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Feng Shui Symbols and Their Meanings

By sunny breeze

A good deal of today's feng shui is based on symbolism. Because of that, we are witnesses of overemphasized and excessive use of feng shui symbols in home decor, and to a lesser degree in commercial spaces. However, the original Feng Shui wasn't based on using symbols and figures, at least not in this prevalent way.

In Feng shui, there are two types of symbols. The first type can be used to attract some sort of happiness in our life. We are going to present some of them in this post and explain them in detail. The second type is used to cure some sort of negative energy or disharmony.

The Three Legged Money Frog

One of the most popular symbols and most frequently requested and used in home decor is the Three Legged Money Frog.

three legged feng shui money frog

The symbolic roots of the three legged frog are found in many traditional Chinese establishments. It is believed that this creature attracts prosperity and abundance. The placement of this symbol should be on an elevated surface in the money area of your home, close to the entrance door. However, make sure that the frog doesn't face the entrace, but rather look into the house.

(Taichi) - Yin/Yang

I don't think there is a better known and more widespread symbol than the Tai Chi or Yin/Yang symbol. Everyone has seen it here or there, and you can hardly find a person not familiar with it. But, not that many people know how much of symbolic meaning is in there, or what its original design represents.

The Tai chi symbol represents the interaction of two complete opposites: Light and Darkness, White and Black, Male and Female, etc... the list could go forever. The white half symbolizes the Yang, the male principle. The black half symbolizes the Yin, the female principle. Although at first this may seem offensive to women, in fact, it has a much deeper meaning connected to the real nature of things, without labelling anyone or anything as good or bad.

feng shui yang yin symbol

Today there are numerous different representations of Tai Chi. People use different colors, or different directions of motion. Still, there is only one traditionally, symbolically and historically correct way to depict this symbol. Once you know the principles behind the Yin/Yang, you can probably figure it out on your own.

If we look at only one half, we could immediately see that there is a head part and a tail part. The head contains an eye of opposite color in the middle. Because the two principles are in motion, it is only logically to conclude that the head goes forward, and the tail follows. Because the Yang energy is expanding and growing, its head should go up, so the white half representing the yang principle has to have its head going up. In contrast, the Yin energy is decreasing, so the black half should have its head pointing down.

The dots of opposite colors also have a deeper meaning. Nothing in the world is ideal or 100% pure. There is no absolute evil without at least some good in it, and there is no absolute good without the slightest bit of evil. This is one of the main lessons of the Yin/Yang symbol. Everything hides within the potential for the opposite manifestation. If you are poor today, tomorrow the situation may be reversed and you may become rich, or the other way around.

The Dragonfly

This is one of the less known symbols used in Feng Shui. There is also no specific location where it should go in order to work, so use it freely and without fear that you can do something wrong.

The Dragonfly is believed to bring happiness, new insights and new beginnings. It is a symbol of prosperity, strength, happiness, change, wisdom, harmony and peace.

feng shui dragonfly symbol

The Dragonfly is related to the subconscious world - the world of hidden ideas and dreams. If we can become aware of our hidden thoughts and motives, if we manage to see and correct our wrong behavior patterns, we can improve the quality of our live. If we are no longer affected by our subconscious urges and impulses, their power over us stops. We can be free to consciously and actively shape our ways of thinking and behavior.

This symbol also brings another lesson. Sometimes, when the situation demands waiting and inaction, it is good to to adjust and go with the flow.

The Chinese believe that the Dragonfly represents the soul of the Dragon in this modern world. Given that the Dragon is a symbol of ultimate happiness, it is clear that the symbol of Dragonfly in Feng Shui is also very potent.

Have you ever observed the flight of the dragonfly? Its movements are gentle and graceful. It is able to arbitrarily and instantly change direction. If required, it can even fly backwards. Watching dragonfly in flight creates peace and tranquility and soothes the emotions.

The Elephant

In Feng Shui, the Elephant symbolizes childbirth and children happiness. Despite some recommendations to place it inside the bedroom, the best and most effective way is to put a pair of Elephants with their trunks down outside the bedroom entrance. To the Chinese, it would be sacrilege to place statues of these holy creatures in the bedroom. Touching the Elephant's trunk every night before going to bed is believed to bring happiness.

