Feng shui symbols can cause a lot of confusion. Oftentimes this confusion is a result of trying to use culturally specific symbols that don't make sense rather than choosing symbols that have a deeper resonance and understanding for the individual.
For example, the three-legged frog is considered to be a symbol of good fortune in both Chinese and Japanese culture, however, in early Christian references the frog was seen as an unclean animal and sometimes a symbol of the Devil. As you can see, some symbols do not have a universal meaning. If you resonate with Chinese culture, then by all means use the feng shui symbol of the frog to attract abundance. However, if you grew up in a different culture, it makes more sense to choose symbols of abundance that you are familiar with and that make sense to you.
Working on a symbolic level is very effective for two reasons. One, symbols resonate with certain energy. When you place symbols in your home you bring that specific energy into your home. For instance, the circle is seen in many cultures as a symbol of unity, enlightenment, and perfection. When you bring images of a circle into your home, you are bringing in the specific energy of the circle.
The second and probably the most important reason symbols are effective is that symbols have a connection with your subconscious mind. Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, writes that symbols have meaning because we give them meaning. Every symbol that has personal significance has power because we believe in its meaning without a doubt.
The most important thing to keep in mind when using symbols is that you do not have to apply traditional feng shui symbols for it to work. Rather, you should choose symbols that resonate with you and that make sense. That is good feng shui.
Choose your symbols wisely. Select symbols that have personal significance for you and reflect who you want to be.
Abundance and Prosperity.
For the most part, effective symbols for the abundance and prosperity area of the feng shui bagua include moving objects to call in chi; water (either images of water or water features) since water is the most powerful symbol of money in feng shui; fast growing and tall vertical objects that represent growth and versatility; and anything representing luxury and prosperity like valuable objects, money, or big bunches of flowers. Here are some common feng shui symbols for abundance:
Great colors for the abundance and prosperity area of the bagua map include purple, green, red and gold. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are vertical columns and pillars since tall vertical objects represent growth. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Fame and Reputation.
The fame and reputation area of the bagua map is an indicator of how you 'shine your light out into the world.' This area also corresponds to illumination from within, integrity and honesty. Therefore, any symbols of illumination are fitting like lighting, sunshine and/or the sun and the fire element. Symbols of accomplishments are appropriate, as are images and items made from animals. Here are some common feng shui symbols for fame, reputation and illumination:
Great colors for the fame and reputation area of the bagua map include red, orange, and neon. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are stars, sunbursts, triangles, pyramids and diamonds. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Relationships and Love.
When selecting feng shui symbols for the relationships and love area of the feng shui bagua, you want to choose symbols that reflect ideas of companionship, receptivity, longevity, love and tenderness. The earth element encourages openness and will facilitate receptivity. Images of couples and pairs of objects symbolize companionship and union, while sensual romantic colors promote love and tenderness. Well-built and valuable objects denote long-lasting relationships that are "built to last." Here are some common feng shui symbols for love and relationships:
Great colors for the relationships and love area of the bagua map include red, white, and pink. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are horizontal shapes and lines, rectangles and squares since these represent the earth element. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Because this area of the feng shui bagua is related to creativity, children, and joy, symbols that are fun, whimsical and playful are appropriate here. The metal element is also a wonderful addition in this area. Here are some common feng shui symbols for creativity and children:
Great colors for the creativity and children area of the bagua map include white and pastels. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are arcs, circles, and ovals. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Helpful People and Travel.
The helpful people and travel area of the feng shui bagua relates to how much support and guidance you have. Therefore any symbols of support and guidance like "helping hands," tools that make things easier, and images of guides and mentors are appropriate. Because this is also the area that relates to travel, any images of travel destinations and maps are wonderful symbols to place here. Here are some common feng shui symbols for helpful people and travel:
Great colors for the helpful people and travel area of the bagua map include white, grey and silver. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are arcs and circles. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Career and Journey.
