Symbols of Success

Los Angeles Whole Life Times Magazine – Feng Shui Clinic: Nov. 2002

Stroll around your home as if you are a visitor and ask yourself what are the messages that you are broadcasting about yourself to others? Reflect on your symbols. Every artifact or picture we choose to have in our homes is an expression of our subconscious. Even blank walls in front of us as we enter or leave a room has meaning. Then consider what you need to do to create the most positive, uplifting and success generating messages possible.

The evaluation of an image or object is sometimes elusive. Some items may have a seemingly practical purpose or purely decorative value. It’s always interesting to hear someone apologize for a piece of furniture or decorative item that they really don’t like but can’t get rid of because it was given as a present and the giver of the present would be offended. Or that such and such an item was left over from a previous relationship, or that even though they hate the piece, it cost so much, or would be costly to replace.

Let me state loud and clear everything has a “voice” – everything in our environment speaks to us. If any of your possessions remind you of a relationship that went bad, get rid of it. If a piece of furniture is oversized or even dangerous like a glass coffee table, rather than continue to suffer cuts and nicks on your shin, get rid of it. Even if a mirror is an antique, if the image is distorted, either redo the surface or get rid of it. I assure you, your life will flow more harmoniously being surrounded only by items and images that you love, items that lift your spirits and are inspiring.

Below are descriptions of several classical Chinese images which have become associated with feng shui. But all cultures and personal aesthetics can provide powerful images and motivators. So use this list to spark your imagination to choose and place items that will bring success to you.

Fish, Cranes, Mandarin Ducks, Red Birds, & Bats

Fish (especially gold fish and koi), as creatures of the sea, have come to represent prosperity. It is for this reason the first thing you see when you enter many Chinese restaurants is an aquarium. However if you choose to have an aquarium in your home, do not put it in your bedroom or your child’s bedroom as the electric pump will keep you from falling into a deep rejuvenating sleep. If you do have an aquarium or fish bowl full of fish and one dies, consider yourself lucky. It is said that the fish that died had absorbed some misfortune that was headed your way.

Some other popular symbols used as decoration in the Orient are cranes for longevity, mandarin ducks which mate for life and represent a long and harmonious relationship, and red birds for popularity. Bats symbolize good luck. Five bats are most auspicious as they represents: good fortune, good relationship, good health, successful descendants and an easy death.

Fu Dogs

Dragon faced Fu Dogs are seen inside many Chinese homes as protectors. They come in pairs, one male (foot on ball) and one female (child under foot) and they are usually anatomically correct. If you have large Fu Dogs,put them outside the house as guardians on either side of the pathway leading to the front door.

Three-Legged Toads – “Money Frogs”

Three-Legged Toads also called “Money Frogs” have become very popular feng shui cures. Based on a myth telling of a three-legged toad that came from the moon which the Emperor tried to lure out of a well with a strand of coins, the three-legged toad has become immortalized as representing great prosperity.

There are many suggestions on what to do with the toad once you have invited one into your home. You may have to try them all to see which one is most powerful. One variation is to place it on a table facing the front door during the day to greet money coming in and then facing it away from the front door at night so money won’t leave while you are asleep. However, the simplest placement is underneath a piece of furniture near the front door but facing away from it to symbolize money coming in.


As dragons are said to be born of the water, dragons have also come to represent the positive flow of ch’i (which includes money) in and around a home or office environment.

Dragons are best displayed either solo or in pairs. Three dragons in the same room will clash just like three kids. Also avoid hanging a dragon directly in front of you as you sit at your desk or else in time you will have to fight that dragon. It is better to hang the dragon behind you so you are supported by the dragon’s powerful energy. And never hang a dragon picture in the bedroom as they will keep you awake all night. Oriental water dragons need to fly free and unfettered in order to bring good fortune.

It is really good fortune if a dragon that can see water. If a dragon can’t see water through an open window then place the dragon in the kitchen where it can see the faucet or water cooler. And never hang a dragon in the bathroom as this will bring dirty money.