The best placement for a pair of Elephants with raised trunks is outside of your house, but you can also put them inside if you keep them close to the front door. If they are put inside, they should face the entrance to protect your home from various threats. In addition, they will attract a lot of happiness.

elephant statues

According to the Buddhist tradition, the Elephant is one of the sacred animals. It is often depicted with a lotus flower on its back to hold the Buddha's wisdom. In Buddhism the elephant is a symbol of mental strength. At the beginning of spiritual development the unrestrained mind is depicted as gray elephant that destroys everything on its way. The mind brought under control is represented by a white elephant that is capable of achieving any goal using its focused power.

Therefore, the birth of a white elephant is thought to be a sign extraordinary luck.

The Dragon symbol

The Dragon is one of the four celestial animals that are in the core of the teaching of Feng Shui. According to tradition, green dragon, black turtle, white tiger, and red phoenix created the world and divided the sky into four quadrants, with each animal taking charge of one of them. The Dragon got the eastern quadrant and became a symbol of the herbs and the sovereign of the waters.

The Dragon is one of the oldest and most beneficial symbols in Chinese mythology and Feng Shui. It embodies wisdom, good fortune, fertility, strength, courage, leadership, benevolence and enlightenment. The Dragon is decisive, intelligent, optimistic, energetic and successful.

dragon statue

The Chinese emperors have always used the dragon as their token. Moreover, they have considered themselves the direct descendants of the Dragon. To this day, the Chinese people are proud to be called "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" - the descendants or sons of the Dragon. To call the emperor "dragon's face" was considered the greatest compliment of all.

"Sheng Chi" - Dragon's Breath is another phrase that describes the living, driving force that is manifested through the four seasons. So, the Dragon's energy is held responsible for the rain in fall, the sun's heat in summer, the wind coming from the sea and the fertile soil.

The Dragon's body is constructed out of pieces from various animals, given that it is just a mythological figure, not a real animal. That's why the Chinese people depict it with a camel's head, deer's horns, fiery eyes, long beard, cow's ears, tiger's paws, eagle's claw, long winding neck, frog's belly and carp fins.

The Dragon belongs outside to the East, and ideally East should be on the left as seen from the front door. But if there is no Dragon there, it does not mean that you do not have Dragon's protection. The Dragon can be symbolized by a hillside or mountain, or even a neighboring house to the left.

There is conflicting information about having a Dragon symbol inside your home. Some experts argue that it is always advantageous, whether at home, in the office, or outside. Others believe that a Dragon symbol inside the house is not suitable for everyone. The problem is that not all people are strong enough to withstand the enormous intensity of Dragon's energy. People born in the year of the Dragon are more likely to have enough power to do so. The rest of the Chinese zodiac signs should proceed with caution. If you have any special inclination toward the Dragon's energy, try a smaller figure or a calligraphic sign and progress slowly. Do not go overboard. One figure in the home is more than enough. Feng shui-wise, the absolute maximum of dragons in the house is set to 5.

As for the exact placement of the Feng Shui Dragon, use high energy ares. Avoid rooms of low energy, such as the bathroom, closets or garage. Don't place your Dragon figure too high above the level of the eyes. If you want to place it in the love and relationship areas of your home, add a Phoenix symbol too, because the dragon and phoenix as a pair represent the marital happiness.

Keep in mind that there are four celestial creatures that are equally good, but each in their own specific way. The Dragon act quickly and forcefully, the Turtle acts slowly but surely, the Phoenix is gentle and considerate, while the Tiger is harsh, but fair.


Think a bit about yourself and the members of your household, and then try to figure out the type of characters you are. When you have taken into account all of that, select the symbols that will serve you and your loved ones the best.

About the Author

Sunny breeze is a member of sunnyray's editorial staff.


beyond says:

What's the feng shui symbol that helps attract love?

sunnyray says:

I'm not aware of a specific symbol, but you can turn your home into a living declaration of love. For example, images that signify love in general or romantic moments to you presonally. Pink or red flowers. Some Rose quartz tumbled stones or raw stones. Paintings. If you include figurines, make sure they come in pairs. 2 of everything, as a symbol of love relationship. Hope this helps and thanks for the comment.

lol_d says:

what's the meaning of elephant with trunk up in feng shui?

sunnyray says:

Hi lol,
The trunk has many specific meanings. Elephants use their trunk for a lot of different things, including drinking, picking food, social interaction, etc.

In most applications in feng shui, when considering the elephant symbol, its trunk is up. The meaning of this particular posture is "showering of good luck".

Just for the reference, intertwined trunks mean love and partnership.

Trunk down means fertility, energy accumulation, and pushing through obstacles.

Regardless of trunk position, elephant is a symbol of physical power, strength, protection, wisdom, knowledge, impeccable memory, and kindness.

