent and are associated
with Wealth. A porcelain figurine of a fisherman with a fishing
pole is a popular item to place in the Wealth area. Goldfish,
or Koy, as they are called in Japan, are considered specific to
A goldfish tank, with an odd number of fish, including one black
one to absorb negative Qi is also popularly located in the Wealth
area of a home or garden. Nine fish, including the black one is
considered most auspicious. Eight is considered the luckiest of
numbers in China, and 9 is considered a magical number with strong
Frogs - Ornamental frogs, usually
of gold or silver, are considered to be lucky and assist growth.
A frog placed at the main entrance of a home will encourage good
luck. A small ornamental frog placed in a potted plant will encourage
Unicorn - While the Unicorn is
more of a western creature than an oriental one, it is still considered
a creature of good omen in Feng Shui. It encourages good magic,
as well as joy, playfulness, longevity (as they are immortal)
and wisdom (the kind of wisdom that comes with long life).
Horse - Horses represent speed
and perseverance. Two Thousand and Two is the year of the Horse
so horse symbology will have augmented power in this year.
Bear - Bears protect home and hearth.
Representations of Bears are best placed inside the main entrance.
The gallbladders of Bears are considered to have strong Yang properties
giving one courage, strength and sexual potency which is why they
are much prized as a delicacy.
Elephant - Elephants are noted
for their wisdom, strength and memory. Place where these qualities
Bird - Birds are noted for their
innocence. Pairs of birds will encourage Love, especially in the
Bat - Bats bring good luck, happiness
and long life.
Butterfly - Butterflies bring love
and joy. They are also a symbol of transformation. If you are
experiencing dramatic change in any area of your life an image
of a butterfly in that corner encourages that change to be proceed
with ease, joy, and grace.
Crane - Cranes are very popular
in Chinese art and represent Love and Fidelity. Paired cranes
on a wall hanging in the Relationship corner supports a good marriage.
As a gift to a beloved it represents honourable intentions.
Deer - The Deer symbolizes longevity
Dove - The Dove represents long
life. It is also the universal symbol of peace. Caged doves were
a favourite at the Emperor’s court because their cooing
had a pleasant and calming effect.
Dog - Dogs protect the home and
their master, and represent loyalty. In Chinese culture household
pets are frowned upon, except for the Emperor. Neither dogs nor
cats have ever been particularly popular in China, but that does
not mean they are completely unknown. Chinese 'Foo' dogs protected
the emperor and the entrances to tombs. Generally, the Chinese
prefer birds, fish and other small animals that can be caged.
Duck - Ducks represent happiness,
Eagle - The Eagle is more of a
Western symbol but accepted by Feng Shui as a symbol of daring
and farsightedness. A representation of an Eagle may go well in
the Future area.
Monkey - Monkeys are clever and
protect one from Evil.
Phoenix - The Phoenix represents
beauty, love, peace and prosperity. It can also represent Transformation.
The Phoenix is one of 4 ‘celestial’ animals representing
the four cardinal compass points. Its direction is South. The
other three ‘celestial’ animals are the Dragon, the
Tiger, and the Tortoise. Each of these animals holds a special
place in Chinese myth and culture and their use in Feng Shui is
Dragon - The Dragon, or Leung,
in Chinese, represents nobility, creativity,and strength. It is
the Yang within Yang symbol, the strongest of the I Ching hexagrams,
the symbol of the Emperor, and often seen as a symbol of Chinaitself.
Unlike their Western cousins, Chinese Dragons have a pretty good
reputation. In Feng Shui the Dragon is a ‘celestial’
animal and its direction is East.
Tiger - The Tiger is a very important
symbol in the Chinese view of the world. It is often portrayed
in opposition to the Dragon. As a ‘celestial’ animal
the Tiger’s direction is West and is an important counterpoint
to the strength of the Dragon. The Tiger represents courage and
Snake - The Snake is another animal
that has a better reputation in the East than the West. The Snake
represents rebirth, renewal and healing. Snake venom and parts
of certain snakes are used in Chinese medical practice. Serpentine
or wavy symbols will have the effect of encouraging qualitative
changes in whatever area they are placed. Snake medicine is quite
powerful so it is important to be moderate in its use.
Tortoise - The Tortoise represents
longevity, and because of its longevity is often a symbol of wisdom.
Both longevity and the wisdom that comes from experience are held
in high esteem in Chinese culture. The Tortoise is a celestial’
animal and its direction is North. In I Ching divination it is
important to sit in the North part of the room facing south when
casting. As well it is considered advantageous if one’s
dwelling is on the north side of the street facing south.
Crow - The Crow is another bird
that is not so popular in China, but accepted by Feng Shui as
a symbol of good luck and magic. If you see a crow that means
look for the magic in your life. If you see two or more crows
(3 is the best) expect some magic in your life.
The Chinese Zodiac, is made up of the following
twelve animals. Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster,
Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, & Rabbit.
With its emphasis on Nature it is understandable
that animals, both real and legendary would be seen as important
in the Chinese outlook. In North America, even in Urban areas,
animals are constantly crossing our paths, whether actually, or
on TV in books, or elsewhere.
