When you read about feng shui principles and theories, you'll often find references made to animals. Some of these animals are real, while others are simply mythological. Either way, you can use animal symbolism in your home to improve the level of chi energy as well as to provide protection.
The Turtle, Phoenix, Dragon and Tiger
You'll frequently see references made to an "ideal home," protected by a turtle, phoenix, dragon and tiger. These real and mythological animals are intended to be symbolic of natural structure and land formations. The turtle is depicted as being behind the house, symbolizing protection and support. The phoenix bird in front of the house is seen as providing protection through the attraction of good chi energy. The dragon and the tiger are depicted on either side of the house. These animals are seen as providing the house with protection from the elements, as would be the case if a house was close to a protective land mass or other building structure. Although these animals are generally referred to in a strictly symbolic fashion, some people do choose to use figurines of these animals in their home, placing them in the appropriate locations to provide protection and to encourage positive chi energy.
The Symbolism of Fish
Fish are often referred to in feng shui. They are considered to be a source of good luck, especially since they are seen as a symbol of a long life. Fish are often included in the home or the landscape surrounding a home as part of the addition of the water element. Although it's usually the water as well as the placement of the water that is most significant in feng shui, there are also those who feel that the power of the water can be increased by the inclusion of the right number of correctly colored fish.
In Chinese culture, powerful cats such as tigers and lions are considered to be a source of independence, strength and power. You'll sometimes see stone statues depicting these powerful wild cats guarding each side of the entryway to public buildings. However, the power of these cats is considered to be too overwhelming to be used for private homes. A small statue of a tiger or lion is sometimes used inside the home to depict power and independence.
Feng shui theories and practices often make references to birds. Many people who practice feng shui place pictures or small statues of lovebirds in the master bedroom, since they are thought to attract true love. Roosters are also commonly used in feng shui, sometimes to prevent adulterous affairs. Even a bird flying over a house or nesting near or under the eaves of a house can have significance.
Elephants have long been thought to attract wealth and good luck. In most cases, paintings, prints and statues of elephants are depicted with the elephant's truck facing upwards, as this is considered to be the most advantageous position. Many people place images of elephants in their home as a way of attracting good fortune and wealth.