Thanks for the question and God bless.

shas123 says:

ummm hiii
just wanted to ask
can I place a dragon symbol in east n a phoenix symbol in south separately in the room ?

sunnyray says:

Hi shas
Your positioning of these two symbols is correct.
The dragon should be kept in the east. It is especially beneficial if put on a desk in your office or work space. Carved wooden dragons should be the best and most powerful ones.
The phoenix should be put in the south, for example as a painting on a wall in your living room. Also very beneficial if placed in the fame and reputation area.

Chris says:

Hi ..
Am looking a dragon for my living hall.
Wonder what size and material is ideal as well which placements direction be beneficial.

sunnyray says:

Place your dragon on the left side of your living room. Select colors and materials that match what you want to achieve. You may also fine tune the position according to the bagua quadrants you want to give strength to. The best colors are gold, red, and turquoise. Avoid using carpets or low lying figures, as dragons need to fly to protect your space. You can use paintings and dragon embroideries hanging on the left side of the room or suitable positioned sculptures.

Ma says:

Hi, I bought a painting in Chinatown with 81 white horses running towards the right direction. I heard this is good luck if I place it on a right place of the house. My front door is facing south! Where do you think the best place to hang it!

The painting has four division just like the four seasons type! Please help!
Thanks; Ma

sunnyray says:

You shouldn't hang your painting near the entrance, facing the road, facing the windows, under the stairway, facing the toilet or store room.

Varsha says:

Hi,I have a laughing Budha on money frog&a picture of seven white horse running through water.Where to place these things in my West facing apartment?

sunnyray says:

For the laughing Buddha statue: Most Auspicious placement is facing the main door. For the money frog, place it on a table or shelf, not too high, not too low. It should face outward as it should draw in wealth. It can face the main door, but not directly, much better is to be diagonal to the front door. For the painting, please check the comment above.

Neha says:

I bought two big wooden giraffe statues to decorate my living it good to place them at home. Please do let me know if they are good to be placed at home or not and what do they mean.

sunnyray says:

In feng shui, the giraffe seems to be a symbol of friendship. You can put it in your home, of course, and it may help you improve your relationships with other people.

Marge says:

I was initially cautious about Feng Shui until a friend guaranteed things changed after purchasing and reading Too's book "Living with Good Feng Shui" and after applying the basic principles into her everyday life. I googled it and I found a copy on the Noon Books website ( I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. I applied the feng shui principles and waited for the potential results. Now it seems happier, it just "flows" instead of "chug along". I can't explain the change, but it seems to work. I'm very thankful I stumbled upon this book and gave it a chance.

Kav says:

I have a wooden elephant (trunk down) with a wooden basket on it's back. I was wondering if I could keep a wooden frog in the basket and place the elephant next to a slightly bigger elephant in the bedroom facing the south west? Or should I just leave the basket empty or not even put the smaller elephant near the big elephant. I've put the bigger elephant (trunk down) there since I was told it'll help with fertility as we've been trying to have a baby for 3 years now.

sunnyray says:

Hi Kav
I wouldn't pay too much attention to these subtle changes in Feng shui energy flow. There are other areas that have a much bigger influence on fertility, like nutrition and life-style changes. Check for example this site and The Better Baby Book.

Chtis says:

I have a wooden dragon 2ft hi an curled like a snake. Its standing proud its not a long dragon its standing straight up proud in the the air to be honest it looks like a protecter what way should i face him looking out the window. Or looking in at my family in my living room.can send pics. Thanks

sunnyray says:

Hi there
Almost all areas in your home, including your living room, are good for your dragon, except for the bathroom, closet, or garage. Furthermore, don't put it too high, not higher than the eye level.

Your dragon should not be looking out the window (or say face a wall). That way, it would only drain energy not bring it in. It should face toward the room. There should be enough space around it.

Avis says:

Was given embroidered picture of gold imperial five toed dragon where should I place it to bring luck and prosperity also have green jade dragon where should I put this dragon.

sunnyray says:

Your dragon should face inside your home, and not, for example, looking out the window. Any place in your home with a good flow of energy is good.

Tin Tun Naing says:

Where is the best location to put the Wooden Dragon in my house? Please advise me.

sunnyray says:

Put it in open areas with good Chi. It shouldn't look from the house out, it should face the inside of the house.

Divyamantra says:

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Deveena says:

I have a red wood dragon tortoise with Chinese coin in its mouth on a table facing west main door of my house. Is this good for increasing wealth?

sunnyray says:

I would say that it should go in the south-east (or the upper left corner) part of your house, which is considered a money area.

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