Leaded-Glass Crystal Prism Spheres

Many traditional Feng Shui practitioners are perplexed by the use of crystal prisms as traditionally trained practitioners interpret everything into their elemental equivalent. Should a lead-glass crystal prism be classified as water? As glass is water-like. Or perhaps metal? As the crystal contains lead.

Practitioners of the Black Sect School of Feng Shui use crystal prisms for their ability to refract light and therefore to diffuse excessive ch’i. This diffusing capability makes crystal prisms excellent for hanging in large windows with lots of sunlight with the added benefit of a room full of rainbows.

A twinkling crystal prisms can bring life when hung in a stagnant area, slow down fast moving ch’i in a long hallway, or it can be hung where there are three or more doorways to sort out the ch’i that is flowing in from different directions. To give the crystal greater strength it is suggested that crystal prisms be hung from a nine inch red ribbon .

Another use is to hang a crystal in one of the eight areas of the Ba-gua to energize the corresponding Aspiration. Therefore, if you hang a crystal prism in the far left corner of any room, you can energize the Wealth Corner of that room, or in the far right corner to energize your love relationships.

Wind Chimes

Hollow tube wind chimes can be used to conduct ch’i upward. Some practitioners will suggest hanging a wind chime inside the house between the front door and a back window or door if there are no walls to separate the two. This allows the incoming ch’i (money) at the front door to be diverted from rushing through the house and out the back window or door.

As wind chimes sound harmoniously, they have come to symbolize harmony. Consequently, hanging a wind chime at the front door symbolizes harmony coming into the home.and will attract good opportunity. Of course if the wind chime is too large or noisy then it will chase opportunity away. So choose your wind chime prudently. Wind chimes hanging at the back door can also have a positive effect in bringing good ch’i into a home.

Bamboo Flutes

There are many uses for bamboo flutes. Like wind chimes, flutes are hollow, in this case they conduct ch’i flow from the mouth piece to the other open end. They also represent strength as bamboo is very strong and grows section by section. With this in mind bamboo flutes with at least two section dividers are best of all. Reed flutes commonly sold in import markets are wimpy in comparison though adequate in a small space or if real bamboo is not available. Hanging flutes from a red ribbon tied at each end or using red ribbon to bundle two flutes together is a common technique to make the flutes stronger.

Bamboo flutes can be used in many ways. Two flutes hanging on an overhead beams reverses the down pushing force and lifts the beam upward which is especially important if the beam is over a bed, desk or frequently used place. A bamboo flute hanging diagonally on a wall beneath a sloped ceiling will counterbalance the downward ch’i flow. Hanging one or two flutes on the wall behind you as you sit at a desk can strengthens you for career success.

Water Fountains

Water fountains come in all shapes and sizes. Large triple tier fountains in front of large homes to bubbling desk top fountains placed on foyer tables or on an office desk. The bubbling water of a fountain acts as a negative ion generator which freshens the air, stimulates the nervous system in a positive way and provides the added benefit of looking an sounding beautiful.

Some rules do apply and they are not generalized enough to list here. As water flows and supports life, water has become synonymous with money flowing and supporting life. So if you have or are planning on getting a water feature of any size, do so and then pay attention. Within two weeks or less you should be able to answer the question: Since installing the water feature was there a sudden boost of money coming in, or was there a sudden set back or unexpected large money expenditure with money going out? The answer should be very clear and should determine whether to keep the water feature or get rid of it quickly. Remember, always position a water feature to flow toward the house and not out the door.

Reflect On Your Symbols

In olden times only the rich considered spending money on decorative items and artisans decorated with familiar images such as dragons, cranes and scenes of nature. Now the wide variety of decorative styles and artistic images available to consumers reflects the more diverse tastes and lifestyles. So stop and reflect on the psychological significance of the things you accept into your life and consider the effect it may have on your success in all areas of life.