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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 all Creation.’
Tao Te Ching; chapter 1.

Animal Symbols

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 wealth.
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 Yang influence.

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 growth.

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 are needed.


Bird - Birds are noted for their innocence. Pairs of birds will encourage Love, especially in the Relationship corner.

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 and wealth.

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 quite common.

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 ferocity.

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 wealth.
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 so treated.
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 Mentor’s area.

Water - Water is an integral part of Feng Shui. In fact the name Feng Shui means in Chinese ‘Wind & Water.’
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 rainbow colours.

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 (black, navy).
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 themselves.

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 and halls.

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 and entrances.

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 room.

Ylang Ylang - aphrodisiac, calming, peaceful, relaxing. Use in the bedroom, living room, playroom.


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Feng Shui Mainpage Feng Shui 2 - Five Elements
Feng Shui 3 - The Ba Gua Feng Shui 4 - Symbols & Cures
Feng Shui 5 - Tips & Remedies

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