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Symbolic Animal Guardians Around the House

When examining the surrounding landforms of your home, we often refer to the 5 symbolic celestial animals. Locating and observing the position of each animal helps us identify certain feng shui aspects, which can be enhanced or remedied accordingly. Once you understand the basic principles behind the placement and function of each celestial animal position, you will be able to balance and streng then the surrounding land form around your home in order to encourage harmonious and nurturing energy for you and your family.


The Tortoise area refers to the rear of your home (ie, the back yard). In order to feel secure and supported within your home, your back area should contain a protective ‘mountain effect’ which is symbolic of the Tortoise’s strong, hard shell. You can introduce this Tortoise feature by having a solid fence or a row of trees or a collection of large earthenware pots or statuary along the back boundary behind your home. You can also simulate the Tortoise support with a shed or other building structure at the rear of the property, which is solid, uncluttered and tidy. A statue of a single Tortoise will symbolically add the Tortoise influence to your backyard, however you will still need to add a ‘mountain’ feature to enjoy the protective qualities of the Tortoise support. The Tortoise feature helps retain accumulated chi that has entered your property, as well as protecting your back. If the rear of your property slopes away from the home, then your back is weakened. You will need to add tortoise support via the above-suggested features, and you should also consider adding up-lights to the back area to symbolically raise the chi.


When standing in your front yard looking towards your home, the Dragon side is on the right hand side of your property. The Dragon side of your property should ideally be higher than the Tiger side, as the Dragon keeps the Tiger energy benevolent. If your neighbor’s house on the Dragon side is taller than yours, then this is OK from a feng shui perspective, as their house represents protective dragon energy. Keeping this in mind, it is still important to retain a sense of balance in your surroundings - so you don’t want to be totally overshadowed by any neighboring buildings. If they tend to substantially rob your home of sunlight, block a beautiful view or overhang above your property, then the building is potentially draining beneficial chi from you. You can introduce Dragon energy by planting a raised garden area with flowering trees and shrubs, having your driveway on the Dragon side (the yang activity activates the benevolent Dragon energy), installing up-lights to symbolically raise the chi, placing 9 stepping stones in this area in a meandering fashion, and/or by placing statues or pots with dragon images on the Dragon side of your property.


The Phoenix area is the front yard of your property. This is the area where chi first enters your property. From a feng shui perspective, we want to attract and accumulate positive sheng chi energy to this area. One of the fundamental key principles behind the term ‘feng shui’ (translating literally as ‘wind water’) is the concept that positive energy is carried along by the ‘wind’ (or unseen energy currents all around us) and is attracted to and captured by ‘water’. You can simulate the chi-attracting benefits of water in the Phoenix area by adding a ‘Footstool’ effect to the front yard, in order to capture and retain beneficial chi as it enters your property. You do this by creating a mound of earth (ie garden bed) that is raised (like a footstool in front of the home), while also maintaining an open area in the middle of the front yard for the chi to accumulate (known as the ‘Bright Hall Effect’). You can further stimulate the attraction of beneficial chi to your Phoenix area by planting bright displays of flowers in the front yard to add positive growth and abundance chi. Red colored flowers are especially auspicious for the front area. The Phoenix influence can also be symbolically introduced to the front yard (in conjunction with the above suggestions), by adding statuary, artworks, whirlygigs and symbols depicting birds (ie rooster, phoenix, peacock etc). If your front yard is lower than the road level, then you can symbolically raise the chi by installing up-lights in the front yard, which shine up onto the front face of the house to make it visually appear taller.


When standing in your front yard looking towards your home, the Tiger side is on the left hand side of your property. Ideally, any neighboring buildings on this side should be lower than your home, otherwise the Tiger energy can become too strong and it can turn against you (often in the form of negative relations with the neighbors). Try to ensure that the garden area on the Tiger side is lower than the Dragon side. Plant low-growing shrubs and plants on this side. White flowering plants are considered auspicious for the Tiger side. If your driveway is located on the Tiger side, then each time cars travel along this part of your property, the Tiger is said to be prowling. This is especially symbolized at night when the car headlights traveling up the side of your property resemble Tiger-eyes glowing in the dark. The yang activity connected with a driveway on the left side of your property can turn the Tiger against you. If your driveway is situated on this side, make sure it is kept uncluttered and relatively quiet, and concentrate on building up your Dragon side to keep the Tiger energy benevolent.


This celestial creature represents the heart of your home, (ie the Center of your dwelling). Ideally, the Center of your home should be open and uncluttered, so the Snake energy can flow freely and communicate with the surrounding external guardians. In feng shui, the Snake is known to be a wise and sagacious creature. Its position in the Center of your home indicates the need to utilize your knowledge of the surrounding celestial guardians in order to feel balanced and centered within your own home environment.