“Are my Fu-dogs facing the wrong way?”
Recently, a client expressed her stress and anxiety over the direction in which her Fu-Dogs were facing. She bought them because someone told her they would keep her safe and bring prosperity. She placed them on a bookshelf and daily or weekly changed their position, facing each other, facing the door, facing the bed… she wasn’t feeling prosperous or “safe” necessarily, so obvious the dogs were facing the wrong way, right? Clearly the stress she had over the objects was counter to any benefit she thought they would bring.
Feng Shui Fu-Dog Facts
What are commonly called Fu-Dogs are actually Imperial Guardian Lions that typically sit at the entrance of a prominent and affluent home. They face out in the direction as the entrance. The word Fu translates from one of two Chinese words for “Buddha” or “prosperity.” They come in pairs to represent the yin and yang of life, the feminine and masculine. The male sits to the right with his paw on a sphere to represent the earth and serves to protect the house and structure. The female sits to the left with her paw on a cub to represent the cycle of life and serves to protect the occupants and promote abundance.
Beyond the symbolism, it is the metal composition of the Fu-Dog that makes it a powerful Feng Shui tool.
Fu-Dog Feng Shui
When we look at a space through Feng Shui eyes, it is not just an object’s symbolism that we focus on, but where the object is placed and very importantly, what the object is composed of. With the Fu-Dog, it is the energy that having such a large bronze / metal beast brings. With a bamboo flute, it is the wood that creates the energetic affect desired. With all cultural objects typically used in “Feng Shui”, it is their natural element that determines their effectiveness in enhancing, healing or deflecting energy.
The goal is to create a balance between the elements of earth, metal, water, wood and fire. Each has an impact on our body and psyche in a particular way: earth supports, metal provides structure, water creates depth and meditation, wood spurs growth and increase, and fire promotes expansion and expression. Too much or too little of an element leads to imbalances and prevents our moving confidently in the direction of our dreams.
Take for example your desk. An all-wooden desk has the energy of upward, groundbreaking, reach-for-the-sky energy. Imagine a tree growing upward. This is the energy you need to have when you wish to bring about change, launch a project, and start something big. But it could also get out of control, like a bush gone mad. If work feels out of control, we can chose a desk that has metal legs and thereby can create structure, keeping the developing energy of wood within boundaries of metal to ensure it is on a definitive route to success.
Teach an old Fu-Dog new Tricks!
I’m all for using cultural items to promote positive energy flow. I may add a Mickey Mouse cookie jar or velvet portrait of Elvis to inspire thoughts of comfort and creativity, while someone else may incorporate an Evil Eye Protector, a Native American Dream Catcher, a Chinese Fu-Dog, or Aztec and Egyptian objects as these are the objects with which they resonant.
Cultural symbology is a fascinating science, and objects you relate to personally will ensure you the chance of creating the most positive and beneficial affect on your environment and thus on your life. And keep in mind that the symbology is just one aspect, you can Feng Shui your piece of art by keeping a balance between its composition and the composition of those around it.