In North American, aboriginal spiritual practice
with its emphasis on humankind’s connection with Nature
is similar to the Chinese view. Everyone is said to have their
animal totems and spirit guides. These have a strong influence
on how we approach the world. My own powerful medicine is the
Skunk. I would recommend, therefore that if this interests you,
that you get a book, like Ted Andrew’s Animal Speak, or
some other such reference to give you an idea of the kinds of
messages the animals you encounter have for you.
This will provide more information, and in many
ways more appropriate information for the North American student.
Popular Feng Shui Objects
Bells/Chimes - Bells and chimes
especially in the form of a mobile, or more usually called a Wind
Chime, are one of the most popular Feng Shui ‘cures.’
Wind Chimes, with their gentle tinkling, scatter negative Qi,
break up stagnant Qi, encourage the free flow of Qi, and have
a calming effect wherever they are hung.
Wind Chimes can be made of metal or bamboo. They can be hung close
to entrances, over windows, in corners, stairways, or anywhere
that Qi needs encouragement.
Wind chimes tend to have a fairly powerful effect, so don’t
overdo it. They should be of a size and shape that fits the space.
A Chime that is too large or too many chimes will create chaos
like too many clocks. So be discreet and be specific about what
it is you want to encourage.
Wind Chimes should not be hung in trees or near cemeteries as
they tend to attract negative spirits.
Broom - A broom will sweep away
troubles. A pair of brooms in the Relationship corner will help
renew a relationship by sweeping away old animosities. A broom
in the Ancestor area will help sweep away the cobwebs or age and
keep those relationships vital.
Old Man - In oriental culture,
unlike North America, age is seen as a sign of wisdom. This the
kind of wisdom that can only come from experience. Grandparents
are usually actively involved in the raising of children. This
has a two fold effect. Not only do children benefit from the wisdom
of their Elders, but seniors tend to live longer, healthier, happier
lives, by their interaction with youth and vitality.
Crystals - Crystals and crystalline
structures tend to focus energy and bring good luck. Crystal fragments
embedded in walls or wallpaper will help to intensify and focus
the energies of the room or area of the room where they are located.
Different kinds of crystals have various effects which you may
wish to employ. For example, Amethyst is cleansing and promotes
inner vision. Emerald or Jade promotes healing. Jade promotes
It is best to obtain a book or some other such reference to see
exactly how different crystals operate.
Bamboo - Bamboo is one of the more
popular materials used in Feng Shui and indeed, many Chinese practices.
It is a light, strong, resilient material that is plentiful in
the area. It also produces distinctive sounds when struck.
Bamboo flute - hung with
a red ribbon with the mouthpiece pointing downwards bring peace,
contentment and tranquility.
Bamboo brings luck, peace and tranquility and is often used in
sleeping chambers to promote sleep.
Mirrors - The use of mirrors is
another very popular way to effect Feng Shui ‘cures.’
Depending on their placement, mirrors can absorb or deflect Qi,
so their placement is a matter of some delicacy.
Mirrors can literally make a corner disappear.
A small mirror may be placed on the bathroom door, for example,
to deflect Qi away from this area. This is a good idea if you
bathroom is in the Wealth or Health area and you don’t want
to be flushing away all your money and health. Keep the door closed
and the seat down.
A mirror in a long dark hall will help move the Qi along and keep
it from stagnating. Small mirrors are also useful on long straight
stairways and at stairway junctions.
A very large mirror in the living room or dining room will have
the effect of making people feel uncomfortable encouraging them
to leave rather than linger. Check out the next fast food restaurant
you eat in and see how many mirrors there are.
Mirrors in general will have the effect of brightening up a corner
with reflected light.
Mirrors can make things appear to be double their size creating
a sense of space. Watch it though, an overly large mirror can
also cause a sense of disequilibrium to anyone entering a room
Avoid hanging mirrors so that people’s heads are cut off.
Immediately replace any broken or chipped mirrors.
Statues - Stone or Marble statues
of lions or dragons at the gate or entrance to a home will give
that home a sense of stability and solidity and protect that home
against evil spirits. Plane round balls will achieve the same
effect. These should be of sufficient size to be noticed but not
so large they will frighten visitors.
It is better to display less aggressive animals inside the house.
Statues or framed pictures of Saints, teachers or other spiritual
leaders can uplift any area of the house, but are best in the
Water - Water is an integral part
of Feng Shui. In fact the name Feng Shui means in Chinese ‘Wind
Feng Shui practice considers water to be very lucky and a symbol
of wealth and prosperity. Table top fountains, symbolize not only
the meandering flow of Qi, which is desirable, but the gurgling
sound creates a sense of peace and tranquility.
A simple table top pond, often with an old man fishing, can also
be used. Make sure you change the water regularly to avoid stagnation.
Sights, Sounds, and Other Remedies
Light - It is always best for a
home or business to be well lit. Ideally, this means direct or
diffused sunlight, as this is the most natural. Skylights are
good Feng Shui.
