A harmonious environment induces a flow of positive energy which in turn motivates the occupants of a home or office to be more productive and industrious. Helen Oon explains how this can create health, wealth and a successful lifestyleChinese society is one which instils obedience and respect for elders, and has always advocated harmonious relationships in a family unit. This is placed above wealth in importance – for what is prosperity without harmony?
The very essence of feng shui is about harnessing the cosmic force of the universe to synchronise with humankind and produce a synergy of harmonious relationships in a home or office. In feng shui terms this translates to living in harmony with your environment to attract wealth, romance, health and prosperity.
Hence there are many Chinese symbols for happiness and romance which form the basis of creating prosperity. The most important symbols of romance and harmonious relationships are images of the dragon and phoenix, the peony and lotus flowers, the ‘double happiness’ sign, a pair of mandarin or yin-yang ducks or geese in flight. The symbol of happiness is often paired with symbols of longevity to wish the couple or family, joy and long life.
The Dragon and Phoenix
The feng huang or vermilion phoenix is a beautiful mystical bird which is a hybrid between a peacock and pheasant with the crown of a mandarin duck and a plumage of red feathers with a splash of the rainbow. Paired with the dragon, it is the ultimate symbol of marital bliss and is an indispensable image at Chinese weddings.
It is often used on wedding invitations, bed sheets and pillow cases and is a ubiquitous emblem at wedding banquets. These two auspicious celestial creatures are paired together to represent the union of the yang energy of the dragon, the groom, and the female yin energy of the phoenix, the bride.
Like the dragon and phoenix, the ‘double happiness’ sign is another popular symbol used at weddings. This is an artificial Chinese character which is made up of two words shuang hsi that form the calligraphy for ‘double happiness’ (see also pages 57-59).
This symbol often appears between the dragon and phoenix motif on wedding invitation cards and represents joy and longevity. Also widely used as a motif on many other items and on the ubiquitous red packets used for giving a person money in Chinese custom. The calligraphy is often written in gold on red background – the two most auspicious colours in Chinese culture.
The Chinese often portray a pair of birds as a symbol for romance. The most well-known symbol is a pair of yuan yang or mandarin ducks, chosen for the beauty of the male of the species. The yuan yang is said to mate for life, and one often pines away if the other dies. They are often portrayed under a lotus in classical Chinese paintings to symbolise marital happiness.
Display a pair of these ducks with a red string tied around their bodies to strengthen the bond of a relationship and place them in the South-west sector of your home or bedroom.
These ducks can be fashioned out of wood with hand-painted designs or in rose quartz which is an excellent stone for love and romance. A pair of geese in flight is another symbol of marital harmony. In some regions of China, it is customary for the family of a bridegroom to send a gift of a gander to the bride’s family who will reciprocate with a gift of a goose. The goose is also a symbol of fertility.
The Chinese prefer to express love and romance in paintings. Peony imagery is often painted on scrolls and sometimes portrayed with a pair of birds perched on the stems, to be displayed in a home to draw in romance for the single members of the family. In Feng Shui good fortune symbols, such as peonies are often referred to as China’s Queen of Flowers. Red peonies are symbols of youthful love and romance, particularly for the young daughters of the household.
Symbols of romance and relationship should be displayed in the South-west corner of the living room. For a married couple, it will strengthen their marital love, and for single people, it will attract love or strengthen an existing romantic relationship.
Steeped in traditional values, the Chinese rank filial piety and love for one’s parents, above romantic love. However, the double happiness sign is also very beneficial for strengthening the harmony within a family unit and can be displayed in the sitting room or family room.