The career and journey area of the bagua map represents more than your career, it also influences your purpose in life. Water (and things relating to water) makes an excellent feng shui symbol in this area since water promotes clarity and insight. Image of your career or career path you want to be on are excellent symbols for this area. Here are some common feng shui symbols for career and journey"
Great colors for the career and journey area of the bagua map include black, charcoal, navy blue, deep maroon, chocolate and dark tones. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are free-form, cascading, flowing, asymmetrical, undulating and randomly shaped objects. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Skills and Knowledge.
When selecting symbols for the skills and knowledge area of the feng shui bagua, you want to choose symbols that represent wisdom, strength and resourcefulness. The earth element signifies strength and stability and will give you a strong foundation. Images and symbols of wise people, mentors, and spiritual teachers cultivate self-mastery, wisdom, and peace of mind. Mountains are an excellent feng shui symbol for this area since they represent inner stillness and the ability to stand firm. Here are some common symbols for skills and knowledge:
Great colors for the skills and knowledge area of the bagua map include blue, black, green and brown. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are rectangles and squares. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Family and Elders.
The feng shui family and elders area of the bagua map influences your health, your relationship with your family, and your foundations for life. Therefore, any symbols of growth, healing, strength and transformation are appropriate. Wood nurtures personal growth, intuition, flexibility and expansion. Water also supports your growth and helps you to let go of anything that isn't working. Here are some common feng shui symbols for family and elders:
Great colors for the family and elders area of the bagua map include green and blue. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are tall vertical shapes, columns and pillars. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
The health and center area of the feng shui bagua represents the place where all areas of your life converge. Symbols of the earth will ground and stabilize your life allowing you to build upon a solid foundation. Here are some common feng shui symbols for the health and center:
Great colors for the health and center area of the bagua map include yellow, gold, and earthtone colors. (Read more about feng shui colors here.) The best shapes are squares, rectangles, horizontal or flat items and crosses. (Read more about the meaning of shapes.)
Bamboo is a symbol of health, longevity and growth because it is fast-growing, durable, thrives in all soils, and is flexible. It is also a symbol of good fortune. In China its upright yet flexible habit symbolizes the path toward enlightenment.
Coins are a symbol of wealth and prosperity, as well as good fortune.
In China the crane is a symbol of longevity, long life and immortality since it was believed that the crane could live 1,000 years.
In China the dragon is revered as bringing good fortune and protection. Dragons are also seen as auspicious, benevolent, and wise. They are symbols of great power, spiritual and temporal, and are associated with wisdom, strength, and the creative forces of nature.
The fu dog is a symbol of protection.
The goldfish is most often a feng shui symbol for abundance, wealth and prosperity. In China, the goldfish is a symbol of good luck, particularly because of its longevity. It is also a symbol of courage and endurance because it swims against the current.
The laughing Buddha is a feng Shui symbol of wealth and prosperity.
In China, the lotus is widely revered as an ancient symbol of creation and fertility. It also symbolizes purity because it emerges unsullied from the murky waters. Because the radiant petals of the lotus open at dawn and close again as the sun sets it is seen as a symbol of the sun and light. A crystal lotus can be used as a powerful enhancer for luck and romance.
A pair of mandarin ducks is a strong feng shui symbol for love and relationships. Duck couples, which usually swim together, are a symbol of conjugal happiness and lasting love.
Peony flowers are a feng shui symbol for love and relationships. It is associated with beauty, femininity, fertility and marital bliss.
The sailing ship is linked to abundance and prosperity. Full sales bring wealth and opportunity.
The three-legged toad is a feng shui symbol for wealth and prosperity. It signifies the unattainable.
In China, the tiger is a symbol of protection.
The turtle is a prevailing symbol of longevity. The Chinese believed that the markings on its shell were patterns of the structure of the cosmos. The turtle was also considered to be the mediator between heaven and earth, or a symbol of the entire universe. Since turtles live to a great age, they are also a symbol of immortality. In China, it is also the embodiment of winter, the north, and water.
"We are symbols, and inhabit symbols." - Ralph Waldo Emerson