How To Use the Chinese Symbols for Family in Feng Shui
The Chinese practice of feng shui is traditionally a methodology for protecting those parts of life that are most important, and few things are as important as family. In a world that can be unpredictable and harsh at times, it’s vital to have a safe and loving family in which to seek refuge, acceptance, and serenity. Families are a source of protection for the individuals in it, so it is only natural to seek protection for the family itself. Fortunately, if you are looking for a Chinese symbol for family to integrate into your feng shui practice, you have a lot of options. Feng shui is a beautiful way to integrate artistic, philosophical, and spiritual concepts into your home and life. Before diving into specifics for familial symbols, it’s important to give due attention to the basic concepts of feng shui and lay some important groundwork.
There are many traditions of feng shui, and the different variations can be fairly complicated. However, regardless of the variation, the overall goal of feng shui is to harmonize oneself with one’s environment. To do this, it is important to optimize the flow of Qi. Qi (pronounced “chee,” as in “cheese” in English), is often described as “energy” or a “life-force” that binds the universe together. Qi can be negative or positive. Although qi is invisible, it is influenced by the tangible environment. To have a happy life, it is vital to ensure qi can flow in a positive manner. The use of symbols is an important concept for ensuring good energy, and therefore, a good life. That’s why qi is crucial for health and happiness of the family.
The Bagua Map
To know where you’re going, it’s important to have a map, and this is no different in feng shui. Luckily, there is a Bagua energy map to help focus your efforts. The map contains eight sides that surround health at the center. Those sides are knowledge, career, helpful people and travel, creativity and children, love, reputation and fame, prosperity and wealth, and family. The Bagua map has specific instructions to help with all these areas, including certain symbols that can aid in strengthening familial relationships.
The Importance of Family
While it’s easy to understand the importance of family in general, this is taken to a new level in feng shui. To make many of the other areas of the Bagua map work, it’s necessary to have harmonious family relationships. For example, many people would like to increase their wealth and prosperity, but these efforts are usually futile if there are not strong family relationships in place. For this reason, it would be beneficial to focus efforts on the family and its related sectors before moving onto other, more remote areas of the map. In feng shui, the center of the home is an important energy source, and the family is an essential foundation for that energy.
Feng shui is intimately tied to geography and the physical location of objects in space. How do family symbols fit into this? Well, the east area of the home is commonly accepted as the area for family and health. Therefore, efforts will be concentrated in this physical space to most effectively bring harmony to the household. However, before even thinking about focusing on this area, it’s important to de-clutter the entire residential property. It is highly recommended to focus on clearing out extra stuff that could be stopping the energy flow. This often immediately makes a huge difference and allows for a blank slate to start purposefully adding in meaningful symbols to create health and harmony within the family.
Once the home is clean and free of sources that could hinder energy flow, it’s time to add Chinese symbols that traditionally represent family. Many of the symbols involving family in this tradition are associated with growth. An easy way to remember this is to think of a family tree. Along the same lines, symbols that represent transformation, healing, and strength are likely to be helpful for the family. Here is a look at some of the common symbols associated with family improvement.
The art of feng shui typically involves five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The element most closely associated with the family is wood, which is a symbol of growth and expansion. It is also considered a catalyst for intuition and flexibility. All these characteristics are beneficial for familial relationships. One obvious representation of the wood element is wooden objects. Ensuring there is plenty of actual wood in the eastern area of the home is a good way to get positive energy flowing to the area. This includes items such as furniture and paneling. In fact, anywhere wood is in the home, even a deck, roof, or siding, is helpful. Remember to ensure that areas where the family gathers, such as the living and dining rooms, have plenty of wood represented.
There are other ways to represent growth besides integrating literal wood in the home. Any items associated with growth represent the wood element and are helpful for family. This includes verticality. Therefore, tall objects and even vertical patterns, pictures, and items such as vertical blinds work well. Tall beams, pillars, and poles serve this purpose as well. Vertical art and even stripes will all help represent growth, which is beneficial to family relationships. All the symbols mentioned throughout this article will be even more effective if they are vertical. For instance, tall-growing plants or artwork that is vertical will make these items more poignant for family health.
A powerful symbol of growth and strength is nature. The family is symbolized by artwork depicting nature such as trees, landscapes, and flowers placed in the home. Nothing represents growth, or familial strength, more than actual growth. Therefore, integrating live, growing plants and flowers in the home is an extremely effective means for incorporating this symbol. The more the plants thrive, the better. Plant-based materials such as hemp are also helpful. Even floral printed objects and fabrics are effective symbols.
The best colors for familial improvement and maintenance are green and blue. Green is especially powerful as it is commonly associated with the wood element discussed earlier. Green represents growth, transformation, abundance, and vitality. It typically inspires feelings of tranquility and promotes peace in the home. It is a calming color that brings balance and relaxation. Water is a complementary element to wood because it is essential for growth in nature. Water is represented by blue, therefore, blue is another effective color for the family. It symbolizes concepts that are associated with a happy household such as prosperity. Blue also promotes clarity and renewal, which are vital concepts in strong families. These colors can be incorporated by painting walls or by placing green and blue objects.
Another way to symbolize family throughout the home is with objects. Pictures of family, friends, and other relationships that depict happiness are useful, particularly if held in wooden frames. Older items, such as antiques, stand for family history and ancestry, which bring good energy to the area. Any objects representing nature will be helpful as they symbolize growth and renewal. Family heirlooms and items such as crests will also help the chi you desire to flow freely to targeted areas. All the rules above apply, so objects that are blue, green, and vertical are particularly powerful, especially when placed in the eastern area and places the family frequently gathers.
Just as some symbols are particularly helpful for life forces associated with family bonds, others are destructive. The fire element is antithetical to wood, and thus should be avoided in the family areas of the home. This means not only the eastern sector, but also areas where the family frequently gathers. Therefore, it’s best not to use colors associated with fire such as red and orange in these locations. If there is a fireplace in a family area, it’s a good idea to place water elements above and around it. Examples include the color blue and art depicting water such as seascapes, and mirrors can be helpful to balance out the fire element. It’s important not to place family pictures on or near a fireplace, regardless of whether it resides in a family area of the home. It is undesirable to have the fire element in close proximity to family portraits as it has the opposite chi effect of harmony and can promote hostility instead.
Tying It All Together
Family is the cornerstone of health and happiness in feng shui. A harmonious family is the foundation upon which all the other aspects of one’s life are built. If you are looking for a Chinese familial symbol to bring into your home, start with wood. It provides the scaffolding on which to build up other symbols. From there, you can integrate the right verticality, colors, and objects to ensure a peaceful family life sure to flourish with growth and transformation.