Feng Shui Symbols
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If you’ve done some research on feng shui, you may notice that certain images, like the yin and yang symbol and the bagua, tend to show up again and again. Working with meaningful symbols is one way that feng shui practitioners can shift the qi, or life force energy, in a space.
You can work with feng shui symbols in your home by bringing in artwork or other decor with symbolic imagery. Feng shui isn’t only for your home, though — if a certain symbol resonates with you, you can also wear it in the form of jewelry or a talisman.
The Four Celestial Animals or the Four Emblems
The four celestial animals, also called the four emblems, is a concept that goes back to the Form School of feng shui. One of the original purposes of feng shui was to locate homes and cities in places where they would be protected, and applying the four emblems to the location of a home is one way to create protection around it. It’s often used when looking at landforms, but you can also apply it to your interior space.
You’ll often see this symbol represented as four animals arranged in a diamond shape. The four animals are made up of the black tortoise to the back or north, the white tiger to the right or east, the red phoenix in front or in the south direction, and the green dragon in the left or west. Each of these individual animals has many meanings, and together they form a symbol of protection and safety that is used in almost all schools of feng shui.
Twelve Zodiac Animals
You may be familiar with the twelve Chinese zodiac animals, and you might even know a little bit about the animal connected to your birth year. You can look at each animal individually, or the collection of all twelve animals together. Together, the twelve zodiac animals represent a harmony between all of the different energies and personalities that exist in our human world.
To work with the twelve zodiac animals, you can bring in a representation of all of the animals to symbolize harmony among all of these different energies. You can also find out the zodiac animal for your birth year, and start to notice how that animal’s qualities show up in yourself.
The Yin and Yang Symbol
The yin and yang symbol, also called the tai qi symbol, is a circle made up of two curved teardrop shapes. One teardrop is white with a small dot of black, and the other is black with a small dot of white. This symbol comes from Taoism, an ancient philosophy that forms one of the foundational wisdoms of feng shui. The yin and yang symbol is a representation of two types of energy, yin and yang, that make up our world. While they are many ways opposites — yin is dark, passive, and inward-focused, while yang is bright, active, and outward-focused — nothing is entirely yin or entirely yang. This symbol is a reminder that all of life’s dualities (right and wrong, sun and moon, masculine and feminine) are always in a fluid dance, and one can’t exist without the other. In the context of feng shui, our homes and outer environments are connected to yang energy, while our inner environments are more yin. Even though they are opposites, they are interdependent and interconnected. We affect our surroundings, and vice versa.
Want to learn about more feng shui symbols? Be sure to check out our podcast episode, Popular Feng Shui Symbols.