Fluorescent lighting is not good Feng Shui as this type of lighting
is missing the warm end of the spectrum. If you work or live under
fluorescent lights, try adding some warmth with a wall lamp or
a table lamp with a full spectrum bulb.
Recent studies have suggested that fluorescent lighting may indeed
by hazardous to your physical and mental health.
Use spotlights and accent lights to highlight specific areas.
Crystal prisms hung in windows will disperse white light into
Colour - Generally speaking, any
room should contain all the 5 elements. When selecting colour
schemes, use the Promoting Cycle. That is Wood (green) promotes
Fire (red, pink, peach), promotes Earth (brown, earth tones),
promotes Metal (white, gray, silver, reflective), promotes Water
For example, a green carpet, with peach coloured walls, and a
beige ceiling, earth tone couch & chairs, etc. can be accented
with gold lamps, and navy pillows.
In this way all the elements are represented.
Some colours have special qualities. Pure Red, for example is
considered to be an activating colour and able to cause great
excitement or upset if overused.
Red accents are often used to activate an area. Red is also reserved
for special occasions such as Chinese New Years when it is OK
to get very excited.
Interestingly, recent studies in prison have shown that colour
can indeed affect the emotions. Cell walls painted bubble gum
pink had a profound calming effect on violent offenders. Fast
food restaurants discovered some time ago that the colour Orange
makes you hungry. Ever notice how many fast food joints are Orange?
Green is considered to be a colour that promotes growth and healing.
If there is someone in your family in need of healing the colour
green will help.
Smells - The sense of smell is
the most acute and most attuned to the emotions of all the physical
senses. In modern industrial society, unfortunately, this is a
fact that is often forgotten. It is said the nose is on the job
24/7 and very often we are not even aware of the effect certain
smells have on us.
Popular scents in Feng Shui include Jasmine, Sandalwood, Ylang
Ylang, Frankincense, and Myrrh among others. These scents are
used to promote peace, tranquility and healing and all have aphrodisiac
qualities, especially in blends.
With the popularity of modern Aromatherapy, there are many natural
scents that one can use to enhance a home or business. Or you
can do like the ancients and use incense or the natural plants
Pets - Domestic pets generally
add life and positive energy to any domicile. The Emperor is said
to have had thousands of caged birds in his residence to add life
with their singing.
The Chinese did not actually keep dogs or cats as pets. In fact
today it is actually still illegal to keeps cats or dogs as pets.
They prefer birds and fish.
Jade - Jade is considered to be
a sacred substance in Chinese lore. Any object made of jade will
have magical power to attract good luck and good fortune.
Coin - Coins represent money and
are best placed in the Wealth area to attract money. Valuable
or rare coins are well placed here.
Flowers - Fresh potted flowers
bring life and growth to any corner. It is best to use potted,
living plants rather than cut flowers.
Neither cut flowers nor dried flowers are recommended as they
are dying or dead and will tend to suck the life out of any space.
Plastic, metal, porcelain, or flowers made from fabric are OK,
as are pictures of flowers to represent beauty, growth and to
attract positive Qi. Still, fresh, living, plants are the best.
Scents - The following are some
of the more common essential oil scents and their qualities.
Lavender - relaxation, calm, serene,
peaceful, tranquility, comfort, soothing, restful, protection,
cleansing and healing. Lavender repels insects, heals burns, scrapes
and insect bites. It cleanses bad smells. Use when there is illness
in the home. Use in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room
Jasmine - sensual, harmony, exotic,
optimism, well-being, soothing, balancing, euphoric, comforting,
inspirational, confidence, good luck in love, wealth building,
aphrodisiac, alleviates depression and tension and raises self-esteem.
Use in the bedroom, the living room, study.
Chamomile - soothing, sedative,
relaxing, balancing, dissolves negativity, calming, stress release.
Use in the bedroom before sleep.
Eucalyptus - stimulating, clearing,
refreshing, cooling, purifying, disinfecting, energizing, uplifting.
Use in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, attic, closets, laundry
room and children’s room. Use anywhere when there is illness
in the house or at work. Eucalyptus and Camphor are the two most
used treatments for symptoms of the common cold and flu to open
nasal passages and clear phlegm.
Lemon - cleanliness, freshness,
stimulating, purifying, refreshing, energetic, motivating, positive,
uplifting, clearing. Use in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic,
closets. Try squeezing the peel of fresh lemons.
Orange - warming, uplifting, refreshing,
energizing, cleansing, rejuvenating, joyful, purification, healing,
abundance, happiness. Try squeezing the peel of fresh oranges.
Use in kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room, attic, closets
Patchouli - aphrodisiac, relaxing,
balancing, uplifting, stimulates, purifies,prosperity. Use in
bedroom, study, living room.
Rosemary - refreshing, stimulating,
purifies, attracts energies, mentally revitalizes and rejuvenates.
Use in the study, den, library, computer room, playroom, living
Ylang Ylang - aphrodisiac, calming,
peaceful, relaxing. Use in the bedroom, living room, playroom.
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