Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
The concept of numbers in Chinese Feng Shui is an important one, since each number has a specific, symbolic meaning. Numerology, the study of numbers and their relationship between humans and the objects around them, is a significant part of the Chinese culture. Many of us remember that the 2008 Beijing Olympics kicked off on 8/8/08 at 8:00pm. That’s because many Chinese believe that numbers have qualities that can effect human lives and daily events. Feng Shui practitioners from many cultures believe that displaying objects around your home in specific number combinations can enhance your life and help you attract wealth, harmony, and love.
The origins of Feng Shui are Chinese, and the Chinese meaning of a number is often associated with its pronunciation. This means that numbers can be misinterpreted in Western culture if the meaning given to them is based on the way they sound in Chinese.
Here are the most common meanings for specific numbers in Chinese Feng Shui, and tips for how you can activate the power of that number in your home.
The number 1 represents wholeness and independence. Place an image of a single turtle in the Career Area of your home or office to help boost your career prospects.
The number 2 represents relationships. Place objects in pairs in the Love Area of your home and in your bedroom.
The number 3 represents creation, as in mother, father, child. Place a collection of three family photos in the Family Area of your home to help improve family dynamics and decrease arguments.
The number 4 symbolizes stability and a strong foundation, and it represents the four directions (North, South, East, West) and the four seasons (summer, fall, winter, spring). The number 4 is sometimes considered unlucky in Chinese Feng Shui because it sounds like the word "death" in certain Chinese dialects, but it doesn’t have this association for Western cultures. If you have a number four in your address and you are from a country other than China, instead of worrying whether the number four is unlucky, try thinking of four as sounding like the word "more."
The number 5 represents change. It is associated with the five elements — fire, earth, metal, water, wood – and with the balancing center of a home. Try arranging five candles in the center of your table the next time you entertain guests.
The number 6 represents the emotions — love, joy, delight, anger, hate, and sorrow — and the supportive energy from helpful people around us. If you want to attract positive chi from teachers and other mentors, place six ceramic pots in your Helpful People area.
The number 7 represents thoughtfulness and self-evaluation. In Chinese the word for seven sounds like “for sure” and certainty.
The number 8 looks like the infinity symbol, and represents continued abundance and business success. Eight is a popular number in Chinese Feng Shui because the word for it sounds like "far" which means “prosperous growth” in Chinese.
The number 9 represents wealth, accomplishment, and attaining personal goals. It is also an important number in Chinese Feng Shui because it signifies the fullness of heaven and earth. The next time you change your ATM pin, try to use the number 9.
If you would like to read more about numbers in Feng Shui, take a look at Lillian Too's 168 Ways to Harness Your Lucky Numbers for Wealth, Success, and Happiness.