I know I am stalling because I still have some finishing touches to do but mostly I just need to take pictures and sign off on the rooms as I finish them. Hopefully this holiday weekend will give me the time to finish (now that we have our new bed) and get the pictures taken. Most rooms just need a little touch here and there so soon I’ll have a ton of posts following up on my Feng Shui home project.
One of the things about Feng Shui is that it is full of symbolism. There are items I place in certain locations in my house without even remembering why. I’m glad I’m revisiting their meanings because the truth behind Feng Shui is that the power is in the believing. My cousin once said that if you believe it is right then it is right. There’s no perfect map to Feng Shui because it’s all about you and your house.
I’m only going to offer the symbols I use, there are hundreds out there. I’m using the book Feng Shui Symbols by Christine M Bradler and Joachin Alfred P Scheiner to help me give accurate information. I have over 10 symbols, if it looks like this post is going to turn into a book then I’ll break it up into more than one.
I talked about Chi in my last Feng Shui post, please refer there if you get confused and don’t hesitate to ask questions just in case I miss something.
The first symbol and most important one to understand is the Ba Gua.
The Ba Gua has eight sides and a center signifying the “corners” of Feng Shui. It’s powerful symbolism. You can purchase Ba Gua’s in Asian markets. Often they come with a mirror in the center. Some practitioners feel that those Ba Gua’s control Chi better than any other object. The mirrors come in three styles (flat, concave, convex). The flat mirror just reflects allowing the person to correct harmful areas. We use it to assist with missing corners. I have not seen the other two styles but they distort and diminish negative aspects such as an oppressive view out the window or architectural features such as sloped ceilings.
Angels – I feel some of these symbols are self-explanatory but I will give a brief use of how they are with Feng Shui. Angels are seen as protectors and guides. An angel at your entry-way would protect your home from negative influences from outside. We, currently, have angels in our Helpful Friends corner to offer some additional support.
Chimes/Crystals – The flow of Chi can be manipulated with objects. The easiest to use are chimes and crystals (mirrors too but I’m not big on mirrors). Chimes confuse chi causing it to slow down and spread out. This is especially important if your front door and back door face each other (Chi would “literally” come in one door and out the other). Other places it helps is if you have a door across from a window. Chi is like water, it wants to continue (flow in and out). Chimes encourage Chi to linger in spaces. Crystals reflect the chi and diminish negative areas. Corners are thought of as negative – they create “arrows” which “cut” your chi. Crystals stop the arrows and help the chi flow better. Corners that you need to worry about are wall corners that point into a room and furniture that has “sharp” corners that point into the space. I prefer crystals to mirrors because they can be small and hidden.
Coins – Coins signify prosperity. There are a variety of coin decorations that are available in Asian markets. You don’t need them but they are fun. You can use any coin, even play money. Dollars as well. When I put up the pics from our prosperity corner, you’ll see several places where we used play money.
Mandarin Ducks – Mandarin Ducks mate for life which led to a symbol of lasting love and marriage. As I said if you believe it is right then it is right so any duck could work but I love the look of Mandarin Ducks. They should be in pairs (especially in the Romance/Love/Marriage corner) because that symbolizes that unity. I have a Mandarin Duck origami project I’ll share in the near future.
Flutes – If you start looking at Asian restaurants you will begin to see these symbols and flutes are one I often see. They are placed over the door to protect against negative energy or to invite Chi in. They can be used to “hide” ceiling beams or staircases. Placement of the flute is important and I recommend that you look into a Feng Shui book. I will show you how we used flutes and red ribbon above our door to invite in only good energy.
Frogs are a popular symbol. You can find money frogs in a variety of styles at many Asian markets. Outside of that particular image, frogs are protectors. We keep a frog in our car as a car guardian. So far we have always been safe.
Kuan Yin is almost the Asian equivalent of the Mother Mary. She is the female balance when it comes to spiritual needs. Her image offers support and wisdom. We often pair her with a Buddha to give that balance. Her images are often serene and beautiful.
There are so many different variations of Buddha images, each with their own meaning. Then you have Indian vs Chinese vs Japanese Buddhas that have their own symbolism. I can’t get into it here but for us it’s always about feeling. When we find one we love, we buy it. My husband loves the fat Buddhas (did you know there were fat and skinny Buddhas) because he’s a large man himself. The fat Buddhas often look more happy while the skinny ones look more contemplative.
Turtles are guardians. We keep turtles on each of our window ledges and a very sad one on our porch with our gargoyles. You will notice certain themes with Feng Shui Symbols (or maybe just the ones I pick) – there’s a lot for protection and prosperity because it’s just human nature. We want to have a good life and that can’t happen if we don’t feel safe. Prosperity means more than just having wealth – it’s about providing that additional security.
Fu Dogs or Fu Lions are often found outside a home. We have several sets that decorate the inside of our home. They are guardians but balanced in a way that no other symbols are. There is a male and a female Fu Dog. The female watches over her cub and the male watches over the world. They are powerful symbols and amazingly beautiful.
This last symbol is Pi Yao or Tian Lu depending on where you look. Pi Yao is another guardian but his horn encourages prosperity. The idea is that money catches on his horn and keeps it in the house. It’s a lovely concept. I, once, heard that all the banks in Hong Kong have a Pi Yao statue in the front of their banks and they have become a prosperous nation (they are heavy into Feng Shui). I don’t know if that’s true but I love the idea that if everyone Feng Shui’d their homes and businesses then we could all be prosperous.
This is long and I am sorry but it just didn’t seem to be too long (then again I won’t know until I see the whole thing). Most of the pictures have links to articles that explain the symbols in more detail. Enjoy.